Writers often say things like "I didn't want to annoy/bother the agent" and "I didn't want to end up on the agent's blacklist."
Usually these writers are obsessing over whether to nudge on a requested full, or send a revised manuscript if they've made changes while they waited for the agent to read a requested full.
For all of you out there who worry about these things, here is what you have to do to get on MY blacklist:
8:30pm, The Reef, NYC
Me: Janet Reid
Caller: Oh! I thought I'd get your voice mail.
Caller: oh, I was just calling to introduce myself because I want you to be my agent and...
Me: Let me stop you right there. All inquiries are handled by email.
Caller: oh yes I know, I just wanted you to make sure you got my email.
Me: Just send the email, it will be fine.
10am the following day
Client: Hey I just got this email from a woman who wants to know what it's like to work with you.
Me (puzzled, not having offered rep to anyone in last few weeks) That's weird, who is it?
Client (forwarding email) Here take a look.
Me: Oh my dear godiva, it's the lady who called me at 8:30pm last night. And she now wants you to call her.
Client: Maybe I should.
Me (evil cackle): Yes, maybe you should. Can you loop me in on the conversation?
Client: Hi! You emailed me about Janet Reid. You're looking for an agent.
Caller: oh yes! Thank you for calling me back. Now, I have an unfinished masterpiece and I want Janet to represent me but what is she like? Is she any good?
Client: (sounding very doubtful) well, you know...she drinks. A lot. She keeps a lot of cash on hand for bail money. She actually laughs about crushing writers hopes and dreams.
Caller: Well, that doesn't sound good.
Client: no, it's actually terrible. One author told me she actually sent him a rejection letter on his birthday! It was utterly cruel.
Caller: oh that IS cruel.
Client: She's been my agent for almost ten years, but only because I'm afraid I'll stop getting my books sold if I part ways with her.
Caller: I had no idea.
Client: Most people don't. They just blindly query her by email, and when she offers, they say yes. It's a mess, let me tell you.
Caller: Well, thank you for letting me know.
Client: No problem.
I swear almost every word of this is true, and if you're obsessing over being shunned by agents far and wide just answer yes or no to these easy questions:
1. Have you called the agent at 8:30pm to make sure she gets your most recent email?
2. Have you contacted a client before being offered rep?
3. Have you completely lost your mind?
Only if you have a perfect score here should you worry about being shunned forever.