NORMAN of course was the leading vote getter. More on that at a later date.
One comment that popped out was from Nicole:**
This could be an entire comment/article unto itself, but it’s really demoralizing to see agents taking to public-facing Twitter to complain about their day-to-day.
Every industry has crappy aspects you complain about with your coworkers, but you do it at the water cooler or in a private Slack. You don’t take to Twitter where your potential clients and current clients can see you.
Watching agents subtweet honest mistakes on queries, give air to the trolls in their inboxes, blame writers for daring to get an offer on a manuscript they’ve left sitting in their inbox for months and months and then not notifying them (b/c of the NORMAN expectation, but only sometimes) or not giving them long enough to read (despite giving the industry standard of 10 days to 3 weeks)—it’s exhausting and feels so much like a punch-down.
This also applies to agents always complaining about how busy they are for such little money; newsflash to them, what do you think writers do before they’re signed?
We work for years just trying to get to an agent inbox, with no money, no professional input, no expectation of anyone giving a damn for quite possibly decades.
Writers have 2, 3, 4, and more jobs alongside their writing and are told to “take their complaints to the group chat” by agents who don’t bother to do just that. We work for pennies, too. I know working on commission isn’t great when you start, but it’s what you signed up for, right?
I could go on and on, but it’s the hypocrisy, the punch-downs, the subtweets, lack of centralization, and the non-responses, mainly.
I think one of the reasons this behaviour has gone unchecked is no one calls them on it.
Writers don't -- they're terrified of being blacklisted, or burning bridges.
Agents don't -- they don't want to burn bridges either or alienate people we might have to work with down the road. Publishing is a small small industry, and if you don't know everyone, it's cause you haven't been here forever like the rest of us.
I don't -- I think it shows what kind of agent they are, and thus MORE GOOD QUERIES FOR MEEEEEEE.
So maybe we need a false flag Twitter account to throw some shade:
"Nice to see agents complaining about low pay to authors who have no pay"We should ask Felix Buttonweezer if he's available.
"Always glad to hear agents complain they didn't have a chance to read a ms that sold, cause it was only in their inbox for three months"
"Agents requesting fulls should be required to sign an NDA: no disappearing allowed."
In the meantime, there are a lot of agents on Twitter who don't do this; and there are a lot of agents who aren't on Twitter at all. Prioritize accordingly.
**Nicole, if you'll email me with your preferred mailing address,
and what kinds of books you love,
you've earned a prize for providing blog fodder!