In keeping with my conference posts, I want to talk a little today about agent appointments. I’ll use agents as the example for brevity but this post can also apply to editor appointments. That is, what if the agent or editor doesn’t like your work?
Don’t despair. Seriously. Here’s why:
1.) If you feel you stuttered or stammered, or otherwise weren’t at your best, don’t worry. The best agents realize few readers will meet authors in person, so a poor verbal presentation shouldn’t work against you. You will be judged on your writing, because that’s what the reader will see. If the agent asks for your work, send it, no matter how badly you feel you presented yourself.
2.) If the work isn’t to the agent’s taste, it’s best to learn that now rather than later. Many authors interview a number of agents before deciding on which agent is the best fit.
3.) If the agent doesn’t seem enthusiastic but offers advice, consider it. That advice alone could be worth the cost of going to the conference.
4.) You can submit another work, or an improved version of your current work, later. Remind the agent you met at conference, and then most agents will extend the courtesy of a thorough review.
All appointments are learning experiences, even those during which the agent declines.
Have you had a disastrous conference appointment? What did you learn from it?
After the initial disappointment, in hindsight, were you glad your work was declined? Why?
What is the best thing that happened to you during a conference appointment?