Communication

Too Much Communication with Your Agent?

Some authors ask me if they share too much. If you’re asking, you probably aren’t! In my opinion, most authors connect the right amount, or if anything, err on the side of not communicating enough. You might ask:

  • Too much information? Not for me. I once heard a sermon that everyone needs to hear something eight times to remember it. I don’t mind hearing about something critical eight times, although I do try to remember the first time! Feel free to send me any and all information you want me to have. I’d literally rather get eight emails about the same topic than to be left out of the loop.
  • Emailing too often? I don’t mind hearing from you – everything from a contract/editorial/deadline/industry scuttlebutt to the latest shoe sale at Macy’s. Don’t want to miss that!
  • Calling too much? Again, no. Sometimes it’s better to call than to email. I’m good with that. Of course, if I want to receive an urgent call, all I need to do is to step out of the office long enough to retrieve the mail. But I’ll get in touch if I miss your call.

The number one complaint I hear from authors about agents is that they don’t talk to them enough. I don’t claim to be perfect, but this is one area I attempt to emphasize. I want to be responsive. But I can’t be responsive if the author doesn’t tell me. Please, if you need your agent, or just want to talk, speak up! Don’t let your agent think all is well, if in fact, you feel all alone. Make sure your agent knows the level of communication you need and do your part to keep in touch.

Admittedly, there are times when an agent will send a signal of lack of interest by not responding to author communication. My personality lends itself to overtalking rather than the silent treatment but if you’re feeling neglected, I recommend initiating a heart-to-heart talk to get back on track.

You wouldn’t write a book about two people not talking to each other. Don’t live that out in real life, either!

 

Your turn:

Do you think there is such a thing as too much communication?

What questions would you be reluctant to ask your agent? Why?

How long do you think it should take an agent to respond to an email?

 

Leave a Comment

I Love Change, Especially For Someone Else

Several decades ago, the British magazine, The Linguist printed a graphic with the phrase, “The strongest drive is not to Love or Hate; it is one person’s need to change another’s copy.” In the cartoon, the word “change” was crossed out and replaced first by amend, then by revise, alter, …

Read More

What is Your Attention Span?

I came across the study that claims the average person now has a shorter attention span than that of a goldfish. Eight seconds. This means most people tend to lose concentration in less than ten seconds. As an experiment, I read the above paragraph out loud. It took about 10 …

Read More

Great Customer Service

Last week I blogged about a poor experience I had with a hotel, comparing it to a great experience with a different property. This week, I offer a few more tips on how writers can meet and exceed expectations in customer service. Answer in Person I was interested in a …

Read More

Not So Great Customer Service

In publishing, all of us are really in Customer Service. The agent serves the writer. The writer serves the editor. The editor serves the publisher. The publisher serves the reader. Of course, there’s lots of overlap, but you get the idea. Recently I had a not-so-great customer service experience when …

Read More

The Accidental Pharisee

Anyone who spends even a little time reading the New Testament discovers the only times Jesus got really angry was when he confronted religious people who were so far off the intended track they needed outright and immediate correction or even condemnation. Jesus could judge, after all he was God …

Read More

Theological Accountability Partners

Just because an author is a mature Christian, doesn’t mean they are immune from writing something containing shaky theology. In an effort to craft compelling phrases and stories, orthodox theology can sometimes be a casualty of creativity or even carelessness. Most often it is entirely accidental. I referenced this issue …

Read More

You Say Tomato, I Hear Guacamole

I have a hearing problem. My ears are fine. For some reason listening to songs like Smoke on the Water and LaGrange on my headphones forty years ago had little or no effect on my eardrums. But over the years, I’ve begun to hear something different than what is being …

Read More