Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Drama Llama Rejectorama

Let's be honest: We all want to work with people we personally enjoy. I'm not saying you need to be BFFs with your co-workers, but if given the choice, we'd all want colleagues who are not only good at their jobs, but are also kind and pleasant to communicate with.

Luckily for us as agents and authors: We often ARE given the choice.

I have an amazing group of authors who I love hearing from and talking to... and I got to choose them (and they, me). There are certainly people I haven't offered representation because, based on my communication with them and/or their online presence, I felt like they might be a thorn in my side. I don't WANT a thorn in my side, thanks.

To that point: Yes, your professional and courteous communication matters. And yes, even if your blog or twitter gets very little traffic, if it exists as a public thing, it isn't invisible. Agents and editors will look you up and see what you say online. If you come off as an negative jerk who can't stop complaining about life or how dumb agents are or how unfair the publishing industry is (for example)... well, it's just not very inspiring. It doesn't make me think "oh wow that person would be a pleasure to work with."

Everyone has a bad day, I get it. And I do believe that there is value in "telling it like it is" and not being a freakin' Pollyanna every minute if that is not your style. But come on. If EVERY SINGLE TWEET OR POST is horribly grim/depressing/ranty/unkind... what will the personal conversations be like?

(This cuts the other way, as well -- If authors don't like the advice an agent gives on their blog, or the way an agent treats people on social media, or whatever, they should certainly avoid querying that agent!)

I don't want this to seem like a conspiracy theory. Agents aren't lurking around SPYING on you or anything. But if I'm interested in possibly repping somebody, I sure as heck look them up online. If I see an interesting, generally upbeat, sane, smart and fun-seeming individual, I'm more likely to want to take the conversation to the next level than if I see an awful crabby complainer (or drunken Nazi, or similar).

Even if somebody is a good writer, I'd never want to take them on if I thought I'd dread getting emails from them, that'd be a nightmare. There is enough drama and heartache in the world (and in this business) without purposely inviting emotional vampires in.


  1. I see your point. Most of us would generally avoid people like that. Thank you for the advice. :)

  2. You are totally right. Since we decide to write online it doesn't matter how many people will see it, we have put our print to the data world and that will follow us. (imagine little bits running behind you all the time  ) Of course we may have some bad days but I can’t imagine someone being cranky all the time and even if he is, my advice is to relax and enjoy the whole thing because it is a unique experience whatever the result may be. (I loved the picture!)

  3. You've been reading my blog, haven't you? Oh, woe. ;)

  4. As good a piece of advice as anyone could hope for. The revelation of making friends and connections through the Internet seems to be that you can easily find like-minded people, but sadly you can just as easily find vitriolic hate-mongers. Some people seem to think that their web presence is impervious to the social mechanisms that apply in person. Like you, I often have to ask myself the question: If this person is so bad online, what would they be like on the phone? Over coffee?

    Fortunately, online, there's always a spam folder and a block button.

  5. Lovely. We all need a little check-in with our drama drivel. And I'm stealing your poster. For medicinal purposes of course :)
    Have a great one!

  6. Great post. I've spoken in several venues (from Primary/Secondary Schools to Senior Centres) on the topic of how you present yourself on-line. To me it seems to be common sense, if it's on-line, it's not private. Period. That said, if it's not private (and even if it is) always present yourself with a certain level of responsibility, respect, and decorum.

    Mind you, a good part of my formative years was spent with my grandmother who always used to inquire: "Would you like that in front of the Queen?"

  7. But I *enjoy* complaining.

  8. Anonymous1:54 PM

    Alpaca owner says: Your llama is actually a Suri Alpaca. It's actually pretty funny. I googled the meme and many of the drama-llamas are actually alpacas.

    1. Thanks! I love both of them - so cute!

  9. This is true for every industry. Who wants to work with an emotional vampire? Love that btw EV

  10. Such a well written and honest post. Well done.

  11. Couldn't agree more. You shouldn't have to work with someone whom you can't trust to be courteous. Well said.

    P.S. Love the Llama pic. :D

  12. Good advice! I decided to Google my name just to see what popped up. Apparently their is a major company with my name. Who knew? They took up a majority of the first 4 Google pages. My Pinterest boards popped up which is fine. Then I found a twitter page, with my name, for someone who is definitely not me! She appeared to be my polar opposite. Eek!


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