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.
|I AM NOT YOUR LLAMA.