Sunday, July 01, 2007
Agent & Editor's Conference...and other poop in the room
At the recent Agent & Editor's Conference I attended in Austin, I wish I had brought my Scat guide (left), which some coaching colleagues bought for me so that no matter where I go or what I'm doing, I'll always have a handy reference for naming the poop in the room. Had I brought it to the conference, I think I would have been much more equipped to recognize the particularly crusty poop I stepped in as I walked into my agent consultation.
The entire exchange between me and the agent was a singularly poopy experience. Without going into detail, let me just say that she was not the agent for me. I was disappointed (in hindsight, of course) by the way the entire thing is set up: Essentially, you pay hundreds of dollars for the opportunity to sit down with an agent from a big New York firm for 10 short minutes. Talk about a steep hourly rate! Even with the online bios and all the research I did beforehand on writersmarket.com, so much of the experience is a roll of the dice. Publishing is as much about relationships as it is about books and book ideas. If you and the agent don't gel relationally in those first 10 seconds, then it probably doesn't matter how strong your material may be; you won't get signed. In truth, even if she had wanted the material, I would've opted out. We were not a match.
Thanks to all of your supportive thoughts and prayers for the event. Your prayers were answered in the sense that I learned this was definitely not the right door.