Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Love/Hate Wednesday


Meeting authors who are nice at an event.

This might seem pretty obvious; but it isn't! I've met plenty of authors who are pretty clearly tired and grumpy and/or a little too full of themselves to really give me the time of day.

I realize events are draining; trust me - I do them too!! But it REALLY makes a difference if you turn off a reader. I have stopped buying books from authors who were less than savory to meet in person; I don't support diva behavior.

Recently, I had a chance to meet Lisa Kleypas at RT - and HOLY COW TOLEDO was she lovely. Stood up, shook the hand of everyone she met, big, big smile, so very grateful to see you - made me SO much more excited for any of her next books, and excited about her as an author!

DO THIS. Yes, it may take a while if you do give attention to each person in line, but if they're waiting they really want to see you!

I don't care who you are as an author; your readers are important.


Non-publishing lawyers.

I cannot tell you how frustrating it is when I have a potential client have a non-industry lawyer look over our agency agreement. Primarily, this is because a lawyer not familiar with the industry is likely to suggest changes to industry standards (like commission rate).

I absolutely have no issue with a third party looking over any agreement - you just better make sure they know what they're talking about!!

Be sure to check out the AAR Canon of Ethics if that agency is a member; if they are, there are standards they will adhere to. (Though don't be put off if they aren't a member, either; here's a great post on that). If you have someone looking over the contract, and the agent responds with: sorry, this is standard, don't automatically feel like you're getting a bad deal - talk to others in the industry if you want to check if it's standard!


  1. Maybe a non-industry lawyer is in a better position to see when an "industry standard' is unacceptable and exploitative?

    1. It's the same concept as a lawyer specializing in Employment Law representing you in a criminal court. Sure there may be a fresh perspective but that's at the risk of missing the things to really push and focus on. Industry standards can change but they aren't the red flags to look for in a bad contract. A Publishing Lawyer knows what to look for without frustrating all parties by pushing for things that don't need to change (interpretation is key). Publishing Lawyers know what happens when things go wrong and how best to protect you.

  2. What exactly are the consequences for an agent who doesn't follow the AARCE? And how are they helpful to an author whose agent does so?

    1. You get kicked out. And everyone knows. This industry totally gossips; and an agent's reputation is huge. Clients will bail. You'll be listed as a bad agent on Writer Beware. Editors will be wary of working with you. You will be uninvited from conferences and other organizations like RWA. The canon is the closest thing to accreditation that an agent can get; it's pretty basic. Breaking it would be pretty big. But, not all agents are a member as I mentioned above; doesn't mean they're bad. They just may not qualify yet (you need a certain # of sales and letters of rec). Benefits of an agent who adheres are no reading fees, prompt remittance of payments, general shiftiness not occurring. But agents can still follow the guidelines without being a member and paying dues.