Is abuse a part of the game?

In a word; no. Publishing is tough, to be sure, but at no time should an author suffer an abusive relationship with their agent. It’s a given there will be rewrites and lots of work to get the story ready, but an agent is not a sergeant at boot camp whose job is to send emails to their authors that include browbeating, profanity, and threats. I question the sanity of any agent who believes this kind of abuse is acceptable behavior.

And yet these situations exist because authors are kowtowed into believing that no one else will take them on because the agency has a good reputation. I would have never believed this crap went on had I not seen the abuse up close and personal. It turns my stomach.

Agents and editors do not require their authors to partake in strange meditations, have debates with philosophers, or ask them to defend the agent’s honor on writer’s boards. They take care of their own problems like adults. They do not send emails to their clients attacking editors, other agents, and writers. This is self-serving, wasteful garbage that gets authors no closer to finding a home for their manuscripts.

Agents have one goal: to get the work ready for submission and sold to a good house. Yet I’ve seen authors put up with horrible abuse because they want to be published that much. But consider this; if the agent is doing everything but getting your manuscript in front of editors’ faces, then you’re probably better off without them. The agents I work with do one thing; take good care of their authors and treat them with the respect they deserve. And you know what? They treat everyone else in the business with that same respect.

Abuse is NOT part of the game, and any author who is in this kind of relationship needs to get the hell out FAST. This behavior is a narcissistic need for total control and not at all about selling your work. Get out. Get free. Take good care of you and your work.

One Response to Is abuse a part of the game?

  1. Terese says:

    May I give an agent who rejected something of mine her due? Not only was she kind and complimentary as she explained her reasons, but she offered me solid advice on how to proceed in my queries. She even answered a few questions, again because she wanted to help.

    She owed me nothing, but she took the time to do this. So what I hope for her is a lifetime of success, which is what she wished for me. Backatcha.

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