Monday, September 20, 2010

Update: Smoothing the Ruffle

Had a little ruffle with Agent 99 after delivering the new-to-her information that my novel had been seen by a few other editors a while back. She seemed unhappy with the news, but I described to her the previous plot line (so very different from current) and the fact that it had gone out under a different title, and I got this note back: "No worries -- it does sound very different, and I don’t think it will be a problem." Things in publishing have heated up, so she needs some more time to read the newest revision; she hasn't gotten to it yet.  You know, micicles, I'm going to have to stop reporting her every word on this blog. It's starting to feel a little uncool because she doesn't know about it, and I'm developing a relationship with her. I can tell you that I do not relish telling her about this blog, but will probably have to at some point feel like I must. Or maybe I will need to close it down before long, assuming it has had its day and run its course. Any opinions about how to handle this?


Chazz said...

She might be thrilled, depending on the numbers of your following. Don't know where you're at there, but pulling off the mask is a marketing opportuntiy if exploited correctly with a savvy publicist. (eg Writer's Digest cover, PW article and Huffpost piece at minimum.)

OR, you remain anonymous, in which case, it's about as relevent to your book project as the fact that you knit using only yak yarn and worship at the feet of an idol recently discovered in Bali.

Confide in your agent (it is a business partnership so I s'pose she should know.) She'll either wet herself in glee or tell you to shut up about it.

I'm so pleased for you.

Travener said...

There's no such thing as bad publicity.* Ask Elliot Spitzer, as his new CNN show debuts in a minute or two.

Well, maybe Mel Gibson.

Laura Maylene said...

I expect she would see it as a marketing opportunity that could help her sell the book to a publisher and then obviously help sales. Of course, you have to decide whether you want to ever reveal your identity in the first place.

If your other option is to shut down this blog, I think it makes more sense to "out" yourself when you get a publishing contract. At that point, you can stop posting here but would also reap the benefits of having all us mice know who you are so we can purchase your book.

I kind of assumed the whole time you were changing details regarding your contact with Agent 99 -- for example, maybe you wait weeks or months after the real interaction to post about it, or you edit her emailed comments or change other identifying details, etc. to make it harder for anyone to trace. I know other bloggers who remain anonymous do this kind of thing, and I'm fine with it.

You can stop posting updates about the agent, but I do hope you keep the blog! And yes, you really will have to tell her, probably sooner than later. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

Go ahead. Shut down the blog. Reject your readers. That's where this has been heading since day one!


Anonymous said...

Oh what a tangled web we weave . . .

heynonnynonymous said...

Oh, please! An anonymous blog hardly qualifies as deceiving the poor innocent literary-agent establishment. If anything I think WR is being too honest. What do you owe any of those buffons? Do whatever works for you. And don't count on the whole your-agent-is-your-partner/best friend/advisor/confessor/business confidant. It no longer exists.

Jennifer said...

I'm with Chazz and Laura that it is a strong marketing tool.

Don't shut down, we need you.

Jennifer "Madame" Perry
blog author of:
Madame Perry's Salon
Memoirs Of A Misantrhope

Chazz said...

Actually I'm in favor of seeing the agent as the author's employee. I'm also honest with my employees.

Lit J said...

Don't tell the agent. Once she agrees to sign you, and then you get a publishing deal, you can reveal it to marketing. There's no reason to tell the agent before that point.

Don't jinx a good thing.

The only bad thing this blog will do for you is to reveal that you've made some enemies over the years. That is what the agent will not like.

The only good thing about this blog is publicity, which is why you shouldn't talk about it until marketing asks you for ways to publicize your book.

It's not dishonest at all to keep some things under wraps.

newgrubstreet said...

See my comments on just this very subject (agents & revisions) over at

don't shoot yourself in the ass said...

She never needs to know about this blog. Only if you are in danger of being outed by someone else should you come clean.

Are there a few people who have figured out who you are? I would imagine so. Have they spread the news far and wide? Doesn't look like it. I think if anyone was going to rat on you, they would have done so a long time ago. So just keep your lips sealed, what 99 doesn't know won't hurt her.

Anonymous said...

I think you should forget about the blog in your 'real life' as a successful writer - one with an agent, whose book is going to be read by editors, etc.

You should jsut forget about it. I don't think it's the kind of publicity that you want as a writer. You want publicity for the merits of your book, not because you got on the web and vented the frustration of rejections built into the process of trying to get published.

I would also caution against letting your agent know or think about you too much as a person. Ie at the end of the day you want her focus to be on your book, selling it, and getting the best deal for it and advocacy for it as she possibly can. On a fundamental level, she doesn't really need to know you as a person to do this. She's an agent, not a friend, not a confidante, not a comrade. She SELLS.

Anonymous said...

I think you should keep it anonymous and start fazing out mentions of Agent 99. The blog has many good qualities that you can focus on, rejection letters.

My office enjoys checking in regularly and talking about what is posted. I am sure the agent's office is the same.

Martin Rose said...

Don't tell the agent! You owe loyalty to no one but yourself. You might be a writer, but she's a business woman. She isn't loyal to you. If you're worried about this blog biting you in the ass, wait until you have several of your published books beneath said ass to serve as armor.