Dawn Colclasure's Blog

Author and poet Dawn Colclasure

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Should I be paranoid?

Wow. Yesterday, sometime after I posted the last blog entry, I got a rejection in my email from a literary agent. The rejection said that the agency is looking for submissions of what is selling, and they don't think my novel qualifies as something that would sell.

Ouch. Seriously, after moaning about having to write what DOES sell and getting that type of rejection, I have to wonder if this agent saw the blog post and immediately decided I just wasn't an investment worth their time (or money).

Now I'm starting to wonder if EVERY single agent I query is reading this blog, or the other blogs. Or looking at my MySpace to see if I'm doing the promotional work I SHOULD be doing as a published writer. (Some editors DO do that. In fact, some expect to see us doing the promotional work.)

Granted, I realize that, on a public platform like a (public) blog, there should be some discretion as far as the content is concerned. I mean, I look at blogs and profiles, too, and try to decide whether this person is someone "safe" for me to network and associate with. (If they have stuff on there saying "I hate America!" or "Satan rocks my world," I'd be a little cautious if I ever end up communicating with them or allowing them to know of the things that I do.) But I just never thought it would make or break a writer's chances of signing with an agent.

Still, I know that this may not be the case. Maybe it was just a coincidence. Have to wonder if this very thing has happened to other writers trying to find an agent, though.

This whole thing makes me think of one publishing company I am aware of who terminated contracts with their authors after they started committing slander against the company's CEO on their blogs. And, people have gotten fired because of things they said on their blogs. Bad-mouthing their bosses and revealing company secrets.

So, maybe a little bit of caution as far as what you blog about is a good thing, aye?

But this doesn't mean I don't want to write what sells. Or that I am not willing to send out stuff that is a "hot" item. I AM willing to do that! Just not with nonfiction. With fiction, I am all for it. If I can write it, I'll send it! They're just stories! I'm just no longer comfortable with my niche, as far as NONFICTION is concerned. Fiction is a whole 'nother animal. I can jump between genres just fine!

So, to any agents out there reading this, please know that I AM willing to run with the crowd. Be a part of the team! Join the club! As a writer of fiction, I am DEFINITELY willing to send out there what is "hot" and what is "selling." No need to worry about me being a bad investment. I am actually hoping that, with the work I do, I end up being a good investment. I'm sure going to try.

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  • At 9:46 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Dawn, I'd like to say you're just being paranoid, but who knows? That agent may have thought you wouldn't be a team player. But, when you write nonfiction, you've already done the work, you know there is a market for it, or else you wouldn't be writing it now would you.

    I don't get an agent saying he looked for fiction of what is selling. Heck, by the time your book gets published and is one the shelves it may be one of 20 books with a similiar theme.

    Agents and editors are just trying to guess what will be selling next year. At any rate, you've done a good job of convincing me you can write the novel I want to read. Sorry, I'm not an agent though. Just another writer and reader.

  • At 2:26 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Hey Dawn,

    I honestly wouldn't worry about it. All agents have different tastes and different opinions on what may sell.

    You have to find the agent who believes in *your* work.

    Good luck!

  • At 11:38 PM , Blogger Dawn Wilson said...

    Thank you SO MUCH! This is really thoughtful and helped me to feel a little bit at ease. I know discretion is important for the stuff you put on the Internet, though. The rejection was actually a nice one. Even though they rejected the manuscript, they were supportive of it and encouraged me to send it out to other agents. So I'm hoping I will find one eventually. I also hope this means it still has a chance of being the kind of book that DOES sell. I am definitely willing to put in the legwork when it's published to make that happen.

  • At 6:31 AM , Blogger Pan Historia said...

    Hey, you know if you're NOT being paranoid that does mean that they liked you enough not to just shove you on the slush pile but actually go find your blog and read more about you.

    The fact you got such a thoughtful rejection is a good thing, but it's always good to keep your public persona something you don't mind potential agents and publishers to read.

    Wyatt at Pan Historia


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