In this piece, author Chuck Wendig discusses the issues surrounding literary agents. Please note that Chuck's blog is generally NSFW, but he does make a lot of serious and valid points on his site.
It used to happen once every couple of months. Then once every month, now I’m up to about once a week. What I’m talking about is, authors emailing me to see if it’s time to leave their agents. When this happens, the writer often frames it like, “Well, how do you and your agent do things?” And I say things like: ME : She sells my books? I dunno, I write them, and then Stacia helps them navigate the BOILING CHAOS STORM that is the publishing industry? THEM : But what about emails? ME : Emails, like, Hillary’s emails? THEM : No, does your agent answer your emails? ME : Well, of course. THEM : In what timeframe? ME : A reasonable one? Actually, an unreasonably fast one, usually — within the day, sometimes within the hour. Pretty fast turnaround to questions and stuff. THEM : She not only responds to your emails, but she responds to them quickly ? ME : She does, and in fact endures a great deal of nonsense from me, including occasional Career Freakouts and other psychological gesticulations. But given your response, I’m guessing yours doesn’t… respond at all? And from there, we uncover a host of uncomfortable sins. And this can be for a lot of reasons. Maybe the agent is wrong for you, or you’re wrong for her. Maybe she’s too new. Maybe she has too many clients. Maybe you’re too small a client and she’s got bigger beasts to hunt. Maybe she’s a terrible agent — or maybe you need to recalibrate your needs. I never really like to recommend that a writer leave her agent — not because that’s a bad idea, but because I’m not comfortable being the one to say, YEAH, TIME TO JUMP OUTTA THE PLANE, as that’s awfully easy for me to say, because I’m buckled up in a nice, cozy seat. Telling you to do the hard thing is easy when I don’t have to do it with you. […]