Monday, October 5, 2009

Fit is It

Last Friday, I attended an event put on by The Writers Center and Northern Virginia Writers as part of their First Friday series. Author Valerie O. Patterson and her agent Sarah Davies (The Greenhouse Literary Agency) discussed the road to publication for her book, THE OTHER SIDE OF BLUE.  Other_side_of_blue

Besides giving a very interesting presentation, they talked about how important "fit" was, both in terms of a writer picking an agent and finding an editor/publisher.

I totally agree.

Think back to a time when you had to work with someone--a person or a company--who didn't see things the same way you did. Were you comfortable with how things transpired? Or were you always butting heads, making it difficult to get anything done? Did you come away from the project feeling good, or were you full of regrets, perhaps wishing you'd never gotten involved in the first place?

Of course, when it comes to getting an agent or publisher, you might not have more than one option. Just remember, having a bad agent/publisher can be worse than having no agent/publisher at all.

Make your decision carefully.



Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Great advice. I've heard some horror stories about folks who've worked with editors that constantly wrangled with them over basic plot points. Ugh. That would be exhausting...

Mystery Writing is Murder

Unknown said...

Wow this is really insightful for me. I know a couple of aspiring authors and this is information worth passing along...

Good point also. (Just remember, having a bad agent/publisher can be worse than having no agent/publisher at all. Make your decision carefully.)

Good post, Alan.

Patricia Stoltey said...

I have an editor who does not hesitate to tell me what I'm doing wrong. She's demanding and pushy and ... she's always right. God bless her, she's making me a better writer and I'd hate like anything to have to adjust to a new editor. If I could just find an agent that good and that tough, I'd be one happy writer. Fit is definitely important. I consider myself very lucky!

Elspeth Futcher said...

Good advice, Alan. I can't imagine working with an editor I didn't get along with. A good editor makes a better book; plain and simple. I think some writers, caught up with 'publish-hunger' grab the first offer that comes along without thinking about the consequences.


Alan Orloff said...

Elizabeth - Exhausting is a polite word for it. I can tell you're from the South.

Crystal - It's hard for aspiring writers--it's very, very tempting to jump at the first offer, but you do need to be careful.

Patricia - Fit IS very important. I'm lucky--I think I fit very well with both my agent and my editor. (I hope they feel the same!)

Elspeth - You are so right. What's that saying? Marry an editor or agent in haste, repent in leisure?

Elspeth Futcher said...

Wouldn't it be repent in the clearance bin?