"Ye gods," as they say in the movie version of "Oklahoma" in-which-is-starring-one-of-my best-friend's-handsome-sons-in-a-local-production. (Remember the name Colin Hooker-Haring--he'll be a big star one day.)
Where was I and why haven't I been blogging? I've been working on our local presidential campaign, that's where. Phone banking, meeting, cooking for the crew, stuffing envelopes and sorting brochures. Oh, yeah, also working on our book publicity campaigns and the literary agent biz. For sure I haven't been blogging.
But today I write because I want to talk about exclusives. We don't ask for them. We don't want them. Jon is struggling with a writer at this very moment who is being rather troublesome. Jon enjoyed this guy's partial. He asked for the manuscript, but certainly did not ask for an exclusive look. We are so behind in our reading that asking for an exclusive would be completely unfair AT THIS POINT.
In the end, Jon turned down the manuscript for many good reasons. He wrote to the author and told him, in broad strokes, why he was not going to take the book. The author asked for specifics and told Jon that he'd given the manuscript to us "exclusively," and therefore, Jon was obliged to give the author his reading notes. He then suggested that he'd pay for the reading notes. Jon is writing him yet another email with the final goodbye.
But this experience has left a bad taste in our literary mouths. You should never consider that an agent has requested an exclusive unless that agent has said he wants an exclusive. And, please don't offer us money for any reason. That is a big, big no-no.
Now for the good news. We've been up at 6 every morning for the past two weeks to get caught up on our partial and manuscript reading. We'll continue until we have read everything through the September pile. So, if you're waiting to hear from us, give us a bit more time. We're getting there!
Better instincts - "Go with your gut," is occasionally good advice. More often, though, it's an invitation to indulge in your fear or to avoid the hard work of understanding ...
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