Jeff O'Handley

The Doubting Writer Finds His Voice

Do You Or Don’t You?

Conventional wisdom holds that agent-hunting writers should stalk agents on Facebook, Twitter, blogs–whatever social media watering holes agents gather at (yeah, that doesn’t sound at all creepy, does it?). There’s a good reason for this: agency websites are often not updated a whole lot beyond major personnel changes and latest client releases, whereas an agent’s personal blog, Twitter feed, or Facebook status posting can clue you in on what an agent is looking for RIGHT NOW, and can tell you how deep in the slush pile they are.

I have yet to join the Twitter-verse, and I keep my Facebook friends list under tight control, so I tend to read and follow agent blogs. Many agents use their blogs as a way to educate writers, to help them–us–understand the ins and outs of the publishing world, to help us craft better books, better pitches, better queries. I’ve learned a lot from agent blogs over the last few years. For agents, not only does it give them a higher profile, it might–might, I say–help improve the quality of the queries coming in over the transom. Maybe.

Whatever your social media platform of choice, the big question is: do you engage? Do you comment, ask questions, relate your own experiences?

There’s a certain degree of fear and doubt that goes along with leaving a comment on an agent’s blog, especially if that person is on your query list: Will I sound stupid? Will I say something offensive? Will they track me and find my blog to be the most pointless drivel ever committed to the internet? Almost as bad: Will my comments come off looking like self-serving ass-kissery? This is over-thinking of the worst kind, paralysis by analysis.

There is an eventual point to this (I think), but for today, I’ll leave it at that. So again, the question: Do you engage with agents on social media? I look forward to your answers.

12 Responses

  1. Yes I do visit agent blogs, but I don't think it is an avenue to get an agent. I think an agent might be less-likely to take you on if he/she knew you as an avid blog follower.

  2. I haven't been so much engaging with agents recently, though I do follow a few on blogger and occasionally glance at their posts. It is something I will do more when I am closer to the querying stage. I guess they have blogs where people can leave comments and ask questions for a reason. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this, Jeff 🙂

  3. Interesting. I follow a few agents/publishers, but rarely comment. It depends on the topic they post about. But every time I do comment I have those exact questions running through my mind…lol

  4. Most of the agent blogs I follow don't give me a REASON to comment. And if they do happen to ask a question and I see there are already a mass of comments, I won't comment. I'd just be lost in the crowd anyway.

    I find it funny, though, that the majority of the agent blogs I follow are agents I will never query. Why? Because they don't represent my genre. But I learn so much from them that I keep going back.

  5. That's what I figure, Bonnee, it's there for a reason; still, it's sometimes tough to pull the trigger (there I go with the hunting metaphors again!) on a comment.

  6. Interesting. I find myself much more comfortable commenting if I know I'm not going to be querying an agent (though I still do my best to be smart and on-topic in my comment). Thanks, Stacy!

  7. Interesting. I think if you have a blog, it is your duty to try to engage with your fellow bloggers. Anyway if you do not use your blog, then in the end you might loose followers. In the end it is worth it to interact with your blog.

  8. I used to follow many agents' blogs and commented on some more than others. They had great info that really helped my perception of what it takes to craft a good, marketable novel. This is definitely something I'd recommend to all writers. (Over the years I've stopped following/commenting, both because I'm cognizant of craft and I have an agent.) 😉

  9. Thank you for reading and commenting, Lady Lilith. I do agree, if you're in the blog game, you've got to play it. The question is, do you play with everyone?

  10. There are some agents who have remarkably helpful blogs out there. I've learned quite a bit from some of them, that's for sure. Thanks for dropping by!

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