May 05, 2009

Steve Pomper

Busier than Thou

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Every once in a while I migrate back to this theme: What’s up with editors? Actually, this includes agents and publishers. I don’t know about you, but as one who still manages an alternate full-time career, family obligations, and writes as if it’s a second full-time job, my day is filled from top to bottom with stuff to do. I suspect it’s the same for you.


So what is up with editors, agents, and publishers who treat their time as if it’s directly doled out by God, when they treat the writer’s time as if it’s doled out by the guy lying by the trash can sucking off a bottle wrapped in a brown paper bag?


As busy as I am, when someone takes the time to write me, either at my website or my site, I take the time, even if I can only write a line or two. I think this shows simple respect.


On occasion, when an agent deigns to reply, they’re sure to let me know just how fortunate I am to have received a reply from his or her highness. This dichotomy is baffling, the people who need what writers produce in order to put food on their tables, can’t be bothered to show the simple etiquette they were taught in kindergarten.


I understand that these folks receive submissions by the tons. However, their excuses for failing to respond, leaving writers to wait and wonder, fall on deaf ears by the rare few who do extend the simple courtesies.


Recently an agent specifically request I send her material. Although part of this was my fault for waiting too long, she kept me hanging for eight months and only replied to my email after I’d notified her I was no longer interested in her representation.


However, my advice is to continue to be polite and respectful yourself and don’t lower yourself to this, apparently, much too acceptable behavior in the industry.  


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