1. We really hate getting bad news and we hate sharing it with you, but we trust you’re adult enough to handle it.
2. If we say we don’t want to submit a particular project to editors, we’re probably trying to protect both of our reputations (the writer’s and the agent’s).
3. While many of us do a great deal of editing and polishing of your manuscripts and/or proposals, the bottom line is that it’s the writer’s job to provide a marketable book. Agents shouldn’t be counted on to make it sales-ready.
4. We are very invested in your book and often feel like it’s “our baby” too (even though we KNOW it’s yours!)
5. If it seems like we’re too busy, it’s because the economics of this industry demand we carry a certain amount of volume to make a living wage.
6. We prioritize taking care of current clients above the search for new clients. So typically, queries and writer’s conferences take a back seat.
7. We really are interested in your long-term career, not just the size of the next advance.
8. We hate the slowness of publishing just as much as you do!
9. We want to set you up with the publisher and editor who will be best for you, not just the one who’s offering the most money.
10. When we’ve tried to sell your book but we’re not successful, we’re probably almost as disappointed as you. Not only are we often emotionally invested, we’ve put in a lot of time for no paycheck.
11. When you send us a manuscript to read, we don’t do it during the work day. We read in the evenings (our “free time”) and on the weekends. With Kindles and iPads, we may even be reading your manuscript on the treadmill at the gym.
12. We’re aware of all the new options for writers these days, and we’re doing our best to help steer each client in the right direction.
13. If your writing career keeps you awake at night, there’s a good chance it has kept us awake on occasion, too.