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Monday, August 15, 2011

Following Agents on Twitter

In the age of social networking, agents are now more accessible to aspiring writers than ever. A lot of them have Twitter, Facebook, blogs, or other ways of social networking. General advice tells you to get to know the agents you want to query. Personalize your queries to them and target your agent hunt for agents that you think that your book suits the best.

But is it a good idea to follow an agent beyond the typical information search? I don't mean stalking them to their house. I mean, for example, following them on Twitter. Oftentimes writers who follow the agents they're querying find themselves analyzing every harmless tweet the agent makes. An agent mentions an amazing partial that they're reading and you immediately begin to panic, wondering if it's yours and worrying that if it isn't, yours will pale in comparison.

On the other hand, some agents tweet when they've caught up with queries. This is great with both non-responders and responders. With a non-responder, the writer knows that they can cross the agent off their list if they didn't receive a response. On the other side, with a responder the writer knows that their query may have been lost in the interwebs if they didn't receive a response.

What do you guys think? Should querying writers follow agents? Or should they only follow the agents that they don't have a submission out with?

3 comments:

E.J. Wesley said...

Really good point you're making here. I think there's a tendency to overanalyze everything as it is in 'the agent quest', and Twitter can certainly add to that neurosis.

I follow a few agents, none that I've queried, and I'll confess I've read a few Tweets that have put me off a little. But I also keep in mind that many agents use Twitter like the rest of us do, so if they've had a crappy day they might just say so.

I think very few people use Twitter as an exclusively professional platform. The line gets blurred between professional and personal all the time.

EJ

Sarah said...

This can be a tricky one. I think a lot of agents are on Twitter in part to allow writers to get to know them (I know my agent is). However, writers have to know themselves, and if it's too obsession-inducing to follow, don't.

NiaRaie said...

You've got a good point. I like following agents to get a feel for their personalites (altho it IS kind of stalkerish isnt it?) But sometimes you can find yourself analyzing every detail, like you said, which can lead to possibly querying/ signing with an agent for the wrong reasons.