Monday, November 23, 2015

Dear Authors: Do Your Research!

Dear Authors:

Yes, I was a literary agent at Corvisiero Literary Agency for a very brief period of time. Note the "was" -- as in past tense. Due to personal reasons, I made the difficult decision to leave. (To learn more about why, please read this post.) When I made the announcement, I received an outpouring of support and encouraging messages. Heck,I'm still getting messages. I was humbled by the sheer amount of concern and well-wishes heaped upon me, and I cannot begin to tell you how much that has meant to me. So to everyone who reached out and to those who kept me and my family in your prayers, THANK YOU!

Just last week, the wonderful Chuck Sambuchino tweeted that I was a new agent looking for certain genres. (On a side note - I had the chance to meet Chuck earlier this year, and he's just as personable and friendly and knowledgeable in person as he is online. Seriously, if you have the chance to attend one of his workshops, do it!) That single tweet received dozens of retweets and favorites, and resulted in me gaining a lot of new followers. Chuck was simply doing what he does and trying to help. Unfortunately, in the midst of dealing with family issues, I never emailed Chuck to alert him to the fact I was no longer an agent. The blame for this is on me, and I fully own that. Let me be very clear: I do not blame Chuck in the least. He's a great guy and I fully support his efforts within the writing community.

However, since that tweet, I have gotten an influx of emails from authors seeking representation. At first, I answered all of them, explaining that I was no longer an agent and wishing them well. But the emails continue to come. I just got two more this morning. And you know what I realized? They are being sent to my Anaiah Press and / or my personal email address! And you know what this tells me?

Authors aren't doing their research! And that, dear authors, is on you. Yes, I should've made sure Chuck knew I was no longer an agent. Yes, I should've shared my announcement more frequently on social media. But it's your responsibility, as an author, to do your homework, to know who you're submitting to and what their role is withing the publishing industry.

I mean, that is the number one thing authors are told when they start querying -- DO YOUR RESEARCH! It's clear that none of these authors have, because if they did, they would've learned two very important things:

1. I am no longer an agent. I'm no longer listed on the Corvisiero Literary agency website. There is a post on my blog about it. I've tweeted about it. Posted on Facebook about it.

2. Anaiah Press is a publisher who is in the business of publishing Christian fiction. They are not a literary agency and they do not represent authors. They publish books.

I cannot stress this enough, authors, DO. YOUR. RESEARCH! Know who you're submitting to, know what they're looking for, and most importantly, know the difference between agent and publisher. Don't send a publisher an email asking them to represent you and your books. And conversely, don't send an agent an email and ask them to publish your book.

Anyone who knows me or has ever had any interactions with me will tell you that I am always more than willing to teach and help authors in anyway I can. And that hasn't changed. But please, I beg you, do your research. From this point forward, I won't continue to answer emails asking for representation; and honestly, I really shouldn't have to because if you're doing your research, you'll know I'm not a literary agent and that I don't represent authors or their careers.

All my best,