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Meeting Clients

I’ve seen a lot of questions and comments about authors actually meeting with their agents and some concern that when an author does get an agent she doesn’t have the money to fly to New York to sign the contract. Well, don’t worry. It is possible to go your entire career without ever meeting your agent or editor in person.

For genre fiction authors meeting your agent or editor is often fairly easy if you plan to attend any of the national conferences. I meet with my romance clients every year at RWA National and I meet with my mystery writers at conferences like Bouchercon, Malice Domestic, or Thrillerfest. And of course there’s Worldcon for SF/Fantasy authors, etc. I’m also invited to conferences and writing events all over the world throughout the year and give priority to those events or chapters where I know a client will be attending.

Meeting with your agent, if you have the chance, is a wonderful experience. Okay, it’s a great experience for me. I like the one-on-one time and feel that it gives us the opportunity to really talk through career goals and plans as well as any concerns or worries the author might have. But a relationship can be just as successful if the only way you can meet is over the phone or though email.

Jessica

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14 comments

  1. I would much rather meet my agent in person. This is such an important and unique relationship. After all, my career will be largely in my agent’s hands! I’m lucky I live outside of Philly, so I’m not far from where a lot of the action is.

  2. This is so true Jessica. My agent is in California and I had no qualms about signing with her. I didn’t need for her to be in New York to sell my work. I was lucky enough however to meet her at Nationals last summer it was a great treat to meet her in person. However, if I’d not had a face to face, our relationship wouldn’t have changed at all! So while it’s a great treat it’s totally not a necessary thing!

  3. Good to know! But not all writers are poor (many have other jobs or careers, as you know), and I’d think they’d be able to scrape together enough to pay for a face to face meeting.

    After all, I’d want to know who is representing me and my work. Reminds me of a sorority rush or maybe a blind date–you never know how you’ll get along till you meet in person.

  4. I worked for an editor for four years without ever meeting him in person. It was a kick when we finally got together, but it didn’t really make the relationship any sweeter.

  5. Rosemary —

    LOL. “Uncle Nunz” probably cooks more for my family than I do, so you wouldn’t have to wait long. And Nunz has “catered” a few BookEnds get-togethers so you might see Jessica too. 😉

  6. There may be several reasons why writers can’t or don’t meet their agents, and it’s a bit condescending to assume most, if not all but the most successful, writers are too “poor” to meet their agent. Maybe they’re too busy or traveling or raising a family or too unhealthy or too young or too old—but to automatically assume writers are “too poor” is a bit offensive. I know you didn’t mean it that way but I just wanted to point it out.

    I’ve been disappointed by a few people after meeting them in person (and I’m sure the feeling was mutual!) so I think it’s very important to make sure you and your agent are a great fit. I’d welcome any chance to go to NYC–and signing a book contract would be a great excuse!

  7. Anonymous @ 7:59:

    But Jessica WASN’T assuming anything…she was talking about a specific situation: “I’ve seen a lot of questions and comments about authors actually meeting with their agents and some concern that when an author does get an agent she doesn’t have the money to fly to New York to sign the contract.” I.E. she is specifically referring to AUTHORS who stated that THEY were concerned about the fact THEY couldn’t afford to fly to New York to sign contracts with agents/editors. I didn’t see Jessica insinuating that most writers are too poor to afford to fly to New York, just that there’s no reason for those who can’t to worry about that affecting their writing careers negatively.

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