Because You’re Human I’ll Excuse the Errors
- By: Jessica Faust | Date: May 19 2016
I love getting comments on blog posts. I imagine all bloggers do. It validates what we’re doing and makes us feel loved. Recently, a lot of commenters asked me to excuse any errors. Most blamed lack of caffeine which I can whole-heartedly support. The truth is, I LOVED that you all felt you might have errors in your comments.
I hope that this blog is and will be a safe place for writers to listen to what an agent says and converse with that agent (or agents). No judgement is made and I hope the same holds true on your side of the post. I often write my posts while severely under-caffeinated, over-tired, or just plain sloppily before I forget what I was going to say and run off to the next thing. There are, there have been, and there always will be errors in my blogs posts.
While the blog is hopefully some representation of what you’ll find at BookEnds, I also hope that you see it as more of a cocktail party or coffee klatch. A place where we come together to share stories and discuss the news of the day in publishing. Where people spill crumbs in their laps, drop a shrimp on their feet, trip, fall and stumble over their words. It’s real life here at the blog and that’s the way we like it.
Whew. Hope this may roll over to FB. Tried to edit a post, couldn’t figure out why it wouldn’t let me, I mean, I’m not the most savvy computer person, but I’m pretty up to date.
DUH– was in the WRONG FB acct.
It’s drummed into us so often that queries must be PERFECT that making an error in correspondence with an agent (even on social media) feels like a death knell.
I learned through my query process that agents are very much human and understand we all make mistakes. I think the whole process becomes much less scary once authors realise that. So thank you for this post, Jessica.
Well, another user error… I submitted to you (THOUGHT I did) in April. Sent an inquiry (THOUGHT I did) making sure received about 19 days later. Never heard.
Did NOT want to be a pesky author. Waited. After your post yesterday about being caught up with March and April queries, thought, ruh roh.
Went back to a past email conversation, copied the email, Then went to the sent folder, copied those emails… nope. Not a match.
USER error. Sigh.
I’m blame the little teeny tiny elves that work for Apple and make the eensy-weensy buttons on my phone. My big fat fingers gallumph over the screen. (For proof, I offer the fact that the elves fought to change eensy-weensy to Wendy-Wendy and gallumph to “gal lymph”). We’re on to you, elves!!
It’s refreshing to find an agent who will admit to being human and accepts the human in writers…especially us newbies who find the world of publishing a bit cold and remote when dealing with so many others out there. It’s nice to be invited to the cocktail party…thanks for making it about real life, Jessica.
I usually catch up with you at night. I have an hour when I go to bed when I look at emails and read. It’s a perfect excuse to get away from teenagers.
I like that people can ask questions or comment and anyone can respond.
I like that you answer reader questions and offer advice to everyone you can. I’ve also seen you ask for it.
All in all I think you’ve got the balance right and it shows what you are as an agency.
Oh and it isn’t only apple, those elves work for Sony as well.
I’ve always found it fascinating how glaringly obvious errors are once they’re in print or the text has been “sent.”
And that’s why we keep reading and commenting! And why I will be subbing later this year to Bookends.
I don’t drink coffee, so I feel my lack of spelling/grammar is really an understandable 24/7 thing.
My favourite phone auto-correct was changing the town of ‘Coonabarabran’ to ‘Conan the Barbarian’ (as an aside, still puzzled as to why would Samsung have programmed Conan the Barbarian into the dictionary?).
Bobbi, where did you see JF’s post on being up-to-date with queries?
Thank you, Jessica, for humanizing literary agents. Very refreshing to know that you’re real people, too. It’s almost as though I’ve caught a glimpse of my grade school teacher off school grounds for the first time!
Thank you, Jessica, for reminding us that literary agents are people, just like the rest of us. I feel as though I’ve caught a glimpse of my school teacher at the grocery store or movie theater for the first time. You mean…you’re a REAL person?!
Thank you for another refreshing post! “Real life” is why I blog and read blogs in the first place. Keep up the good work! (Not that you needed my stamp of approval or anything…)