Reader Question: An Agent/Author Disagreement
- By: Jessica Faust | Date: Apr 16 2007
What happens when you and your client disagree on a plot point in her manuscript? Say shifting POVs, the ending or beginning? Say she agrees with 90% of your suggestions, but disagrees with some. How much of your advice do you expect her to use?
Keep in mind that what I do and what other agents do are completely different so how I answer this might not help you at all, unless, Anonymous, you happen to be a client of mine.
I expect my clients to use the advice that works for them. I’m not a writer, but I am an agent and a former editor. I know what sells books and I know what things in a manuscript can bring in rejections, but I can be wrong too. I truly think I give good suggestions and advice on what is working, what’s not working, and even my own thoughts on how it can be fixed. But it’s not my story. I would hope that if a client disagrees with my comments or suggestions she would feel comfortable enough to call and discuss, brainstorm, or share her own thoughts. This is a collaborative process. Together we are working as a team to sell this book, and while I might be the team leader (or at least think I am), I am not a despot.
I suspect that you can get better advice on how to handle a situation like this from other authors who’ve been there. So, readers, how do you handle your agent when you disagree with her suggestions, or how do you deal with your agent during the editing process?