Why Your Agent Should Not Be Your Critique Partner

  • By: Jessica Faust | Date: Jun 23 2022

One of the many reasons I love agenting more than I loved editorial work is my ability to pass on edits to someone else. My job is to work with the author to bring out the best in the book and sell it. I hope in doing so only to read it one or two times and then sell it to someone whose job is to dig in even deeper. What I also never intend to be is my client’s critique partner.

Whether querying or working in an established author/agent relationship the only time I want to see your work is when it’s ready to be seen by the reading public. Not when it’s a draft. And definitely not when you think it’s still rough.

Agent Revisions

My job in revisions is to help you polish an already great book and prepare it to sell. I want to avoid any possible rejections. Like the car dealer polishing and buffing and vacuuming the car before you leave the lot, my job is to make your already final and perfect book shine.

In doing that job I cannot be your critique partner. I cannot read the book four, five, or ten times. Doing so causes me to lose perspective and then you’re not getting the best of me when it comes to polishing and buffing. Like you, I’m going to miss things because I’ve read it so many times that I no longer know what the story currently is separate from what it used to be.

I shouldn’t be anyone’s critique partner, not because I can’t do the job, but because I should be the next level look that only comes on for the buff and polish. For perfecting the book. I am your fresh eyes.

So before sending anything to your agent, send it to your actual critique group. Get them to tell you it’s perfect and you can sell the heck out of it, then send it to your agent for fresh eyes to make it even better.




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