Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Agents, Agents, Agents.
And who do you look to when buying a house? An agent. Yup. A professional who is well versed in the laws, forms, and ways of purchasing a home.
In the past, I have loved my Realtors. But all good things must come to an end, and my awesome Realtor streak did just that.
Our amazing insurance company picked out an agent for us, like they had the two times prior. Almost immediately we could tell she didn't have time for my hubby and I and our home-buying endvours. When I emailed her questions, I knew I wouldn't receive an answer in a timely manner. And when I finally saw a home online that I wanted to view, she wasn't available to show it to me, so an associate of hers--who didn't know me or my wants/needs in a home--took me to look at the house. She told us that if we wanted to see a house on a Saturday, we'd have to book her at least two weeks in advance. And when we found a home we wanted, and knew it would be one we needed to jump on as quickly as possible, she actually replied in an email that there was no rush. She then sent me the offer papers to fill out myself and after my repeated attempts at getting her expertise to help me understand the forms, she simply said, "I don't have the forms in front of me". Not, "let me look at them", or "I'll ask someone." And that house that we shouldn't need to rush on? Yeah, it was on the market for a total of seven days. Sold like a stack of warm hotcakes on a cold, rainy day.
Of course we let her go and found an agent who did have the time for us, but this taught me a lesson:
Not only do I need an agent to help me with the professional side of publishing, but I need a good one. I've read stories of authors who have signed with difficult agents and watched their writing careers swirl around the drain.
I have done this home buying thing before, but I still haven't a real clue on the nitty-gritty of it all. And, as everything else in life, the home buying process changes with time. I assume the book selling process does too.
If I truly get to where I want to be in my writing career, I need a literary agent. I need someone to walk with me, explain things to me, look over the many business forms and contracts with MY best interest at heart and not the best interest of the publisher. That would be like me walking up to the selling agent of the home I'd like to purchase and asking her to write up the offer. That offer probably wont benefit me as much as it possibly could.
Now, I've seen my writer friends struggle to find an agent who simply remains illusive (shoot that's what I'm doing now). I've seen my friends sign contracts with smaller publishers and be pleased with the outcome. So I'm not saying an agent is the only way and we writers are like little babies unable to pull up our big girl panties (or boy underroos) and get the job done.
What I am saying is that after experiencing a not-so-great agent with my home-buying process, I am now more than ever desiring a fabulous literary agent who gets my work. Who has the time for me. And who is willing to deal with those nasty forms. :)
How about you? Have you had an experience that has swayed you in a different direction or strengthened the current direction of your publishing path?