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Mistakes Made After Meeting with Agents & Editors
Wednesday, February 17, 2016 by Blythe Daniel

I’m fortunate to meet and hear from writers at conferences and there is at least one thing that remains a mystery to me after I meet a writer. So much so that I thought I’d share it with you to see if you have ever been one of the writers that fall into this category. I believe it’s a great hindrance to writers in moving forward after paying to go to a conference, and I don’t want you to be one of these!

Just so you know, I know it is hard to go to conferences and put yourself in front of an editor or an agent. Remember, as agents, we put ourselves in front of editors all the time. We face a “not right now,” or a “not going to work for us” response or any number of comments. We feel your pain, really. And as someone who started out in publishing not knowing anyone, I decided that if I was going to be a part of writing and the media, I would have to introduce myself to people, ask them what it is they do, why they love what they do, and let them know how I would like to work with them.  So getting over hesitations or fears is key.

But the big blunder I see writers making is in not following up with an editor or agent after he or she has expressed interest in their material. It sounds crazy, I know. You work hard to get interest but then somehow, writers lose that courage they found at the conference. Or they let other things take over their priorities and they never reach back out to the editor or agent who has said “send me your stuff.”

Why would anyone paying good money to go to a conference do this? I know, as a mom of three young and active children, that sometimes a day takes a different course than planned and sometimes that happens for months on end. But you have to figure out a better way to follow up with an agent or editor who has said the words you’ve waited to hear: “I’m interested, send it to me.”

Here are four things that I’d like for every writer to know about why it’s important to follow up with an agent or editor:

  • 1) If we say that we are really interested in seeing your proposal and chapters, then we mean it. Not to hear from a writer we have told this to shows us who knows how to follow through and who doesn’t. We can’t help you if you don’t respond to us. If you think, “I’ll work on it some more and then send it,” chances are you won’t. Send it to us and tell us how you plan to change it and we can tell you if we’re interested in seeing the revised version.”

 

  • 2) Many writers aren’t sure if they’re supposed to email, call, send a personal note, or hand deliver flowers to an agent. What is standard protocol? I like for people I have talked with to email me about a week to two weeks after the conference and send any follow-up material they were going to send that we discussed. If you have a deadline you are trying to meet because another agent or publisher is looking at your materials, please state that in your email. I will respond to you as quickly as I can. I don’t mind getting an email from you reminding that we met. I actually prefer it. As agents, we get busy and often want to respond to the submissions we have on our list. Your email will remind me that we have spoken and that I’m interested in seeing what you have to share.

 

  • 3) Much of publishing is relationships. We often evaluate how a working relationship will go based on how a writer relates to us as an agent and how they follow up and do what we ask them to do. We know that if this isn’t done well or done thoroughly in the beginning of discussions, then we can tell that the writer probably isn’t going to go very far in publishing if they don’t take some responsibility and provide what we’ve asked for and in the form that we’ve asked for it in.

 

  • 4) Even if an agent or editor says “no thank you,” to your project, thank them anyway. You would be surprised at the number of proposals I respond to and I never hear anything from the person. Not “thank you for your time,” or “thank you for reviewing it.” Nada. Zilch. Even if the person you want to love your proposal does not indeed love it and they have to decline, you still need to thank them and set a good example of who you are and how you respond to people. This is one of the things that sets good writers apart from more self-serving writers who don’t know how to relate well. Even if your first submission wasn’t accepted, often a writer’s attitude and how they respond can set up a second or third submission with an agent or editor because of how you have responded to the first. If you cut yourself off and don’t respond, you won’t be well-received should you ever try to query an agent or editor again. Be thankful and respectful of the time we spend evaluating your project and listen to why we tell you it is not a good fit with what we are acquiring.

 

I hope your time at FCWC is spiritually restorative and professionally encouraging. I’d recommend that you ask Jesus now, What do you want my writing to look like this year? What do you have for me and how do I walk in it? If you do this, he’ll show you. And it will be just what is needed for you.

 

Blythe Daniel is a literary agent and marketing consultant and has experience with author acquisitions, marketing, and publicity campaigns. In addition to placing clients with publishers as an agent, she has had clients on the Fox News, Good Morning America, The 700 Club, The Washington Post, and others. Blythe was the publicity director and later marketing director for Thomas Nelson Publishers. Prior to that, she worked as a publicist, news reporter, and host at a radio station as well as writer for magazines and newspapers. She was the product development manager for New York Times bestselling authors John and Stasi Eldredge.

Blythe started her agency in 2005 and her clients come from ministries like Focus on the Family, Family Talk, Proverbs 31 Ministries, Cru (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ); media outlets like the Houston Chronicle, Today's Christian Woman, National Religious Broadcasters, and Disney; business organizations like Dollar General and JP Morgan Chase; and journalists, pastors, moms, and bloggers.  
 

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Faculty Interview with Dr. Dennis E. Hensley
Bethany Jett
2/12/2017

Faculty Interview with Bethany Jett
Eva Marie Everson
2/11/2017

Media and Promos with Punch
Kathy Bruins
2/11/2017

Faculty Interview with Lindsay Brackett
Bethany Jett
2/10/2017

Faculty Interview with Michelle Medlock Adams
Bethany Jett
2/9/2017

Faculty Interview with Eva Marie Everson and Mark Hancock
Bethany Jett
2/8/2017

Faculty Interview with Edie Melson
Bethany Jett
2/6/2017

Faculty Interview with Eddie Jones
Bethany Jett
2/3/2017

Faculty Interview with Hannah C. Hall
Bethany Jett
2/1/2017

Faculty Interview with Cyle Young
Bethany Jett
1/30/2017

Faculty Interview with Kristen Stieffel
Bethany Jett
1/28/2017

Faculty Interview with Bill Watkins
Bethany Jett
1/27/2017

Glimpses from the Writer’s Glossary
Linda Gilden
1/23/2017

Faculty Interview with Torry Martin
Bethany Jett
1/20/2017

Faculty Interview with Marti Pieper
Bethany Jett
1/18/2017

Faculty Interview with Shellie Arnold
Bethany Jett
1/16/2017

Writing a Standout First Page and Blurb
Shana Asaro
1/11/2017

How to Evaluate Your Options
Cheri Cowell
1/9/2017

Faculty Interview with Linda Glaz
Bethany Jett
1/6/2017

Who's Afraid of the Big, Bad Continuous Critique Track?
Shellie Arnold
1/4/2017

Faculty Interview with Lora Zill
Bethany Jett
1/2/2017

Faculty Interview with Laura Petherbridge
Bethany Jett
12/30/2016

Interview with Katy Kauffman
Bethany Jett
12/28/2016

Interview with Kristen Hogrefe
Bethany Jett
12/26/2016

Faculty Interview with Ben Wolf
Bethany Jett
12/23/2016

5 Reasons to be a Word Weaver
Kristen Hogrefe
12/21/2016

Finding Your Tribe
Katy Kauffman
12/19/2016

Faculty interview with Angela Hunt
Bethany Jett
12/16/2016

Faculty Interview with Alton Gansky
Bethany Jett
12/14/2016

Faculty Interview with Cheri Cowell
Bethany Jett
12/13/2016

A Silent Retreat
Laura Petherbridge
12/12/2016

How to Get More Readers Using Libraries and Magazines ( A Class Offered)
Susan Reichert
12/9/2016

Platform is Not a Four Letter Word
Andy Lee
12/7/2016

Writing for CBN.com
Beth Patch
12/5/2016

Nonfiction A-Z
Edie Melson
12/2/2016

Blogging for the Soul and Making a Difference
Andy Lee
11/30/2016

Will I Ever Be Published?
Linda S. Glaz
11/28/2016

Conquering Mountains
Erin Taylor Young
11/25/2016

I've Written a Children's Book . . . Now What?
Hannah C. Hall
11/16/2016

To Plot or Not
Nancy Lohr
11/14/2016

Writing to Satisfy Our Insatiable Longing to Feel God's Pleasure
Lora Zill
11/11/2016

The Problem with Procrastination
Andy Lee
11/9/2016

Tips for Mastering Dialogue
Dr. Dennis Hensley
11/7/2016

Self-Editing: The Key to Better Writing
Bill Watkins
11/4/2016

Poetry: Cross-Training for Prose Writers
Lora Zill
10/31/2016

Issues Writing That Matters
Bill Watkins
10/28/2016

7 Trends in Book Publishing
Eddie Jones
10/24/2016

Ethics for Christian Writers
Marti Pieper
10/21/2016

Ministry Multiplied
Alton Gansky
10/17/2016

Guidelines for Effective Networking
Deb Haggerty
10/14/2016

Stay Current: Keep Italics Out of Your Fiction
Dr. Angela Hunt
10/7/2016

To E-Book Or Not To E-Book: That is the question
Cheri Cowell
9/30/2016

Is My Writing Good Enough?
Tina Yeager
9/23/2016

Look Who Is Teaching the Fiction Continuing Class
Eva Marie Everson
9/16/2016

The Difference Between a Dream and a Call
Andy Lee
9/2/2016

Lose the Parts Readers Skip
Dan Walsh
8/26/2016

How to Let People Know Your Book Exists
Natalie Gillespie
8/19/2016

Advice from an Editor Regarding Your Manuscript
Fay Lamb
8/5/2016

Through the eyes of an acquisition editor
Ramona Richards
7/29/2016

Be a Book Influencer
Deborah Raney
7/15/2016

Finding Value Through Faith
Denae Haas
6/24/2016

Never Discredit Anyone (Especially God)
Eva Marie Everson
6/17/2016

The Quote for the Quarter Hour
Robert Benson
6/3/2016

Thank a Military Family
Andy Lee
5/27/2016

The Benefits of a Small Press
Eddie Jones
5/20/2016

12 Steps to Prevent Writer Burnout and Nurture Balance
DiAnn Mills
5/13/2016

Write Thoughtfully
Diana Flegal
5/6/2016

3 Keys to Writing Bible Studies that Sell
Andy Lee
4/29/2016

The Benefits of Writing Devotions
Ava Pennington
4/15/2016

A Different Perspective in Crafting Fiction
Steven James
4/8/2016

Some Miracles Take Time
Andy Lee
4/1/2016

A Tribute to Mary Sue Seymour
Andy Lee
3/25/2016

How to be an Influencer
Deborah Raney
3/18/2016

Why Platform is Important--Now I Know
Andy Lee
3/11/2016

4 Resources to Help Writers Write Well
Andy Lee
3/4/2016

What's in and What's Out in Publishing Workshop
Blythe Daniel
2/24/2016

How to Write for Children . . .
Michelle Medlock Adams
2/19/2016

Mistakes Made After Meeting with Agents & Editors
Blythe Daniel
2/17/2016

10 Secrets for a Great Writers Conference
Bethany Jett
2/15/2016

A More Than Enough Kind of God
Michelle Medlock Adams
2/12/2016

For Want of a Hook
Dan Walsh
2/10/2016

What Does a Writers Conference Chaplain Do?
Marti Pieper
2/8/2016

Author Marketing
Edie Melson
2/5/2016

Move Over Clark: The Basics of Journalism
Michael Ray Smith
2/3/2016

Tips to Get the Most Out of the Critique Track
Shellie Arnold
2/1/2016

Who's Afraid of the Big, Bad Critique Track?
Shellie Arnold
1/29/2016

An Introvert's Best Friend (Live Streaming)
Bethany Jett
1/27/2016

Who am I Writing For?
S. Kim Henson
1/25/2016

The Day I Decided to Keep Writing
Lucinda Secrest McDowell
1/22/2016

Invest in Your Writing
Lucinda Secrest McDowell
1/20/2016

Your Writers Conference Checklist
Andy Lee
1/18/2016

5 Reasons to Launch a Blog
Andy Lee
1/16/2016

Craft Fiction with Vivid Emotion
Tina Yeager
1/13/2016

Thoughts on being a Submissive Writer
Edie Melson
1/9/2016

How Fast Should Your Blog Grow?
Edie Melson
1/6/2016

The ART of Exceptional Editing
Deb Haggerty
1/4/2016

Happy New Year
Andy Lee
1/1/2016

Finding Your Strengths and Weaknesses
Mary Keeley
12/28/2015

Do Writers Need a Blog or Website?
Edie Melson
12/22/2015

"Second-Fiddle" Characters Play an Important Role
Tom Morrisey
12/16/2015

Let Them Eat Bread: An Editor's Thoughts on FCWC
Jesse Florea
12/14/2015

Preparing for Promotion
Michelle Medlock Adams
12/10/2015

Jesus Believed in the Power of Story
Dan Walsh
12/7/2015

How to Use Hashtags in Social Media
Edie Melson
12/4/2015

Where Writer Conference Connections Can Take You
Lindsey Brackett
12/2/2015

Why Should I Attend a Writers Conference?
Andy Lee
11/30/2015

How to Fight Discouragement... as a Writer
Andy Lee
11/23/2015

An Interview with Acclaimed Author, Robert Benson
Eva Marie Everson
11/18/2015

How to Write a Synopsis of Your Nonfiction Book
Kristin Stieffel
11/14/2015

How to Write a Synopsis of Your Novel
Kristin Stieffel
11/9/2015

Let God Define You
Michelle Medlock Adams
11/4/2015

10 Clues that You Are a Fiction Writer
Taryn Souders
10/31/2015

The Basics of a Book Proposal
Kristin Stieffel
10/27/2015

What To Wear at FCWC
Eva Marie Everson
10/23/2015

The Skinny on Business Cards
Andy Lee
10/15/2015

Just Do Your Part
Michelle Medlock Adams
10/12/2015

A Sneak Peek into a New Class at FCWC 2016
Shellie Arnold
10/2/2015

50 Reasons Why You Should Never Write
Pro Krasta Nation Publishers
9/28/2015

The Best First Step on Your Journey to Published
Eva Marie Everson
9/21/2015

10 "Not-So-Secret" Secrets for a Great Writers Conference
Bethany Jett
2/10/2015

Go Where God Leads
Allison Bottke
2/1/2015

Moving From Passion to Process
Ava Pennington
1/27/2015

Your Last First Conference
Kristen Hogrefe
1/19/2015

What Is Compel Training?
Suzie Eller
1/9/2015

That Agent Meeting
Tamela Hancock Murray
1/3/2015

Three Problems with Point of View
Kristen Stieffel
12/21/2014

How to Evaluate Your Options
Cheri Cowell
12/5/2014

Writing Effective Book Proposals
Jim Watkins
11/29/2014

Do the Math
Marti Pieper
11/21/2014

Becoming More Media Savvy
Natalie Gillespie
11/15/2014

The Perfect Book Pitch
Dawn Anderson
11/8/2014

Moved With Compassion
Diana Flegal
10/20/2014

Splickety In A Flash
Ben Wolf
10/9/2014

Look into Their Eyes: Why Editors Go to Writers Conferences
Ramona Richards
9/29/2014

A Writer's Life
Dan Walsh
2/21/2014

The Good, The Bad, and The Gutless
DiAnn Mills
2/20/2014

I Want 2 Write 4 Teens
Marti Pieper
2/13/2014

6 Things Writers Should NOT Say to Editors or Agents
Jevon Bolden
2/12/2014

Don't Be Labeled "Dead On Arrival"
Eddie Jones
1/30/2014

Imagine. Create. For a More Confident Faith
Lora Zill
1/28/2014

Burnout or Balance
DiAnn Mills
1/21/2014

Money Workouts for Writers
Ellie Kay
1/18/2014

The Tale of Three Authors
Cheri Cowell
1/10/2014

Three Questions, Three Answers
B.J. Taylor
1/7/2014

The Introvert's Guide to the Writers Conference
Marti Pieper
1/2/2014

After Your Meeting with an Editor or Agent
Blythe Daniel
2/23/2013

It's Headed Right Towards Us
Amber Weigand-Buckley
2/16/2013

So, Tell Me About Your Platform
Cheri Cowell
2/11/2013

How Will Readers Find Your Book...
Eddie Jones
2/1/2013

Tips For Coming to the FCWC From a Floridian
Cheri Cowell
1/26/2013

How to Write For Kids When ...
Michelle Medlock Adams
1/23/2013

Why Take the Chance?
Fay Lamb
1/7/2013

Having a Positive Influence
Deborah Raney
1/4/2013

Managing Your Time
Rusty Wright
12/29/2012

Are You Ready for the Conference?
W. Terry Whalin
12/26/2012

Devoted to Devotions
Ava Pennington
12/21/2012

A Different View of Story
Steven James
12/18/2012