Writers often ask me to recommend other agents after I’ve declined their work. Fair enough, I suppose, doesn’t hurt asking and all that, but it’s awkward. If I pass on a project but feel that I know the perfect agent, I will volunteer that agent’s name. Otherwise, I feel uncomfortable and somewhat put upon. There are so many ways to research agents now… but I often do supply a name or two even though I don”t want to. I’m sympathetic with the writer, I really am, but it’s also really uncomfortable. When I do give a few names, I always say, please do not use my name. Agents don’t take kindly to agent referrals. In the words of a publisher I once worked for: damaged goods. I often think that’s ridiculous, what’s right for the goose isn’t necessarily right for the cow. And yet, and yet, when an agent sends a writer my way (and they often do if the manuscript is about weight, mental illness, quirky, memoir, jewy etc.) I’m immediately turned off. If it’s so good, why did you pass? Of course, referrals from clients, famous writers, entertainment lawyers, astrophysicists, casting agents, and hemoglobins are TOTES welcome. Am I a fuckface or what? I feel like fucking off.
How do you get agent names?
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