April 28, 2011 1 Comment
To attend an intimate writer conference as Mercury stationed and turned direct meant there were hourly AHA! moments and tons of – Oh, I hadn’t thought of that. One thing that stood out as an important AHA! this past weekend is that industry buzzwords mean different things from the point-of-view of an editor, agent, author, or new writer.
Let’s skip, for now, the variety of marketing misinformation buzzed. Instead I was reminded about word choice. I love the word, sassy. I think it is fun and for me represents quirky conversations, with bosom-buddy girlfriends, often including wine. One agent stated the word sassy instantly triggers the taste of bile in her mouth. Maybe she had too much wine? 🙂
Industry buzzwords can mean something significant but are often undefined and what they meant last year is not the same as how they are used today. The example this past weekend was what it means to work with an agent. In my POV, the author-agent partnership is for the “talent” to have a career “advocate.” One works at producing the art, the other works at understanding the business, both benefit and readers win.
With the rise of electronic and self-publishing as a legitimate option for authors, there’s been a lot of buzz about the changing role of agents. Some agents are evolving their business in new directions that to me sound like a conflict of interest. This weekend there was talk about “the agent of record for a book.” There was encouragement that an author grow their own career and the agent partnership could be nothing more than a single sale. A revolving door relationship?
Writing and publishing already has some risky quirks built into the business model. Being considered a disposable one-book-wonder from the start of a relationship is not a warm and fuzzy feeling. And there’s the potential of using a sassy word and triggering the wrong reflex.
But the most important point I viewed this past weekend was when the buzz was about a great story. That one thing united everyone because we are all readers and we buzz with delight over a story we loved.