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December 18, 2006

Are book agents spoiled, lazy vultures with staffs from Hell?

Query: Does anyone know a reputable and skilled business book agent with even the crudest of: manners, organizational skills, and instinct for the Client as an Asset?

Forget all the unkind, if accurate, things I have said about my client service-challenged fellow corporate lawyers recently--well, at least for the weekend. And color me naive. Three business book agents with good reputations--WAC? is seriously considering naming all 3 in a future post, and to hell with the consequences--are showing interest in a WAC? book proposal. WAC? was/is quite willing to become a humble and eager student of the difficult business of developing, marketing and publishing a book. It's hard to find a good literary agent. I never expected Easy--and I heard and read that most good agents were the new royalty, and treated first-time book writers like troublesome peasants, servants or turds. But be patient with the process, I was told. They are busy and get all manner of queries and proposals, many of them terrible, from misguided or full-of-themselves writers. And do listen to what they say.

I had no illusions. The Student was ready.

And apparently, I lucked out, in my first time out. So, as the proverb goes, the Teacher(s) (i.e., agents) started to appear--but none of them are quite "all there". They are 10 times worse than I had been told and read. To summarize, none of the agencies or agents have any people or business skills, two appear to be mildly retarded, and one is clearly flat-out insane. They keep losing things--and the things these cretins lose are my things. They have unhappy robot office staff from Hell. The are like third-tier "customer satisfaction" employees at a utility or insurance company--phony, dumb, mean and 100% cartoon.

My would-be agents say they want to help me develop a book on 'client service', and 'building and leading service cultures'....but how could I ever let them any of them help develop such a book--unless my own hypocrisies suddenly had no bounds? Sure, these people are nuts--but so am I for letting them in on a project which, due to their own dysfunctional business cultures, they could never be expected to understand without a serious 28-day client service rehab/charm school and the latest in "pro-client" medications. If they can't treat the neophyte Client-Writer as an Asset, how could they ever really buy into a book on "Client Service in the new global services economy"?

I feel stupid. And I am done, for now, with these miserable, spaced-out screw-ups. Guys, you win, I lose--but please go away.

And give me back my stuff.

Posted by JD Hull at December 18, 2006 03:00 PM


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