This last week, I found myself in a really heated conversation with a publisher about one of my clients. I called him to see whether they were going to act on my suggestion to help pump up the sales of her book and he jumped down my throat for what he said were all of my complaints about their not trying hard enough to make this title a huge bestseller.
When I pointed out that, in fact, I don’t work for him but for my client and that as her advocate it is my obligation to put forth as many ideas as I can on her behalf, he understood better where I was coming from. It is true that publishers often forget that the agent is working for the author and not against the publisher.
We talked about the various ideas I had offered and why he felt some might not work, and I understood better where he was coming from. He also admitted that his “heated tone” was coming from a place of utter frustration at not being able to achieve the sales that he and his colleagues had been hoping for.
In the end, we both realized that we are on the same team and working for the same goals – to build this author’s career. Later in the week, when I passed on another suggestion to him, he seemed to accept it from where it was coming from and he promised to address it quickly with his colleagues.
So, the bottom line is that agents, authors, and publishers are all working towards the same end – to increase book sales as efficiently and creatively as possible.
Has this been your experience with the publishing process?