So we're opening up the floor again this year for your letters to Book Biz Santa. Just email them to him c/o me at MJRoseAuthor at gmail.com and I'll post them here. Everything will remain anonymous.
Please, PLEASE give this to our agents and editors.
Please manage our expectations. Don't tell us you'll get back to us in a week and then be MIA for a month. We try to be professional, turn in our manuscripts on time, return your phone calls and emails in a timely manner. That's all we want from you, which doesn't seem like a lot to ask. In the event that you're unable to meet a deadline...
Communicate with us. A simple email saying, "Sorry this is taking me longer than I expected. I'll definitely have it to you by X DATE," only takes a minute and goes a long way to easing our angst and the constant stress of waiting to hear news that has a significant impact on our career and future. It's hard to work and be creative when you're in a heightened state of nervousness over a period of weeks and/or months because someone hasn't gotten back to you when they said they would. Along these same lines, don't spend time tweeting about bullshit when you owe us a call or email from two weeks ago. This (rightly) pisses us off. Throw us a bone here and show us the level of professionalism expected in ANY business.
If you're an agent, take some time to strategize our long-term career direction. Taking it a book at a time might be good for your schedule, but it's too little, too late for any kind of meaningful goal-setting related to our career. This business moves slow. Really slow. So when thinking about where we want to be in 2-5 years, we have to act NOW. The book we start writing now, might be the book we sell in a year and the book that's published in three. We count on your expertise and guidance to get us and keep us on the right track.
Don't play favorites. No one expects you to remember their birthday, wedding anniversary, or the date of their oldest daughter's ballet recital. But social networking has made publishing a very public business. Don't wish one client a very public Happy Birthday, fete their book on release day, or congratulate them for an award and then totally forget about others. Even those of us who claim to not care will be hurt. And it's already too easy to feel insignificant in this business. If your'e not confident you can stay on top of news for ALL your clients, staying mum would be the better, kinder bet.