Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Twitter R

MOOD STATUS: "Excited". Going on a field trip with the kiddo's class today!
Recent IPod download: "If I Were a Boy" by Beyonce Knowles

I'm going to keep this blog post brief because I'm leaving early this morning (see above).
I thought it would be interesting to discuss something that surprised me when I first found out about it.

Many of my friends and critique partners are in the stages of querying agents now. They're even following the agents' twitter posts, which is how they saw that one of the agents sent out a collective rejection notice out on twitter. Not a personal message--just a "tweet".

Is that where we're heading now in this stage of social networking? No more e-mails or snail mail letters. Just collective cattle call tweets with a "I'm passing on everything that was sent to me if you submitted on such and such a date".

How do you feel about that?

I guess what bothers me is what if you're NOT on Twitter...or missed that post somehow...or just NOT following that agent? How would you know you're even rejected?


Maybe with the growth of technology and social networking this is where communication with agents is heading. I don't know. But it just seems a little...bleh to me. But maybe I'm being too sensitive.


What do you think of agents using twitter to alert writers that they're being rejected? Do you think it's just as impersonal as a e-mail form rejection and therefore no big deal? Or do you think it's lazy?

26 comments:

Christine Danek said...

I don't like that. I understand editors and agents have a lot to read and go through but could they find another way? Really. Just a form letter saying yeah or ney is fine. I would accept an email but a tweet? At least make the person feel like a person.
Thanks for posting this.

Maria Zannini said...

Oh, that's just bizarre, and a bit crass if they believe people are going to be slavishly following one or more networking sites to receive an answer.

Can you tell us who this agent was?

Wendy Ramer said...

I think it shows that agent has absolutely no class whatsoever.

Chicki said...

It's definitely lazy and very, very tacky ...

Diane said...

Ouch! Worse than a text message break up. At least you are the only one seeing it and not the literal world. Very impersonal and very tacky. I don't care how busy you are.

Georgiana said...

You've got to be kidding! OK, how'd I miss this? I must not be following said agent.

Hardygirl said...

I can't believe anyone would do that--seems totally unprofessional!

Julie Jarnagin said...

I totally agree. I'm not a fan of that.

Liza said...

Your not being sensitive. This was just plain ugly.

Beth said...

Yeah, seems a little unprofessional to me. Unless that agent follows up with some letters. Twitter is obviously immediate feedback, but it's still kind of harsh.

Angie Paxton said...

When I became aware of this a couple months back I thought it was really harsh and impersonal, but at the same time it's a response. Having queried a number of agents some of them don't make any kind of response whatsoever except to say on their website that no response means no and they don't even give a time frame within which they'll get back to you if they are interested, so you're out there in query limbo for a long time. To me, the twitter response, while not the best, is better than nothing.

Laura Pauling said...

It doesn't bother me as long as they stick to their guidelines. If they say no response then the twitter rejections don't bother me. But if it says they'll respond, then I don't want the only place to be Twitter.

Sherrinda said...

I don't like it and think it's very unprofessional.

Karen Lange said...

I don't care for it, it seems impersonal. Like Sherrinda, I think it is unprofessional.

I was on Twitter but got off b/c of too many people following me who weren't doing so b/c they were writers. They were promoting undesirable websites. Maybe someday I'll get back on there, but I'll stick with Facebook for now. Seems a bit more personal and I've not run into the same issues as Twitter.

Hope you had fun on the field trip:)

Laura Marcella said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Laura Marcella said...

I understand agents have A LOT to read and do, but twittering responses seems unprofessional. Agents and editors expect writers to be professional, and writers expect the same from those agents. Twitter is fun and casual, not something to be used for serious communication in the professional world.

Jemi Fraser said...

Kind of surprising. All of the agents and editors I've 'met' online has been exceedingly polite, friendly and helpful. Wholesale tweets seems below them.

Jennifer Shirk said...

Angie: good point. There are some agents with NO response at all, so I guess a tweet is something. :)

Karen: sorry about your experience with twitter. I haven't had a problem but I haven't been on it that long.

Belle said...

I could almost understand a rejection note sent in a DM on Twitter, but a collective Twitter note kind of boggles the mind. I follow a ton of interesting people, which means my Twitter feed is extremely active. I'd definitely miss seeing a tweet like that, and would never know what happened to my query!

patti said...

Um, kinda crass. But so many things in this industry are...
Patti

Kimberly Franklin said...

I don't like that at all. A email would be better, at least for me. :)

Jen Chandler said...

Hi Jennifer!

I hope things are going well for you. Hope you enjoyed the field trip too :)

Ugh. Twitter. I don't Tweet. Honestly don't think I ever will. I honestly can't believe an agent would do that. I understand form letters (generalized "no thank yous") but a tweet that says, "Sorry, no takers". Yipes. Personally I think social media has gone too far. It's too impersonal and doesn't keep people as connected as the hype claims (I seem to be typing the word hype a lot today!). That's just my opinion. I'd rather have a snail mail letter. Or at least a personalized email.

Happy Thursday,
Jen

Jessica Nelson said...

I think the agent did himself/herself a disservice because people who don't follow his or her tweets will be checking in, so that's more e-mail to plug things up.

I do like when they do announcements though. One agent did an announcement that she'd responded to everything that was sent by a certain date. I think those tweets are helpful. ;-)

Mary Aalgaard said...

Yes it's impersonal. I don't tweet, either. I think that the networks can make us lazy and less connected. We need to reach out in genuine, personal ways.

Ann Best said...

Sigh! The world has changed so much, including the publishing world. Let's hope all agents don't do this.

The comments here have totally convinced I'm not going to use the Twitter account I signed up for. Don't need anything like it boggling my life.

Tory said...

Jeepers, creepers! I almost wonder what have I gotten myself into with this mad frenzy of agent stalking. Sometimes, I wish it were simple enough to hit send, move on to the next agent, and absorb myself completely in other things (my kids, husband, friends, etc...), but as you most likely agree, it's not that simple.

Unfortunately, I'm a glutton for punishment, therefore, I stalk the agents I'm querying to learn any and everything.

Personal goal for next batch of query letters: NO STALKING!

Love the post, Jennifer! It really hit home with me tonight...ugh!!!:-)

Come see me at Head in the Clouds, and have a great Humpday! Tory