And may I say huzzah to her for putting it so succinctly…
A bad agent is worse than no agent at all. A really bad agent is worse than not being a writer. Getting past the “no unagented submissions” barrier is not sufficient justification for hooking up with a bad agent.
Especially look at her definition of real agents, gormless agents (love that term), not very helpful agents, and scam agents. Geez — so much of what she mentions about those last categories covers what I think of when I realize there are scum out there making hard-working, dedicated agents who love books look bad. I hates those Bagginses, I does, my precious. Ick. Just making my job that much harder. Die, die, die… *pauses* *looks around at audience and sidles calmly offstage with bloody letter opener*
Musing….I think the thing that must be daunting is figuring out the good ones from the not so good ones and the truly evil (which I think should be sent to some part of hell where they not only have to read the worst query letters ever crafted, but have to send personal and well thought out replies to each and every one of them). Especially when most writers just starting out can only meet agents at a distance or via correspondence. I should put some more thought into it beyond the “money flows towards the writer” maxim. Warning signs and so forth. While I’m mulling that (and hoping something comes out of it), does anyone have any suggestions or past experiences they want to share?