I've said it before, and I'll say it again. Becoming a published author is a business. Once your writing becomes more than a hobby, you have to do more than write. You have to interact with agents, editors, and publishers. You have to market and sell your book. You have to be professional. Your behavior in one area will set the tone for many other interactions throughout your career.
In an age of instantaneous communication, it is all too easy to shoot off a quick reply in the heat of the moment without thinking it through. The most common example of this is the author who receives a rejection letter from an agent and sends a snide response informing the agent exactly what they did wrong. The rejection letter was too long. It was too short. It should have explained how to fix the manuscript. Personal insults are thrown around. Said agent has no taste or knowledge about the industry, and he is in no position to judge obvious talent and brilliance. I actually found an example of one of these responses on an agent's website. I'll post it tomorrow. It's freaking hilarious.
It's hard for me to believe that anyone would do anything so unprofessional. These are the same kind of people who cannot maintain a proper business attitude in any other aspect of their writing careers. They don't take the effort read an agency's submission guidelines, they don't learn how to write a proper query letter, they don't research what genres an agent does or does not represent. They waste both their own time and the agent's, and they make a fool of themselves in the process.
Emotion-fueled responses can cause trouble in other areas as well. Some writers query publishers alongside agents in an effort to sell their books, hoping that if they already have a deal with a publisher, it will make it easier to find an agent. If a publisher makes an offer to buy your book, don't accept it in a fit of joy without first consulting with an agent. Not only will this make it difficult for your agent to improve on your deal and result in a loss of money, but it will set a precedent in your contract history with that publisher for future deals.
They say that discretion is the better part of valor. This includes discretion about your career as an author. While you might like to blog about the successes and failures of your manuscript as it marches along toward publication, don't do it. Don't mention which publishing houses are reading your manuscript. Don't mention how many have rejected it. Publishers and editors read blogs too, and you are only giving them ammunition for when it comes time to sit down and negotiate.
A great First Sergeant once said, "It's nothing personal. It's all business." You'd do well to remember those words and live by them.
Keeping Your Cool [Romancing the Blog]
Check out the original article on my website.