Every author once in their career has had to fire someone, whether it’s an editor, publisher, press representative, or even a literary agent. While some are due to the two parties outgrowing each other for whatever reason, sometimes it’s because of bad behavior. No matter the case, though once you’ve made the choice to call it quits with them professionally, following a few tips on what not to do could help make the bumpy road a little bit smoother.
DON’T BREACH YOUR CONTRACT
No one wants to receive a court summons because they have breached their contract. Even if the agent has been less than helpful or hasn’t been out for your best interest, if you have a signed contract you must follow the regulations within that contract when trying to break it.
DON’T DRAG THEIR NAME THROUGH THE MUD
As quick as people are to lay blame when a relationship goes sour, one time that it is best to bite your tongue is when firing your literary agent. Dragging someone’s name through the mud might make you feel better, especially if they’ve wronged you, but only family and close friends might give you the sympathy you seek. To the outside world, it might make you look worse than the person you’re throwing under the bus.
DON’T PROLONG THE INEVITABLE
If you’re unhappy and want out of the business relationship then get out. Don’t stick around because you’re scared of not having representation or being alone again in the publishing world. Writing and publishing a novel should be one of the happiest times in an authors’ life, and you don’t want to bring it down by staying in a business deal when you shouldn’t stay.
DON’T FEEL GUILTY
Just like in life with other relationships, the partnership of a literary agent and author sometimes just doesn’t work out. Authors all over the writing world will tell you they’ve had several in their careers. Life happens, and situations arise that can’t be controlled, and sometimes, you just have to cut the ties to someone who is holding you back.