The would-be agent who seems to understand me better than I understand myself had, as you know, forwarded me a contract in the form of a PDF export from MS Word. I eventually quit beating around the bush, rewrote it to my liking, typeset the damned thing, and sent it back for comments.

And waited.

Eventually I got a 23 K top-posted message suggesting we talk on the phone. I eventually quit beating around the bush and wrote him back stating I hate talking on the phone but would do it; when would be a good time, I asked?

And waited.

I then sent another message with the full text of my revised contract pre-quoted in an E-mail, with remedial instructions on how to interleave comments. (I shouldn’t have to be doing this in the 21st century. Your E-mail sucks.) I also told him not to even attempt it on his iPhone. What did I do next? I waited.

I decided to print two copies of the contract, inscribe an original signature on both, and mail them, via poste escargot, to the office address listed on his original contract. Attached was a Post-It® asking him to sign both copies and return one. “Then we’re in business.”

That letter came back undeliverable.

NEW YORK, NY 10003 address and yellow label reading RETURN TO SENDER NOT DELIVERABLE AS ADDRESSED

In the interim, he’s complained about the number of messages in his inbox (I keep up) and has boasted to the press of selling a blog-to-book that manifestly is not akin to Look at This Fucking Hipster’s.

A writer can get by without an agent. The converse is not true.

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2010.02.09 13:13. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:

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None. I quit.

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