I don't have to deal with this kind of thing often. I think people take one look at me and realize I'm not capable of helping anyone with anything.
I have had requests for the name of my agent or editor, though. I don't have an agent, and if I gave my editor's name out I wouldn't have one of those, either.
I once had an acquaintance call me to explain that she had a friend who was interested in writing and that she'd told him I'd be happy to talk to him. And my computer guy was once approached by a guy who developed commercial property who wanted him to have me read a manuscript. Computer Guy took care of that situation for me. I shudder to think how.
I want to be generous and help others. But very new writers can be fragile, and it's hard to give honest--and helpful--feedback without discouraging them or seeming harsh. So a number of years back, I wrote up a couple of page guide explaining how I went about contacting publishers back when I was struggling more than I am now. It might have included some websites or directories to use.
I haven't had to offer it to anyone in years. I don't even know where it is, anymore. But I do think something like that could help people who are approached for advice and actually be of assistance for the people who are doing the approaching.
The people in the article I sent you to (by way of A Fuse #8 Production) could carry it with them to give out at funerals and hospitals! Or they could create a website with this information and just give out business cards with the url. Yes, a business card would be much easier to distribute in your doctor's office than 8 1/2 x 11 sheets of paper.
You don't have an agent. How interesting. Do you find that you work better without one?
I've never had one so I don't know. Agents are a mystery to me. I'm not joking. I can't recall ever even meeting one.
I think a good idea would be to send people to the Verla Kay boards. Tell 'em they can find writing groups, partners, etc. (I don't hang over there, but I did find a GREAT critique group from them and it has really helped my writing.)
Then make up something like your editor told you she doesn't take recommendations from her authors :) (Something I would say if I were an editor, I think!)
The Verla Kay boards are great.
I think I could probably say that my editor doesn't take recommendations from me, and most people would believe it.
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