Friday, December 5, 2014

What An Agent Sees Still Might Not Be What They Want

When an agent reads a submission, we are often looking for potential. We are looking to see if this story has this special something to compete in today's market. We are looking for stories that we can fall in love with, not just as an agent, but someone who would want to read the story in our own free time. And yet, with the way this market works, that approach doesn't always work out the way we plan it.

You see, when we sign an author, or we work with an author on crafting that "perfect" book for a publisher, there is never a guarantee that story will sell. No matter how hard we craft that synopsis, re-work the query or revise that manuscript, it still might not be enough. We saw something in that story, but regardless of all the prodding and selling we do on our end, it may not sell.

What a lot of writers probably don't think about, is that for every sale you hear of by an agent, they too have received multiple rejection letters. There are a lot of authors who have an agent and are still working toward that first sale.

Now, does this mean having an agent is useless. Again, that is something for you to decide, however, I would note that having that agent does get you into houses you might normally not get into, but more importantly, having that agent in your corner is one more advocate and a set of eyes to help you navigate this tough market. But I digress a bit.

The point of this post is not to proclaim the benefits of agents. It is, instead, to emphasize that, if an agent is showing interest in your work, or if an agent signs you, there is never a guarantee of a sale. We believe enough in you to want to see this project through to the end. But there will also be times that we have done as much as we can with that story and we have to shelve it, and then move on to something new.

It's just a reality of the business.

Have a great weekend everyone.

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