Friday, July 6, 2018

Why Hasn't Greyhaus Signed More Authors

I wanted to address an issue that I am sure some writers have. Why is it that Greyhaus Literary Agency has not signed more authors recently? It is true, it has been a while? So, with that in mind, I thought I would take some time to not only talk about my approach to finding writers, but also why I have not signed a lot lately.

First of all, it is important to remember that Greyhaus Literary Agency ONLY focuses on romance and women's fiction in a traditional publishing market. I do not look at anything outside of those genres. When I opened the agency, I chose to focus on those genres because: A) I like reading these genres; and B) I understand these genres and this market. If you see other agents signing a lot of other people, be aware that many are signing people in other genres that what I represent.

Secondly, Greyhaus is just Scott. I have chosen to not add on with other agents and I have also chosen to keep the agency small. I like the fact that an client can call me (even on weekends while I am at the stables) to talk. Again, another reason why I am so picky.

Finally, I know what I like and I know what I can sell. I have said to several authors when I reply back, that you want an agent who cannot stop talking about your book. There are plenty of times when I see a project that might have potential, but simply does not connect with me. For you as an author, that is not a positive. It has nothing to do with your writing, but you want someone who spends every waking moment raving about your book.

But there is also another element, and this really is something I am seeing with the current wave of writers. I see a lot of projects that are simply not amazing. No, I am not talking about projects that have to hit #1 on the New York Times Best Seller list. I am talking about the general writing. I don't know how many times I have read a submission and asked myself, "This person really spent a year writing this?"

Please, do not be offended here. The problem is the system right now. The publishing industry, and I am talking about the education side seen in blogs, articles, and conference workshops, is promoting marking and not craft. The companies out there preying (and yes, I went there) on those novice writers, are claiming that going through their approach is the best thing since sliced bread. 

What are we missing?

Teaching people how to write.

As someone who is still involved in education, this problem is something that reaches that far out. K-12 education is not teaching how to write, but how to pass tests. Students are not reading novels and studying novels, but showing clips and encouraging Sparks Notes equivalent (my daughter's Senior AP Literature Teacher actually has a link to the cheat notes to books he is expecting them to read over the summer). 

The craft of writing is missing in the world today. So, as an agent, I am seeing people who might have a great idea for a story, but horribly screws it up once they start writing. 

I want you to know, I am madly on the search for some great writing, but it has to be good. It is a simple as that.

Have a great weekend people!

1 comment:

  1. I hope every editor has the same demands as you. If they do these young writes will have to up their game. Simple as that.

    My editor is ex-military. When we started work on my novel I told her to be as tough as she was in the army. There were times when I regretted those remarks but I feel that her demands have a lot to do with my book deal.

    So many writers surround themselves with yes people. Their spouses, girl/boy friend, best friends and so on will read a chapter or two and tell them how great they are. This needs to stop.

    They need a writers group, editors and so on who will push them, annoy them and force the best out of them.

    Writing a novel is hard. Agents and publishers should be demanding and I am happy to see that you are one of them.