STATUS: It’s still raining in Denver. This is good for spring so I try not to complain too much but it does make the world feel a bit drab.
What’s playing on the iPod right now? VIRGINIA WOLF by Indigo Girls
When I take on an author, it’s with the intention of being that person’s agent for his/her whole career. I’m not one to take on projects and if they don’t sell, dump the author. It’s not my MO. But sometimes if I stay as the agent, I could, in fact, be hindering the writer’s career and that’s something I never want to do. You’re probably wondering how that’s possible.
Here’s a story. Well over a year ago, I took on a new author with a project that was pretty darn different from anything that I usually handle. But I loved the novel and really wanted to send it out. I was honest with the author from the very beginning and the author was game to try. So we did. I submitted the project everywhere. Got some close calls but no cigar (those darn editors were just wrong, wrong I tell you). The project didn’t sell but I was eager to see novel number two.
And I did. And I had no confidence that I, as the agent, could sell it.
This is not how writers want their agents to feel. Trust me. And an agent needs to be honest with that author and not string him/her along (or suddenly decide to not return emails etc.).
Those calls are tough though. It’s the last thing I want to do but if I’m not honest, then I’m not allowing that writer to succeed because they can’t succeed if their agent is the weak link through lack of vision. I’m hoping this makes sense. Ultimately, they are better off without me but I can’t help but feel I failed them. Hate that feeling.