Pub Rants

Can’t Have Just One

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STATUS: It rained last night! I’m sure people on the East Coast are saying, “what’s the big deal with that”? Well in Denver, we’ve been in a drought for several years. Right now everything is super green and that usually lasts for about 3 weeks before the lack of rain takes its toll. Fingers crossed that this spring will be different. Did you know that as a city, Denver has the most number of sunny days next to Phoenix, Arizona?

What’s playing on the iPod right now? WHY CAN’T HE BE YOU by Patsy Cline

Now this isn’t official but I’m convinced that this is a fundamental truth in the world of agenting.

Deals come in bunches.

You can go for days, weeks, or even a month without a nibble and then suddenly, two or three deal offers on the same day for different projects (or even multiple offers on one project).

Maybe it’s the law of attraction. One offer acts as a magnet for the other offers. As I reflect on my career, this has certainly been true. I wonder if other agents have experienced the same?

I’m sure it’s not like quantum mechanics or the theory of relativity that shapes the fundamental truth of how the world operates but on some days, it FEELS that way. The start of action for one project just gets the ball rolling for a whole lot of other stuff.

13 Responses

  1. 2readornot said:

    Does this also work in reverse, I wonder? And how do you feel, as an agent, when you lose a potential client (ie they choose someone else) — does it make you want to run right out and find another to take their place, or do you need a little time off to enjoy those you already have?

  2. Author2B said:

    Things always seem to happen this way don’t they? It is not so bad when the good things continue to come along, but when the bad just don’t stop…
    Regardless, I love this blog and look forward to reading it every day. I am learning so much, and someday when I am ready to call myself a real writer, I will definitely query the Nelson Agency. You go girls! 🙂

  3. Anonymous said:

    It works for authors too. I send queries and more queries, over the months, and then the requests for partials/fulls all come in at once…three on last Friday alone! Of course, that almost balances the four-rejections-in-one-day experience.

  4. Anonymous said:

    Well, I get publisher’s lunch and the deals each day and it seems to me that I will see a particular agent’s name several times in a row. And then a different agent. And so on. Lately I’ve been seeing a lot of Stephen Chudney and Kathleen Anderson (I mostly read the YA and MG listings) and…and…there’s someone else who I’ve seen a lot of lately, but I can’t think of right now. Anyway, I believe it happens that way.

  5. Termagant 2 said:

    Man, oh man. Deals in groups, eh? Increasingly I wish you handled the genre I write. But you don’t, so I’m gonna hie myself back to my WIP now…


  6. Julie said:

    Re: Pub Lunch/Marketplace…these lists are submitted by the agents. I know some agents save all their announcments from a few months worth of work and then announce them all at once, so that may be what you are seeing.

  7. Douglas said:

    Two things crossed my mind…

    When I have bought a new model of car I seem suddenly aware of all the same models on the road around me. Maybe manuscripts are like this? You buy a good one and suddenly all the other good ones stand out.


    Maybe you have it all wrong and the reality is that the crap comes in really really big patches. Sometimes the gap of goodness between is a tiny bit larger than normal.

  8. OtterB said:

    Actually, this IS one of those underlying principles of the universe in all kinds of statistical ways. A professor named Robert Abelson, in a book called “Statistics as Principled Argument,” summarized it as “Chance is lumpy.” Things that happen, on average, once a week, rarely happen exactly once every week. So the bad weeks have none, and the good weeks have several. Enjoy them!

  9. patrick said:

    I definitely know what you mean. This happens to me in theatre all the time–I’ll be despairing that no one ever gets back to me, theatres are so rude, and then suddenly there will be e-mails from two artistic directors wanting to produce scripts. And then it’ll be dry again (though at first I’m convinced this is just the start of a great avalanche).

  10. Anonymous said:

    I am learning so much, and someday when I am ready to call myself a real writer, I will definitely query the Nelson Agency.

    Author2b, if you’re writing, then you ARE a “real” writer. : )

    “Pretend” writers only talk about writing.