Pub Rants

One That Got Away

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STATUS: One of my clients sent us holiday cupcakes today. Yummy in my tummy.

What’s playing on the iPod right now? WHITE CHRISTMAS by Perry Como

Pretty soon we’ll be compiling our year-end statistics. For good or for bad! And tonight I was reading a review for a novel that I had wanted to represent but alas, the author went with a different agent. I’m sensing a theme in my blog entries here…

So I’m reading the review and I have to say, it’s brilliant. It outlined pretty much all the reasons why I had loved that manuscript. Ack. What a bummer to not be representing that author. But hey, at least I had been in the game. I’m not always going to win when up against several other agents. That’s just the way of the agenting biz. I’m glad to see the world agrees with me regarding the novel but of course I’m reading the review with regret.

Can’t be helped but still…

One of my clients is with the editor who was the underbidder for Harry Potter. That puts it into perspective I think!

And just a couple of weeks ago, I met with an editor who was the underbidder for The Story of Edgar Sawtelle.

Okay, I’m feeling slightly better because hey, it happens. Only slightly though.

11 Responses

  1. Jarucia said:


    I have to say as an unpublished author who is constantly engaged in dialog with other unpublished authors I often get this vision of agents having nothing but unfettered freedom when picking and choosing their clients.

    This particular post really does a marvelous job of expressing the humility felt at all levels of the publishing business.

    At least you know you’re a good judge of publishable material, but I don’t suppose you needed this particular disappointment to prove that to you.

    Take care,

  2. Sharon aka Sapphire said:

    I’m new to the writing world. I spent 17 years teaching reading before I decided writing was what I wanted to do when I grew up. (At 42 I think I’m almost ready to be a grown up.)

    What does underbidding by an editor mean? I’m guessing Cheryl Klein is who you are talking about. She’s quite nice. I had lunch with her at the SCBWI Missouri conference in 2007.

    I just started reading your blog, but it sounds like you have a good eye and a good heart.

  3. Anonymous said:

    There are so many beautiful women in the world and I’m just one guy. Have you ever been in a restaraunt with someone you really like a lot and looked over at another table and see someone who takes your breath away? Then they smile at you and get up and leave? I’ve had several friends with successful businesses of their own who became miserable because they didn’t make as much money as projected.

    I once played ping-pong with a guy who was an Olympic soccer player and he cleaned my clock without even trying but he had fun because I told jokes and it was one of the few times I’ve been thoroughly clobbered that I enjoyed myself too because he laughed all the way.

    If there is a God watching over us She certainly enjoys her little jokes. When we learn to laugh at them too, then we are blessed.

    You’re a good person and you’re doing a great job. Once more, you’re savvy. That’s what I like about you.

    Personally, I’d like to be beautiful but I’ll settle for being a good writer.

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.


    ps: I still can’t figure out how to sign in correctly, but I assure you I am quite humorous in real life. That is my portion.

  4. Catherine Haines said:

    One of my clients is with the editor who was the underbidder for Harry Potter. That puts it into perspective I think!

    Ouch. Now that one would definitely be referred to as “the one that got away”.

    I am in agreement with Jarucia. We hear so much about people not getting with the agent they want (or not even getting an agent at all) it helps to be reminded that sometimes the agents and editors feel that way as well.

  5. Sharon aka Sapphire said:

    Wplasvagas, I’ve been with my husband since I was 18. (That’s almost 25 years.) We both look around the restaurant to see who’s hot and who’s not…We even discuss it, but we always go home together. My husband has always made more money than me (I taught for 17 years), but I think when it comes down to what matters it is how you treat others. Are you kind? Do you genuinely care about how people feel? (and not judge them on their spelling ability)

    I want to write like Cynthia Rylant (or Crescent Dragonwagon who wrote Home Place). I’ll keep trying until I am successful. Once I do that I’ll feel beautiful.

    If you are having trouble signing in, start over. Come up with a new log in name and password. Then save it to a file in your email. I keep a file called passwords. I send myself an email when I create a file and password for any site. If I forget (which happens a lot as you get older), I just look at my subject lines and open the appropriate email.

    Best Wishes in love and blogging.

  6. ORION said:

    Timing is everything- and rejection abounds…
    I just keep my head down and continue writing…
    I’m a perfect example of perseverance and not giving up.