Friday, July 6, 2007

Agent Stories - Nathan Bransford

Next up to bat is Nathan Bransford from Curtis Brown, Ltd.

Jonathan was kind enough to ask me to post a guest blog, and he didn't even rub it in that his beloved Spurs won yet another NBA championship this year while my favorite team (the Sacramento Kings) just hired the guy who played Coach Fuller on NBC's teen sitcom Hang Time, in which a co-ed team of misfits did not miss a shot the entire season on the way to the State Championship. Yes, this is true, and no, I couldn't be more depressed.

But, much like Coach Fuller, I too have determination and perseverance (how about that segue!). I am willing to go the distance, swing for the fences, shoot for par, and basically embody every other sports metaphor you can possibly come up with. And that is because if there is thing I've learned about publishing, it's this: You Never Know.

We really do try to add as much objectivity and science into the submission process through networking, our experience and the reputation of our agencies, but at the end of the day, you never know. When it comes down to it, this is a subjective business, and when tastes within the industry vary so greatly, it's impossible to predict exactly what's going to happen.

One time I submitted a really great proposal to multiple editors, and for some reason... it just wasn't selling. I went down my submission list, editors liked it and took it to editorial board meetings... but it just wasn't selling. Still though, I wasn't ready to throw in the towel (another sports metaphor! I have more...)

Then, nearly six months after I first started submitting it, out of the blue I heard from a really great editor from a really great house, and he wanted to buy it. And the next day I heard from another editor... he wanted to buy it too. The very patient author ended up getting a great deal.

So I always go the distance. You just never know if an offer will snap people into action, or if a small house will be the right fit for an author and do a great job, or if someone will hear about the proposal and want to see it. Sure, there's a whole lot of time that goes into submissions, and it's possible expenses will never be recouped, but I try not to think about that and just hope for the best. Because you never know.

Check out Nathan's fantastic blog!


David said...

So, Nathan, you're saying that you swung for the fences?

Nathan Bransford said...


Yes, I think it's fair to say that I threw the Hail Mary.