Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The Profit Motive

Here's a link to a great article about the financials involved in publishing a book.


Monday, March 19, 2007

We've got the references...

"We've got the references, we know the sites. But most agents just list genre keywords -- literary fiction, scifi, mystery, thriller -- well there's tons of different books for each category. Just listing a few (or many) category names does NOT tell us much about what an agent wants.

How come no agents take the time to pitch writers? Why don't any of them write a one-page summary of what they love (and hate) and make that available on their site, etc? It would help a lot."

As I am a BOOK AGENT, I don't hate any books - there are just some genres that I don't feel passionate or knowledgeable enough about representing - like romance. I also think listing categories is a basic filtering process that helps writers cut down their list immediately.

I can understand though how you'd be unsure about how to narrow down your list more if you're writing in a genre that most agents handle, like lit fiction or mysteries. These are broad subjects and there are tons of different variations, and I intentionally don't get into more detail because it all depends on the book and the writing. I'm not going to say that I only represent quirky literary fiction with unusual settings, even though I'm definitely drawn to that, because I also represent and love more traditional lit fiction too. Coming-of-age fiction is a bit of struggle lately, but I certainly wouldn't preclude representing this type of work just because the market is tougher. The same applies for mysteries - I dig hard-boiled intellectual thrillers and mysteries in the vein of Dennis Lehane, but I'm open to pretty much any idea within either genre (even cozies).

A good book is a good book is a good book.