I’ve been having way too much fun connecting with writers this week, which is why I’ve neglected the blog a bit. An interesting thing I’ve noticed as I’m reading through emails from writers: I didn’t realize how much I would, as an agent, focus on THIS book, the one that’s being pitched to me. What’s running through my mind the whole time is, Do I think I can sell this book? Not, do I think this writer is talented, do I think she has a great career ahead of her, but Do I think I can sell this book?
Because I’m building my list (understatement), I have more time to work with potential clients — especially when they happen to be writers I know and I’m familar with their work. But I can see where an agent with a full or mostly full client roster would not be able to spend much time with promising writers whose projects aren’t quite “there” yet.
Twice already I’ve found myself saying, “Just finish the damned thing, okay? Then we’ll talk.” And I’ve been an agent since, umm, Monday. I’m starting to understand what other agents say about getting pitched by writers not ready to pitch. Before, when I was coaching/mentoring writers, I saw the opposite problem: people whose work was ready to go, but they weren’t.
Anyway, that’s my first lesson in the land of “I’ll call you next week.” What matters most to me is the book that you’re pitching me right now. All the other stuff is secondary.