#ContactForm1 { display: none ! important; }

Saturday, January 12, 2008

The Other Side of the Fence

I've never published fiction so take this all with a grain of salt, and correct me when I'm wrong......

I've made a habit of reviewing everything available on publishing. It's still active research (meaning I'm not done) but I'm running across a curious attitude among writers. There are people out there that think agents don't want to publish us!

I could die laughing!

Let's imagine how the poor agents start their day. They have bills to pay, food they want to eat, coffee addictions that need feeding.... and their source of income is lined up in the daily slush pile of incoming mail. To eat they need one of those bulky envelopes (or streamlined e-mails) to have the next Great American Novel.

Guilty secret: I've worked as an editor. Trust me when I say they really want to publish you.

Take heart. When the agents (aka the Evil Enemy) reads your query they are hoping aginst all hope that you are the next great author. They all want to sell the book that makes millions. Even if they only get 15% that's a nice sum. When the Evil Enemy blogs about horrendous query letters, they're talking about the one your neighbor wrote in crayon, not your beautifully crafted, wonderfully edited query letter.

I almost feel sorry for the poor agents sorting through the slush pile. Every day they get a monotonous litany of fan fiction and movie rehashes while they wait for a good writer (gee I hope that's me) to query them with something interesting and new.

I feel their pain on that. A friend e-mailed me with an idea for a book she wants to write. I read it and went..... Wait, I know this story. I e-mailed her back with the name of a movie that came out in the 1980's and told her to check the plotline, it's been done. She wrote back absolutely gushing, "I love that movie! That's where I got the idea! It's going to be just like that! Only with a twist."

Unless the twist is that the world goes boom at the end it isn't going to sell. Even if she did, somehow, manage to sell it to someone the book gets dropped in the Pink Pile. It's been done before and there's nothing worse than reading a cheap redo of something good (well, yes there is but that's another post). And she's my friend....

No comments:

Post a Comment