mysteries and motorcycles

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Are agents and editors too impatient?

It seems to me that the reading public is generally willing to give a plot and a character time to develop but agents and editors need the instant gratification thing. I keep thinking that I'd be fine if only I could get past the agents and editors and get my books into the hands of readers.

At a recent writer's conference I heard an agent say that, because of the enormous volume of submissions, it was her job to find a reason to reject a manuscript. That kinda makes me think that they only read as far as they need to in order to find their reason. Often, the strength of the manuscript never gets read. It hardly seems like a fair chance. I'm sure that a lot of great stories never see the light of day because they just didn't enthrall the agent or editor in the first few paragraphs.

Perhaps that is why newer authors need small publishers, people who will take the time to get to know both the writer and his work. Maybe it's supposed to work like baseball's "farm" system; prove yourself in the minors and you just might get a major league shot. If an author can make any sort of impact, get good reviews, and show a knack and willingness to promote effectively with a small publisher, then just maybe an agent will take the time to get past the first thirty pages.

It certainly doesn't seem fair but it is a business and it's a business that is not lacking for quality material. Some will make it and some won't. You just gotta keep trying.

Posted by The Unreal McCoy :: 12:33 PM :: 4 Comments:

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