Good morning, friends.
Mr. Happy, Steve Laube, is going to say happy things today that will warm your hearts and tickle your toes.
Well, maybe not.
Unfortunately some may not like this dose of reality, but to prepare you for the wild and woolly world of publishing I think you should hear it.
Getting an agent to represent you isn’t a guarantee of a book contract. It is a step in that direction. But only among the first steps.
Of course, we are going to try our best, based on our experience and our instincts, to represent a writer and a project that we think will find a great publishing partner. It’s how we make a living! If the project doesn’t sell, we don’t get paid either.
However, we do provide the author a partnership, a person who can guide the writer to the best career choices, to lend expertise on all manner of idiosyncrasies in our industry. Someone who cares about you and your work!
We feel it when we receive a rejection for your project. Imagine if we have a dozen different book ideas circulating with multiple publishers. We can receive rejection every day, sometimes more than one a day. We know that telling you the news isn’t happiness on your end. But we, too, are disappointed.
However, rejection is part of the business. The old-style, door-to-door salesman wouldn’t make a sale at every home; but if they made one or two out of a hundred they would be considered successful!
We also believe that it may not be the first project we try to sell that is the “one.” It might be your next idea, or your third. We have a number of clients whose first book didn’t dent the publishing rosters, but with perseverance a home was found for their book ideas.
All this is to say, we don’t have some super-secret formula that works every time. We believe that our time will be well spent when we sign a new author to our agency. But there are always disappointments. Be sure to keep that in the back of your mind when you talk to a prospective agent or agency. Managing expectations is part of becoming a professional in this business!