Recently I had a conversation with a friend who shared this trick question:
What do you sell to your customer? What they want or what they need?
I answered, “Hopefully, both!”
Neither. You sell them what you have.
Now to connect this question to the art of writing:
If you have an outstanding project but are hesitating to submit your work to our agency, don’t. Because the market has been challenging, we may need to decline your exceptional work. We refuse works of excellence every week. However, neither of us will ever know if we could have had a successful partnership if we didn’t have a chance to review your manuscript.
Our agency is never desperate for submissions, nor have we ever been closed to submissions. We always enjoy reviewing proposals from authors who want to partner with us in what we all hope will be the next step to success in publishing.
Once we have your submission and agree to work together, we can pitch your work to editors. We expect the editors to decide that they want and need to publish your work.
We look forward to seeing what you have to say!
I would give what you desire
(or need, if it be known or not),
but circumstance, alas requires
me to offer what I’ve got.
I would present your dearest wish,
cooked in love all by myself,
but there’s here a plainer dish
made from what is on my shelf.
Go ahead, please have a taste;
maybe we’ll have common ground
in the meat and in the baste,
and I’ll hope that you have found
a meal, perhaps, not for a king,
but that to you is “just the thing!”
This is a good reminder. Our stories aren’t for everyone, and the market is constantly changing. If you don’t write the story you have and chase the market you’ll end up exhausted, frustrated and possibly quit.
For me, I am one of those writers whose ideas are constantly sparked by situations, conversations, a name. The era always varies, as does the genre. I write the stories I want to read, and I am thankful to partner with a wonderful agent who allows me to move and explore.
This situation is often a blurry area for many authors. This is both an informative and encouraging article. I recently listened to a podcast that explained the unique roles of an agent and an acquisitions editor. In a nutshell, an agent asks who can I sell this work to? While an acquisitions editor asks will my readers read this work? I think it best the author does the homework to find out the best fit for the work.
Damon J. Gray
I must now mount the walk of shame and admit that I answered the riddle incorrectly.
Have a blessed day, Tamela.
Thank you for this, Tamela. Blessings to you!
Kristen Joy Wilks
Thank you so much for the encouragement, Tamela! It can be easy to just keep editing, forever! It is good to remember that a yes will never come if I don’t keep submitting what I do have.
One never knows where their work will fit unless they try. Thank you, Tamela!
And be sure to read the guidelines, right, Tamela? I write for children, so I wouldn’t send any of that to you. ‘Cause you don’t rep that. 🙂
This was exactly what I needed to hear. Thank you so much