I moved to Spartanburg, South Carolina, this spring and now have settled into a comfortable routine. Disruption for the literary agency was minimal, to be honest, and I’m loving the sunshine here in the Upstate.
I’ll be reading email queries from prospective clients during the month of July 2012, and I’m enthused about the possibility of finding a talented new writer to represent. It’s relaxing to be at this juncture.
I’m an optimist and an idealist. There’s no other way to be in publishing. I’m also, I hope, a bit of a buffer between my authors and the market, like the coating on aspirin that’s meant to make it gentler on the stomach. My pragmatism has been acquired with age.
I advise my clients what to expect during the process of getting a book published, so they aren’t quite as stressed by the relentlessness of the publishing assembly line or the challenges of book promotion. Occasionally, I’ve helped them to develop the technological expertise they need.
Some qualities, however, aren’t teachable. When I look at queries from writers, I’m not searching for the individual who’s a blank slate waiting to be transformed into a celebrity author. It doesn’t work that way. When I pore over the biographical data and manuscript excerpts and the relevant material a particular writer has made available in an online portfolio, I’m reading between the lines. I’m trying to eliminate the cynic, the narcissist, the bigot, the paranoid, the slacker. There are profitable media outlets for those kinds of writers, but they’re not the individuals I want as clients.
People expose themselves when they write, no matter what they write and regardless of how much care they take to present themselves as they would like to be perceived. The sensation of a person’s inner character is the vibe that alerts me, and it’s risky to disregard my instinctive reaction to it. I don’t need to waste the time, and I’ve learned not to.
I have brilliant clientsinsightful, intelligent, energetic, fearless, and good-naturedas their publishers also would tell you. That’s a lot for me and any new clients to live up to.
Now, if you’ve noticed an intriguing writer whose work you believe I should consider, send me a private email message. Let’s see what happens in July…