What it takes to find one new client, statistically speaking

Although 2011 is far from over, I’m eager to figure out what the statistics might be able to show me about my business. Fairly consistently, as it turns out, I must read a dozen full manuscripts to find one that I like and consider commercially viable, so I can offer to represent the author to publishers. I don’t know how I can make the reading part of the client selection process more efficient.

blue penOver the past few years, I’ve tinkered with methods of discovering a variety of manuscripts from which to cull the few I’d like to read. This part of the process—gathering prospects—is more variable, and I continue to experiment.

I’ve always known that I enjoy foreign voices. Like poetry, a novel written in a foreign voice requires of a reader some extra effort and concentration. Unusual syntax slows comprehension slightly, which can make reading more of a feast—or a convivium, as proponents of the Slow Food movement would describe the pleasure.

Elegant writing has become rare in the US, but I still appreciate it in essays and in fiction with intricate, sophisticated plots. Precision makes me happy. The purposeful use of malapropisms can be cool. So, go for it. Claim they were used to create the voice.

The opportunity for understanding

From Edward Nawotka, founder and editor-in-chief of Publishing Perspectives, comes an enlightened and discerning retrospective of the terrorism that occurred in the United States ten years ago. He asks us:

What is religious fundamentalism but a failure of reading — a failure to seek nuance in a text, to probe for paradox, to interpret? Or perhaps it’s just this: a failure to read widely.

EmpathySymbol.comBooks ultimately are at the heart of September 11 and its legacy. Books are what started the terrorists down their path and books — and the exchange of ideas they represent — are what can help prevent another September 11, 2001, from ever happening again. Books offer the world’s best opportunity for understanding the events of that day, for bridging cultural and spiritual divides, and engendering hope for a peaceful future to come.

Read the entire article at Publishing Perspectives.