My Agent

I was asked today how it was going with my agent.  I had to really think about my answer.  My agent is cool.  My agent is friendly.  My agent has been extremely forthcoming with advice and encouragement.  I have no problems with her and the effort she’s (and her entire company) has put in on my behalf.  I have nothing but compliments for my agent even though our relationship has not produced a deal.

I was one of those guys who thought getting the agent was the hard part. I honestly thought that having an agent would break down all the barriers for me.   Boy was I way off.  Getting a book deal is much, much harder. Granted, I’m not making the inquiries, or fielding the rejections.  She’s doing all that, and I’m grateful for that.  We’ve literally been together for years now.  That’s right years.  So when the deal does come, you won’t be able to call me an overnight success.  I’m just delusional enough to hang in there despite the odds.  My wife is wonderful enough to support my delusion despite the occasional hardships, and my agent is awesome enough to keep fighting for me despite all the no’s.  She’s gotten really, really close a few times.  I’ve had the car keys in my hand on my way to buy the celebratory champagne on at least one occasion, but alas the Krug, Clos Du Mesnil 1995 remained unpurchased and behind glass.

This is the reality of publishing.  I’m not bitter.  I’m not daunted.  It is what it is.  The person I feel really bad for is my agent.  She’s never received a dime for all the time she’s invested in me and my books.

So, how’s it going?  We’re right on schedule, and I have no complaints.

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The Deal – A Reality Show for Writers

This week on the deal writers read prose at a nudist colony.

"This week on The Deal writers pitch their books to 4th graders."

I am floating this idea out on the interweb ether knowing full well that someone will take it and run with it. Writers are made for reality TV shows. We’re quirky, defensive, insecure, opinionated, and flat out weird in most cases. The airwaves are just begging for a show featuring 12 writers living in a house vying for a lucrative publishing deal. Can you imagine the number of train wreck moments that will be captured on tape? I know it’s sadistic, and I should be flogged for suggesting such a thing. Writers are my people after all, but I can’t help myself. It would be immensely watchable.

Writers would be chosen for their writing samples, their interview, and their marketability. Take that last qualification, and apply whatever meaning you wish; looks, personality, sense of style etc. The tasks would include completing edits on deadline, building a social network, readings, making pitches, how they handle themselves doing interviews, getting blurbs from well-known authors, typing pages on an actual typewriter etc. The winner will be chosen by the online community and a panel of three judges. At the end of the process, a six-figure contract with one of the major publishers awaits the winner. The Judges? They would be as follows:

Judith Regan

Stephen King

John Ridley (No relation to me)

Your host would be anyone but Ryan Seacrest. The guy’s got like four jobs and he’s annoying on all of them. Personally, I think the perfect choice would be Ira Glass. He’s smart, funny, and people would take the show seriously if he were involved.

Why do I think people would watch it? Well besides the reasons I gave in the first paragraph, the NEA did a study recently that revealed a whopping 81% of Americans think they have a book inside of them. They all think they can do it, and I’m betting they would watch a group of writers be put through the wringer, living vicariously through the contestants, all the while thinking, “I could do better than them.” It’s perfect reality show fodder.