Selling books is the desired end of all this angst surrounding the need to get the right agent, and neither has ever been harder to do. Right now we are at a moment when everyone in publishing seems to want to hide under their desks. The e-book thing has them spooked.
Personally I’m convinced it’s going to be a great thing. Just as was the intro of the paperback in 1935. That changed the book world by bringing in more readers, and as we know, it was not the death of the hardback. Paperbacks modified the way books were bought and sold; it certainly didn’t stop them being read. Eventually that new technology was a huge revitalizer, introducing millions more to the joy of reading a great story or a stunning work of non-fiction. E-books will do the same. But no one wants to read waves of unfiltered and unedited garbage in any format. The role of publishers is as vital as ever. And that means the right agent is as well.
I’m thinking of this more than ever now that my own agent, the indefatigable Marly Rusoff, has sold my new book, BRISTOL HOUSE to Viking. I’m already in love with my new publisher, Clare Ferraro. And not just because she sent me flowers the day after we agreed our deal.
As for the selling of books, have a look at Margaret Atwood’s terrific article in the Globe and Mail http://tinyurl.com/4gp7bdw