So now we’re blogging. Or at least I am. Beverly Swerling Martin here.
I’m the writer in the crew so naturally this page falls to me. At least
most of the time.
And for my first rant…
A guy just came to us with very impressive
journalism credentials and a terrific non-fiction book idea in his area
of expertise. I got a big grin on my face when I first read the answers
to his questionnaire because it was going to be so easy. The names of
half a dozen perfect-for-him agents came immediately to mind.
Then I probed a little and found out he had already taken the project
to a “part time agent” not, of course, in NYC, and this dear person
shopped the damn thing to every decent house with no takers. Doubtless
because she brought no clout to the table to grease the deal making;
made worse by the fact that she had neither the experience nor the
knowledge to spot any weaknesses in his proposal, or tell him how to
fix the same before they burned every good editor who buys his genre.
What a shame. Instead of coming to us first, he saved three hundred
bucks, got his own agent, and blew his chances for a good, maybe a
terrific deal - the kind with multiple zeros on the check - and a
launch pad for future books. Now we’ll see if we can find him an
effective not quite top tier agent who can market the book to a smaller
house. If he’d come with the same project in its virgin state I’d bet
money two or three über agents would have been really anxious to take
him on. And known how to guide the process to a successful result.