Tag Archives: inspiration

the pleasure of agenting

Yesterday, I asked about the pleasure of writing, and last night reading all the many comments it got me thinking about the things that make agenting an experience for its own sake (not just trying to make enough to pay the bills). So, here’s a partial list that’s occurred to me throughout today:

* Telling a client you are about to close their book deal and getting a response that includes “*bounce* *bounce* *bounce*”

* Reading a manuscript on submission from a potential client and feeling: “yes! this is it!”

* Having 3 books you represented land on the New York Times list simultaneously (this was the thing that happened yesterday that got me thinking about this topic from my own point of view)

* Getting queries down to below 100 (well, so, it hasn’t happened for a while but it’s a good goal and I can remember having done it at some point and it sure felt like an accomplishment)

* Seeing books you represented in the bookstore and overhearing someone as they grab it from the shelf and exclaim: “I’ve been waiting for this!” and then gush to their friend.

* Brainstorming with a client and hearing the brilliant idea as it is born.

I will bet after I post this that I will think of some more, but this will be a good list to come back to if I have a frustrating day like Agent Nathan — who has some really good advice on that subject which looks kind of obvious when you read it, but once in a while you need someone to point it out to you since it’s so easy to get caught up and overwhelmed by everything else.

measuring success in non-tangibles

From an email one of my clients sent to me today:

“Money or property you can qualify and quantify but to me it is not a watermark for progress in life, or for happiness, nor is a growing bank account an escape…It is true that in many ways, especially at the time, you offered me a life-line when you signed me up, whether this will result in success for us seems almost secondary now.”

This author and I have been working together for quite some time and, as yet, we have not succeeded in making a sale. But I continue to have faith in their talent and they continue to have faith in mine. (Indeed, this author has garnered the most complimentary set of rejections I have ever seen!) I didn’t know their personal situation when I offered representation, so there was no way for me to know what effect I was having then. I cannot quite describe the feeling I got upon reading the statement above, but I wanted to note this one down to come back to on the days when I am feeling overwhelmed. So, when that avalanche of paper is threatening to consume me, and it feels like a thankless task, I can look at this and know that it doesn’t take a book sale, or a quantity of royalties, to show that this endeavor in which I’m engaged is worthwhile.