11.23.2005

Love or money?

Dear Miss Snark,

Let's imagine you were given the chance to represent the next James Patterson or the next Martin Amis (or insert your favorite literary genius here). No one would fault you for going with the meal ticket over the genius, as crapola tends to make much more money than brilliant writing.

However, from your blogging persona I've gotten the sense that you're
aesthetically repulsed by the usual sex-and-shopping ditzfests and self-help bozothons that most agents use to meet their profit margins. So which is it for you: Love or money?

I ask because I've already taken the Ms Snark literary self-improvement course (and what kind of snarky advice is that to give to someone: get a library card?) and can already write like the Dickens. I'm not worried about whether or not an agent thinks I'm any good--I want to know if an agent is remotely concerned with anything other than how much they much money a given property might make them. This is important because it seems to me that if an agent was passionately in love with a given manuscript, she would be willing to do almost anything to help get it published. So what I'm asking is, which is it for you: love or money?


Not all aesthetically pleasing projects are dogs at the cash register. Miss Snark very happily represents some nice cash cows that don't repulse her at all.

That said, James Patterson isn't coming over my transom any time soon and that's ok cause I couldn't do a good job representing him.

If you write well, I'm going to take a serious look at your work. But I'm also going to consider whether I can place it. Miss Snark is a snob but she's not a bottomless pit of money and if a project doesn't sell she eats ALL the expenses.

I will sell something I love to a small publisher for not very much dough if I have to in order to get a client's work out into the world. I'm convinced some of those projects will earn significant dough on the back list and I've been right more than once.

Love or money? Baby, I want it all!

1 comment:

domynoe said...

This is a question writers get asked a lot too. My response: Why not both? Why does it have to be an either/or thing?