1.21.2006

We're only 15% of the avaricious blood suckers you think we are

Mademoiselle Snark,

Speaking of Hollywood scouts and other altruistic vultures, can you explain to me how some agents operate so damned quickly when it comes to turning late-breaking news stories into book deals?

During the great deluge of Hurricane Katrina, I could see how a high-profile figure like Anderson Cooper would seize his day in the spotlight to secure a million dollar book deal, but what about situations like the West Virgina mining tragedy? How soon do agents wait before contacting the wife of the lone survivor about writing a book on the experience? Or better yet, the wives of the men who died? What's the protocol, or is there any?Do the parents of kidnapped CSM journalist Jill Carroll already have a book deal in place before knowing the final outcome of her immediate situation?Just yesterday I read about Ariel Sharon's memoir being sold. The man's in a ^*%ing coma! I find it astonishing when I read about news-worthy book deals that happen before the story has begun to peak.

I really would enjoy learning more about your perspective on the matter.
Thanks.


Agents are a lot of things, but ambulence chasers isn't one of them.
The folks you want to take to task here are journalists.
They are the ones phoning up the widows and orphans.
We don't do that.
Why would we?
We only sell the stuff that's written, we don't actually write it.

Ariel Sharon's memoir has probably been around for years and now there's renewed interest in it since he's clearly at the end of his life.

Agents may hang upside down in the closet over night with our wings folded over our eyes, but we're not bloodsuckers. We're their agents.

9 comments:

Ellen said...

*Agents may hang upside down in the closet over night with our wings folded over our eyes, but we're not bloodsuckers. We're their agents.*

Lol. Now THAT'S quotable!

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Bernita said...

Yes, Ellen, it's priceless!

Bonnie Calhoun said...

Yes that is priceless. I only have a section for Author Quotes, maybe I should make one for Agent quotes!

I bet the really priceless ones were the ones that Miss Snark deleted below Ellen's....somebody's in the doghouse now!

Hey Miss Snark can we have a winning list of best deleted quotes?

Jenny D said...

I don't dispute the gist of this, I am sure you are quite right--but surely there are a handful of agents who are famously quick off the mark in tandem with journalist clients, i.e. John Brockman securing lavish deals for NYT science writers the day after their front-page stories on various topics of great current interest....

Bernita said...

Bryan, isn't delay more the province of the publisher?

Bryan said...

Ambulance chaser or not, do literary agents feel any moral obligation to delay the publishing of books in instances like the WV miners?

I'm interested at times on what happened, and to whom, but not so anxious as to read a book on the subject before all of the details are even in.

For the sake of the (widows), can't we just let them be for a little while?

Anonymous said...

I live in Indonesia. Last year, immediately after the tsunami, I went to Aceh as a volunteer relief worker. It was one of the most moving and best things I've done in my life.

When I got home, my agent and I discussed writing a novel about the tsunami disaster. I'd already been thinking of this -- a writer always thinks of turning everything, even a trip to the market, into a story -- but I had inner qualms about "taking advantage" of a tragedy. The truth was, though, I really had something to say about family and love and resilience, to which my eyes were freshly opened. A lot of tears, too. And me a macho surfer dude type.