Dear Miss Snark,
For a moment can we set aside the Quality Of Writing issue and address the Regularity Of Writing issue? Let's say an author has only a couple of books in them, or can only produce something every ten years, and they know it. This must be a factor when agents consider taking on a new client, yes? Is there an industry "guideline" on how often an author should be able to produce new work to remain relevant? Eyeing the bestsellers in my local chain store, I get the impression that regular output trumps even good writing.
Thank you for your (g)insight, (ha!)
Two words: Donna Tart
Another two words: Thomas Pynchon (appropriate on this day as no other)
Another: Tom Spanbauer
Yet another: Tom Robbins
Maybe this rings a bell: Edward Jones
I'd mow down even Grandmother Snark on skates for this kind of quality writing. These guys couldn't produce a book a year if they cloned themselves and each one kept writing. Nor should they.
Great things are worth waiting for. Any agent would kill for work of this caliber. Frequency be damned.
The secret of course is being great.
Work on that part.
It's the only part you can control.