Monthly Archives: June 2010

Does an Agent make money?

Now don’t get me wrong. I like being an agent. But there are some weeks that it just wears a person down. Sometimes I wonder if I’m in the right business. This is not a business for the faint-hearted. Neither is it for people with a thin skin. This last week I went through what every agent does once in awhile. Rejection. For quite a few of my proposals. Not a great feeling.

But I have faith in the work of my clients, and for the most part I know that I can sell their work. But sometimes it just takes longer than I would like it to. Of course there are books that I can’t sell. It’s happened to me before. I had a really great manuscript, but for whatever reason I just could not sell the piece. Sometimes it’s just timing, sometimes it’s just the style of work, but I hear the word No a lot more than yes. And that can wear a person down. It could even drive a person to drink! ( Glenmorangie- if you are so inclined).

But I guess for every lost sale there is a silver lining. I do get a yes and when those books land on the shelf or online I loveĀ  it. If I’m acknowledged in the book for my participation and work-that’s even better. Because goodness knows the money for selling books is slow in coming. A lot of people think that agents are rolling in cash. They are wrong. Very wrong. For every bestseller on a list there is an agent wondering where their next meal is coming from. Royalty cheques are the slowest form of payment, and some are divided up 4 or more smaller payments throughout the year. One time I got a cheque for $50.00 bucks after 3 months of almost solid work. I kid you not. This job is not for those that want to get rich.

Anyway, enough of my pessimistic pity party. But people need to know that when they have an idea for a book and they send me manuscripts and sample chapters they had better be high caliber. Without spelling mistakes and errors. I mean it. If you send my associate anything with errors in it, consider it rejected. And don’t tell me you’ve paid someone a lot of money to edit it, if it hasn’t been. I can tell, and believe me I’m not about to invest hundreds of hours trying to sell a book that needs a rewrite.

So that’s my educational piece today. Now, I’m off to Whitehorse for a few days to relax and take a little time off

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