Monday, February 09, 2004

So the authors of The Nanny Diaries are having a little bit of trouble getting their second novel published. They're on their third agent, and even with her (Suzanne Gluck) swinging for them, Random House has rejected their manuscript, declaring it unpublishable in its present state. I guess agents #1 and #2 probably tried to communicate that verdict to their clients, but, as sometimes happens between agents and authors, there was a conflict of opinions.

In the impossible world of publishing these days, agents are full of bad news. They are honest; they tell you what will sell. Unfortunately, very, very little will sell; publishers don't want to take risks, so they will buy only what is hot right now. That doesn't leave much wiggle room for the author. What do I do when my agent gives me advice that I don't want to take? I do what she thinks will work, and when that proves impossible, as of course it must when one tries to make one's creative juices flow in someone else's veins, I do what I want (based on my own detailed analyses of the market) and hope that publishers decide that what I've got is what they've got to have. I don't know. I'll probably be searching for Agent #2 myself.


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