You have a tough job, I know. I’ve read all the stuff about how you’re inundated with unsolicited manuscripts (try saying THAT after a snifter of Baileys), about how you’re fighting hard for your current list of published authors and about how the economic climate is making it so difficult right now for anybody trying to get a foot on the first rung of their writing career.
And I’ve watched enough episodes of ‘The Apprentice’ to appreciate that any kind of business deal, even in the publishing world (maybe especially in the publishing world, where trust plays such a key role) is only as good as the financial return it can realistically make.
So it’s a gamble. Particularly with a newbie – I mean debut author.
This new writer whose work you’re reading right now could so very easily turn out to be the lemon of the century. They could be a one trick pony, a one-hit wonder, even a plagiarist of the highest order who’s got you hooked, lined and sunk already with their clever use of language and their ingenious plot-lines.
Of course you could Google them. And their Facebook profile alone could ease your worried brow or else send you screaming for the hills. And if they have a Blog, so much easier. Unless their blog is a ‘name and shame’ shrine to all the rejection letters they receive from Agents, of course (you know *who* I mean). Which is just mental. (IMHO obvs. You might enjoy reading it.)
This work you’re currently holding could be the endeavours of a writer who’s given up opportunities to accomplish success in all fields other than the one true vocation they dream of. The humour which shines brightly through the words you’re reading here, could be all the confidence that is left of this writer – rejections having taken their toll and reduced them to a small quivering mass of nerves. They might have endless ideas overflowing in their ‘to be written’ document file and they might have the bright, exciting beginnings of new books already started, which they’ve already quietly dismissed as a reject themselves – a death before life. A waste of time which they convince themselves they’d probably spend more wisely keeping a house clean and greedy mouths stuffed.
You know how much power you have, dear Agent? Do you know how monumental the tiniest glimmer of hope that you give to a writer can be? It’s the difference between light and dark to us – the flick of a switch. It’s easy to give up and not believe in ourselves when we haven’t achieved what we’ve known we always wanted to from aged 6. But it’s the hardest thing in the world to keep treading the same path wearing different heels and lipstick in the hope that one day we’ll turn a head.