Hunting for greatness
I took the weekend off, and the queries have accumulated.
I’ve been astonished at the quality of the submissions I’m getting. I worked in publishing for decades–I know what a mixed bag comes in the door every day. But I’ve got really solid manuscripts and queries to look at. Nobody is making beginner mistakes in this pile. My theory to explain this curiousity is as follows–if a writer gets something to an agent within a week of that agent’s start date, the writer is probably a pro watching the industry news. That’s the only way I can explain the almost complete lack of clankers in my pile. It makes my job both more exciting and harder. I’ve got a lot of material to get through, then I need to make some serious decisions. Who among you do I think can make it all the way to the top of the lists? Who makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up in awe of your talent, whether I think it is commercial or not?
I asked Ethan what makes him pick up a new client, and he told me to pick what I truly love, because I’m going to be working with that material and that author for a long, long time to come if I pick right. I thought that was really good advice.
It’s a HUGE responsibility, and I know I’m going to have to make heart-breaking decisions. I’m reading as fast as I can. It’s going to be a bit slow getting answers to the people who’ve submitted, in part because of the wealth of good material. But I’m reading with my mind and heart wide open.