I saw a young writer on a networking site tonight claiming that he was throwing in the towel after years of trying to get agents to look at his manuscript. He did the usual rant about how you have to know someone on the incestuous inside of the biz. The rant had its share of grammatical problems, but hey, we all make mistakes in the quick heat of web posting.

What got me though, was that he launched into his little diatribe with the line, “You win, literary agents, you win.” Like they’re all conspiring to keep him down.

You win? Really? The only thing agents want to win is a nice fat commission when they sell your very entertaining book to a publisher. That’s why they make their email addresses public and sift through mountains of crap every week on the off chance that someone in some small town has written a best seller. Sure, sometimes their snap judgments are way off. That’s part of the fun. But they really do want the next query letter they click on to be brilliant, because if some of them aren’t, they have no product, no business.

The dude should have moved on to writing the next book long ago. If you want to start getting paid for the job, you just have to keep doing the job.


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