Field Guide for the Pursuit of the Elusive North American Literary Agent — Part Three
(Part Three — There Really Is No Reason)
Unsurprisingly, after months of apathy from various agents who I have queried, I have decided to suspend the search for litterae procurator americana. I will be the first to admit that I am not the most patient of men, but after six months of nothing — not even a standard form rejection letter — I decided to see how fast I could sell the novel myself to a publisher.
It took me twelve hours.
Twelve. F*cking. Hours.
(Note: that breaks my previous record of four days)
I’d never worked with this publisher before, though we’d met at conventions throughout the years. Never had any sort of working relationship with him or anything, and yet I was able to secure a contract within hours of contacting him. Not only did he write the contract for the novel, but he was also interested in the sequels that follow.
Within days of the contract being signed he had already commissioned a contract and put an editor onto the project. In the publishing world he moves at the speed of light, apparently. Which is great for me, my readers, and those who really, really hate me.
But all this fieldwork has laid bare the root of the question I had originally posed when I came up with this idea six months ago: what use is an agent these days?
I understand that they are supposed to represent the author and help finagle the best contract they can for the most amount of money, but with the advent of indie and the explosive growth of small press publishers, it really makes me wonder why agents continue to function in a strict role that worked in the 60’s and 70’s. An antiquated system designed in a bygone era, and yet they call my friends backwards and old fashioned.
So, without further ado, here is the cover of said novel. Coming soon.