Stellar advice from literary agent Dorian Karchmar of William Morris

Stumbled upon this fantastic interview on the Guide to Literary Agents: Editor's Blog, which includes the following spot-on advice for writers:
Don’t give in to internal and external pressures to try to find an agent before you’ve matured as a writer. The book business is very difficult and not getting any easier; most books that are published don’t sell well, and many careers end practically before they start.

Write a book that only you could write, and rewrite, rewrite, rewrite. Be more patient and more honest with yourself than you ever thought you could be.

Find a couple of writers who you think are better than you are, ingratiate yourself with them, and start reading and workshopping each other. And ask them—beg them—to be merciless. Be humble and quiet while they give you feedback. Be prepared to cut, delete, throw away, put in a drawer.

Only when you’ve got your best possible work—something that can stand up there with the best of whatever genre you’re working in—should you start looking for the right agent to represent you. If you’ve got a terrific book, you should end up with plenty of good agents from which to choose, so don’t jump at the first person who says “yes.”

Put the good of the work before the good of your ego as much as you can.
Can I get a amen? Read the rest here.

Comments

Colleen said…
Great, great advice! Everyone who's tempted to self-publish their first manuscript to Kindle should give this serious thought! Just because it's now so easy to put your words out there doesn't mean it's always a very good idea. People may rail at the idea of "New York gatekeepers," but at least they forced writers to grow and be edited before thrusting their manuscripts onto an unsuspecting public.
I'll add my amen to that for sure!

The BtO Colleen :)

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