The sad truth about agents. Don’t read this if you have hopes and dreams you still cling to. In fact, don’t read virtually anything we post here these days. Just run screaming and lock yourself in a closet with a typewriter and your inheritance money and click away until your work is done.
Chances are that if you are a writer a little further down the food chain, but lucky enough to have an agent, they won’t be doing much for you. Restless writers, like I used to be, may change agencies frequently, only to find out that after a brief honeymoon all is back to normal – for most writers changing agencies is like rearranging deckchairs on the Titanic as they watch the promises of their career go down the drain.
The problem is that there are many more writers than the market can bear, and to most publishers writers are about as important as farmers are to Tesco – they know that there is an endless supply of produce. Of course most of the unsolicited writing that lands on agents’ desks is rubbish, but how can we be sure that the occasional gem will be discovered? The short answer is that we can’t and, sadly, neither agents nor publishers lose any sleep over it. The undiscovered writer is the acceptable victim of a system which, ironically, works for everyone concerned except for the very people who are its lifeblood.