Thursday, March 5, 2009

Be My Agent, Baby!

There are new great agents, and they are sweet-faced and young! See the New York Observer here plus a highlight: Sitting before his impeccably neat desk recently, a framed Bonnie “Prince” Billy print on the wall and a facsimile of the first edition of Ulysses on his bookshelf, the rookie of the year [agent Chris Parris-Lamb] talked about what it means to be selling adventurous writing in today’s environment.   “[Editors] want me to bring them books that are going to secure them their place at their company, and I don’t blame them,” he said. “It’s hard for people to take chances right now. Perversely—ironically, maybe, is the better term—a lot of publishers would rather spend a lot of money on a book, because they’d rather have a smaller list that they invest a lot in than nurture writers.… I understand that. But, I don’t know, man, that’s a really myopic way to do business. Cormac didn’t write Blood Meridian for 20 years. Random House stuck with him through all those books that never sold more than 5,000 copies.”


peterc said...

Thanks for posting this W,R.

Reads like he did the right thing and it's paid off for him. Good for Mr Parris-Lamb.

Blood Meridian's brilliant.

ted said...

Let's hope Mr. Parris-Lamb wants to take on the kind of great books and the kind of great writing that isn't getting a fair shake out there. Great stuff that is neglected, that publishers (for various reasons) have been afraid to take on. Too many lousy books are coming out and too many publishers are afraid to take a chance. I hope Chris Parris-Lamb sticks with it.

James said...

yes, thanks for posting this. seems like a good guy.

Anonymous said...

Kudos to him. Let's hope it all isn't just promotional words. Let's also hope that once he's in the industry a few years, that he forgets these ideals. Let's also hope that somme editors out there also believe the same.