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.”