One of the really nice things about being an agent is that I don’t really have to bullshit people. My clients count on me to tell them the truth. So, when I really like something they’ve written I get to fully express that and when I don’t like something they’ve written I don’t have to blow smoke up their skirts (or whatever) trying to be polite or dancing around the issue. When I pitch a manuscript to editors it becomes my job to be fully expressed, to convey all the enthusiasm and love that I have for my clients’ projects to them. I get a little nervous before I’m going to pitch, but then when I remember what my job is, it’s actually easy because I love my clients’ manuscripts! The negotiating contracts part of being an agent is basically no bullshit, just business.
It’s funny, because even though it’s all just business (whether I take on an author as a client or not, how I edit, how and what the author writes, to whom I pitch, who I avoid, etc…) there’s an element to being an agent that (for me, anyway) transcends the agent/author or agent/editor business relationship. It’s one of the things I like about the world of publishing. I don’t know, maybe I just like book people. Since we’re all mostly a bunch of book nerds, who get excited about make-believe and telling stories to each other, I’m finding there’s a camaraderie that exists in this industry that is quite different than other industries. Or maybe I’m just hanging out with really nice people or something.
Do you think publishing people are particularly nice or am I living in my own little bubble?