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You’ve Got to Want It

I read a submission recently that was good. The voice was good, the writing was good, and the idea was cute. But I just didn’t want it. I didn’t want to finish reading the book or keep reading the book and I didn’t want to work on it. I passed.

If I’m going to help an author achieve her goals I need to want it as bad as she does, and that doesn’t just mean wanting to reap the rewards, it means wanting to represent that book as bad as she wanted to write it. Sure I can sell anything, but can I help truly create success if I’m not as fired up as the author? It’s unlikely.

I also have a productive client list, a group of authors who are doing well and who keep me busy, which means I can be a whole lot pickier when I’m taking on someone new. I’m not looking to fill any gaps in my list, I’m looking for something that blows me away and inspires me to work my butt off for this one book or one author. I’m not looking for just something to do.

Category: Blog



  1. Thanks for this insight. As a writer trying to attract an agent and actively querying, it can be so discouraging to hear a short, “not for me” comment. May I encourage you to share the positive feedback (perhaps you do already) to cushion the rejection? For example, one agent offered me concrete encouragement with three simple words before the “but” and those words were “you write well”. I’ve gotten lots of best wishes, but just a tiny bit of positive feedback makes all the difference in countering the discouragement of collecting rejections.

    Congrats and continued success with your productive client list! Good books make the world a better place.

  2. Much like I tell my teenagers, your words carry weight, especially in this cyber world. It would behoove you to remember that. Anyone who received a recent rejection from you is going to read this, and feel terrible about themselves and their craft. There may come a time in your life when a rejection will sting more than it should. And when that happens, let’s just hope that there’s no one to justify their actions via public blog. That would be really tough for you.

  3. I’d love to think that my future agent thinks exactly that no matter how big their client list is. The perfect agent for me is the one who loves my ms as much as I do =)

  4. The writer has to throw as much enthusiasm into the selling as they do in the creating. We have to have an attitude that shouts – ‘Why would you want to read anything else?’

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