Finding a literary agent

I thought this article about finding an agent was really insightful. It begins:

Imagine that one night you have a dream in which you are in an enormous bookstore lined with shelves upon shelves of books, each bound in the same plain white cover displaying only the author’s name, the title of the book, and a brief description of the book and its author. This is an anxiety dream, so it turns out that your livelihood depends on your ability to search this enormous bookstore and figure out which books are good and which aren’t. The thing is, in this bookstore, the vast majority of the books are bad - trite, derivative, poorly written, or simply the sort of book you would never read in a million years. You know there are some really good books in this store, maybe even one or two genuinely great ones, but from the outside they’re indistinguishable from the terrible ones.

As he points out, an agent isn't a teacher. An agent isn't your friend. And they don't owe you anything. A truth that can hurt, hurt, hurt.

Read the whole article here.

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What's interesting is that is from someone who's not an agent, but a writer who wants one.