"This just seems to prove the point about gatekeepers. Sure, the readers make choices, but it's like going to a restaurant and being given a menu - and agents and editors determine what's on the menu. Of course, they try to guess what will sell, but the point is unless readers have already declared something "edible," low chance for an author to get it through the gatekeepers. When even many agents have stopped taking unsolicited QUERIES, of all things, the writer has been fenced out several times. Face it, you have tremendous power from the writer's point of view."
Fortunately, agents and editors don’t make the decision as to what’s on the menu—readers do. We are all—writers, agents, editors, publishers, distributors and bookstore owners—driven by the entertainment marketplace. Writers want to be looked upon as artists, but publishing is a business, and like any other business, we are all part of a manufacturing process. Writers provide the raw material, some of which, unfortunately, is not compatible with the manufacturing process, and therefore, it must be rejected. The sorting out part of the process falls upon agents and editors, and because of that, they are the most visible to writers. However, the rejection part of the process begins with readers and works backward through the editors and agents to the writer, not the other way around.
Writers actually have most, if not all, of the power. They just have to realize it. Case in point is the seven-figure deal—who gets most of the seven figures? The editor? The agent? It is the writer, AND RIGHTLY SO (at least in most cases
And that leads me to the following:
- Remember, you DO NOT have to have an agent to get published.
- The thing about gates is there is always a way around them. Climb them, dig under them, squeeze through the bars, pick the lock, etc. I’m being completely serious here when I say that there is a way to make sure you get published and have a career in the publishing industry. The most straight-forward path to publication has always been there and always will be there. Unfortunately, it is not one that every writer wants to put the effort into or maybe they just don’t know about it. We’ll give you a hint: Sex in the City. No, we are not promoting the show, but there is one aspect of it that can help new writers everywhere. The answer is there, if you just watch the re-runs--as many as you can stomach--and pay attention.
***There's another hint on how to become a writer hidden in this post as well. Maybe even two.
Hope this helps.
Robert and Sharene