Wednesday, May 6, 2015
Dear literary agent
Dear Literary Agent,
As a literary agent you have been waiting your whole career for me to write you. You did not think it would happen, and yet here it is.
No, you don't know me.
No, you have never heard of me.
Perhaps it would be expedient for you at this point to pause in your reading of this letter to consult the enclosed examples of my work. I'll wait here...
I know, right? It's like turning over a rock and finding William Shakespeare, only not writing plays and not dead and using a contemporary vernacular. It's like finding someone is writing the Tao Te Ching before your eyes, only nothing at all like Tao Te Ching in any way, and far better.
At this point one question is undoubtedly foremost in your mind: "Why are you not terribly famous?"
I feel the answer to that should be very clear from this letter. I am terrible at marketing. Why, look at how badly I am marketing to you right now!
That's where you, a literary agent, come in.
As you know a great literary agent can sell two things: Great works that no one in their right mind wants to read until they've been properly marketed to (think, for instance, Finnegans Wake), and worthless formulaic writing that no one in their right mind wants to read until they've carefully been marketed to, like unto pushers hooking innocents like it's an addictive drug (think, for instance, the work of Lee Child).
This is why literary agents, marketers, and publishers are so essential. You alone create the link between writer and reader. You alone create all fundamental interest in any new works of literature anywhere.
It is a terrible burden!
I am here to help you.
Once, when you were younger, you perhaps had exalted dreams for the work of a Literary Agent. But alas how the mundanity of it all challenged those dreams! The addictive drug writers, such as James Patterson, were many, and the money from their representation was some succor, but it was not ennobling. It did not touch on your mighty, secret dreams. The James Joyces of the world were very few, and doubt rose in you and you hid away your dreams. You dampened your mighty, essential skills because your heart did not sing with the full pride it was entitled to.
I am as great a writer as James Joyce. I rival William Shakespeare and Jane Austen. Oh, sure, not in my use of language, or storytelling, or subtlety of expression, or power of poetry. But what is that? I am a visionary, the word of God, the sword of justice. I am just the sort of person who needs a mighty Literary Agent.
You can be that person.
I am not popular. I will always criticize the wrong things. I am not on the side of man and I do not get along with the gods who spur me on and shower me with gifts I spurn and resent. In two years of hard work writing and blogging I have attracted roughly 30 regular readers. This number would dwindle every day, but is too small to do so, so has to dwindle on a monthly basis. It draws near to the point where it must dwindle on a yearly basis.
I am a terrible challenge that no sane Literary Agent would embrace. But calculations of sanity must sometimes be set aside to prevent the soul from withering.
Your destiny has come. Let us ride out to a glorious defeat!
Inflate your take home percentage if you must, I am no businessman, but say yes. There is a mighty work to be done.