Tuesday, April 27, 2010

a little dose of truth and humility...

for those of you who haven't seen it yet, Nathan Bransford is hosting what he calls Be an Agent for a Day (II).

i personally think it's a brilliant idea.

before i read any of the queries, i thought, "okay, really, how hard can it be to sift through all these queries and pick out the good ones to request? i mean, the good ones should stand out. it should be obvious, right?"

yes. i really thought that.

then, i read the five, randomly-selected queries (fantasy genre).

oh, man. they were all good. and, like several other Agents for a Day, i was blown away by the fact that they were randomly-selected. that meant that probably out of the 150+ query entries for the Agent for a Day contest (thingy), most of them were probably just as good. (i'm guessing here. i don't know. but i think it's likely, considering the random part.)

and here-in lies the brilliant-ness. in one short, 10 minute period, i had completely re-evaluated my opinion of agents' jobs. okay, i already thought it would be hard, but that was just because i knew that agents held the dreams of hundreds (thousands?) of authors in their e-mail inboxes, and letting so many hopeful authors down certainly couldn't be easy (unless you happen to believe that agent wake up everyday, check their inboxes, and say "Oh, boy! I get to crush the dreams of 276 authors today! My job rocks!!", in which case, you should probably read this). but i have to confess, i just didn't appreciate how hard their jobs must be until I was asked to evaluate 5 great queries and only pick one.

only then did it hit me. what agents do is not easy. i also began to blush in humiliation. (agents, please forgive my ignorance. i am young. but i am learning!!)

so, i am officially revising my former opinion. Nathan Bransford (and all other agents), you must have the hardest job in the world.

how do you do it??

and if you (readers) haven't yet, you should definitely give Agent for a Day a look. and then come back and tell me what you think!!


  1. I love Agent for a Day. You're right, all of the queries were pretty interesting. Today I started going through the first 30 pages of each. I want to read through all of them to find out what happens next!! Time consuming, though :!

    Also, on the ones I started reading, I saw a few "beginner" mistakes (that I probably still make) that made me wonder if an agent would disregard the manuscript, even though the plot was intriguing.

    You're right. It sounds suuuper difficult!!

  2. yes, i also wonder how much of an impact gramatical mistakes have. after all, if the story is good, it can always be edited, but still...i can't help but think that the agent would be too turned off by all the mistakes.

    it Does take so long to read through just the five samples (i didn't actually finish any of them either...). i can see how it would easily become a full-time job!

    just out of curiosity ; ) which one did you vote for? i chose the Black Emerald query, but the sample pages of Shoreline were my favorite.

    as always, thank you for your comment!! <3


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