Wednesday, 10 December 2008

How not to #9

Continuing with our 'How not to' guest blogs, bestselling author and former literary agent Orna Ross explains what NOT to say to an Agent or Editor:

“I need a six-figure deal if I’m to keep on writing and I’m available for radio and TV.”

Agents and editors like ambition; they fear arrogance. The arrogant writer lacks self-awareness.

Publication is a privilege, in most cases earned by those who have worked long and hard. If you think you are the next Dan Brown or Margaret Atwood, you just might be right. Or you might be suffering delusions of grandeur.

How to know? Are you able to take constructive criticism, willing to learn, anxious to improve? “Writers who think they’re undiscovered John Grishams generally resist professional advice,” says Elizabeth Pomada, of Larson-Pomada Agency in San Francisco. “They think they can get their work right (and right for the market) without help.”

Professional publishing folk – including published authors - know otherwise.