I know I only deserve coal this year, but is there any way you could send me a perfect author for Christmas? A perfect author is a mythical creature who
- is attractive, passionate, has a sense of humor, and is a pleasure to be with.
- is an expert on books by all significant authors of related books.
- comes up with irresistible ideas and titles.
- writes out of love for craft and readers, and sees income as validating the books’ value.
- writes the last draft first in a distinctive, addictive voice.
- has a network of readers to provide feedback.
- stays up to date on books, publishing, promotion, and technology.
- serves a huge, ever-growing community of fans and helpful professionals.
- has great connections to the events, authors, organizations, opinion-makers in the field and the world of writing.
- obtains quotes from people who don’t give them.
- uses technology for promotion, getting feedback, sharing, and learning.
- provides a promotion plan that assures success.
- regularly turns out word-of-mouth and -mouse bestsellers, each better and more profitable than the previous one.
- has a charismatic presence in person and in the media that imbues listeners with contagious passion.
- promotes with grace and relentlessness.
- is impeccably professional.
- under-promises and over-delivers.
- writes books that are sold in other forms, media, and countries.
- anticipates shifts in readers’ tastes and interests, and satifies them.
- always wonders how to do anything more creatively.
- inspires the best efforts in an agent, editor, and publisher, and is faithful to them.
- sells so well booksellers always have stock and never return it.
- expresses gratitude so generously that people are always eager to help.
- is dedicated to becoming a more effective author and finding new ways to serve readers better.
* writing and promotion
* time spent online and off
* personal and professional obligations.
- accepts the inevitability of problems and solves them.
- is such a paragron of virtue that Lady Luck bestows her blessings.
Many thanks for granting my wish. I promise to do whatever I can to be a good person and a perfect agent.
A Mythical Literary Agent
P.S. If you can’t make a perfect author, a unicorn would be nice. And with a unicorn, you don’t have to worry about returns.
The Eighth San Francisco Writers Conference / A Celebration of Craft, Commerce & Community / President’s Day Weekend, February 18-20, 2011 / Mark Hopkins InterContinental Hotel on Nob Hill / Keynoters: Dorothy Allison & David Morrell / Pitch your book to agents and editors from both coasts / More than 50 breakout sessions / 100 presenters / www.sfwriters.org / firstname.lastname@example.org / blog: http://sfwriters.org/blog / free MP3s at www.sfwriters.info / open to anyone: a day of in-depth classes on Monday, February 21st
New! San Francisco Writers University: Where Writers Meet and You Learn, a project of the San Francisco Writers Conference / Laurie McLean, Dean / www.sfwritersu.com