Ah, literary agents. The gatekeepers of the publishing world. While many agents are supportive and genuine, others? Let’s just say they sprinkle a little too much fiction into their facts.
Lie #1: “This just isn’t marketable.”
Translation: “I don’t know how to market this.” But remember, countless groundbreaking books were rejected initially for not being “marketable.” J.K. who?
Lie #2: “You need to change the core of the story.”
Be wary. Sometimes, this can be a genuine critique. Other times, it’s a sign the agent didn’t quite ‘get’ your story.
Lie #3: “There’s no audience for this genre.”
There’s an audience for every genre. They told Tolkien fantasy was passé. Now elves and orcs have their own aisle at the bookstore.
Lie #4: “It’s great, but I just didn’t connect.”
This is agent-speak for “It’s not you, it’s me.” And guess what? It often is.
Lie #5: “You’re too young/old/new to be writing this.”
Ageism, sadly, isn’t a myth. But neither is the success of young prodigies or late bloomers.
Lie #6: “Trim it down. No one reads long books.”
Someone should’ve told that to George R.R. Martin. Or Tolstoy.
Lie #7: “It’s a saturated market.”
It’s never about the market. It’s about a fresh voice, a new perspective. You bring that, and saturation becomes a moot point.
Lie #8: “You should stick to trends.”
By the time your book is out, trends would’ve changed. Write what you love, not what’s “in”.
Lie #9: “Self-publishing is for those who can’t make it.”
E.L. James, Hugh Howey, and many others would beg to differ.
Navigating the literary maze can be daunting. But remember, every rejection, every ‘no’, is one step closer to that cherished ‘yes’. Wear those rejection badges with honor, and continue weaving your tales. After all, the literary world needs storytellers, not just salespeople.