Katherine Fausset is an agent at Curtis Brown, Ltd., New York.
Dear Lucky Readers of the Nathan Bransford’s Blog,
Why are you lucky? Because every time you visit this blog you are getting—for free, I might add—a hot cup of freshly brewed, anti-oxidant rich, organically-grown publishing wisdom from a superb blend of literary agent and reality tv connoisseur. In my fantasy world, writers who are just starting out would have all read Nathan’s informative and entertaining posts about the best ways to query an agent, craft a cover letter, and navigate their way in the early stages of the publishing process, before submitting work to agents.
Also in my fantasy world (since we’re on the subject):
-Chain bookstores would invent a device that could scan customers’ souls to determine which books they would find most meaningful (including, but not limited to, all the wonderful midlist, backlist, barely-made-it-onto-any list titles which don’t necessarily appear on front-of-store display titles.)
-The number of calories burned per minute from reading would be equivalent to swimming against a fast-moving current in ankle weights and a too-large flannel shirt.
-A new episode of The Office would air every night of the week.
-A series of industry-wide discussions on the current and future state of the e-book would result in an e-book royalty rate that would make everyone on all sides of the table feel warm and fuzzy inside.
-One could actually go to Mel’s Diner, order a short stack, and be told by a certain sassy redhead to “kiss her grits.”
-There would be enough time in the day for agents (at least this agent) to send back thoughtful, useful, in-depth comments to every single writer who submits his or her work.
-Women’s magazines would publish short fiction.
-New writers seeking publication would join a writers’ group, and/or enroll in a writing class or workshop, and/or seek some kind of critical feedback from a trusted source (i.e. not someone related to you or who owes you money) before submitting their work to agents.
-I wouldn’t have yet read Nathan Englander, David Mitchell, Donna Tart, Brady Udall, Marjane Satrapi’s graphic novels, Frederic Tuten’s short stories, or Matthew Stadler’s Allan Stein (to name just a very few) so I could experience reading them again for the first time. (I’m not including my own clients here because if I hadn’t yet read them then I wouldn’t be an agent, Nathan wouldn’t have invited me to write this blog, and I wouldn’t have been able to create this fantasy world in the first place. Otherwise, I would want to read all of my authors’ books for the first time, too.)
Alternatively, there would be a law requiring everyone, once a year, to take a day off to re-read a beloved book.
-Every person on earth would give or receive a book as a gift this year.
My blog was going to be about e-books, in which I was going to ask people when and where they tend to use their e-book readers, but then I got carried away with—and delighted by—my book-centric, nerdy utopia. So thank you for indulging me.
Lastly, I wonder, what does a certain literary agent blogger take with him to read on a long vacation?