Home > publishing, writing > On cocktails

On cocktails

Galleycat informs us of a new literary libation, named the Literary Agent. This is, apparently, something of a cross between a Whiskey Sour and a Hemingway Daiquiri, but I don’t care about that.

What I care about is the first sentence of that post at Galleycat, a sentence that reminds me of why I’m glad not to be writing in the States, where nowadays (they say) you’re sunk unless you can find an agent.

That sentence is: “Literary agents are like rock stars in the world of writers, and one food blog has finally built a drink to honor these bookish representatives.”

Let me repeat that first clause, in case the horror is slow to creep upon you: “Literary agents are like rock stars in the world of writers.”

The economics of writing and publishing are quite insane. In terms of supply and demand, we have a small demand for books, a publishing industry that gluts the market with many more books than it demands, agents who in turn glut publishers with many more proposals than they require, and finally, a zillion would-be writers who glut the agents’ inboxes with many more manuscripts than they want to consider, most of which should promptly be burned as a service to humanity.

The consequence of this insane economics is that the business relationships are skewed, and we forget who’s working for whom. Agents are not stars. It’s a business, and they provide services in exchange for money, while their clients hum the opening bars of Bob Dylan’s “Positively Fourth Street.”

And I’m not sure about that cocktail, either. I mean, if you’re going to have a drink called “The Literary Agent,” I think the specifications are simple: it should open with great promise and floral overtones, lead into a long, bitter finish, and then drop you in the gutter with a bad taste in your mouth.

Recipe suggestions are welcome.

Categories: publishing, writing
  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: