This morning I went to a talk given by one of the industry’s prominent literary agents.
(Don’t worry Miss Q was in the capable arms of one of her three wise men, and yes he and his mate took her up to the cafe where they were very favourably received by the ladies).
So, while the boys were picking off the menu so to speak, I was busy getting somewhat depressed by the realities of the publishing world.
The agent said she probably only takes on about two new clients a year.
They are not good odds people.
Not good odds at all.
She informed us that on average, it is the fourth, fifth or sixth novel of an author that gets published.
Therefore I have at least two to go.
She mentioned that she had been told that 'for an artist to make a living you need 1000 true fans who will buy anything you write.’
Just taking a look at my blog, I’ve got 52 followers now - thank you very much people - but I'm obviously a long way from earning my keep.
And I’m not sure how many of them are 'true' and how many are my friends who just ticked it because they felt sorry for me.
But there was a very dull silver lining to her cloud of depressing publishing speak.
She also said that being an agent is equal parts negotiating with publishers and playing psychotherapist to her clients.
She doesn’t expect her really brilliant writers to be properly functioning individuals.
‘I expect them to be a little touched,’ she said.
And that’s when I knew I should keep writing after all…