The Screenplay-novel Manifestos

Less is more vivid

Thursday, August 10, 2006

A House in Negril

Geoffrey Philip on agents and The Biz:

Agents control publishing and the majority that Ive met are in the business to make money. They make their living off the 15% (and upwards) commissions. They have to eat. Realistically, they are the final arbiters of who and what gets published. 95% of all publishers nowadays will not accept the work of unagented writers. Money is the force behind what agents do. In this respect, book agents are no different than any other kind of agent--they sell things: books, cars & pork bellies. For many of them, especially the younger ones, its just one of the things that they can do or will do in their lifetimes. If selling books works out, they can retire (before they are 35!) to a beach (it really doesnt matter which beach) with their Blackberries (or whatever new gadget is in vogue) and drink mojitos (or whatever new drink is in vogue).

If selling books doesnt work out, they can take a long vacation to a fashionable beach somewhere where they can meet and network with someone whos been there and who can give then some tips on selling It really doesnt matter, for even if that doesn’t work out, they can always move on to something else.

I know. I’ve met them on the beaches of Negril or overheard their conversations that sound like “Sonny” in The Apostle when he rattles of his talents, “I can speak in tongues” and the other “gifts of the Spirit” as merely some of the things that he can do to make a profit for the church: “It's pay before you pray."


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