Agents and Editors: A Q&A With Four Young Literary Agents
four agents and editors, JULIE BARER, JEFF KLEINMAN, DANIEL LAZAR, and RENEE ZUCKERBROT, are talking about why they love their job and what the job can make the world change. I read the initial paragraphs of the first page and cann't help laughing out loud in front of my screen.
what makes you think of a novel as a good one? first, Barer said "the one makes me miss my subway stop." if one book can make you forget what you're doing, surely it's a great one. then, i start to recall if there is any book that did the same thing to me. yes, 吉本芭娜娜's books. i love them all and i did pay the money to buy them instead of reading them on the internet.
btw, one book has to be very interesting in the first pages or i may immediately lose my desire to finish it, even i've paid a lot of money to buy it.
second, Zuckerbrot gave credit to the way that writers tell the story, which i agree, too. how they use words to set up the scene and take you with the main characters through the whole book definitely affects that readers love it or not. someone just got that talent. he could describe some ordinary streets, buildings, even trash cans as you've never seen them before. that's a gift indeed.
unlike we readers, agents and editors have the third criterion to check if the book is what they want--can you think of someone would publish and buy it? only if the answer is yes, the book is good enough. i'm not one of them so this criterion is never mine. but i do think "who the hell decided to publish this?" when i read a terrible novel.
Then again, readers can be fans of any kind of books. why can't agents and editors be? there isn't a rule that says agents and editors should publish some books just for meeting the market, even them don't like those books at all from the very beginning.