How does this keep happening to me? Once again I have passed up on a novel that has gone on to be a bestseller. I feel like the kind of person that was offered 1000 stocks in tech company ‘Fruit’ for a few cents in the 1980s and passed it up. Or could have bought 500 Batcoins for a few bucks. You’d be rich beyond your wildest dreams. I’m starting to think that my taste in books is just horrible. But come on, you can’t tell me a book about fixing cars that subverts into a time travel story in the last chapter, or a plumbing novel that has no tension is what the market actually wants, can you? What’s next, a novel about the best Melbourne property conveyancing firm?
Maybe I’m just out of touch. Is that what people really want to read these days? I don’t represent authors of science fiction and fantasy, but that’s starting to look more appealing to me after all these failures. I guess I just have a bad taste in upmarket and literary fiction. Maybe I need to forget about my quest for the great Australian novel altogether. Alternatively, when I get a query about property sales and a section 32 statement, I’ll jump on it, whether I think it’s a good novel or not. I suppose selling houses is what everyone is into these days.
It’s disheartening, seeing all these deals on books that I passed up. I’m yet to sign a single client, which means I’m not actually making any money as a literary agent. Was I too quick to quit my job in publishing? Everyone laughed at me when I said I was going to be an agent. I have the connections, though, so why can’t it work? Well, apparently my taste in books is terrible. That certainly isn’t helping me. Hopefully, I find a writer that’s perfect for me soon.
– Janet McCallom