A Gent's Outlook

A Literary Agent Divulges the TRUTH about Publishing

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

IMO, MLO, No They Don't

This question was posed by a writer:

And how important is appearance in the literary world today?

And here is my opine on the subjectivo...

So, are you asking if how ugly you are makes a difference in whether you get published or not? Have you looked at pictures of authors lately? Have you? The NYT best-selling authors and some Pulitzer prize winners I know aren’t that easy to look at, I’ll tell you (but they are beautiful, remember). I wouldn’t suspect any of them getting where they are unless they are proportionally as good in the sack as they are hard to stare at. I guess the most direct answer is maybe it does, maybe it doesn’t. Depends on the publisher and what level they are at. Yes, I’ve seen hormones play a role in getting a book out there, and I am sure my reputation has preceded me in quite a few negotiations (no, I never put out until after the deal is signed), but I have also seen good writing make it. If you are worried about your looks, don’t. You should worry about your writing. That’s all. If you write really well, you make it at some point. If your writing sucks, then looks might help, but your mouth will get sore from all the blow jobs you’ll have to give. Definitely not worth in my opinion.

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