A Gent's Outlook

A Literary Agent Divulges the TRUTH about Publishing

Monday, April 24, 2006

Conspiracy Theory

Sammy-baby is back…but for how long?

I don’t fuckin' know, but it is only because time prevents my type-type-typing. It's none of the bullshit some of you conspiracy theorists have sent to me:

Sam, dude, did Miss Snark get the goods on you, man? Dude? Dude?

Hey, what happened? Did you get sanctioned by your clients? I knew you couldn’t remain anonymous forever, you nasty bastard.

"%@*#&$! Finnaly, wannabes can rest in piece, you mean &@$*! Hopefully, the blog patrol got you and you won’t be able to post your poisen again. %@*#&$!" (from a wannabe, maybe?)

Sammy, man, you want I should take care of any problems for you that might be preventing you from providing me, your fan, with the postings I so much desire?” (This one I thought was a leeeetle scary.)

Where in the fuck are you? Mars?

I knew you shouldn’t piss off those editors. Mean bitches that can’t get laid to save ‘em. Take off the glasses, girls, and pull up the skirts. That will change your outlook.” (from another agent--he's a real dick, though)

Did underwear woman sue your ass? Good. You’re a sex addict, you creep.”

…and on and on and on.

Really, I didn’t know anyone cared.

The truth is that I have been dealing with deals and deals appeals and dumping a major pain-in- the-ass client and acquiring two new ones who will net me more than the asshole I dumped. I can talk about him here because he is so blind to the fact he is obnoxious that I could describe him to the last detail and he still wouldn’t recognize that I was talking about him. Asshole.

You know how writers always want to know about agents’ nightmare clients? Well, this guy was mine. The only reason I kept him so long is that I liked his wife—not in a fucking kind of way but in a kind kind of way—who is constantly going around after Mr. Pigheaded Asshole and cleaning up his messes. She would call and beg, and since he made me a hell of a lot of money, it was easy to say fuck it. The truth is, I made Pighead a hell of a lot of money, too, even though, on the last book, which was not his best, I didn’t feel like he was worth it. But name recognition sells, and so I held the house’s feet to the fire when they balked a little.

BUT…here is the hammer that he slammed on my balls: he wanted just a percent more royalty here and an extra little bit on the advance there, none of which was negligible at this point considering his level in the biz and that he was getting way more than he was worth. But it wasn’t ever about that for Pighead. No, he did this every goddamn contract—EVERY GODDAMN CONTRACT! Sammy, can you get this little bitty change here, or Sammy, can you get this little bitty change there…or I WON’T SIGN. And of course the editors would oblige, even though they knew it was a power play. I actually felt sorry for one or two of them. Needledicks.

Then this last contract, I get him a great fuckin’ deal, and he pulls the same shit. So I dumped his ass. Unceremoniously. I refused to take Mrs. Asshole’s calls to avoid hearing her beg, and I just dumped him. There are some things money can’t buy, and besides there are a few people, only some of whom I have slept with, I got tired of subjecting to this power freak’s wishes. Besides, it opened the door for me to take on two writers who have been waiting for an opportunity to work with me on a couple of projects. They appear to be okay so far, but if they aren’t, adios, baby.

So, you want to define a nightmare client? How about one whose ego is bigger than his earning potential? Or worse, one whose character is more flawed than his writing?

Yes, I think I like that last one best, and even though it would piss off Marley, I think Hemingway would agree.

PS The wannabe re-naming contest will be mentioned next week when I have had ample time to go through the slush.

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