I just whined and complained on my own blog about the tough skin it takes to be an agent. But it was all true. I get so many really "good" books, but as Terry Burns taught me last year, a good book is no longer enough in today's market. A book must be great--stellar!
I'm not complaining, mind you, but it would be so much easier not to have to write an author who wrote a really good book and tell them they have to keep at it. Strengthen it, re-edit, polish, run it past a crit group, take some more writing classes, all the things that change a work from good to stellar.
I wrote half a dozen of those letters this morning. And it really breaks my heart to have to turn down a story that is so endearing, so exciting, just because the writing needs to be bumped up a few levels. A bit of work, I'm happy to take on, but when the entire book needs serious editing...
Okay, so I am whining a bit. There are some wonderful authors out there who just send their work out way too soon, and it's a shame. A bit more work and the book could be accepted.