This conversation has happened at every agency in the world (particularly in the kids and teen department).
Agent 1: I’ve got a new project.
Agent 2: Yeah? How is?
Agent 1: It’s good.
Agent 2: Good?
Agent 1: Yeah, good.
Agent 2: Oh…Damn.
Agent 1: Yeah.
Agent 2: *Sips martini* That’s too bad.
Agents, editors, and maybe you, the author, know the curse of the “good” book. The book that’s perfectly fine, that works, that tells an interesting story, and that is, sad to say, darn near unsellable. The rejections often contain phrases like “didn’t fall in love,” or “just didn’t feel strongly enough,” leavened with genuine compliments about the writing or characterization. After years of learning the craft of story and voice, you’ve finally created a nearly flawless novel, one you know is as good (heck, better!) than a lot of stuff on the shelf. And it just…doesn’t…sell.
What’s going on…
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