Yesterday I was chatting with my friend, literary agent Sandra Bishop, and we found ourselves pondering whether it was our imaginations, or have the number of incoming queries really skyrocketed over the last couple of months? We’re both receiving incredible numbers, and as my post yesterday illustrated, most of them are simply not ready for prime time.
But I found myself wondering… why the sudden increase? And it occurred to me that maybe… just maybe it has something to do with the economy. Maybe people are looking for ways to make extra money right now, so they’re pulling their old manuscripts out from under the bed, dusting them off, and sending them out. Could this be true?
I’ve received more than one plea from frustrated writers, saying things like, “please, I really need a break here,” or, “forgive me, I’m just trying to stay alive.” It breaks my heart! Obviously there’s a great deal of stress out there, financial and otherwise, and it seems that for many, their manuscript represents the hope of a way out.
I even noticed it on Idol this week. Remember that girl who looks like Fantasia? (I think her name was Lil.) She really wanted to get on Idol as a way for her family to get out of their financial rut. And I thought… wow, there are so many in that predicament. The economy is hitting people where they live, and they’re looking for something, anything, to improve their situation.
I am SO compassionate to that. I know what it’s like to struggle financially… especially having been self-employed for years. As the economy goes, so my business goes. I get it! And I feel really sad for the folks who are looking at me—or any agent—as their one last shining hope. Often, I have to disappoint them. It’s hard!
How has the economy affected your writing career, or pursuit thereof?
Can you think of any other reasons the queries are increasing?
Answer in the comments… and I hope you have a good weekend!
Rachelle Gardner, Christian literary agent, WordServe Literary Group, Colorado.