In the FB and Twitter inboxes this morning I found competing advice. The first article declared that, if you're an unagented author, you have a better chance of being kidnapped by aliens and forced to do embarrassing things (my words, not hers, but that was the gist), than of getting an editor at a publishing house to consider your manuscript. The second article talked about how nearly-impossible it was to get an agent these days (unless you've been kidnapped by aliens and forced to do embarrassing things and thus gotten on Oprah) because you need to be mediagenic with a built-in platform to buy your books (cf. Sarah Palin and Steve Martin, among others). It isn't that the time-honored technique of sleeping with the right people no longer works--it's just you can't even get--without much perseverance--to the people you're supposed to sleep with, and nowadays there seem to be stables of people that must be slept with, to make anything happen. Can a boob job be written off on your taxes?
I'm just mulling this over hypothetically, of course. There are plenty of would-be published authors who will become published authors in a matter of time (my cousin, included) because they have the talent and the do-or-die stick-to-it-ness to get there, but I'm beginning to think I'm not among them. For one, I ran out of gas approaching agents after, what, five tries? I'm cutting my conference attendance in 2010 by 50% (one conference, instead of two), and I've grown a little weary of pimping my book. I just want to write and get copies in the hands of friends!
Of course, right after I decided I was going into semi-retirement as a book pimper, I heard back from Third Place Books in Ravenna (Seattle)--see ya there on Tuesday, February 9, at 7:00 p.m. But after that, and the Seattle U Book Festival, I'm outie. At least for now.