One of the myriad things we do around here is come up with book ideas. Then, we try to match those ideas with the appropriate writers, help them develop the concept, and hopefully sell the resulting proposal to a publisher for big buckaroos.
“Well, duh!” you might be thinking right about now. “That’s what you agent types are supposed to do.”
And, yes…well, yes. But creating this perfect match between idea and writer is harder than you might think. It can be immensely frustrating to come up with an idea that could be the next Tipping Point only to come up empty in terms of who will be the next Malcolm Gladwell. When we look to our client list to create a match, we often fail. The client in mind might have the right credentials but is probably working on his/her own book and won’t be available until that is delivered. He or she might also just have no interest in the subject we’re so excited about. The other approach is to go out and find journalists, professors, bloggers, etc., and pitch the idea to them in the hopes that it sparks their interest. And, of course, they have to be available – not represented by another agent or busy with another book project.
This type of matchmaking is time consuming and often fruitless but when it works, it’s immensely gratifying. There’s nothing better than seeing your brain child go out into the world and make good.
Right now, for instance, I’m looking for someone who can write lucidly and anecdotally about mathematics and philosophy to do a book on “guesswork”. Any takers?