My book of jocular verse (sprinkled with comic-prose pieces) is now well and truly finished, and I have embarked on a hunt for an agent (and, ultimately, publisher). I fear, however, that the endeavour might prove somewhat frustrating: certain agents, it would appear, expect clients to be recommended by somebody. In other words, publishers want writers to be recommended by agents, and agents want writers to be recommended by … somebody. Does this somebody expect writers to be recommended by somebody else? Hence the satire below.
Copyright © Anna Nolan, 2020
All of them are godlike creatures
Seeking quite ground-breaking features –
All those folk who publish books:
It’s much harder than it looks,
So for impact one must brace,
And one’s book must be plain ace;
One thus polishes and tinkers,
Trying hard to shed one’s blinkers,
Then, at long last, the book’s ready:
It’s a feeling that is heady,
But one must, and without fail,
Go pursue the holy grail:
Oh, to see the book in print
And, perhaps, to make a mint!
Now, what do those Masters want?
First of all, it’s Arial font,
Fifty pages. Spacing? Double,
A synopsis – that’s no trouble,
But make sure it’s just one page;
Otherwise, they’ll disengage.
Now, the letter, and that’s it:
You are ready to submit!
Then you notice (you’ve been slow):
“Agents only” – what a blow!
Agents are deities, too:
They’ll be wanting something new;
What is it that they demand?
Times New Roman will be grand,
Spacing? One line and a half,
Then they want a paragraph
Which is paramount and which
Is your elevator pitch.
A synopsis has to be
Rather longer; your CV
Must, of course, be tailor-made,
Or you’ll never make the grade.
It’s three chapters they are after;
Though you a good re-drafter,
You express yourself in verse –
It has gone from bad to worse.
Then you see (to top it all)
A decree that makes you bawl:
“We’ll consider your creation –
After a recommendation.”
But who from? To whom to turn?
You can’t hide your great concern.
It transpires they prefer
Someone who’s a connoisseur,
But you work in solitude:
You feel well and truly s…..d,
Mercifully, you then find
Someone who’s a mastermind
In your local pub-quiz team;
They might help you with your scheme.
You enquire, your heart racing,
“Are you happy with my spacing?”
“Spacing? Why? It’s all the same;
What’s at stake is my good name.”
“But I cannot understand:
I just want a helping hand.”
“This is what they all would say,
But I might just rue the day;
Now, imagine this scenario:
Not unlike an impresario,
“I do offer you my backing,
But the Agent finds you lacking!
It would not be very nice;
Listen to this sound advice:
“You must find a man who would
Come to me and vouch you’re good.”
You’re distraught but say, “I see,
“So who might this person be?”
“I would like a weighty beast:
A policeman or a priest.”
“I know neither but could nab
Garry from the taxicab …”
And so, on and on it goes,
Which, quite evidently, shows
How this, most amazing, nation
Values a recommendation.