Stuff Agents Like: Humor, Good Writing & Poplularity

Yes, of course, I got wind of the bloggers who are getting huge book deals.

And once I recovered from my initial depression, I resolved to get over there when I had a minute and see what the heck all the fuss is about. 😉

I even took the time to read an article in the New York Times, which failed, I noted, to make the connection between what Christian Lander has and what agents like.

Hello? Inquiring writers want to know.

So here’s the scoop. What agents like is simple. It’s timeless. And it’s the same thing’s that agents have always liked.

This guy, the one who started the blog on January 1st of this year and just landed a six-figure deal is:

  1. Quite funny (snarky? I don’t think so…)
  2. A fine writer (polished, exhibiting planning and thoughtfulness)
  3. Absurdly popular (could what he says be any more true? I don’t think so…)

What agent in their right mind wouldn’t want to scoop him up?

And if you can find ten minutes to read his site, you can see for yourself what I’m talking about.

I found that eating cookies helped me quell the “why not me?” feeling, for what it’s worth. 🙂

Well that wasn’t too hard of a code to crack, now was it?

And if, like me, you are not particularly funny, you’ll just stay in your own process and not go grasping for something you’re not.

I don’t think the focus should be on blogging. He didn’t get a deal because he’s a blogger. He got the deal because of the quality, humor and popularity of his work.

The nice thing about blogging is that, of all the technologies available, it’s probably the easiest to use.

But to focus on the technology at the expense of the content, I think, is to confuse the art with the medium.

And this Christian Lander guy is pure genius. So let’s give him some credit.

Write on!

[This post updated on Friday, April 4 at 12:38 PST]

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3 Responses to “Stuff Agents Like: Humor, Good Writing & Poplularity”


  1. 1 KatiN. April 4, 2008 at 10:02 am

    I think it’s interesting to consider how to use new media to, as the title of your book suggests, get known before the book deal. And after you’re published too.

    My co-author and I started blogging way before we had our deal signed and I can’t honestly say if it helped or not. I guess it didn’t hurt, because we still have a fantastic relationship with our publisher.

    From experience I know that blogging and tagging certain key-word that are hot can bring more people to your site over the long haul. I think it would be interesting to have some case studies about how published authors are using new media to further their published works and enhance blue-sky potential.
    I
    t would also be interesting to hear from authors to see if this is something they are considering and asking their publishers before the deal is signed. Are they asking, “What podcasts can we contact to help promote my book?” Or, “Which influential bloggers in my field are you going to send advance copies to?”

    I’m also curious to know if publishers are incorporating language and changing expectation of authors, contracts are changing, etc. Podcasts, blogs, YOUtube really are changing the landscape. It would be interesting to hear from others on the nuts and bolts of what that’s looking like on the ground.

  2. 2 The Writer Mama April 4, 2008 at 12:58 pm

    Thanks, Kati. I’ll take your questions into account as I revise my book. Have I mentioned to you how much I like the book, currently available, “Plug Your Book” by Steve Weber? It’s got the answers I don’t think the publishers are going to provide except for the highest-paid authors.

  3. 3 Tim April 4, 2008 at 3:47 pm

    Yes, good writing is really difficult a job to do. But bloggers actually get nice ideas on writing and get well paid. on the way. I noticed the website on good writing here, please go through.

    Good Writing


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