Monday, April 2, 2007

FEATURED AGENT INTERVIEW: Daniel Lazar 'Writer House Literary Agency'

In lieu of a personal photo, Mr. Lazar has supplied a client's book cover.

E.I. What is the publishing climate now for first time literary authors as compared to when you started the business? In what ways does it differ from the current genre climate?

D. Lazar : The climate hasn't really changed. There's a lot of bemoaning about how hard fiction is -- all fiction -- but still, novels still break out in the bookstores, and agents are still making big sales to publishers eager to make big new careers.

In general, genre fiction (which is not a judgment of a writer's quality, since it's a matter of fact that every genre has its stellar talents that should & do transcend any crass label) can be an easier sell, I suppose, because the package and channels are little more evident.

A thriller is a more specific kind of novel than just a "novel." I think across the board the stakes are higher, in that the hits are hitting bigger, and the books that fail, because they're set up so spectacularly, fail bigger.

Also, the bigger accounts (B&N especially) have a great deal of sway in a book's production, from the jacket to the title to the existence of the book in its stores at all! But by all accounts, publishing is a cyclical beast and what is failing today could be hot again tomorrow. Power to the readers.

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