A Mythical Agent’s Christmas Wish

Dear Santa:

I know I only deserve coal this year, but is there any way you could send me a perfect author for Christmas? A perfect author is a mythical creature who

  • is attractive, passionate, has a sense of humor, and is a pleasure to be with.
  • is an expert on books by all significant authors of related books.
  • comes up with irresistible ideas and titles.
  • writes out of love for craft and readers, and sees income as validating the books’ value.
  • writes the last draft first in a distinctive, addictive voice.
  • has a network of readers to provide feedback.
  • stays up to date on books, publishing, promotion, and technology.
  • serves a huge, ever-growing community of fans and helpful professionals.
  • has great connections to the events, authors, organizations, opinion-makers in the field and the world of writing.
  • obtains quotes from people who don’t give them.
  • uses technology for promotion, getting feedback, sharing, and learning.
  • provides a promotion plan that assures success.
  • regularly turns out word-of-mouth and -mouse bestsellers, each better and more profitable than the previous one.
  • has a charismatic presence in person and in the media that imbues listeners with contagious passion.
  • promotes with grace and relentlessness.
  • is impeccably professional.
  • under-promises and over-delivers.
  • writes books that are sold in other forms, media, and countries.
  • anticipates shifts in readers’ tastes and interests, and satifies them.
  • always wonders how to do anything more creatively.
  • inspires the best efforts in an agent, editor, and publisher, and is faithful to them.
  • sells so well booksellers always have stock and never return it.
  • expresses gratitude so generously that people are always eager to help.
  • is dedicated to becoming a more effective author and finding new ways to serve readers better.
  • balances

            * writing and promotion

            * time spent online and off

            * personal and professional obligations.

  • accepts the inevitability of problems and solves them.
  • is such a paragron of virtue that Lady Luck bestows her blessings.

Many thanks for granting my wish. I promise to do whatever I can to be a good person and a perfect agent.

Yours Truly,

A Mythical Literary Agent

P.S. If you can’t make a perfect author, a unicorn would be nice. And with a unicorn, you don’t have to worry about returns.

The Eighth San Francisco Writers Conference / A Celebration of Craft, Commerce & Community / President’s Day Weekend, February 18-20, 2011 / Mark Hopkins InterContinental Hotel on Nob Hill / Keynoters: Dorothy Allison & David Morrell / Pitch your book to agents and editors from both coasts / More than 50 breakout sessions / 100 presenters / www.sfwriters.org  / [email protected] / blog: https://sfwriters.info/blog / free MP3s at sfwriters.info / open to anyone: a day of in-depth classes on Monday, February 21st

New! San Francisco Writers University: Where Writers Meet and You Learn, a project of the San Francisco Writers Conference / Laurie McLean, Dean /  www.sfwritersu.com


  1. [...] In December, Michael Larsen posted a tongue-in-cheek letter to Santa (A Mythical Agent’s Christmas Wish). [...]

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