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Calder Picks Authors and Sticks With Them

As literary agent Rachel Calder tells the Cambridge Evening News, it’s difficult to predict a hit, but when you’re the UK agent of record for the likes of Annie Proulx, Mary Wesley and Denise Mina, the ability to predict becomes easier. But if there’s one thing that irritates Calder, it’s would-be authors clearly in it for the money:

“People do send in formulaic stuff to make money and they’re nearly always terrible. Whether you’re writing a thriller or a more difficult book, you can’t fake it. At the moment I’m trying to sell a novel which I personally find quite challenging but I love what the writer is doing. I hate it when people come and ask me about short cuts. There are none. Readers can tell if you’ve really sweated over the order of the words.”

Calder also prognosticates on the future of publishing, saying that bookstores won’t die out “because they’re loved by people who like reading. You can’t hang around Amazon the same way you can a bookshop.” And as for paperbacks, they “will also survive because they’re cheap and portable. But unlike ipods, if you drop them they’re OK.”

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