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Words of Wisdom from Agent Nat Sobel

Nat Sobel, an agent at Sobol Weber Associates, was recently featured in a long interview in Poets & Writers. magazine.

Nat Sobel, an agent at Sobol Weber Associates, was recently featured in a long interview in Poets & Writers magazine. You can read the entire article here. Below are some of the nuggets of wisdom and observation he passed on:

  • By and large, writers get responses much quicker today because of e-mail.
  • It's much more difficult to get published if you're a fiction writer. There certainly is a very strong feeling in the publishing world that fiction is chancier - absolutely chancier - than nonfiction. Today, you have to have all sorts of other reasons to publish a first novel - other than that it happens to be very good.
  • We keep hearing this phrase: What's the platform? (The first time I heard that word), I thought, What's a platform?! Well, what it is is this: What does the author bring to the table? Talent is not enough.
  • I think what is evolving today for agents is that they need to be the first line editors for their authors.
  • My great love, and where we've found most of our fiction writers, has been the literary journals. I don't know how many other agents read the journals. I know it's a lot more than it used to be, but I certainly read them more extensively than anyone else.
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