Now that I'm done drafting my book and Colin is almost done with the cartoons, it's about time we seek a literary agent. I've been debating with myself whether I want to hire one (the best thing about debating with myself is: I always win). My current decision: I should try to find that very special someone before I decide to go it alone.
The person I'm looking for is so special he/she probably doesn't exist, but I figured it's worth putting the word out. Here are the qualities in the literary agent I'm looking for:
- First and foremost, you must aspire to "save the world". In doing your job, you are motivated to serve the greater good more than anything else. My goal is not to sell a book, my goal is to create the conditions for world peace in my lifetime and everything else I do is just a detail, including selling my book. I am not looking for a co-worker, I'm looking for a partner for world peace.
- You must be compassionate. Compassion defines your being. However, you must be compassionate in a way that makes you highly effective and successful at what you do. A good example of such a person is Stuart Diamond, master negotiator and author of Getting More. Stuart is very good at what he does. For example, he was the one who famously resolved the Hollywood writers' strike. Better still, his negotiation techniques are based on compassion: seeing the other parties as human beings, understanding and serving them while creatively helping them to make the pie bigger for everyone involved.
- You must "get" Mindfulness and Emotional Intelligence. You don't just understand these topics, you understand them enough to know their implication for world peace. You understand things so deeply the word Dhamma ("Universal Law" or "Phenomenon") means a lot more to you than its dictionary definitions.
- You must be willing and able to think in non-traditional ways. For example, you must be generous enough to give away your crown jewels for the benefit of greater good, but do it so skillfully that it profits you greatly. A prime example of this is Google, of course. We give away extremely valuable services, motivated mostly out of our desire to serve greater good of humanity, but also in a way that helps us make a decent living.
- You must have an impressive track record. You must have successfully represented best-selling authors, for example. I'm not just looking for someone to represent me, I'm also looking for a teacher, someone to learn from.
- Last but not least, you are open to the possibility of charging me a lot less than the standard rate of 15%. Why would an impressive and successful professional like you want to work with someone like me for a large discount? If you already know, you are probably the one I'm looking for.
I don't expect you to exist. But if you do exist and are interested to work with me, please ping me. I'm at email@example.com.