I was Tweeting with an author recently when she said “I’m always surprised at how subjective this business is.”
And my very first thought was “Aren’t you glad it is.” This was one of those lightbulb moments for me. We always discuss how subjective this business is and that even though something works for me it might not work for another agent. We even use those words, or something similar, to soften the blow of our rejection letters.
We know it’s subjective, but suddenly through the words of this author I realized how truly wonderful that is.
Subjective means that all opinions can make a difference. It means that because I love one book, even if no other agent does, I can take the time to try my hardest to bring that book to the market. It means variety. Subjective is what brings us romantic comedy, dark thrillers, urban fantasy, and science fiction.
The next time you get frustrated by how subjective everything is, take a moment to be grateful for subjectivity. It’s because we’re subjective that we get variety and it’s because publishing is subjective that there’s always another agent around the corner who might have a different opinion, and another editor to submit to.