Agent #32 – Going For Broke

After yesterday’s font format debacle and this morning’s succinct “Thanks but no.” from Agent #29, I decided to go for broke and approach the agent whose client has written the best selling novel in history: The Da Vince Code by Dan Brown.

Quite frankly I’m surprised that this agent is accepting unsolicited queries from scribblers like me toiling away at the other end of the literary ladder. Sometimes I find an agent whose author list indicates that we would be a good match only to learn that they are no longer accepting submissions from anyone, or if they are that they must be by referral only. (i.e. “Don’t even think of contacting me unless you can mention by name someone on my Christmas card list.”) You’d think that the agent of the guy who wrote the biggest novel in the history of the universe would be tsunami’d by relentless tides of query emails every single goddamn day.

And maybe she is. But it says something about her that she hasn’t closed herself off to finding new authors when I’m sure she could have retired on her commission from The Da Vince Code alone.

So I’ve just sent off my email along with the requested “first three chapters” and crossed fingers. There is no indication about how long they take to reply or if they reply at all so I guess we’ll just see. It is a little overwhelming to approach someone like this agent who, I assume, has enormous stature in her industry. But then I remind myself that Dan Brown was a nobody once too.

In the meanwhile, though, I got curious to see how many copies The Da Vince Code sold. I discovered that it sold 80 million copies which wasn’t surprising. But what did surprise me is that it’s actually “only” the 4th best selling book ever. The book which holds the #1 position (at least according to Wikipedia) at 85 million copies is The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis. Even more surprising than that is that the book at #2 (83 million) is one I’ve never even heard of! It’s She, A History of Adventure by somebody called Henry Rider Haggard. So apparently you can sell 83 millions books and STILL be a scribbler like me toiling away at one end or other of the literary ladder. Is it cocktail time yet?


About Martin Turnbull

The Hollywood's Garden of Allah novels blog is by Martin Turnbull, a Los Angeles based historical fiction author writing about the golden era of Hollywood in his series of novels set at the Garden of Allah Hotel, which stood on Sunset Blvd from 1927 to 1959. Check him out at and Facebook: "gardenofallahnovels"
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