Two years from now — give or take — Elizabeth Spiers, the founding editor of the gossip Web sites Gawker and The Kicker, will publish her first novel. Around the same time, Glenn Reynolds, who writes the political Web log Instapundit, will also have a book in stores. So, too, may writers from the blogs Hit & Run, The Black Table, Dong Resin, Zulkey, Low Culture, Lindsayism, Megnut, Maud Newton, MemeFirst, Old Hag, PressThink, I Keep a Diary, Buzz Machine, Engadget, and Eurotrash. Suddenly, books by bloggers will be a trend, a cultural phenomenon. You will probably read about it in the Sunday Times. And when that happens the person to thank — or blame — will be Kate Lee, who is currently a twenty-seven-year-old assistant at International Creative Management.
Lee spends the majority of her workday in the manner of any agent-to-be: reading manuscripts from the slush pile, vetting contracts, negotiating rights, checking her boss’s voice mail. But she spends approximately an hour each day reading blogs. She scans a dozen first thing in the morning and keeps tabs on another twenty-seven throughout the day, though any of these may lead her to countless others. Reading blogs on company time is hardly unheard of, but Lee does not so much read as prospect, sifting through sloppy thinking, bad grammar, and blind self-indulgence for moments of actual good writing. It’s too soon to say how this will pay off, but she represents writers from the first six blogs listed above and is in talks with writers from the rest.