"Well?" the author asked hopefully.
"Sadly, I'm afraid it's not for me," said the publisher. "450,000 words is simply too long for modern tastes – everyone wants flash fiction nowadays. Or diet books. Yours needs editing – four chapters simply repeat the same story, and it ends with a mass of letters."
The old man looked devastated.
Trying to be helpful, the publisher produced a business card. "Look, why not try these people?"
The author nodded his thanks. The card said:
"ISAIAH GABRIEL BAPTIST JOHN, literary agents."