Now I will be the first to admit that I don't know everything about the publishing industry. Agents like to project that aura--it's good for business, after all--but there's always a ton to learn. And the fact that we can continue learning about our field is a good thing.
Which is why I absolutely loved this blog post by Andrew Wheeler, who I've met briefly in person, and liked quite a bit.
It's about the marketing end of the book business, the rationale behind how buyers pick books, and a nice dose of bookselling history too.
Absolutely recommended reading.
PS: Jodi, my slush-reading goddess, offers the opinion that that's a depressing blog post. It is in some ways, but face it people, it's better to be realistic than to imagine that your book is going to fly into la-la land and sell 10,000 copies off the bat as a hardcover.