From Twitter: "[I] stopped reading a blog after the 2nd sentence, "being an agent is less about art and more about money."Actually I think that is accurate.
@literaticat tell me it's not true"
The statement isn't "being an agent is NOT about art and ONLY about money." That would not be true. After all, most agents probably become agents at least in part because they love books and reading and thinking about books and talking about books. So art comes into it.
I can't speak for anyone else, but I take on projects that I love...but I have to also that I think that I can sell them, otherwise it isn't worth my time. Seriously. Taking on a new project is a major commitment of time, energy and mental bandwidth, and I don't get paid unless I sell the thing. So from a purely self-interested standpoint, certainly, money matters.
And it SHOULD.
You aren't getting an agent to be a critique partner (though some give great critiques). You aren't getting an agent to be your editor (though some are great at editing.) You aren't getting an agent because they are a great writer (though many are.) You aren't getting an agent just so they'll hang around praising you all day and telling you how rad you are (though my clients ARE rad, for the record!)
You are getting an agent to handle business for you. To sell your projects well and make sure you get paid. To negotiate for you. To be a bully on your behalf. To support you and your career in many ways, but particularly in all matters business related.
So, less about art, more about money?