November 14th, 2005

books

but I don't wanna do my homework

This week's Query Wars have been won and it's only Monday. I highly doubt that anyone will be able to top this -- not that I'm inviting a challenge, mind you. Just past 9 this morning, I received an e-query for a type of book that I don't represent, and that is worlds away from anything I might represent. It was copied to 11 1/2 pages (printed because I was curious) of other agents and editors. Nearly 600 different people. Two hours later that same email began arriving every 15 minutes. I have now received it 18 (correction: 19th copy came in as I was typing this) times. Other agents have responded asking the person to desist. To no avail. I know we've been talking around here recently about answering e-queries and the why and wherefore of it all. I'm trying to answer all the business-like ones and had, indeed, queued a reply to this person as their initial email met the requirements even though it was obvious they hadn't bothered to research any particular agency. However, I deleted that reply unsent. Not only would I not wish to work with someone who is either this obnoxious or this ignorant, I don't want to correspond with them or acknowledge them in any way.

Of course, this only makes me appreciate more those authors who are out there learning how to approach the business side of publishing and constantly challenging themselves on the craft side. If the above person represents your competition, what do you have to fear except fear itself? It really is worth it. Believe me.

In other news, this morning I sold Czech translation rights for one my wonderful clients. I've also had a busy day re-marketing manuscripts that were declined last week and trying to cheer myself up about the rejections. Some days they really just are painful.

ETA (5:26pm) : I'm relieved to report that I have managed to find a blacklist function in the settings for my email and the account will now reject this person until the end of time. Of course, I ended up getting the email 28 times before I figured out how to do that.
  • Current Mood
    cranky cranky
books

to critique or not to critique

Interesting thoughts from Jay Lake on the responsibility of critiquing -- http://www.livejournal.com/users/jaylake/296995.html

There is a very specific and well-known school of thought which holds that aspiring writers ought to be discouraged at all costs. And I agree with Jay -- this is a bunch of hooey. There are plenty of writers who persevere and get published, sometimes apparently despite the quality of their work. *cough*not-gonna-say-who-but-I-know-everyone-can-think-of-one*cough* I say those who are on the cusp should be encouraged by all means. How else am I to get more victims, er, I mean clients. Lovely, talented clients who have worked hard to become so. Seriously, we want the good writers to become better; to try harder. They need to hear what they're doing that's working. However, this in no way means that people should be dishonest or reticient in their critiques. That does a writer no service either. As many of my clients can surely confirm, I will always tell them where I think improvement in their work might be gained. Hopefully, I will do this in a way that is constructive and helpful, and not hurtful. To sum up: Writing is hard. Getting published is hard too. If you can't take the heat... go to the mall... and find some other way to contribute to society.
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    Merrie Amsterburg - State Highway 16
books

(no subject)

Today is apparently my day to wander through other people's blogs. Even some that aren't on my friends list. Yes, that might mean you....

But in any case, Nadia AKA agentobscura has a pretty entertaining post - useful too! - about the issue of agents and faith in writers (or at least that's that's the spin I ended up reading into it): http://www.livejournal.com/users/agentobscura/29771.html

Favorite lines...

95% of Americans talk about wanting to write a book. 95%!!!! That's a whole lot of people. only 30-something % actually start a book. ONLY 3% finish a book. Out of that 3% there is an equally small percentage of people who ever get published....The fact that if you are published - you amongst the elite. Shit - if you've FINISHED writing a novel you are amongst the elite!!!

THIS IS NOT THE INDUSTRY IN WHICH TO MAKE A QUICK BUCK. THIS IS THE SLOWEST INDUSTRY KNOWN TO MANKIND. Plus with the stats in this industry -- it's more likely you'll get hit by a bolt of lightening, while flying, holding a winning lotto ticket than it is to become "the next Stephen King."

When you lose your love for writing. When you lose your NEED to sit down and create a story - GET. ANOTHER. JOB.
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    Solas - Prelude #1 (Black Anis)