A Gent's Outlook

A Literary Agent Divulges the TRUTH about Publishing

Friday, September 30, 2005

Oh Saaaammmmmy, Just Like That!

As I promised (and unless I am married to you, you can just about bet I am a man of my word), here are some more tidbits for you to chew on:

From and editor
"I hate writers who send perfumed stuff or stuff that has been doused in cigarette smoke. I have allergies, and that just about kills me."

From a contrite writer…
"I once met an agent and he didn’t like my work, so I told him to piss off. Then I got published by an imprint of a pretty big house and sent him a note detailing how wrong he had been. His answer was really professional and nice. He wished me well and congratulated me, reminding me that this business is subjective. He basically indicated that it wouldn’t have mattered to him how great my book did, he still didn’t like it. It was then that I realized what an asshole I’d been. Not everyone is going to like my work and that is just a fact of life."

From an editor…
"I hate editors who tinkle away their time pretending to work. I work in a fairly new publishing house, and already I am starting to see cracks in the cement that holds this place together. Everyone here worries more about vacations than books. I would just like to see one of my author’s books get out there and do really well, then I’ll take a break."

From an editor…
"Sometimes I get so fed up with this business! Where have all the good writers gone? Jesus, everyone wants to be published, and nobody wants to take any criticism or change their work. Everybody thinks they’re Joyce Carol Oates, for Pete’s sake. It is getting rottener and rottener by the day. Do you know how many threats I have to make a day just to get the revisions I need?"

And under the “What the fuck is this, true confessions? Do I look like Sammy the Confessor to you?” category…

From an agent…
"Once I slept with a guy at a writer’s conference even though I knew he just wanted me to take him on as a client. His worked sucked, but he was a great late date, if you get my drift. I don’t know why I did it because I usually don’t do those kinds of things. But, I think for once I had just had it with people sucking up to me in hopes I would be their agent. I guess I just wanted to see how far he would go. He went pretty far. I never saw him again, but I hope he is well, because he was very sweet about all of it."

From an editor…
"I once responded to a query from a writer with a horrible, nasty note. Something like, “If you write us again, the green police will arrest you for killing trees to print out your garbage, you dirtbag. Your work sucks that bad.” I felt really bad afterward, but not as bad as I would have felt if the asshole had been published and got famous. That would’ve sucked real bad. I hope he’s not reading this now…"

From a conference volunteer
"One time I gave an editor a blow job after our conference had ended for the day. I didn’t even write what he was acquiring, so I guess I just liked him. He didn’t protest, and I think he sort of appreciated it. I let him know it was on me, not the conference. I mean, it was my idea--the conference doesn’t offer blow jobs to its speakers! We still keep in touch, but he hasn’t been invited back to our conference yet (not because of me, though, just because we rotate speakers sometimes). When he is, I will be waiting with bated breath. Literally. God, this is so naughty! I never knew publishing could be so saucy!"

From an agent…
"What I would like to know is why the hell editors are reading your shit when they should be working on my clients’ projects? Jesus, is all people do nowadays blogging? What is that all about? This is such bullshit. Goddamn it, I hate the internet!"

More? Do I hear you want more? I guarantee that, just like a busy giggolo, it’s coming soon, my dears, coming soon.

1 Comments:

  • At 7:49 PM, Blogger Fran said…

    Come on now--some of these sound like so much horseshit to me. If you really believe all these, I've got a bridge I'd like to sell you. Please send a check for $200,000 to P.O. Box....

    What does the last italicized paragraph mean--what editors are reading this place? Maybe that person's referring to the Mad Max blogger's one post here?

    W.r.t. that one editor's comments about lazy-I-want-a-perpetual-vacation editors, which is true for some, in my experience--still, many editors are overworked and underpaid, also in my experience. I wouldn't think very many have the time to surf blogs (especially at the end of a quarter-year and especially during the last quarter of each year), but I could be wrong.

    "Sometimes I get so fed up with this business! Where have all the good writers gone? Jesus, everyone wants to be published, and nobody wants to take any criticism or change their work. Everybody thinks they’re Joyce Carol Oates, for Pete’s sake. It is getting rottener and rottener by the day. Do you know how many threats I have to make a day just to get the revisions I need?"

    --To this I say: stop accepting crappy writing. Don't ever publish anyone primarily because that person has name recognition, has an MFA, has been published before, is an old friend of the publisher--whatever--never mind he can't really write for shit. Primarily look at the QUALITY OF THE ACTUAL WRITTEN WORKS IN QUESTION when judging whether to publish those works. I think publishers sometimes help create swelled-head-my-words-are-law-overrated writers by continually publishing certain writers even when their works ain't up to snuff. Like why should those writers bother producing well-written works when they can produce poorly written works and make money anyway? And then why should they bother revising those poorly written works in a timely fashion when they've already been paid a huge advance they don't deserve?

    So where are your naked-blogging pics?

     

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