A Gent's Outlook

A Literary Agent Divulges the TRUTH about Publishing

Saturday, October 01, 2005

And a Few More for the Road

From an editor:

I hate going to writing conferences. Every year, because I am very visible in the field and my name gets out a lot, I get asked to a bunch of different ones, but I am starting to turn them all down. Why? Because I feel like a piece of meat, that’s why. If I go and the organizers pay my way, I have to be open to looking at manuscripts from the participants. In the past, if I said that I didn’t find any that appealed to me, the organizers were cool about it. Now if I don’t find anything to look at, they get mad and kind of give me the impression that only editors who are request their writers’ work will be invited back. Then they invite me again the next year. I just can’t deal with this kind of bullshit for the few manuscripts I get that might be publishable. In all, I think I have ever only found one that we actually published, and that was years ago.”

From an agent:

Writers always ask me why I quit sending anything but a form rejection. Well, I used to send comments or a little feedback on the manuscripts that were almost there, but two things happened: 1) People would write me back and argue, even when I said it was only my opinion and 2) I found out some of my comments were being posted on the web with writers making nasty or glib comments about them. I was trying to be helpful and polite, but with technology today, I guess I discovered that often writers don’t return the favor.”

From a publisher:

I don’t see many publishers weigh in on these blogs, so I thought I would put my two cents worth in. I am an associate publisher at a house in a big city, and the bottom line for us is that a book has to make money as quickly as possible. Most books don’t. People don’t read anymore. I don’t blame the readers, either, but rather the publishers who starting focusing solely on the almighty dollar. Most people who used to read have just given up. If they had kept trying to promote good books, then I wouldn’t have to publish some of the dreck that we get by brainless celebrities to keep an edge in this shitty, decaying market. I miss publishing books that I feel good about, but I have stockholders to answer to.”

From a publisher:
I get so tired of people bitching about this industry. It is about giving consumers a product they want, not about “literature.” I don’t get paid to enrich the world. I get paid to make a company money and entertain a target audience. Get over it.”

From a mailroom clerk:
Do you guys have any idea where your submissions go? Into the slush pile or into the trash, and so far the trash is winning. No one looks at slush anymore except desperate summer interns who are trying to make themselves useful at something so they can keep a job in the fall. They plow through the pile, rejecting everything, and then I pile more on their desks. You should see the looks on their faces!


  • At 9:09 AM, Blogger Bernita said…

    Why do I get the feeling I've read most these comments before - on someone's else's blog perhaps?

  • At 12:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    you make me sick

  • At 12:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    you pig
    you are a nobody


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