A Gent's Outlook

A Literary Agent Divulges the TRUTH about Publishing

Friday, October 06, 2006

Enough Already!

Enough!

I am sick and tired of the articles posted everywhere about scamming agents and shady agents and incompetent agents and so on. I just read through one that someone sent me, written—AGAIN—by someone who is completely unqualified to write about the subject of agents at all. And no, I am not talking about the folks at Writer Beware or P&E, although they fall in that crowd too.

Some wannabe writer went around and did interviews with several folks who were supposedly “in the know” about all the bad things agents to do poor wittle wannabe writers. Nobody interviewed me. Maybe they thought that I didn’t care, because I don’t. They didn’t have an agent write it. They didn’t ask the AAR to write it either. Nor did they write about the dirty rotten things that writers do to agents and to each other, the things that so-called publishing “professionals” do to writers, and the things that publishers do to writers. Do you know how many times I have saved a writer’s ass from some ridiculous (or vindictive) thing some editor from one of the publishers that every conniving little wannabe wants to get published by has tried to pull? (Yes, that’s a convoluted sentence, but I don’t give a fuck. Read it twice if
you have to.)

I see it all. I see how writers and agents and publishers manipulate and are manipulated by each other. It isn’t pretty. Neither is the movie business—the dramatic arts industry—but for some reason my expectations are lower and their bullshit is even easier to spot. I guess a guy trained in NYC is no match for the uppity snots I deal with now. California pussies. They worry too much about being thin. Combine that with the dumb, easy broads and I’m a happy b-o-y in C-A.

Anyway, where are the articles about the dirty doings at S&S or HarperC? Where are the naughty notes from the meetings between writers who firmly intend to screw an agent out of his hard-earned cash? Think it hasn’t happened? It has. For some reason, once the check arrives, the writer suddenly is overcome with a pang of regret that 15% has been carved out for the guy who got the jack-off his deal. After all, why did he need an agent in the first place? His work is magnifique! The first client who verbalized this to me was, shall we say, let go. More like I told him to go fuck himself. In the early years, I had writers query me because they wanted to have a bunch of queries out, and then when I showed interest and started reading the ms, I would get a call that the writer had decided to go with someone else. My time had been wasted while some prick who knew darn good and well he was going to sign with someone else just wanted a little more of an ego boost by having two agents (or more) interested in his work.

Enough!

That also about sums up my position on the morons who are bilking other morons by supposedly publishing, either via blog or book or website or pamphlets dropped over Iraq, advice on how to get published. Yes, that includes Evil Editor, Miss Snark, Writer Beware and so on. All of those touchy-feely superheroes who claim to offer the keys to publishing success—which usually come out with the emphasis on there is possibility that you will get published and little time given to the fact that the possibility ranges in the zillion-to-one range—screwing writers just as much as the guy with multiple fraud convictions who carries condoms everywhere he goes.

I have gotten dozens of e-mails on the situation with Evil Editor—what’s my take on it? What do you mean, what’s my take on it? I have posted on this before. This is just another way that the lower echelon of publishing “professionals” can cash in on the dumbfuck population of wannabes who will buy anything that guarantees success in an industry that requires more than just being able to type to make it. These quasi-professional types are one step above wannabes; it doesn’t matter if they work at a major house or have published a dozen NYT bestsellers or that the President conferred an award upon them that states, “This here publishin’ profeshunal dun good werk and we’s xtreemly prowd o’ ‘im.” All that matters is that the person is using writers to his/her own advantage. Yet no one says a word. It’s all in their names, too—snark, evil, beware, predators, etc. Someone should start an agency and call it something like Scammers International Literary Agency. It would be a huge success. And on that note…

Enough.

9 Comments:

  • At 7:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I don't read the Evil Editor, but how does Miss Snark make money from her blog? I have not noticed any advertising on her site. All best

     
  • At 9:00 AM, Blogger Dave Kuzminski said…

    Crikey, did the ladies get over the loss of Steve Irwin too soon for you? Take a chill pill instead. We don't want you to get too upset and cause the authorities to revoke your parole.

     
  • At 10:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    So you don't think the advice offered on Miss Snark, Evil Editor, Writer Beware, etc is useful for wanna-be writers. If you got rid of them, wouldn't the total amount of idiots just increase? Even with those blogs, and the millions of How-To books out there, people still manage to submit incorrectly. I would think, as an agent, you would appreciate their attempts to free you from the stupid.

     
  • At 4:10 PM, Blogger Peter L. Winkler said…

    Neither Evil Editor nor Miss Snark charge for their blogs, and they both provide some excellent advice to tyros.

    Unlike yourself. I have yet to see you provide one piece of constructive advice about any aspect of publishing.

    Instead, you periodically post some nonsense attacking others or just vent your spleen at the ineptitude of wannabe writers and how they importune poor little Sammy.

     
  • At 4:57 PM, Blogger Dave Kuzminski said…

    Anonymous, that's because ole Sammy is using the wrong head to think with thus giving the impression that he's selling his services for those from his authors, assuming he swings both ways and doesn't discriminate. He just doesn't see the benefits he's receiving from what others are doing by educating the writers about using correct formats, following the guidelines, and pointing out who to avoid, unless he's someone on a list of agents to be avoided. Gasp, now that would be horrible to discover that's why he hates the watchdog sites so much.

     
  • At 9:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I have yet to see you provide one piece of constructive advice about any aspect of publishing.


    Since when did Sammy ever say he was in the advice business?

     
  • At 9:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I read a variety of blogs, including those listed. the only one I don't read anymore is Evil Editors... Ever since he sent me an Email letting me know he was putting a book together and wanted my permission to use MY WRITING that I had submitted for a critique.

    I believe my answer was HELL NO.

    There may have been a few fuck yous muttered too.

     
  • At 4:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I read a variety of blogs, including those listed. the only one I don't read anymore is Evil Editors... Ever since he sent me an Email letting me know he was putting a book together and wanted my permission to use MY WRITING that I had submitted for a critique.

    I believe my answer was HELL NO.

    There may have been a few fuck yous muttered too.



    Of course...how dare he want to use something you sent him, in order that you could get a free critique? Doesn't he understand he's the one who's there for your benefit, not the other way around?

    Do you even understand what a user you sound like?

     
  • At 8:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Of course...how dare he want to use something you sent him, in order that you could get a free critique? Doesn't he understand he's the one who's there for your benefit, not the other way around?

    Do you even understand what a user you sound like?


    Whatever. He solicits the submissions, he offers the critiques, he says nothing about using it in any other forum other than on the blog.

    If I'm a user than so be it, but he's one too.

     

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