Monday, March 18, 2013

In Which N~ gets ranty.

Can we talk for a minute? And be serious?
I don't usually get ranty--I'm all about spreading the love and good books--but I need to say this.
I have had it up to here with the entitled attitudes.
Look, most of you aren't the problem. Most of you get it. But for the few bad apples that are souring the pie for the rest of us? Here we go:
Get over yourself.
No one--not an agent you query, not a contest organizer or a slush reader or ANYONE else--owes you anything. I get it. You worked hard on your book. You wrote a pretty masterpiece and your ready to be published. I so get it.
I've been there. I was there seven times. Seven books, folks. You want a rough guesstimate on how many queries I sent out, overall? 500.
You want to guess how many of those rejections made me send an angry email to the agent? 0. ZERO. NONE.
Same goes for contests. I was a participant. I made it into some, I didn't in others. I DID NOT accuse the organizers of being bigots or assholes or clique. I learned what I could from the critique and I worked hard.
Writing a book doesn't guarantee you a book deal or an agent. Entering a contest doesn't mean you'll win. You want those things, you need to do two things. And because I'm a nice lady, I'm gonna tell you what they are:
1. Write a kickass story and work hard on it. Revise it until you think you can't revise anymore, until you can quote whole chapters, and then you know what? Revise that b*tch again.
2. Play nice with others. This industry? Super small sandbox, folks. So if you are a dick in public, just once, ranting about agents being assholes, or contest organizers being bigots or whatever the hell you feel the need to rant about? Someone will remember. LOTS of someone's. So here's a free tidbit--when you've type up an emotional pissy response to someone? Send it to your CP. Or your MIL. Or, hell, send it to yourself. DO NOT send it to someone you want to work with as a professional.
People. You are not unique and deserving of special treatment. You do not get to skip to the head of the line--you get to work through the same process as the rest of us. And SINCE you do--it might be nice if you didn't leave everyone around you thinking helping you is worse than being dropped in a pit full of snakes and scorpions.
Ok. Ranty rant over. Just needed to get that off my chest.


  1. Excellent post! I once had an author email me to complain because my good review on Amazon had caused someone else to buy the book and write a bad review, and he wanted to know if I knew the person. And when I looked at the other review, HE had referenced my good review as the reason he bought the book, and then hinted that I must have known the author if I liked a piece of trash like this.

    I didn't know either of them. I didn't want to know either of them. AND I quit reviewing books on Amazon ...

    1. Wow! That is insane. I cannot believe an author attacked for making someone buy their book.

  2. Whoa...way to give YO opinion. LOVE that! Seriously, I heard every word you wrote and can totally relate. Makes sense. I'm more of a private person. I've tended to keep any reactions to rejections and such to myself or shared privately with close writer friends. Complaining or concentrating on the negative has never gotten anyone anywhere. :)

  3. What a great post - though I don't suppose the people who really need to read, think, inwardly digest will recognise themselves (do hope I'm wrong!)

  4. I usually comfort myself in situations like this thinking: there really aren't that many people who exhibit bad behavior. The offenders are like "butter scraped over too much bread." They spread themselves around.

  5. Preach it, sister! I think people don't realize 1) how small the publishing industry is and 2) how long an agent's memory is. When I get snarky responses from the slush, I keep a little list. That's right, you go on the list, you become a person I don't want to work with, no matter how good your next project is. This business is all about relationships (author/agent, agent/editor, author/editor, etc.) and no one wants a relationship with someone who can't take criticism or who has an over-inflated ego.

  6. This is a great post, I'm totally with you. I'll be disappointed if a full request or query ultimately gets rejected but I'd never get mad at the agent. It's not their fault. If it's not right for them, then it's not and you want to end up with an agent that loves your work -- not just likes it.

    I just can't imagine why people would reply in such a negative way. I know it's disheartening, I really do, but, like you said, the publishing industry is a small place. If you want an agent and a book deal, then it's obviously a business, and if you get rejected after a job interview are you going to go ranting to the manager and sending out a scathing email to whoever interviewed you? No. Of course not. That's not professional and you wouldn't want to burn any bridges. Why some people don't apply the same principles to writing is beyond me.

    Again, great post. I'm sorry you have to experience this type of nonsense.