Monday, June 20, 2005

Slot me, baby, one more time!

OK, so just what IS the novel Beyond You & Me? Is it "chick lit" because it?s about a 24 year-old woman? Smut because it has several sex scenes that go beyond "... and then he made passionate love to me"?

It's human to classify, and the publishing industry, despite outward appearances, is eminently human. In fact, the profusion of descriptors is quite breathtaking. There's "chick lit," "hen lit" (presumably for older women who no longer view themselves as chicks).... Hey, it's hard to see oneself as a chick with grown children or after that first face lift. There's also "femoir" (a memoir by a woman), etc. Thanks to agent Katherine Sands for providing these and other categories at a recent writers conference at the Small Press Center in NYC.

Writers conferences. They tend to equal feeding frenzy by the wannabees in the minds of many in the business. Yes, all of us trying to break into book publishing follow the advice of the "how to" books and web sites by attending conferences. And one can only hope that you don?t get Joelle Delburgo or an agent like her, who was overheard at a cocktail party saying how dreadful such conferences are when attended by the unpublished.

I'm sure it's a bummer having writers trying to get you to represent them, only the publishers have made getting into print without an agent virtually impossible.

I hate conundrums, don't you?