Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Miss Snark Weighs In

Miss Snark is supposedly a pseudononymous NY literary agent blogging away in the blogosphere. I say "supposedly," not out of any disrespect. She's never boring, sometimes quite funny, yet I have no idea if she's a real agent or not. With blogging, no one is carding us or checking references. She left a comment that got me to thinking:

Fuck em.

Agents who think that writers talking/blogging about how loathsome agents can be is a sign there is something wrong with the WRITERS is nuts.

I've heard some horror stories.
I've probably perpetrated a few myself.
Publishing could do with more transparency.

Blog on!

Thanks, MS. It did cross my mind that perhaps I ought to take this site down after the English editor of the new Neon imprint, Maxim Jakubowski, gave me that advice in the post beneath this. But you see, I didn't go looking for the nasty email from Jack Scovil that started it all, other than by sending him an electronic press release. Last I heard, there are "twit" filters to block emails you don't want. I suppose I shouldn't name names, but why not? I've already gone through over 700 agents so far, so it's not like I'm going to gain anything by keeping quiet. And Mr. Jakubowski has made it clear he's not going to offer a contract for Beyond You & Me because "the structure [i] too episodic and the writing a tad clumsy and self-conscious."

OK, you didn't like it, that's fair. Will I sound petulant to point out that it's supposed to be a journal, so that means it's going to be episodic by definition. And the writing's deliberately clumsy, because the narrator is 24 and writing a private journal.

So much for verisimilitude.

But that's OK, I bear no ill will to Mr. Jakubowski for turning down the novel, it's not his cup of tea. And I'm sure he meant well offering me advice to tone things down and not rock the boat. Publishing's a small world, and difficult authors get known.

I must confess what puzzles me about this whole process is a determination by some agents to turn down something that has a pre-sold audience. I appreciate that there is, as yet, no way to measure that audience, but attendance at the site has topped 33,000 and is still climbing. Comments continue to be left by people I wouldn't know from Adam or Eve, and other bloggers continue to link to the site without being asked.

So what's the answer? I don't know. POD? A small press? One of the sex sites is going to be launching its own line or erotica books shortly. And then there's the question: is Beyond You & Me erotica, literary fiction with sex scenes, or just garbage that doesn't deserve to see the light of day?

Stay tuned, there's more coming.


Blogger Dorothy said...

I just had to stop and tell you how much I love your blog. No wonder you have so many visitors! Good luck on the agent search, hon...been there and still doing it. But you are going about it the right way. You are building interest before the book is even published. My kudos to you, my friend.

12:10 AM, August 07, 2005  
Blogger W. S. Cross said...

Thank you, Dorothy, your support is most appreciated. Now, if I can just get the agents and publishers to listen....

8:59 PM, August 07, 2005  

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