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April 23, 2010

One way not to get published

You're an aspiring writer, sending out manuscripts, stories, outlines, samples, whatever to many literary agents, publishing houses, and the like. You want to get published! So what's the best way to do that?

I know! Let's go online and badmouth everybody in the industry, many of them by name! That's got to impress enough people to get you published, doesn't it?

If I hadn't read a few of the posts on this blog, I wouldn't have believed it. Titled "Tales From a Rejection Queen," it's a blog that explores the miseries of constantly submitting your written work and then getting it soundly rejected all the time.

I honestly don't know if it's a joke or not.

If it *is* a joke, it's a seriously funny one, and I would love to direct traffic to it.

If it's not a joke, though, I direct you to it for an example of what not to do.

Not that I'm an expert or anything. Hell, I've never been published. But even I know that, if you're trying to get through the gates of Literary Nirvana (i.e. getting an agent who will then shop around your manuscripts), the last thing you want to do is insult the entire profession.

From Tuesday's post:

"I can tell you one thing...Literary agents wouldn't know a good novel if it lit a fire up their ass. All these agents are looking for right now is trend. If you don't have the next lame ass vampire, paranomoral or science fiction best start writing one or go find another job."

Is it just me, or is insulting the people you're trying to impress not a good way to get them to accept your work?

Thankfully, some of the commenters are saying basically the same thing:

"As a fellow writer, I'm very concerned about the effect your blog might have on your future prospects...and whether it's causing your current dry spell. I've noticed that in the literary world (just like in any other profession), people tend to prefer to work with professionals...and this blog is probably as aggressively unprofessional as any I've ever seen"

I really hope this is a joke/satire/whatever. Otherwise, this blogger is going to be doomed to self-publishing or something like that.

Either that, or she'll find an agent who doesn't bother to research an author before taking them on.

That's bad no matter how you slice it.

Thanks to Kathy Richards for the link to this blog on Twitter, and Duane for re-tweeting it so that I saw it!


  1. Meh, I can understand the need for people to vent about their work frustrations. But if she's not making an effort to conceal the identities of the people she discusses or her own identity, then it's a problem. Then she needs to start worrying about whether her venting has crossed the line into libel.

  2. Exactly! In the days before the Internet, you could vent to your friends and nothing would ever get out.

    Nowadays, instead of venting to friends, you vent to the world. And the world includes those people who you are counting on to hire you.

    People just aren't careful anymore.

    Glad to see you around, Jenn!

  3. I just read some of her posts & I will venture to say that I don't think this is a joke. I love how in her post titled "All is quiet on the Western front..." she talks about how she's been "editing, editing, editing" her work, yet she has some misspellings in her posts...maybe she should edit, edit, edit her blog posts as well. :)

  4. Yeah, you're probably right about it not being a joke. It's just hard to fathom somebody *this* clueless about how she's sabotaging the career she says she wants.

    As for the editing, she just joins the ranks of those Internet-dwellers who constantly correct people's spelling and make a spelling mistake in the same posts. :)

  5. Wow, that was what I like to term a train wreck blog, absolutely horrifying yet I felt compelled to keep reading. I know I myself have aspirations, ok more like vague notions, of one day actually putting together a book and when that time comes the LAST thing I would ever do is bite the hand that could potentially feed. That's just poor form.

  6. Train wreck! That's a good word for this whole thing.

  7. I did the same thing. Went and read a ton of blog posts and comments. What a stupid cow.


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