Saturday, April 18, 2009

This Is Too Rich

I should be sleeping.  Really, I should.  But instead, I am blog-stalking, and I came upon this...errr...fascinating post by this somewhat...misled..."author."  You can read it here.  I hesitate to link it because I hate drawing undue attention to people who are delusional, but as my title suggests, you might get a good laugh (or feel insulted) after, if you read the whole thing as I did.  If you do not read it, basically there's this author of literary fiction who rants about how literary agents are killing off talent.  

Okay, come again?  Literary agents are physically ripping the talent from your head?  If that is true, I would like to see it.  How amusing. She claims these middlemen are evil and horrible and money-grubbers.  Somehow, she also believes publishers are these paragons of virtue who are being bamboozled by these agents. Yeah, publishers aren't concerned about money at all.  That's right. She doesn't only do this, she links several agents (Nathan Bransford, Janet Reid), who in the world of literary agents, are probably two of the worst examples EVER to put up.  Nathan especially, commented with complete politeness, which is beyond me, because I probably would have blasted her had she insulted me that way.  Undoubtedly, she is blacklisted amongst agents now.  Good going, lady.  Also, no we are not trying to "suck up" to agents.  Because that makes a ton of sense.  Maybe if I write a nice enough comment on Nathan's blog, he'll agree to represent me.  Yeah.  He'll sell that comment to publishers for a huge advance!

She also manages to insult everyone who doesn't write literary fiction. She says everything from fantasy to adventure is "chick lit."  This doesn't only offend me as a fantasy writer (as if only women read fantasy), it also offends chick lit writers, as if chick lit is not worthy of being read.  We're not forced into commercial because we're not deep enough for literary.  I often enjoy a good literary novel.  I just enjoy writing commercial.  Does not make me less of a writer, although I promise, that kind of condescending attitude will definitely get you far (not).

Most of the commenters are of the same mindset as me.  Colleen Lindsay commented too, with the kind of reaction I would have.  It baffles me that this woman would link agents who are actually very helpful to the community of writers and should not be treated with such contempt.  A few commenters agree with her, usually with things like, "Yeah!  I get rejected a lot with form rejections!  Agents are so mean!  Why not take a chance on me?"  Why, you ask? Maybe because your writing isn't good enough yet.  Have you thought of that?

Anyway, I work very hard to write too, and I fully expect being rejected.  ATRS will probably never be published.  I hope for, but I don't expect success.  I work for it.  I know how the industry works, and I don't spend my life complaining about it.  I write because I love to, and because one day, after I've gotten good enough through practice and practice, I will get published.  Why can't this woman enjoy the process of writing, instead of always harping about publication?  Oh, people told you your work was good.  My mom tells me that too.  So do my friends.  And those horrible singers on American Idol?  Someone told them they were good too.

So she should pretty much get off her high horse.  If you can't deal with the stress and difficulty of the publishing industry, then find another more gratifying career.  In the meantime, don't expect any agents to take you seriously, now that they've all seen what a pessimistic grouch you are.  That's not "being an artist."  That's being a tool.  The end.

1 comment:

  1. I read the post, and I definitely found that writer to be a bitter complainer. Just because she got many rejection letters, she decided to publicly attack agents and insult so many writers! Publishing has been a business, and always will be. Of course, agents have to sell books - who doesn't want to make a living? And agents do sell literary novels.

    I am also very insulted by the way she addressed genre fiction. What's wrong with commercial fiction? I read it, and I write it - and so do many, many others. People enjoy reading it for entertainment, love it in fact, and they want to pay the money for it. So, of course, agents too enjoy it, and when they find good ones they decide to represent those talented writers.