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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: rants, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 212
1. The Laziest Writer Ever? A Vent and a Lesson

Last spring a writer (let’s call her Jill) emailed me that she was pitching a profile of me to a UK writing magazine — and would I be available for an interview?

Here’s how the conversation went:

*****
Jill:

I’m interested in interviewing you for [magazine]. If you are agreeable, I’d need to ask you a few questions in order to prepare my pitch.

Me:

Hi, Jill! Did you want to ask your questions via email or phone?

Jill:

I live in Australia, Linda, and find email is simplest because of the different time zones.

Will just ask a few questions to start with. If my editor at [magazine] likes the proposal, I’ll be in touch again. If he’s already accepted something similar, I’d like to pitch the interview to [two other magazines] if you’re happy with that.

Here goes -

* You list Redbook, Woman’s Day, Family Circle and Writers’ Digest as magazines you’ve sold to. I’m wondering how many you’ve sold to each. What’s the most number of commissions you’ve had from any one magazine that you’ve broken into by initially breaking rules?
* Are there any rules you definitely wouldn’t break?
* What’s the most daring way you’ve broken a rule and gained a commission?
How many magazines have you broken into by breaking rules?

Me:

[I answer all the questions, which takes about 300 words.]

Jill:

My editor at [Magazine] is interested in the interview. I’ll need to slant it to UK writers subbing internationally, and also point out if any of the advice is wrong for the UK market. [Following are 11 questions, many of which are actually composed of two or three separate questions.]

Me:

Hi, Jill! That’s good news!

This is a LOT of writing. Can we do a phone interview? I’m available outside of business hours since we’re in opposite time zones.

Jill:

I’ve been thinking what the best way to proceed might be, Linda. I didn’t mean to swamp you with questions.

One thing I’m wondering is whether you’ve already written pieces that I could read and draw on, that might cover some of this.

Then perhaps we could Skype?

What are your thoughts?

Me:

I’m sorry, but I don’t have the time to write or research for you on this project. I think you will be better off finding someone else to profile.

*****

Okay, so what went wrong in this process?

Let me start off by saying that unless you are just looking for bare facts — data mining, basically — email interviews are less than ideal. I do them for a column where I’m asking for dates, prices, and workshop names for events, but in all other cases I rely on the phone.

But to be fair, I did give Jill the option, thinking there would be just a few questions. Instead she slammed me with 15+ questions (which actually ended up being more like 20 questions). I spent 300 words on the first set, and estimate it would have taken me another 1,200 words at the very least to answer the second set.

Hmm, does that sound to you like I’m writing an entire article?

Then, when I offered to make myself available at some weird time of the day to make it easy for this writer to do a phone interview, she responded by asking if I had ever written anything she could basically lift for her article. Because God forbid a writer should have to do an interview outside the 9-5, right? Much better to ask your source to spend a couple hours writing and researching your article for you.

It reminds me of the writer who interviewed me, and when I asked her to send me a link to the article when it went online, replied, “Oh, just Google your name and the name of the magazine and it should come up.” Um, no. I just took half an hour out of my workday talking to you for no benefit to myself so YOU can earn a few hundred bucks — you can spend 10 seconds emailing me a freaking link.

As a freelance writer, I have done interviews after my normal bedtime and before my usual wake time with people in opposite time zones. I have paid for a Skype phone number and added funds to be able to call overseas to people who don’t have Skype. And I ALWAYS let my sources know when an article I interviewed them for has been published, and try to get them a copy if it’s not available on the newsstands.

In short, I never put the onus on my sources to make it easier for me to do my job.

Too many would-be writers have the impression that freelance writing is a cakewalk — and when they find out to their horror that they have to do actual work, and that it (gasp!) may not be 100% convenient for them, they look for shortcuts.

I’ve earned up to $85,000 per year writing (and yes, this was before I started earning income from my classes) because, well, I worked my ass off. Freelance writing is a job. It’s not all sitting at cafes with a laptop and a cup of joe, typing away as the muse strikes. I really can’t fathom why any person would think that this is the world’s only job where you can put in little effort and reap great returns.

As a freelance writer, you need to put in the hours and shoe leather to get gigs, do great work, keep your clients happy, and deal with sources in a way that they’ll want to help you again in the future. In other words, it’s work.

Enough of the vent. How about you: Can you tell us about a time you went above and beyond in your freelance writing career? Or how about describing a time you dealt with a lazy writer? Let us know in the Comments below! [lf]

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2. Biggs Says DRM Sucks

breakingLock

Well, I’m probably exaggerating a bit with that “sucks” choice of words. But suffice it to say, Slushpile’s John Biggs isn’t a fan of digital rights management (DRM) technology used by publishers. He doesn’t employ DRM with his own book Mytro and suggests that the paradigm shift so that indie writers “think in terms of what we can give back to readers rather than what they can give to us.”

Check out his thoughts, along with some audio from Cory Doctorow here.

0 Comments on Biggs Says DRM Sucks as of 7/1/2014 1:35:00 PM
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3. The Rants of Gordon Lish

gordon-lish-580

Under normal circumstances, I would be ecstatic that the great Barry Hannah gets a mention — any mention — in Newsweek magazine. But this article of Gordon Lish in decline just rubs me the wrong way. I know a number of people who took Lish’s workshop and a couple who were edited by him. So I’ve never been under any illusions about his strong personality and opinions.

Nonetheless, his comment that Raymond Carver was “a fraud. I don’t think he was a writer of any consequence.”

Just a sad article about a once literary icon.

0 Comments on The Rants of Gordon Lish as of 6/23/2014 8:11:00 AM
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4. My Reading Rant: I Can’t Read What??

There’s been a lot of press given to a certain article that ran in the Slate last week (no, I refuse to link to it – Google it if you haven’t seen it yet), calling out adults who read young adult novels. The author of the article berates them, and emphatically states that they should be embarrassed to read YA.  This is not the first time I have heard this.  First, the fact that anyone feels superior enough to mock someone else’s reading preferences really pushes my shit-o-meter.  Really?  What makes what you read so much better than what I read? Here’s the funny thing.  When I was a young adult, all I read were adult books.  Now that I’m an adult, I read everything. Well, pretty much everything.  I still avoid pompous literary works like the plague.  Mock Dick?? Crime and Punishment?? Really? Did someone somewhere actually enjoy these dull, ponderous novels that are best relegated to nighttime sleeping aids?

 

I have been made fun of for the books I read for decades.  DECADES.  And I’m tired of being judged by what I read.  Or because I read. (Yeah, that always a fun one.  I read, therefore I must be the most boring person on the planet.)  I have always loved books, but after reading the  Chronicles of Narnia in grade school, I was a reading addict.  My uncle pointed me to Alexander Lloyd and John Christopher, and once I discovered sci-fi and fantasy, forget it.  It was all over.  I quickly read anything I could get my hands on – The Sword of Shannara, The Stainless Steel Rat.  Nine Princes in Amber, The Maker of Universes. The list goes on and on.   What was wrong with these books?  Well, apparently those books were written for males.  Since I don’t have a penis, there must be something wrong with me for reading them.  Again – really??

Then my friend introduced me to Harlequin Romances.  This was in middle school.  I loved them!  They were quickly added into my reading rotation.  Then, suddenly, I was made fun of, publically, for reading romances.  By whom?  My high school English teacher, right there in the middle of one of my elective classes – I can’t remember exactly what it was called, but the whole point of the class was to read books of your own choosing and write up little papers about them, in addition to some “literary” classics of the teacher’s choice.   I think we were supposed to read a book a week.  I was reading about a book a day then.  I think the class was more for reluctant readers, but back then, I jumped on any excuse to get an extra hour a day to read.  Wouldn’t you?

Anyway, during one class, I happily pulled out my latest HR, The Ice Maiden by Sally Wentworth. I loved this book.  It was funny and cute, and the heroine was a walking disaster. (I recently found a copy of this old treasure, and I’ll share my adult impressions of it soon!)  The teacher noticed that I was reading a Harlequin Romance, and promptly began it ridicule the book, and by extension, me.  I was mortified.  My teenage self abhorred any kind of attention in class, and being made fun of by a teacher was a terrible blow to my self-esteem.  I was already bullied by classmates (you know, because I was always reading and was therefore the biggest dork in school), and the fact that I still seethe with anger over this should tell you how much it hurt me.  I avoided confrontation back then, and still do to a certain extent, but how I wish I could have told her how much her mockery bothered me.   So, to that incredibly thoughtless teacher, whose job was to encourage learning and reading – was it in your teaching contract to make fun of your students, especially the quiet ones who never would have dreamed of being a problem in your class?  I hope you enjoyed all of the John Norman and Sharon Green book reports that I turned in after you mocked my sweet Harlequin Romances.   If you were trying to move me down a feminist path, making fun of me and my reading choices, was not the way to influence me or let me know that you thought romances were worthless bits of drivel. 

When I moved on to college, I discovered comic books.  I had a heavy workload, was working, and didn’t have much time to read.  But!  I couldn’t just give up reading for pleasure!  That would be like sticking needles under my nails.  So I started reading X-Men and Superman, and all of those delightful Image Comics titles that started peppering the shelves.  Then I bought Ranma 1/2, and oh, my!  I started reading any manga I could get my hands on.  This was before the big “manga revolution,” (thanks, TokyoPop, for both kick starting the revolution, and for also bringing it to its knees) so there wasn’t much to choose from.  And guess what?  I was not treated well when I went comic store hopping, looking for manga.  Dean didn’t have to deal with any sort of blowback for shopping for superhero books.  Only I got the guff, and I don’t know, to this day, if it was because I was a woman venturing into a comic book store, or whether manga was the weak link there.  Ugh!  Thank goodness for online shopping!  Amazon doesn’t make fun of me for my  purchase decisions!

I have another confession to make.  I love to read picture books.  I will go park in a chair at the library and read them one after another.  Some of them have moved me to tears (City Dog, Country Frog, I am looking at you!), and that is why I read in the first place.  I want to feel an emotional attachment to the characters breathing within the pages of a book.  If I am so engaged in the story that I think about the characters when I’m not reading it – then it’s a winner!  I rarely feel that involved in literary fiction, which the exception of The Red Tent and The Kite Runner, and I’m not even certain our YA bashing journalist would approve of those titles.  (One was, after all, clearly written with a female audience in mind, and we all know what kind of respect women readers and authors have been getting last week!)

I will be fifty years old in December.  I have earned the right to read whatever the hell I want. Without judgment.  Without flak.   So if you don’t like it, young adult critics, start writing books that are as appealing to today’s readers as the young adult tripe you ridicule.  In a day when there are so many other methods of entertainment competing with reading, and as readership continues to decline, stop being jealous of the success of other writers.  Labeling their work as beneath the notice of older readers is not only rude, it’s the mark of a snob.  A good book, a “classic,” if you will, transcends gender, age, and social station.  Get over yourselves.

{RANT OFF}

The post My Reading Rant: I Can’t Read What?? appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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5. Rant: Not A

I've been getting a lot of email lately with subject lines that start: NOT A (query) (question) (something else.)

I've tried not to be annoyed by this because really, it's pretty minor, but c'mon guys. Do you really think I need to be told that something isn't a query? That it isn't a deal memo? That's not a notice from Shark Week that I've been selected as guest of honor?

Do you think I can't actually read sentences in English?

Amazingly enough, if you tell me what the email is actually ABOUT, it's more helpful than telling me what it's NOT.

It's not a zebra.
It's not a golden ticket.

It's not helpful.

0 Comments on Rant: Not A as of 5/5/2014 7:17:00 AM
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6. Conservative Book Publishing on the Wane, So Cruz Gets $1.5M

Little more than two weeks after a widely circulated article on the fading of a genre, “Killing Conservative Books: The Shocking End of a Publishing Gold Rush that discussed “the gutting of the conservative book market” and that too many books and too many publishers “made the economics of their genre much tougher, with an ever-increasing number of books competing for an audience that hasn’t grown much since the ’90s”, came news that Texas Senator Ted Cruz agreed to a $1.5 million dollar advance from HarperCollins.

[Disclaimer: Different imprints of HarperCollins published both of my books.]

In a Washington Post article, Paul Bedard writes that Cruz’s advance is even more than Sarah Palin’s check after her entrance onto the national stage.

Let’s go back to the BuzzFeed piece, authored by McKay Coppins…

The crux of the piece is that publishers are basically obligated to sign up books by presidential hopefuls, in the event that they are eventually elected to the White House. However, in the chase for those politicians, many publishers sign deals with conservative politicians that don’t pay off in terms of sales. Coppins’ article points out that Jeb Bush’s book has only sold about 4,600 copies and that Rick Santorum’s 2012 book American Patriots only sold about 6,500 copies.

For example, Tim Pawlenty, a short-lived presidential candidate in 2012, received an advance of around $340,000 for his 2010 book Courage to Stand. But the book went on to sell only 11,689 copies, according to Nielsen Bookscan, which tracks most, but not all, bookstore sales. What’s more, Pawlenty’s political action committee bought at least 5,000 of those copies itself in a failed attempt to get it on the New York Times best-seller list, according to one person with knowledge of the strategy.

So what happens when you have a genre in decline? Pay a shit ton of money to someone in that genre.

Now, it should be stated that Cruz is a giant name in the conservative movement and Coppins’ article specifically states that some books do perform well and that it’s the midlist that struggles. Certainly, Cruz isn’t going to be a midlist author.

Nevertheless, this kind of news is what leaves many aspiring authors and publishing industry observers shaking their head, and more than a few critics applauding the so-called “death of publishing.” This isn’t about left or right, liberal or conservative politics. It’s about an industry observation that got a large amount of discussion about the struggles to recoup advances that face a genre and then, two weeks later, a giant advance is paid out in that same genre.

0 Comments on Conservative Book Publishing on the Wane, So Cruz Gets $1.5M as of 4/7/2014 11:29:00 PM
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7. Sometimes, Ya Just Gotta Write a Shitty Line

We write poor lines because of rushed deadlines, screaming babies in the background, hangovers, and just general human fallibility.

Other times, we write poor lines because we have to, because even though they may sound off or awkward, they are, technically, accurate. Such is the case with this Scientific American article republished on Salon.com.

The article states several times that systems didn’t fail air traffic control and oversight in the case of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 because ” the plane’s location was known before it disappeared.” No criticism for the writer because that is undeniably true.

But damn it seems odd to state, “We had it until we didn’t have it and so everything worked fine.”

0 Comments on Sometimes, Ya Just Gotta Write a Shitty Line as of 3/12/2014 12:04:00 PM
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8. For Anyone Concerned About Homeschooling in NC

I have had several conversations lately about the state of homeschooling in our lovely state of NC. And as a homeschooling mom, I am more than glad to discuss this issue with anyone who asks. Here are a few things to help answer any questions in case more folks want to know: 1. I homeschool […]

6 Comments on For Anyone Concerned About Homeschooling in NC, last added: 9/8/2013
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9. Should You Pay to Make a Book About Success a Success?

gimme money.jpg

Finances are rarely as they seem.

The sports media blasts $100 million dollar deal headlines on an almost daily basis. But it’s only been in recent years that they began drawing the distinction between the guaranteed portions versus the purely imaginary Monopoly money the player will never actually receive. While basketball and baseball contracts are locked in, football contracts can be broken at any time by the team.

The entertainment media reports huge recording contracts, without referencing that the deal also covers merchandising and tour support. A band might “receive” a certain amount of cash in their agreement, but that pays for their studio time and tour bus rental, as opposed to pure profit.

Of course, lawyers, agents, assistants, and everyone else takes their cut as well.

As a result, we often assume that people have more money than they do. Just because TMZ and other outlets reported that Farrah Abraham “struck a deal” for almost a million dollars for fucking in a fake amateur sex tape doesn’t mean the Teen Mom star is depositing a check for exactly seven figures any time soon.

All of which is to say, I get it. You might seem like a big time player in a particular industry, but that doesn’t mean you’ve got piles of cash buried in the backyard, ready to be invested at a moment’s notice. Whatever your accomplishments may be, your bank account might not line up accordingly. Once again, I get it. But I’ll be goddamned if I can understand why we should subsidize a self-described successful Hollywood producer’s efforts to publish a book about becoming a successful screenwriter.

GalleyCat reported that Gary W. Goldstein, producer of Pretty Woman, The Mothman Prophecies, and other movies launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise $12,000 to self-publish a book described as a “practical roadmap of every insider strategy I’ve learned on how to make it in Hollywood as a successful screenwriter.”

Let’s highlight the keywords and phrases in that description: “insider” and “make it” and “successful.”

In fact, the word “successful” is used about five times in the Kickstarter profile. Doesn’t this conjure images of someone who can make an investment in their own business and product? Maybe he’s not cruising a Bentley up and down the PCH on the way to his Malibu pad, but at least you’d think someone choosing to self-publish would, ya know, cough up the money to pay for self-publishing. I suppose you could argue that Goldstein’s fundraising effort is, on a small scale, precisely what a producer does: he seeks and puts together money from a variety of sources. Leveraging other people’s cash is old hat to Hollywood folks (and Wall Street) so maybe that’s what’s going on here.

Goldstein’s IMDB profile doesn’t show any projects since 2002 so maybe he’s hit a dry spell. Which doesn’t necessarily negate his knowledge and expertise on the subject. We’ve all gone through fallow periods or maybe changed careers and direction.

But the whole online fundraising thing is simply out of hand. No longer relegated to truly indie projects, charitable efforts, low budget start ups, and outrageous, outlandish flights of fancy, now Kickstarter and Indiegogo are employed to make a success of how-to-be-successful book from a success guru?

0 Comments on Should You Pay to Make a Book About Success a Success? as of 5/2/2013 11:23:00 AM
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10. Most Everything Is Terrible

Most images grabbed off the internet are terrible.
A few days ago, I wrote a draft of this post that was a snarky attack on a badly thought-out essay by J. Robert Lennon at Salon. It would be nice if sites like Salon would expend more of their energies in bringing attention to some good writing that doesn't get noticed rather than running yet another quick-and-dirty "contrarian" takedown.

After writing the snarky draft, I realized my problem wasn't with Lennon or the essay per se. My problem was more with the people who seemed so desperately to want to like his essay.

Lennon sets himself up against some comments by Dan Chaon that have been bouncing around the internet for a while (for some unfathomable reason, that website doesn't clearly date its material). These comments by Chaon are intelligent and accurate. He says writers need to read widely and eclectically, and he even suggests some good things to read. Specific, helpful advice.

Lennon decides to contradict Chaon's advice. And that's where he goes off the rails, making vague accusations that something called "literary fiction" is "terrible" and "boring".

Here was my original first paragraph:
J. Robert Lennon proves himself to be the latest person who needs to have Sturgeon's Law tattooed on his arm so he can be reminded of it every day. Yes, Mr. Lennon, most contemporary literary fiction is terrible. Most everything is terrible.

Lennon provides little evidence and little analysis, just yammering for the knee-jerks in the peanut gallery. (For a vastly better discussion of "literary fiction", with evidence and analysis and all that jazz, listen to this podcast with Nick Mamatas. The set-up of "literary vs. genre fiction" is inane, but Nick actually knows what he's talking about, has read widely, is not a "SCI FI RULZ!" kind of guy, and in any case is mostly discussing one of the strongholds of adorable My Literature Is The One Ring cosplay, the AWP Conference.)

After writing on and on about Lennon's vapid essay, I realized I didn't care about what he had written, nor did I care if he'd made an idiot of himself in public. Go for it. We all do it now and then. God invented the internet so we'd all have an easier way to parade our stupidies for the world to see.

What really annoyed me, I realized, was seeing Lennon's piece linked to approvingly by people on Twitter and Facebook, those machines of social infestation. Clearly, it wasn't Lennon's argument that was appealing to people, because his argument is about as strong as homeopathic water. What appealed to people was, it seems, the impulse to clan identification that Michael Chabon described so well in his 2004 Locus interview:
It's quite obvious to me that so much of what goes on in the world of science fiction has analogies with a ghetto mentality, with a sense of clannishness and that ambivalence that you have: on the one hand wanting to keep outsiders out and identify all the insiders with a special language and jargon so you can tell at a glance who does and doesn't belong, and on the other hand hating that sense of confinement, wanting to move beyond the walls of the ghetto and find wider acceptance. It's a deep ambivalence. You want both at the same time: you feel confined, and you feel supported and protected.

People who spread around the most bombastic and attention-seeking sentence from Lennon's essay — "Let’s face it: Literary fiction is fucking boring." — likely did so for reasons of clannishness and ressentiment. In Lennon's construction of the sentence, there's the audience-flattering opening: Let's face it. Like the guy at the bar who says, "Let's face it, we all know the Yankees suck." (The difference here is that "the Yankees" is an identifiable thing.) Anyone passing this sentence around is excluded from its claims. Are you a self-published writer who identifies with genre fiction of some sort or another? Lennon's sentence, then, was built to make you feel good about yourself. Are you somebody who's been rejected by all the major university-sponsored lit mags? You are loving that sentence, because you know your own writing is just too interesting for the tweed-spattered boringheads who edit those publications. Anybody who nurses a grudge about their writing career, anybody who doesn't feel appreciated, anybody who thinks the institutional They is enforcing boredom so as to keep the individual, interesting You outside the gates raises a fist in solidarity with that sentence. Every unpublished, highly-rejected, destitute writer can love that sentence in just the same way that Stephen King can love that sentence. No matter what, it's not about you. You are not boring.

Except you probably are. To somebody, at least. Maybe to J. Robert Lennon. (Full confession: I thought Lennon's Castle was sometimes boring. Not as boring as lots of other books, but sometimes, yes, boring. To me.)

The problem is not that most x is boring. It is. Stories, books, poems, movies, food, appliances, bunny rabbits, sex, drugs, rocknroll. Fill in the x and the equation will always be true for somebody. (A person once even said to me, "Cocaine is boring." I have no experience with the drug myself, but while I'm sure many things could be said about cocaine, this statement surprised me.)

The problem is that saying, "Most x is boring" or "Most x is terrible" lets you off the hook. It's easy. It makes knees jerk and fists rise in the air. It creates a hierarchy in which you stand in the superior position. How's it feel up there at your exalted heights?

While saying, "X bores me," is an incontrovertible statement of personal experience and taste, making a universal ontological statement ("X is boring") is indefensible. You can say, "William Gaddis novels and Andrei Tarkovsky movies bore me," but once you say, "Gaddis novels and Tarkovsky movies are boring," you have entered dangerous territory in which you have set yourself up as superior not only to Gaddis and Tarkovsky, but to anyone interested in their work. You are saying, "If you enjoyed and appreciated x-that-bored-me, you are wrong."

Are you really that much of an egomaniac that your lack of engagement with something must become universal?

What Sturgeon's Law really gets at is not that most everything is terrible, but that most of us experience most everything as terrible. A person who likes everything is a person who likes nothing (and other banal and obvious statements). Our experiences in life condition us to appreciate some things and not appreciate others. Somebody who finds everything interesting is somebody who probably has trouble getting out of bed in the morning because the potential for absolute awesomeness is too overwhelming.

Even that, though, is not really what most bothered me about Lennon's essay and people's support for it. We all say stuff is boring all the time, it's a rhetorical claim rather than a statement of fact, whatever dude.

What really, truly, deeply bothered me is that Lennon's claims are so broadly dismissive when in reality there's all sorts of varied work being published that could be tagged "literary fiction".

If Lennon had said, "Most of the anthologies used in Introduction to Literature classes for undergraduates are created with a pretty conventional and quite narrow definition of 'literature'," he'd be on solid ground. If he said, "In my experience, lots of writing workshops define what is 'acceptable' for students to write in narrow, conventional ways," he'd also be on perfectly solid ground, just as he's on relatively solid ground in implying that the Best American Short Stories volumes are ruled by quite conventional and conservative standards, ones enforced by the publisher and series editor even, it seems, occasionally against the will of individual guest editors (the brand must be protected).

Anyone who uses the term "literary fiction" as anything other than an admittedly unsatisfactory placeholder for an undefinable something-or-other ought to feel some obligation to get specific. Do you mean Tin House and Conjunctions and Ninth Letter and Denver Quarterly? Do you mean books from Dalkey Archive and Dzanc and Coffee House and Melville House and Open Letter and...? Do you mean Pulitzer winners or Sukenick Award winners or Booker winners or PEN Faulkner winners or Nobel winners or Whiting Award winners or...?

What are you talking about when you talk about "literary fiction"?

Are you sure that your view of fiction isn't narrow, provincial, and more based on your own limited assumptions rather than any actual evidence? Are you primarily annoyed that you didn't get a good review in the New York Times and nobody has nominated you for a major award and your books are taught in college classes and you got dropped by your publisher and Dan Brown sells more books than you? Are you still angry about your 9th grade English teacher making you read The Scarlet Letter?

Instead of blathering on about how terrible literary fiction is, instead of sharing links to vapid essays about the evil conspiracy of boredom committed against you, instead of ra-ra-ing for your clan and salving the wounds of your ego with the balm of drivel — why don't you try 1.) reading more broadly, and 2.) pointing to interesting work that isn't getting noticed?

Most literary fiction is terrible.

Most fiction is terrible. Most nonfiction is terrible. Most blog posts are terrible.

Most everything is terrible.

Big deal. Get over it. Go read something that interests you, and if nothing interests you, then the problem is not with other people and other writers, but with you.

5 Comments on Most Everything Is Terrible, last added: 4/10/2013
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11. God willing and the creek don't rise

One of the most heartfelt complaints from writers of every stripe--published, unpublished, self-published, well-published, hardly published, praying to stay published--is how long things take in publishing.

I hear it most plaintively from two categories of writers: clients waiting for me to do something and queriers who wonder what the hell I do all day since it's clearly not answering their email.

Here is a pretty good illustration of the answer:

I'd planned for a reading day. I have several people waiting on fulls, and I have some manuscripts I'd asked to see from contests, and the incoming material from the Houston Writing Guild conference I'll be attending next week. It's hard to read in the office, so I'm working from home.

First thing this morning I got a contract off to an author to sign. He's leaving on a trip soon and we need to get this done. Clearly a top priority.

Second thing was dealing with emails that needed immediate attention.

Third was prepping a submission list today for a project I'm going out with soon. I did it today so I could send it to my eagle eyed colleague Brooks Sherman for his input.

Then I planned to read most of the afternoon.

Of course, what happened is a manuscript landed in my inbox that needs immediate, which means RIGHT NOW, attention. So I'm not reading any of the stuff I planned to read, I'm reading this one.

This happens all the time.


One of the things it took me the longest time to learn (if indeed I actually have learned and fully implemented it) was remembering to allow for this when I planned things. Or promised to have things finished by a certain date.

When I talk to clients and querieres about when to expect something back from me, I look at my date book. I try to remember not all those blank lines are going to stay empty. And even if they were empty yesterday, tomorrow can change all that in a New York minute.  Now I try to plan to leave at least half to three-quarters of any day reserved for the things that arrive with no notice and on fire.


Almost every culture has a way of saying "God willing and the creek don't rise" for making plans. The Islamic world says Insha'Allah.


I think of it as life imitating art:

Salvadore Dali

13 Comments on God willing and the creek don't rise, last added: 10/4/2012
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12. Medicinal purposes only, I assure you


Dear Janet:

I know it has been a while since we last talked but life has been hectic with me as I am sure it has been with you. (personal details about why life was hectic)


Additionally, my first novel (title) just hit the book stores. It has been a labor of love. I started writing it when (details of her writing path.)


This book is a gritty fantasy story (more details about the book.)


Below is a critique I received from a fellow author:
(someone I've never heard of)

My intent of this email Janet is I hope you’ll give (title) a read. I also would greatly appreciate any input you may have on the story. I am currently writing the sequel.

You can order a copy at any of the following (or ask your local library to order it):

Direct from the publisher: (helpful link included cause it's a publisher I've never heard of)

From Amazon: (link)

or from Barnes & Noble: (link)


Again, I hope all is going well. If you have any questions or comments, please drop me a line. Good luck and God Speed.




It's the reference to "last time we talked" that tipped me off.  I checked my email and yea, it was a query and a form rejection. 

Thus I'm sure this was a cut and paste, sent to everyone in the address book kind of email.

In other words: useless and ineffective.

Well, not totally useless: it did make that whisky at 9am medically necessary.


If you want to let people know your book is available, you write what is essentially a query letter: you entice them to read it. Telling people how hard it was to write, or how chaotic your life has been is NOT enticing.  Your family and friends already know that stuff. The rest of us don't care.  No really. I do not care.
 

I have a feeling that as publishing gets "easier" and more and more people start promoting their books, one of the repercussions is going to be that my public email address is going to be Query@Agency and anything that isn't a query just gets deleted.

I really don't want to do that cause most of you who send me not-query email are pretty funny and very valuable.

But honestly, if I start drinking at 9am too often, things are gonna change!

17 Comments on Medicinal purposes only, I assure you, last added: 7/2/2012
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13. Winning the Weather Wars

I live in northern Ohio, which for some reason isn't known for its great weather. In fact, we have great weather for, well, most of the year. For instance, today it's sunny and breezy, 75 degrees, and I'm sitting on the side porch drinking iced tea and I can't think of too many places where the weather is better than this.

We don't get credit for that.
When friends and family move away to what they consider to be a better climate, they tend to monitor the weather back here. Then, during one of our especially nasty winter storms in January, they call up and say, "Hey! How's the weather there? I hear it's really awful." Even though I don't ask, they say, "It's 80 degrees here, gonna play a little tennis later on. So glad I don't have to go out and shovel! HaHa, loser." Well, maybe they don't say "loser," but that's what I hear.
I've found there's no winning this weather game. Even when the weather is bad there, it's better than here.
When it's 115 degrees there, you say, "It's a dry heat."
When it's 25 below, you say, "At least it's sunny."
When a blizzard blows in out of the Rockies, you say, "It never lasts very long around here."
I guess I have some options. In mid summer, I could call up and say, "Hey, I hear your whole state is charred to a crisp! It's really green here, just brought in another armload of flowers. Well, I'll let you go, you better go out and swat some sparks and hose down the outbuildings again." Or during the hurricane, I could call and say, "How's the weather? I heard you were having some trouble. What? I can't hear you, sounds like it's blowing up a storm. Yeah, it's pretty calm here. Still got our siding and everything." 
Or I could email a link to this great new tarantula and scorpion repellant I came across. Thought you could use this. Us? Yeah, here we had a bit of an ant problem in the spring. Nothing like YOUR ants, a course.
But I wasn't raised that way.

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14. Want me to buy your book?

Of course you do.
You'd even want Satan to buy your book and  probably give him a discount if he bought enough copies for everyone in Hell while he's at it.

So, how you do it?

There are lots of good ways. Get short listed for an Edgar or Anthony. Get a nice review from Chief Temptress at Shelf Awareness Marilyn Dahl.  Be published by Concord Free Press.  Those are just for starters.

Sadly, those options are not available to all authors, so you have to find other ways.


It's those other ways that can trip you up.

Here's a recent email blast from an author:

TITLE is now available through every outlet you can think of. Sorry for the shameless promotion, but if I don’t tell you I have a new book out, who will? I encourage everyone who wants to buy the book to go to their independent bookstore, but if that’s not an option, here you go:
(tiny url)




Here's the first thing you don't see:


(1) Dear Janet.

If you're sending a promo email to "everyone you know" you'd be wise to send them individually with a salutation.  For starters, that will help you weed out the people you shouldn't be sending this to.


Here's the second thing you don't see:

(2) We met at X Conference and you liked (something).

Personalize that email if at all possible.  It reminds me that we've met, and that I like you.  It reminds me that I liked something about your first book.  Or liked something.  In other words, find the something that we have in common.  (Clue: what we do NOT have in common is that you want me to buy your book)


Here's the third thing you don't see:

(3) TITLE is the (what the book is about)

Honest to godiva when you send a promo and don't tell me what I'm asked to buy it makes hitting the delete button automatic.

When you promote your book you MUST tell me what it's about. At the very least let me know if it's the next book in a series or the start of a new series. Even your mum needs to know that basic info.


Here's the fourth thing you don't see:

(4) Title (Publisher) (price) (format)
Now, admittedly this might be just because I work in publishing but I think it's helpful to let people know if your book is trade paper or mass market or digital. And the price.

And here's the last thing you don't see:

(5) Full URL
 A tiny url is valuable in many places, and email can be one of them but I don't know what the link is to.  Even "here's the link to Amazon (tiny url)" would be better than nothing.


Is this a lot of work? You betcha.  It takes DAYS to do this, not seconds.

The reason you invest that extra time:  I would have probably clicked and bought the book if it had been a personal email.  I buy books by friends and acquaintances ALL THE TIME to support them.  I know and like this author, but this email annoyed me so much, I didn't.

There is NO INCENTIVE to click and buy when you treat me like a stranger on the street.  The first rule of marketing is people buy from people they know and like.  Your pr strategy MUST include a reminder of how people know and like you to have maximum effectiveness.


 Any questions?

17 Comments on Want me to buy your book?, last added: 6/16/2012
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15. Where’s your line in the sand?

Last week Linda and I were commiserating about the unreasonable demands some editors have been putting on us lately, stuff like expecting us to work through the weekend, pursuing sources who are clearly not interested in being pursued, and waiting eons to get paid after our work has appeared in print. (I kid you not on that last one.)

I mentioned to her how in the last couple years, I’ve gotten less tolerant of these demands. Yep, you’d think that hustling for fewer jobs in this crappy economy would make me shut up and put up, but it has had the exact opposite effect on me. Some of it has to do with my cancer experience last year (I’m fine! To paraphrase Mark Twain, reports of my demise have been greatly exaggerated) and getting a lesson in What Really Matters versus What Doesn’t Matter. Some of it has to do with getting older and seeing that my world won’t crumble if I say “No” or “That’s unacceptable.”

Mostly though, it’s confidence: I’ve been writing professionally now for over 15 years. I know what I’m doing, and I do it well. I bring good ideas to editors and I turn them into well-written stories that only need a light hand with edits. I’m professional and dependable, flexible, friendly, and easy to work with. What more could an editor want?

Plenty.

I remember the first time I drew my line in the sand. I was working with this new-to-me editor on a feature story. Things were humming along nicely, although once I turned in my story in, weeks passed and I didn’t hear from her despite my friendly followups. Then, around 4:30 on a Friday afternoon, I get an e-mail from her. “Great job on this! I’ve attached my edits; I’ll need it by Monday. Thanks!” She may have thrown in a “Have a good weekend!” for good measure, I don’t remember. The resentment grew as I looked at her edits. They weren’t simple; in fact, they necessitated more interviewing of my sources, and I was pretty sure researchers at Yale University were planning to have a good weekend, too.

I wrote her back immediately. “Thanks for this,” I wrote. “Unfortunately, I’m unavailable to work weekends. I can have it to you by Wednesday. Have a great weekend too!”

And at 5 p.m. I turned off my computer and enjoyed my much deserved two days off.

I can’t remember what happened after I drew my line in the sand, but I guess it didn’t end badly as I would remember that.

More recently an editor called me with a fabulous assignment. A big feature. A story I really wanted to write. Money that my checking account would squee over. The problem? Every time I’m owed money from this magazine, I have to beg for it. I had spent my Christmas agonizing over how I was going to pay for our utilities (trust me, I’m not exaggerating) while sending desperate e-mails to this editor that went unanswered.

When the new assignment came along, I decided I’d had enough and turned it down, letting the editor know that I could no longer write for her under these appalling conditions. A couple other writers asked me if she was mad at me. Mad at me? Hey, who did the work and didn’t get paid here? (BTW, I still haven’t been paid for one of the two articles I wrote for them, so if anything I’m relieved that I didn’t take the big assignment.)

I’m sure a few of you are reading this and thinking, “Geez, what a prima donna. Just work the weekend.” Or “What I wouldn’t give for an editor to call me with an assignm

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16. I have to agree with the fans who say. . .

That the movie adaptation of Avatar: The Last Airbender should have been a bit more like this:



Read: ASIAN (and Inuit!) people with elemental powers.

And yes, I'm bringing this up again because of those racist Hunger Games tweets, because Avatar: The Legend of Korra has started (Why do I get the sinking feeling there are still people out there who will deny the Asian and Inuit roots of the Avatar world?), and because I like that K-pop group in the video.

[Cross-posted from Asia in the Heart, World on the Mind.]

0 Comments on I have to agree with the fans who say. . . as of 4/2/2012 12:44:00 AM
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17. I have to agree with the fans who say. . .

That the movie adaptation of Avatar: The Last Airbender should have been a bit more like this:



Read: ASIAN (and Inuit!) people with elemental powers.

And yes, I'm bringing this up again because of those racist Hunger Games tweets, because Avatar: The Legend of Korra has started (Why do I get the sinking feeling there are still people out there who will deny the Asian and Inuit roots of the Avatar world?), and because I like that K-pop group in the video.

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18. The Renegade Writer’s Nondiscrimination Policy — And, Have You Ever Been Discriminated Against as a Writer?

A few weeks ago, a writing buddy of mine, Ollin of Courage 2 Create, was discriminated against by a fellow writing blogger because he’s gay.

Say what? I always considered writing one of the most accepting and non-discriminating industries: If you can write, you’re golden.

I mean, as a straight, white, fortysomething woman I’ve written articles for minority college grads, gay men, moms (well before I became one myself), and kids. As long as I had good ideas and could write them up in a compelling way, no one cared about my age, ethnicity, parenthood status, sexual orientation, or anything else.

So I was shocked to hear this story from Ollin. He’s a great writer with ideas worth sharing, and that’s all that should matter to potential clients and bloggers in search of guest posts.

Ollin posted his nondiscrimination policy, and I thought I’d chime in with my own. (I’m sure Ollin won’t mind if I steal parts of his nondiscrimination policy for mine.)

The Renegade Writer Blog is committed to the principle of equal opportunity when it comes to choosing its guest bloggers and choosing who gets to engage in discussions. Everybody is welcome to share and read the content provided here. This blog does not discriminate against individuals on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, age, genetic information, veteran status, ancestry, or national or ethnic origin.

I’m thrilled that The Renegade Writer attracts such a broad and diverse readership. Thank you to everyone for reading this blog, sharing its content, and participating in the Comments.

How about you — do you feel that the writing industry is generally accepting and non-discriminating? Have you ever been discriminated against as a writer because of your gender, age, sexual orientation, ethnicity or anything else? Please post in the Comments below.

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19. The Number One Thing Holding You Back from Freelance Writing Success

It’s your attitude.

At the risk of sounding like a Norman Vincent Peale wannabe: If you have a negative attitude towards your job, you probably won’t do very well at it.

I know the writing business is hard, and it’s getting harder all the time. But you can’t discount the fact that there are thousands of magazines and online markets filled with articles that are written by freelancers. Someone is writing those articles…why can’t it be you?

And it’s true that articles are getting shorter, some magazines are going belly-up, and online markets often pay crap. But many writers have adapted. They’re learning to create videos and find photos for their online markets, are diversifying so they don’t rely 100% on magazines, and are finding new, creative ways to market themselves.

Heck, I’ve adapted. Instead of whining that content mills pay one cent per word or national magazines are PITAs or editors often don’t reply to pitches — I worked hard to find a stable of clients that aren’t PITAs, that pay well, and whose editors do respond to pitches. They’re out there. Also, over the years I’ve developed a talent for writing well quickly and being able to switch between projects easily, so I can still make good money by writing more in volume than I used to.

Sometimes I say that anyone who can write can become a freelance writer, but that’s only partly true. Anyone with decent writing skills, good ideas, professionalism, the ability to learn, and a good attitude can be a successful writer. If you’re a fabulous writer and as professional as they come, but you get angry or resentful every time you get a rejection, or when you go through a slow period, or when you see other freelancers seemingly getting all the breaks, you’ll have a hard time being successful.

If you approach your work with a sense or resentment, desperation, or anger, that will come across in your communications with your editors and clients.

So how do you develop a good attitude? Think about everything in your career you’re grateful for. For example: As a freelancer, you get to work where you want, when you want. If you have kids, you get to spend more time with them than if you had a 9-5 job because you can work after hours. You probably love writing (though I know some successful freelancers who don’t…myself included!). You get to interview interesting people on fascinating subjects. Within reason, you control your income. And some say that a bad day at freelancing is better than a good day in a 9-5 cubicle.

I learned this from my life coach Kristin Taliaferro. I told her that I dislike doing interviews, which are a big part of my responsibilities as a writer. She pointed out that resenting interviews could be holding me back, and suggested that one minute before an interview, I consider how grateful I am that these interviews are part of what offers me the opportunity to do a job I like and live a lifestyle I love.

Freelance writing is hard, but all jobs are hard. They’re just hard in different ways. If you want to succeed, quit the kvetching and remind yourself why you wanted to be a freelancer in the first place. [lf]

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20. Um, isn't this blackface???



Nylon is my favorite magazine and Michelle Phan is a YouTube beauty guru that I respect, but this just feels WRONG. As someone in the comments section of the video has already pointed out, blackface has deep, deep roots in racism. Nylon and Ms. Phan should have known better.

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21. Do You Write for Cheap? Read This.

I’m taking off for the month of September while I try to build up HappyFit, the personal training and wellness coaching side of my business. During that time, I plan to run some oldie-but-goodie posts that you may not have seen. I hope you enjoy this one!

I was recently on a writer’s forum where a writer posted that he was writing articles for a penny a word and wondering if that was wise. The other posters shared that they also write for a penny a word, and boast that they can bang out the articles quickly so it’s worth it for them on a per-hour basis.

I decided to run some numbers. Keep in mind that these are all estimates and based on my own sketchy knowledge of how much my expenses are, how many weeks people work per year, etc. Also, keep in mind that freelance writers typically aren’t working on paying work 40 hours per week, so the income I figured for freelancers would be even lower.

The minimum wage here in New Hampshire is $7.25 per hour. If you work 40 hours per week at minimum wage for 49 weeks (leaving some time for vacation and sick days), that’s $14,210 per year.

If you could research and write, say, a 1,000-word article in an hour, that would earn you $10 per hour. If you work as a writer for $10 per hour for 49 weeks, that’s $19,600 per year. But wait…being a freelancer, I pay $1,800 per year for my own (crappy) health insurance, and let’s give a conservative guess of $5,000 annually for expenses, including computer equipment, office supplies, mortgage and utilities just for my office space, etc. If I subtract that from the yearly freelance pay, that’s $12,800 per year — less than minimum wage!

Now, I realize that some people do freelance writing as a supplement to their full-time jobs, or they’re supported by a spouse and their freelancing income is fun money. For me, though, working at a penny a word is simply not sustainable.

Also, why write for a penny a word when, with some thought, you can easily earn 10 times as much: 10 cents per word, which you would earn at some small trade magazines? Then you’d be making $100 per hour.

Writing is undervalued by many. But if businesses that use writing value the work, skill, and knowledge that goes into a 1,000-word article at a measly $10, it’s partly because there are hordes of writers willing to write for that much!

However, I don’t believe that if people weren’t working for these bottom-feeders, wages for writers would rise. There’s no way that someone currently paying a penny a word would raise rates to a much more reasonable $1 per word (or even 10 cents per word!) because writers refuse to work for a penny a word — he would simply disappear.

If you’re a good writer, persistent, and professional, you can earn $50,000, $100,000, $200,000 per year and more. And yes, I do know someone who earns $200,000 per year writing magazine articles and corporate communications.

You also don’t need to start at a penny a word and “work your way up.” My first assignment, back in 1996, paid $500. And no, that was not a fluke, and no, I was not just lucky. I pitched magazines that paid a reasonable amount because it never occurred to me that the effort and skill I put into an article would be worth mere pennies. I wrote a query that sold, and I deserved to be paid a decent sum for my idea, skills, time, effort, and knowledge.

Of course, I’m not at the top of the pay scale by any means, though I make a very comfortable living as the main breadwinner for our family. My minimum rate for articles is 50 cents per word

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22. How to Ask for Help Without Pissing Off Other Writers

I’m on sabbatical from writing in September and am running reprints. Based on an experience I had recently, I thought this one was worth another look. Enjoy!

A couple of things happened today that inspired this post. First, someone posted on a forum for professional writers asking for tips on how to get started as a freelancer. This, of course, caused many pro writers to become PO’d. (Why expect professionals to spend hours giving you advice that you can find in countless books and websites?)

Second, someone e-mailed me today asking for a list I compiled of magazines that assign health articles, which I mentioned on a different forum (the list was part of a handout for Diana’s and my Canyon Ranch presentation). When I sent her the list, which included about 30 magazines with their snail mail addresses, URLs, phone numbers, and e-mail formats, she wrote back lamenting that the list didn’t include editor names. (Oh, I’m sorry that the free information that I provided was not up to your exacting standards.)

Most of the people who write to me asking for help and advice are professional and polite. I don’t mind answering a brief question or two, and the asker often writes back later to let me know how he fared using my advice (which is gratifying). Everybody wins! But based on these two situations today, I think some writers need a lesson in how to ask for advice.

1. Let the writer know that you respect her time.

A little groveling never hurt anyone. Some aspiring writers start their e-mails by saying, “I know you’re busy, but I was wondering if you had a minute to answer my question.” Others launch into a list of questions without acknowledging that they’re asking the writer to spend her otherwise billable time helping out a stranger. Guess which ones get answered?

2. Keep it short.

Try to distill your question down to just a few sentences. This is good practice for all kinds of writing, and is also more likely to generate a response than a rambling recounting of your life as a writer.

3. Be specific.

A question like “How do I write a query?” would take the writer hours to answer; after all, there are entire books on the subject. Keep your questions as specific as possible.

4. Don’t poach.

Many professional writers have writing books or e-books or offer writing e-courses. Don’t ask a bunch of questions that the writer answers in her book or course. For example, don’t write to Jenna Glatzer, author of The Street Smart Writer, asking “How can I avoid writing scams?” Don’t write to Kelly James-Enger, author of Six Figure Freelancing, to ask how to boost your writing income. Most writers hate to say “Buy my book” but — buy their books! (I’m using Jenna and Kelly as hypothetical examples here; they haven’t expressed any grievances to me about writers asking for advice, and this tip applies to all authors.)

5. Do your research.

If you post on a forum (or e-mail a writer) to ask “How do I get started?” you might as well wear a flashing sign that says, “Flame Me!” Read the forum archives, do a Google search, pick up some writing books at the bookstore or library, and read magazines like Writer’s Digest and The Writer. Lurk on forums until you have a good idea of what kinds of posts are and aren&rsq

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23. Why I Started This Blog: The Danger of A Single Story

Shweta Ganesh Kumar shared with me this TED Talk from novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie about how "a single story" about another person or country can cause critical misunderstanding, and I felt that the talk really reflected why I started this blog. Please watch it below, if you haven't already:



I sometimes teach creative writing to children and teens and have been very shocked to see that the first impulse of my students - all Filipinos or Chinese Filipinos ages 11-15 - is to write stories featuring characters with blond hair and blue eyes. It seems that, like the seven-year-old Adichie, my students have "a single story" about what literature is and do not think that people like them can exist in literature. (Needless to say, I am now trying to expose my students to more Filipino literature and literature from other Asian countries.)

I blog because our students, nieces and nephews, children, grandchildren, and godchildren NEED AND DESERVE more than "a single story" about Asia and more than "a single story" about each Asian country. And I am really grateful that you are here reading this blog, because that means you reject "the single story" about Asia and "the single story" about each Asian country.

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24. On Lazy Writers

I’m taking off for the month of September while I try to build up HappyFit, the personal training and wellness coaching side of my business. During that time, I plan to run some oldie-but-goodie posts that you may not have seen. I hope you enjoy this one!

Three weeks ago, a writer (let’s call him Jack) e-mailed me asking for the contact information of the editor at a magazine I wrote for. I told Jack that I no longer write for the magazine and that the editor had changed since I last worked for them — but that the magazine was published by 123 Custom Publishing, and he could contact them for information. I didn’t hear back from the writer with a thanks (or anything else).

Fast forward to yesterday. A friend of mine who writes for the same magazine told me that she heard from this same writer asking for information on who to pitch.

There are two ways Jack could handle the situation of not knowing who to pitch:

1. He could go to 123custompublishing.com, get their phone number, call, and ask for the name of the editor at X magazine. He could then call or e-mail the editor to introduce himself. Time elapsed: 10 minutes.

2. He could ignore the valuable information I shared, wait three weeks, and then contact another writer for the magazine, hoping that since I failed him, this writer would be able to hand him the editor’s contact info on a silver platter. Time elapsed: Three weeks.

If he had chosen course #1, Jack might have had an assignment by now. But since he chose course #2 (and my writer friend also didn’t know the name of the new editor), he wasted three weeks, still has zero information, and will need to either contact yet another writer from the masthead or simply give up.

The writers who win assignments are those who are willing to show a little initiative and research ability to get them — that is, the ability to look up information online and pick up the phone. For example, a few months ago I wanted to pitch a custom health publication I saw at a friend’s house. The only contact information listed on the masthead was the editor-in-chief’s phone number. I called her and introduced myself, and she asked for clips, which I sent. I forgot all about this exchange, and then last week the editor called out of the blue to offer me a $1,000 assignment. All because I had picked up the phone. Would I have gotten an assignment if I had relied on other people to hand me the information I needed (and ignored the clues they did provide)?

Now, I’m not saying you should never ask other writers for editors’ contact information, but it should be a last resort after you used your research skills to try to find that information yourself. I know that it’s scary to call an editor or a magazine’s editorial department, but for us writers who have something to sell, the ability to fight the fear and go after the sale is a worthwhile skill to develop. [lf]

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25. Mama said there'd be daze like this

Lit Agent Victoria Marini tweeted the link to a Gawker post about a clearly insane person claiming to be a lit agent (here) which made me reach for the bourbon, just as an incoming email  from Amazing Editor persuaded me to make it a double.  Here's what AE sent:


 So, the same person who sent me (and four other editors here simultaneously) the query on the [redacted] novel, sent me a query today for…something.  But what got my attention was the book’s “genre” as: Fiction, Fantasy, Literary, Historical, Romance, Suspense



It's SuperBook! It appeals to everyone! Except of course, anyone who actually knows what they're doing.

18 Comments on Mama said there'd be daze like this, last added: 11/30/2011
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