Excuse Me But Your Snark Is Showing

April 22, 2009 at 6:02 pm 5 comments


I need to start off by saying I loathe blanket statements. I hate rules in general, but they definitely serve a purpose. I try to avoid giving advice because it often crosses the line into blanket statements without eWoman holding typewriter.ver considering exceptions.

But, lately, the tension in the publishing world has made me uncomfortable. A lot of blanket statements have been thrown around. Some I agree with, be ‘professional’. Some, um, no, “never air your dirty laundry, it’s unprofessional”. For me it depends on the dirty laundry.

This of course is just my opinion, but telling authors to shut their whining trap feels a little too much like telling a victim of rape to get over it. The example may seem overblown, but I think not for what I’ve seen going on. Blanket statements that everyone who participated in #agentfail *or queryfail/queryday* are unprofessional.

Um, no.

That blanket statement included people who had agents that should have been reported to AAR. But since that wide net was cast someone who didn’t read the comments will take that advice and run with it. Not only that, but you’ve just told someone who was in fact treated horridly by an agent–You should have done something better with your time than to complain. Or when some pointed fingers and sneer at agents/editors for blogging, tweeting, or anything other activity that doesn’t involve being chained to a desk finding the great American Novelist.

Excuse me, but your snark is showing.

Blanket statements that holding certain agents/editors to the same standard of professionalism that writers adhere to is ridiculous. Um, no. See the problem is when someone issues this blanket statement you’ve included agents who write their rejection on the query the author sent. You’ve included unacceptable behavior witnessed at conferences. Or any sort of behavior that would start an industry kerfuffle if it wasn’t agent/editor but an author.

Now let’s include blanket statements that agents/editors are ruining publishing one sale at a time…Um, no. Some agents represent authors that write marketable novels. Just like some, and those might include agents in the former statement, represent authors and/or books they believe in. Some people should understand editors buy those novels for their publishers. And, the thing that is forgotten in blanket statements–publishers buy books based on where the readers (might and usually will) put their dollars.
Now, I do agree there are places and times to air grievances. There is a line one should never cross, but to say, in a blanket sort of matter, that there is never a time or place and the line starts the moment you have anything negative to say…Um, NO!

Overall, what I’m finding truly uncomfortable in this climate is that some are drawing lines in the sand. Definitely their prerogative, but the way I see it authors need agents and publishers. *some may disagree with the needing agents, but sooner or later you might need one* Agents need authors and publishers. Publishers need authors and agents. There is no way to cut out the middleman ’cause there is no middleman. I’m not saying play nice. Too much PC makes it hard for honesty to ever see the light of day.

How about not casting a net? How about specifics? How about we just go out for drinks ‘cause the economy isn’t getting any better internetaddictionand our tempers are getting shorter and for goodness sakes, why can’t we all just get along. Or step away from the computer for a while.

Okay, really, how about a little less snark *for those blanket statement lovers*.

Yeah, me, saying a little less snark, things have to be bad.


Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

Why Did I have to Open Pandora’s Box? Guilty Pleasures

5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Kwana  |  April 23, 2009 at 1:19 am

    Love this post. I can’t stand blanket statements either and yes sometimes you can air a bit. Not to me mean but if speaking the truth then speak.

  • 2. Melissa Blue  |  April 23, 2009 at 5:56 am

    Honesty has too often been confused with being unprofessional and mean. I think it’s a shame, because someone can only get better when told the truth. The problem is everything in this industry is subjective.

    Anyway, I appreciate you stopping by the blog. I loved yours.

  • 3. Amie Stuart  |  April 25, 2009 at 12:35 pm

    >>Honesty has too often been confused with being unprofessional and mean.

    I’m sorry but this is NOT an easy business. If you can’t handle the heat, if you can’t handle the things agents and editors say online, well, here’s a hankie, go blow your nose. I saw NOTHING wrong with the original agent-fail. And found the whole “OMG they’re SO MEANNNNNNNN” spiking my annoying meter about on the same level as “amazonfail”.

    Agents and editors don’t HAVE to be out here doing what they’re doing. I’m NOT saying shut up and be grateful, I’m saying run your ass down to wally world and buy yourself some thicker skin. No Sissies Allowed!

  • 4. Amie Stuart  |  April 25, 2009 at 12:35 pm

    Damn……..maybe I shouldn’t be out blog hopping at 6 in the morning?

  • 5. ddusty  |  April 27, 2009 at 10:51 pm

    Ookay. Much too confused and intimidated to say anything at all except, Hi, Mel! If I knew anything at all about what you’re discussing, I’m sure I’d agree with you because you are a certified Sweetheart, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

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