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Thread: Purgatory's Pit of Doom

  1. #14651
    optimist Teriann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveCordero View Post
    Exceptions don't prove the rule, Teri. What successes are you going to point out in modern times? Yes, "modern" times.

    What happened in the 1980s or 1990s has no relevance now with the altered publishing paradigm.

    Also, it's a matter of access. Agents control the velvet rope. Once you get in, you can leave them behind.
    I haven't sold anything (yet), but I'm getting past the gates on my own.

    I have no way of proving this without showing you all my email correspondence.

  2. #14652
    Pit Livin' & Purgatory Dreamin' SteveCordero's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teriann View Post
    I haven't sold anything (yet), but I'm getting past the gates on my own.

    I have no way of proving this without showing you all my email correspondence.
    I know you are, but you're the exception Teri. What you're doing is the equivelent of sneaking into Clive Davis' mansion and handing him your demo tape.

    Your success (which we all hope happens), doesn't create a roadmap for the writing universe. It will be an anomaly.

    I deal in what is. Not what we wish the industry to be. Unless you catch lighting in a bottle (The Sh@ck, write 10 books and sell them for .99 cents and ride the paranormal wave, etc), a writer with any hopes of having a financially lucrative writing career will have to go through your (3) to (2) to (1).

  3. #14653
    optimist Teriann's Avatar
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    Added: I have had editors tell me they will not read my material unless I find an agent, but surprisingly few, and it varies by the editor instead of the publishing house -- with a few exceptions.There are a few imprints which seem impenetrable without an agent, but you know, with reverse Woody Allen logic, I've convinced myself that the few editors who insist on agents are the very editors who see writers as fungible and who want to put me at an immediate disadvantage (yes, that's how I see it.)

  4. #14654
    optimist Teriann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveCordero View Post
    I know you are, but you're the exception Teri. What you're doing is the equivelent of sneaking into Clive Davis' mansion and handing him your demo tape.

    Your success (which we all hope happens), doesn't create a roadmap for the writing universe. It will be an anomaly.

    I deal in what is. Not what we wish the industry to be. Unless you catch lighting in a bottle (The Sh@ck, write 10 books and sell them for .99 cents and ride the paranormal wave, etc), a writer with any hopes of having a financially lucrative writing career will have to go through your (3) to (2) to (1).
    Steve, we were writing at the same time.

    You're right -- but here's why. There are no roadmaps and there cannot be.

    if I have success, and if I then write up "how to sell a book without an agent" and self publish my book and sell millions of copies, it will not work any more because the nature of the beast means there cannot be a road map.

    You cannot have writers following like lemings and thousands of them landing contracts. There must be land mines, booby traps, mirrored walls.

    What appears to be a road map (Query, get offer, revise, wait, revise, wait, allow agent to submit, get dumped, rinse and repeat) is in fact filled with more land mines and booby traps and mirrored walls than the route I've chosen.

  5. #14655
    And your point is...? Catwoman's Avatar
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    Gotta agree with Steve on this one. When you're an unpublished newbie, you'll take anything -- meaning any agent who shows interest. If you're lucky, you might get to choose between a few before signing to see who is the better fit for you, but if only one agent is interested, you're going to sign with them.

    If they give you suggestions on how they think you can make your book better, you're going to do them (unless you are in severe disagreement, I suppose).Of course the agent is the one in control at this point.

    Until one has success and experience under one's belt, it's difficult to achieve any kind of autonomy.

    I thought the point of the article was more about making sure the self-image you portray online matches your "brand." Like if you write sweet children's books as well as S&M erotica, it might behoove you to keep those two images separate.

  6. #14656
    optimist Teriann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Catwoman View Post
    Gotta agree with Steve on this one. When you're an unpublished newbie, you'll take anything -- meaning any agent who shows interest. If you're lucky, you might get to choose between a few before signing to see who is the better fit for you, but if only one agent is interested, you're going to sign with them.

    If they give you suggestions on how they think you can make your book better, you're going to do them (unless you are in severe disagreement, I suppose).Of course the agent is the one in control at this point.

    Until one has success and experience under one's belt, it's difficult to achieve any kind of autonomy.

    I thought the point of the article was more about making sure the self-image you portray online matches your "brand." Like if you write sweet children's books as well as S&M erotica, it might behoove you to keep those two images separate.
    What we saw as a point was the changing roles of agents. Even agents are seeing their roles changing.

    So much is in flux right now, it's really hard to predict where things will be in a few years -- other than it will be different from what it is now.

    I maintain that the direction everyone else is taking is probably a bad direction for that very reason. One person got rich and famous selling ebooks for .99, then thousands of people put up ebooks for .99 and it didn't work any more. People succeeded by doing doing the query, revise, wait, revise wait, let agent submit thing, then thousands of people fell into line, which shifted the power balance to the agents.

    It's never good to be one of thousands.

    You shouldn't buy stock when it's high.
    Last edited by Teriann; 02-29-2012 at 11:49 PM.

  7. #14657
    optimist Teriann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveCordero View Post
    I know you are, but you're the exception Teri. What you're doing is the equivelent of sneaking into Clive Davis' mansion and handing him your demo tape.

    Your success (which we all hope happens), doesn't create a roadmap for the writing universe. It will be an anomaly.

    I deal in what is. Not what we wish the industry to be. Unless you catch lighting in a bottle (The Sh@ck, write 10 books and sell them for .99 cents and ride the paranormal wave, etc), a writer with any hopes of having a financially lucrative writing career will have to go through your (3) to (2) to (1).
    And the problem with that is?

    A new plot is forming: The pizza delivery trick. Someone goes to NYC, and pretends to be a pizza delivery person. Naturally, the pizza is going to the editor in chief of a major publishing house.

    While in the office, the faux pizza delivery person strategically places a manuscript on the editor's desk with an urgent handwritten (but unsigned) note saying, "You have to read this!"

    (Actually what I'm doing isn't so radical. If you put two sample chapters in an envelope with a good cover letter and mail it to an editor, the editor will look at your pages. She may not like them and she may send you a form reject, and she may even tell you to get an agent -- which is a nice way of telling you to get lost forever -- but she'll take a look, which doesn't take long because she stops reading the moment she doesn't like it.)
    Last edited by Teriann; 03-01-2012 at 12:20 AM.

  8. #14658
    A cat may not look at a king kellion92's Avatar
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    I'm going to make Teriann's head explode with this twitter post:

    https://twitter.com/#!/AKA_Terrie/st...10774282682368

  9. #14659
    Pit Livin' & Purgatory Dreamin' SteveCordero's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kellion92 View Post
    I'm going to make Teriann's head explode with this twitter post:

    https://twitter.com/#!/AKA_Terrie/st...10774282682368
    LOL. Well, Teri can say she passed the bar so she can argue contract law.

  10. #14660
    A cat may not look at a king kellion92's Avatar
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    You and Teri can read and comment on your contracts. The rest of us best not bother our pretty little heads.

  11. #14661
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    Quote Originally Posted by kellion92 View Post
    I'm going to make Teriann's head explode with this twitter post:

    https://twitter.com/#!/AKA_Terrie/st...10774282682368
    ~ Tartitude ~ Twitter ~ Writer Unboxed ~ FB

    "When writing a novel, that's pretty much entirely what life turns into: House burned down. Car stolen. Cat exploded. Did 1500 easy words, so all in all it was a pretty good day." ~Neil Gaiman

    "Perfectionism may look good in his shiny shoes, but he's a little bit of an asshole and no one invites him to their pool parties." ~Ze Frank

  12. #14662
    optimist Teriann's Avatar
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    This is without a doubt my favorite group of people.

    Thanks, Kellion.

    It's worth figuring out how to use my twitter account just so I can ask her if she has passed the bar.

    And of course, agents don't have to go to law school to understand IP law. They get it.

    Just shut up and sign on the dotted line.
    Shesh.

  13. #14663
    carpe libri Amarie's Avatar
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    That tweet about made my own head explode. I don't follow that person, but follow someone who retweets a lot of things that make me crazy. I'd unfollow her, but she's nice and I decided it's best to know the worse.

  14. #14664
    A cat may not look at a king kellion92's Avatar
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    I'm glad I read it. I was feeling sad over a rejection, and then I read the tweet and it made me feel gloriously angry instead.

  15. #14665
    A new year, a new avatar Snappy's Avatar
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    Oy. I couldn't find an exploding smiley, but this will do...
    or perhaps,
    ~ Just Snappy

  16. #14666
    Pit Livin' & Purgatory Dreamin' SteveCordero's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kellion92 View Post
    You and Teri can read and comment on your contracts. The rest of us best not bother our pretty little heads.
    LOL. It's such a sleazy tweet by the agent.

  17. #14667
    smooshed alias octavia's Avatar
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    Very nice. "Gloriously angry" indeed.

    Teri, LOL.

    (((Ink))) for all that crazy business yesterday.
    (((Cricket))) for all your hard work with no rest/massage
    (((Amarie))) for that illuminating link
    (((Mrs. Brommers))) Termites. Yuck.

    Whew. There was so much packed in the pit. I should make a rule to get rid of my rejection hangovers more quickly so I can keep up.

    "The point is not to take the world's opinion as a guiding star,
    but to go one's way in life and to work unfalteringly
    neither depressed by failure nor seduced by applause."
    -Gustav Mahler

  18. #14668
    optimist Teriann's Avatar
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    Kellion, you did make my head explode. Seriously.

    I guess contract and intellectual property law is so easy that all you have to do to get it is become an agent.

    Darn! I wasted all that money on law school. All I had to do was become a literary agent. As I recall, that contracts test was hard. Probably because I'm not an agent, so I didn't just get it.

    I want to say more, but I'm sitting here at a loss for words.

    Me.

  19. #14669
    A cat may not look at a king kellion92's Avatar
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    It's so easy that all you have to do is be an editor or agent to understand it. But it's also so hard that a writer couldn't possibly get it and certainly shouldn't ask for clarification, i.e. argue.

  20. #14670
    optimist Teriann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kellion92 View Post
    It's so easy that all you have to do is be an editor or agent to understand it. But it's also so hard that a writer couldn't possibly get it and certainly shouldn't ask for clarification, i.e. argue.
    Of course a writer can't understand something as hard to read as a contract.

    Silly girl.

    Sign right here and everything will be fine. *inserts evil laugh*

    How did their heads get so big, that's what I want to know. Didn't they read Much Ado About Nothing? In the words of the great bard:

    "Let every eye negotiate for itself and trust no agent."

    My new favorite Shakespearan quotation. Actually I've been quoting that line for years.

    ETA: You can see I've recovered my powers of speech.

    To answer my own question about how their heads get too big, it would be appropriate to quote my former contracts professor about judges, "Anyone whose ass is kissed too often will start to think it's holy."
    Last edited by Teriann; 03-01-2012 at 02:14 AM.

  21. #14671
    Pit Livin' & Purgatory Dreamin' SteveCordero's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kellion92 View Post
    It's so easy that all you have to do is be an editor or agent to understand it. But it's also so hard that a writer couldn't possibly get it and certainly shouldn't ask for clarification, i.e. argue.
    It's actually a metaphysical transformation that takes place once you become an agent or editor. You, miraculously, know contract law.

    Now, the big question for me is the agents who are also writers. Once they start writing, do they automatically forget about contract law?

    And when they go into agent mode, do they say, "Wow, I remember contract law again!"

  22. #14672
    Mad Thread Killa Haupe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kellion92 View Post
    It's so easy that all you have to do is be an editor or agent to understand it. But it's also so hard that a writer couldn't possibly get it and certainly shouldn't ask for clarification, i.e. argue.
    I think this is one of those paradoxes we're supposed to embrace to acquire a true lit-rary palate, which explains why I have such poor taste...
    ~ Tartitude ~ Twitter ~ Writer Unboxed ~ FB

    "When writing a novel, that's pretty much entirely what life turns into: House burned down. Car stolen. Cat exploded. Did 1500 easy words, so all in all it was a pretty good day." ~Neil Gaiman

    "Perfectionism may look good in his shiny shoes, but he's a little bit of an asshole and no one invites him to their pool parties." ~Ze Frank

  23. #14673
    optimist Teriann's Avatar
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    I deleted my post because I was repeating, which is what I do with an exploded head.

    There's something amusing about tweeting, "I know what I'm doing."

    Imagine Obama tweeting, "Citizens, listen up. Don't argue with my decisions. I get it." You'd have about 5 billion exploded heads.
    Last edited by Teriann; 03-01-2012 at 03:08 AM.

  24. #14674
    KoalaKoalaKoala! RedScylla's Avatar
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    I'm contemplating random tweet: I'm just a writer. I'm no good at math or contracts. *teehee*
    ~RedScylla

    Celebrate the holidays with some fine seasonal smut.


    A Kiss from Krampus: tinyurl.com/kissfromkrampus


    A Kiss from Krampus, now in paperback!! tinyurl.com/krampusamzpprbk

  25. #14675
    optimist Teriann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedScylla View Post
    I'm contemplating random tweet: I'm just a writer. I'm no good at math or contracts. *teehee*
    People will not know you're being ironic.

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