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Thread: So what if an agent finds your blog...

  1. #126
    Learning to read more, post less Hapax Legomenon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bearilou View Post

    Is your blog in eye-bleeding colors? Are your avatars obscene and graphic?
    To be honest, my main avatar is Ishitoki-Sensei from Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei hanging himself. If one weren't familiar with the work, it could be construed a number of ways, none of them good.

    Also, there is a very... critical review about Truancy in there. And it's pretty clear that I don't like Twilight, but most of what I post is links to parodies rather than nasty things.
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  2. #127
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    Like I've said before, erotica writers get some leeway as regards eccentricity.

    Whenever I've had communications with editors, we've joked around and built up a rapport but they've always got the impression (I hope) that while I might not take myself seriously, I take writing seriously.

    Despite any emails exchanged speculating on what Gerard Butler wears under his kilt, or my drooling over James Purefoy, I've never missed a deadline. In fact I've always delivered books early. Always.

    And when it comes to things like a revise and resubmit from my editor at Loose Id, I'll wait a day or two before replying, then detail my response to her suggestions, with any ideas I have for improving the manuscript. This shows I've given it time for her email to sink in, and also that I've come up with workable solutions to any problems she sees in the manuscript.

    Things like that always help. There's room for a sense of humour in this business, as long as you come up with the goods - a polished manuscript which sells. Editors and agents are human beings too, and they recognise writers are.

    They want us to connect with the public, and a good way of doing that is having a sense of humour and a touch of humanity. If that comes through in your blog or Tweetstream, good.

    I can well understand why professionals would shy away from working with writers who bitch about agents, editors, other writers and so on. We're all allowed opinions on books we read but I'm talking about naming and shaming folks, losing your temper, spewing bile all over the internet along the lines of, "I never wanted them to publish my book anyway." That just makes you look like a psychotic twat.

  3. #128
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karen Junker View Post
    Well, how familiar are you with contracts? If something is listed as what you must do to earn the money you will be paid, then it would be compensation. IANAL, so I can't really go into more detail.
    What Karen said.

    Publicity requirements are usually spelled out in the contract, and this is why it's important to read them thoroughly and understand what's in them. My RH contracts have a clause about me being available for public appearances at the publisher's request. So far, I haven't been requested, but it's there.

    As far as personal promotion, it really depends. I know a few authors whose websites were designed and set up by their publishers. I know a lot who did it themselves.
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  4. #129
    DenturePunk writer bearilou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haphazard View Post
    To be honest, my main avatar is Ishitoki-Sensei from Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei hanging himself. If one weren't familiar with the work, it could be construed a number of ways, none of them good.

    Also, there is a very... critical review about Truancy in there. And it's pretty clear that I don't like Twilight, but most of what I post is links to parodies rather than nasty things.
    I'm just going to point downward (upwards? here!) to what SP says about blogs.

    There's nothing wrong with being a fan of things. There's nothing wrong about giving your opinion, even strongly worded ones.

    I would think, and I may be completely off base here, that when someone (agents, prospective employers, fans) go to an author's website they (most of the time) aren't looking for nits to pick. They want to get a general feel for the person behind the books/words they read.

    That can be done and still leave someone with positive impressions, even if the reader may disagree with what you said - whether it's about shows you're watching, books your reading, games you're playing or your own journey as a writer.
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  5. #130
    @Haphazard: After briefly perusing your LJ, I don't think you have anything to worry about. That hanging guy? Pfft. If that's the most incriminating thing you have up there, it's really not a big deal. Especially not compared to mine, and I'm not worried. I don't put anything on the internet if I don't want it to come back sometime and bite me.
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  6. #131
    Learning to read more, post less Hapax Legomenon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhoda Nightingale View Post
    @Haphazard: After briefly perusing your LJ, I don't think you have anything to worry about. That hanging guy? Pfft. If that's the most incriminating thing you have up there, it's really not a big deal. Especially not compared to mine, and I'm not worried. I don't put anything on the internet if I don't want it to come back sometime and bite me.
    Some of the fanfiction is very gorey, but if the agent has a problem with that, they definitely don't want to read my manuscripts.
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  7. #132
    Yeah, that doesn't matter. Mine is too. I haven't written fanfiction in ages (and none of it's on my LJ, which is friends-locked anyways), but horror is kinda what I do so gore is sometimes abundant in whatever form of it is still out there.
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  8. #133
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    Quote Originally Posted by bearilou View Post
    It is public, sagana. That password? Has already been shared inside posts made on the forum. Yeah, you have to be a member to see it on the menu page but I've seen it listed inside posts to other people here. And it's not like the mods here run background checks on its members. We all are abiding by the rule 'respect your fellow writer'. But an unscrupulous person can easily come on this board, get a sign in name, go to SYW and Copy and Paste anything there and put it out on the web to be picked up by search engines.

    I can't imagine what it would gain them but that's not the point. The point is that the piece of work you submitted and trusted to be private? Isn't. Period. It's not private. People can STILL get to it. They can STILL read it. They can STILL do whatever it is they please to it elsewhere.
    That there are all manner of thieves, cheats, con artists and other forms of people who can and/or will do things does not turn private information into public information.

    If you have a paypal account, your financial information (at least some part of it) is on the internet. Can people break into it in any manner of ways? Certainly. Does that make it public? No. It's still private.

    There are people who steal from banks also. Or steal identities, and credit cards or whatever. That doesn't make the money, the identity, or the information theirs.

    You seem to be defining "public" and "private" by what "unscrupulous" people are able to do. That seems a very odd definition to me.

  9. #134
    Learning to read more, post less Hapax Legomenon's Avatar
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    If my roommate was unscrupulous, she could take my diary, scan in each and every page and post it on Facebook. Does that mean it's not private?

    As I walk around campus, anyone could pants me at any time. Does that make what's under my pants not private?
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  10. #135
    Caped Codder jaksen's Avatar
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    You could solve your problem by just having a great blog. Throw some great stuff on it. Add a free-read short story or poem or something. Respond to your followers in scintillating prose. No one says a blog has to be 100% perfect, but a good read is a great way to present yourself to any possible future agent-editor-publisher-reader or annoying person who just wants to Google you to find out who you are.

    (I think I overuse the word 'great.')
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  11. #136
    Rewriting My Destiny Cyia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haphazard View Post
    If my roommate was unscrupulous, she could take my diary, scan in each and every page and post it on Facebook. Does that mean it's not private?

    As I walk around campus, anyone could pants me at any time. Does that make what's under my pants not private?

    It's not a valid comparison.

    If you keep your diary on a shared computer or a shared account with your roommate, then your privacy is in question - that's what the internet is like. You're not using a private medium.

  12. #137
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    *sigh* really. You all (general you) are redefining words to suit those that behave badly.

    Merriam Webster, definition 1
    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/private

    a : intended for or restricted to the use of a particular person, group, or class <a private park>
    A park is a shared space, but that doesn't make it public. If its use is intended to be restricted, it's private. Even if the teenage hoodlums climb over the gate. Or if it's not gated at all. Privacy isn't defined by how well defended it is.
    b : belonging to or concerning an individual person, company, or interest <a private house>
    And this one. My words belong to me. So do my finances, my health records, and my underpants. They belong to or concern an individual. Just because my house is on a public street, does not make it public. And leaving my front door unlocked doesn't change the status. Might mean I'm not too bright (or not, depending) but it doesn't mean someone else had a right to walk in. They still don't. It's still a private residence.
    Last edited by Sagana; 02-08-2011 at 05:10 AM.

  13. #138
    Feeling like an old timer rainsmom's Avatar
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    Okay, let's not redefine things by people behaving badly. Let's define it simply: If it can be found by Google or other search engine, it isn't private. No one is behaving badly by googling you if you are a prospective author or a published one. And whether you like it or not, people WILL judge you by what they find. Maybe it won't be accurate or fair, but you can win or lose a business deal or readers or jobs based on what can be googled.

    Period.

    If you don't like it, don't EVER post on the 'Net using either your real name or the name you'll publish under. It's really that simple.
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  14. #139
    Rewriting My Destiny Cyia's Avatar
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    Your blog =/= your house.

    Your blog = public billboard accessible by anyone.

  15. #140
    Writer is as Writer does Terie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sagana View Post
    That there are all manner of thieves, cheats, con artists and other forms of people who can and/or will do things does not turn private information into public information.

    If you have a paypal account, your financial information (at least some part of it) is on the internet. Can people break into it in any manner of ways? Certainly. Does that make it public? No. It's still private.

    There are people who steal from banks also. Or steal identities, and credit cards or whatever. That doesn't make the money, the identity, or the information theirs.

    You seem to be defining "public" and "private" by what "unscrupulous" people are able to do. That seems a very odd definition to me.
    This is getting ridiculous. You're the one stretching the discussion WAY beyond what we're talking about here just to make your point.

    The context of this discussion is a writer's online presence, particularly in social networking sites, and how potential agents and editors might (or might not) make judgments about a writer having viewed a blog, Facebook page, and so on.

    To leap from there to bank accounts and PayPal is just silly. No editor or agent is going to even want, much less try, to get into your bank or PayPal account.

    Here's what I'm talking about:

    Quote Originally Posted by Sagana View Post
    And specifically the Facebook things. (snipped for brevity) I'm not bashing editors and publishers. Really truly. I hope that doesn't come across as doing so. But... I like the idea of having some privacy. There doesn't seem to be much left in this brave new world of ours.
    So I'll say it one more time: social networking sites like blogs and Facebook ARE NOT PRIVATE.

    Friends-locking your pages at these places helps, but even when you control who sees it, it's not really private. Because it's on the Internet and IT'S PUBLIC.
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  16. #141
    banned as an incurable tosspot IWannaWrite's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaksen View Post
    You could solve your problem by just having a great blog.
    I think this is the crux of the issue.

    A lot of people are basically addicted to blogs/facebook/twitter and can't stop themselves from posting whatever they feel like. They feel it is their right and it is their chance to be heard. But they want to be heard and not judged for it.

    So they post whatever they want, feel gratified by doing so and then scream invasion of privacy if they are judged by what they post. Only there is no basis for this in the law nor in the reality of the business world.

    Post not lest ye be judged. Or at least Post not under thy real name lest ye be judged. Cuz people iz gonna judge you from the sheet you post on da web. And dat is dat.
    Last edited by IWannaWrite; 02-08-2011 at 12:51 PM.

  17. #142
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    There is one thing that strikes me here:

    We are often told to research the heck out of agents we want to sub to; look at their website, maybe their blog, maybe follow them on twitter. We, as writers, when we do this are making judgement calls about who we want to sub to. If an agent comes across as unprofessional, or someone we might have trouble working with, we might decide not to sub to them. Right?

    So why the heck should they not do the same before they decide to offer?

    It all boils down to this: Do you want to look professional, or not? It's really your choice. If you don't care one way or the other, then that's fine, as long as you are aware that it may put off prospective agents just the same as if an agent says something publicly that makes you think you wouldn't want to work with them.

    It works both ways really.




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  18. #143
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    Quote Originally Posted by scarletpeaches View Post
    First of all, I'm Scarlett Parrish. I don't do bad writing.

    Secondly, I cram as much totty onto my blog as a distraction technique. "What's this? Forms of the verb 'to be'? My God, she's-- wait, Richard Armitage!"

    Sorted.

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  19. #144
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    Quote Originally Posted by rainsmom View Post
    Okay, let's not redefine things by people behaving badly. Let's define it simply: If it can be found by Google or other search engine, it isn't private. No one is behaving badly by googling you if you are a prospective author or a published one. And whether you like it or not, people WILL judge you by what they find. Maybe it won't be accurate or fair, but you can win or lose a business deal or readers or jobs based on what can be googled.

    Period.

    If you don't like it, don't EVER post on the 'Net using either your real name or the name you'll publish under. It's really that simple.
    Sure, that definition works for me. SYW, Facebook (and the various other examples I've been using) don't come up on google searches. As long as all that's being discussed is a simple google search, I have no stake in the discussion at all.

    There's a lot of things in this thread being discussed at once. I agree that a blog post put out there for anyone to read is going to be, and rightfully is, read by anyone and judged within whatever that person brings to the table. If it's posted using a publication name of an author, it's going to be attached to that author. And there's nothing unreasonable about that.

    I disagree that everything on the internet is public, just because it's on the net.

    I also have a problem with a specific person who has more information than the general public by virtue of a business relationship, using that information in ways I consider unprofessional. Or going beyond google searches.

    Usually I use a handle. Sagana is not my real name. It's not the name I'd publish under either, but let's just say it was. And my Facebook account is under my real name. Which most people don't know. An agent, however, knows my real name because I have to give them that information to be paid. They have to know what name to put on the check.

    Actually it's extraordinarily complicated. How much information do you feel an agent or publisher is entitled to?

    Is it reasonable for them to run a financial check on you? How about drug testing? Would you be willing to take a drug test if an agent required it before working with you? Or would you be ok with them looking up the results of any drug test you had in the past? Or medical histories? All of those are things people can obtain.

    I think some of those would be more reasonable for determining a business relationship than trolling my facebook page to see whether it's a "looooong list of games" or not But they're all very invasive. And some employers require them.

    But an agent isn't your employer. Actually an agent works for the author. The agent is paid from the earnings on an author's work. In some ways I'm bothered by the thread because the balance of power seems so messed up.

    Do you google the agents (I hope so, and read the Beware threads here too)? Would you go further than that and go through their facebook pages to decide whether you want to work with them or not? If they have long lists of games (or spend entirely too much time tweeting), do you think that indicates how good they are at their jobs? How about pulling their financial records? Or their medical ones?

    This is the information age. Anything is available for a price.
    Last edited by Sagana; 02-08-2011 at 03:44 PM.

  20. #145
    OP, your questions have all been answered ad infinitum. If you insist on being paranoid, there's not much anyone here can do to help you. Your blog is not private. It's read by people you don't know all the time, which may or may not include agents at some point. It's not even as private as it could be for a LiveJournal blog.

    If you're worried about somebody finding something on it that might reflect badly on you, take it down. It is that simple.
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  21. #146
    Learning to read more, post less Hapax Legomenon's Avatar
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    I am mostly disturbed on how we're not only expected to be superhuman while we're working, but in our free time, too.
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  22. #147
    They've been very bad, Mr Flibble Mr Flibble's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haphazard View Post
    I am mostly disturbed on how we're not only expected to be superhuman while we're working, but in our free time, too.

    ?

    The comment about say facebook games was in relation to 'If you're 5 weeks behind your deadline and blaming it on illness that means you can't type, but you're spending all your time playing facebook games...'. So, basically, are you goofing off when you should be working? If you are, then you are. If you aren't behind on your deadlines, no one would (/should) mind what you do on your down time.

    The way I'm looking at it here is you and your agent are partners - you both want to sell your stuff, and make money. If you aren't holding up your end of the bargain (ie keeping to deadlines as far as possible) then one would suspect your partner (the agent) will be less than pleased, especially if they've been working their butt off trying to sell your book.

    I mean I'd be fairly pissed if my Old Man promised to do X by Wednesday, blamed the non appearance of X on 'too much work' or something, and then I see he's been playing WOW for 20 hours a day....

    If you've made a promise to pony up edits by X time, and X time was 5 weeks ago....you probably shouldn't be spending all your spare time on FB. If however you always hand in your edits a weeks early, I very much doubt anyone will care.

    Again it's about being professional.




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  23. #148
    Learning to read more, post less Hapax Legomenon's Avatar
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    By the way, everyone keeps mentioning "bad writing" as being ungrammatical and typo-laden... that's not what I'm talking about at all. You can still write perfectly grammatically and be polite while still having your writing reflect badly on your intelligence. Take me, for example. No matter how much I edit for grammar and whatnot, if I'm not specifically trying to sound smart, I'm still going to sound like a ditz. This is because college has sucked out all of my excess mental acumen. So, because I sound like a total ditz in my blog, I'm going to be punished -- at least, that's what it seems like.

    About all the comments on facebook games: I do not check facebook for months and months at a time. If anything, someone would get the impression that I'm unreliable from mine because I do not check regularly.
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  24. #149
    Quote Originally Posted by Haphazard View Post
    I am mostly disturbed on how we're not only expected to be superhuman while we're working, but in our free time, too.
    So be superhuman. If by "superhuman" you mean having a cool blog that reflects who you are as a person and also meeting deadlines and writing kickass fiction, all at the same time, then yes--do that. It is not asking that much.
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  25. #150
    Learning to read more, post less Hapax Legomenon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhoda Nightingale View Post
    So be superhuman. If by "superhuman" you mean having a cool blog that reflects who you are as a person and also meeting deadlines and writing kickass fiction, all at the same time, then yes--do that. It is not asking that much.
    See, that's the thing. You are working under the assumption that I'm cool and my blog will reflect that :P
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