Sunday, October 17, 2010
How To Lose Friends And Alienate Agents
A curious thing happened while perusing my way through Writers' Digest today.
There's a new member calling himself The Liar (original name, by the way). It appears he's got a chip on his shoulder, and his reactions to various posts he started shows that to be true.
He started a discussion about an agent, Kristin Nelson, which was, to say it plainly, a rant complaining about why his manuscript isn't getting picked up by her.
First, the words of Miss Nelson, who wrote about this in her own blog, explaining why she wasn't going ahead with the book, in the most diplomatic way possible:
Both Sara and I gave it a look. And we passed on offering representation despite all the obvious excitement around the project.
"Should be a slam dunk for ALL agents to throw their hats in the ring, yes?
"So why not? Do I think the manuscript will sell? Probably."I didn’t go for it for one simple reason: I didn’t feel passionate about the manuscript. I could see what was generating the excitement but it
wasn’t right for me.
"I know I’ve mentioned this before on my blog--that agents don’t just take on projects that they think will sell or be saleable—but I think it’s always worth repeating.
"It really does come down to the right person and the right fit."
Now, the words of the Liar:
Ms. Nelson is not alone in her view. A lot of agents say the same thing: that even though a manuscript looks "serviceable," if they aren't one hundred percent "in love" with it, they'll take a pass. Otherwise, the argument goes, why would the agent want to wake up every day knowing she had to -- <gulp> -- try and sell something she doesn't "love."
Thank God for the revolution that's in progress. We can finally weed out these prima donnas and not have to tolerate or listen to their blatantly obvious cop outs.
Does anyone think top sellers in any field "love" what they do? I mean, the absolute top of the crop.
Hell no. What they love to do is sell. They like to work and they like to make money, both for themselves and their company.
I know that Ms. Nelson has to prop herself up with all this vainglorious mystique and holier-than-thou phony baloney. But come on!
She's nothing more than a spoiled brat with the apparent financial means to behave as such.
A new era is dawning. And I can't wait to watch it destroy the snobs.
Me again. Read some of those words again, just to drive home the point:
"Thank God for the revolution that's in progress. We can finally weed out these prima donnas and not have to tolerate or listen to their blatantly obvious cop outs."
"I know that Ms. Nelson has to prop herself up with all this vainglorious mystique and holier-than-thou phony baloney. But come on! "
"She's nothing more than a spoiled brat with the apparent financial means to behave as such.
A new era is dawning. And I can't wait to watch it destroy the snobs."
Like I said, this is a guy with a chip on his shoulder. This is a guy who's obviously got anger management issues, and someday will be the angry guy who takes a rifle and starts shooting people. It seems he doesn't take rejection very well. Or criticism. I'd like to commend Miss Nelson, first, for being so civil in her own remarks. I had a look at her blog, and she could have come right out and said there'd be no chance in hell she'd work with someone so obviously pissed off, so obviously bitter, so obviously an asshole. She didn't. I would have. In fact, I did.
Anyway. He's turned up as a new member on WD in the last few days, and sure enough, reading his post history, the chip's even bigger and bigger. Very angry man, I'd have to say. I started off in my own reply by simply saying he has a chip on his shoulder. Nothing too harsh. His response?
Defenders of the status quo and ignoring the sound of the tolling bell.
You folks apparently don't watch sports-related TV these days. Having a chip on your shoulder is now considered a good thing.
Yes, he can't even take mild criticism, our boy the Liar. So, the gloves came off. Linton and I both called him like we saw it. We called him an asshole. If the shoe fits...
This is what I said:
"you're being an asshole, pure and simple, acting like a spoiled little brat who's throwing a temper tantrum because he's not getting his way.
That's simply stating fact. He was being an asshole. He was being a whiny little brat, screaming and hollering because he wasn't being published, no doubt the same way he screamed and hollered when Mommy didn't give him a lollipop back in the day. It was a temper tantrum. And true to form, he closed down the replies to his discussion, and deleted his own replies, because there wasn't anyone around giving him the proverbial lollipop. Instead, we were calling it like we saw it: the guy's an asshole.
You know, it probably doesn't occur to this guy that the reason he's not going to get published is that an agent, editor, or publisher really don't have to put up with a self absorbed, immature jackass. And that's what he is. An adult will learn from a rejection of this type, try to correct their own errors or shortcomings. What an adult won't do is go off and post a rant in a public forum like this, whining because he's not getting his own way.
Liar, for the record, if you happen to see this: you are an asshole. In fact, you could give lessons in how to be one. Grow up, learn how to take setbacks. If you can't do that, find somewhere a long way away from anyone else, and feel free to scream and holler like the spoiled brat that you are.