Current Project: Untitled RS
Status: Plodding along
Status: Plodding along
I don't know if it is a lack of respect or simply a lack of industry education that makes an aspiring author strike out at others in publishing. Last week on the BookEnds blog, Jessica wrote about an email that had been sent to hundreds of publishing professionals. I read her blog with my jaw on the floor, and I imagine she looked the same way when she first read the email. And then laughed. The letter ranted against agents, editors, and authors.
Yes, this is a hard industry. Hard to get in, hard to stay in, and hard to be successful. But why lash out at the people who can help? Publishing needs gatekeepers (agents, editors) to filter out the crap. Does good work get skipped over sometimes? Yes. But if it is truly good, I firmly believe it will be recognized. A writer needs to simply find the right gatekeeper while improving their craft.
The letter was anonymous and made me wonder what the writer had experienced. Had she been querying for years and developed a folder with a hundred rejections? Had she written a dozen manuscripts only to find no one wants them? Or had she written one, queried a few agents, and gone into shock at the rejection. (I strongly suspect the last.) Whatever her experience, it pushed her off some sort of ledge.
My favorite bit was about how it is a crime for hard working people to spend years writing a manuscript only to get it rejected. I'm trying to image a world where every manuscript is published. With the internet anything can be published in some form, but imagine all those manuscipts with covers in a book store. I cringe to imagine my early work where people can see it. I was proud of it at the time; I'd finished a book. But did that mean I had the right to demand someone pay to publish it?
I believe this person will never succeed in the business. She may feel better after her rant, but it won't change the rules. I have an image of this writer crossing her arms and stamping her feet as she scowls at Stephenie Meyer or JK Rowling. That's not going to help. Here's the formula I think will help: Buckle down, study the industry, ask for help, show respect for professionals, and grow a thick skin. A little prayer might help, too.
Keeping it anonymous, has anyone met an aspiring writer or published author like this? And what would you add to my formula?