I sat down at my computer tonight intending to write about general writing tips, but thought I'd breeze over to Twitter first, just in case I was missing out on ground-breaking news. Like, you know, Borders filing for bankruptcy. I could wax poetic on my feelings on that subject, but since I'm an author and a reader, I figure my stance is probably pretty obvious. But back to the subject at hand. Before starting this post, I swung by Twitter and discovered a link to a blog Lilith Saintcrow wrote in September 2006 on why the hard sell doesn't work. She gave several excellent tips on breaking into the publishing industry, and if that's your goal, I'd highly recommend reading the entire post. Here's a link. One part of her post in particular stood out to me, and I'm going to quote it here:


“Publishing is really a small business. You never know when the person you’re rude to on a convention panel or in an elevator at a trade show may hold the power of life or death over your wee manuscript in the future. It’s best to be tactful and interested in other people at cons and shows, not to mention writer’s group meetings.” --Lilith Saintcrow

 

Publishing is a small business. Simply put, everyone knows everyone. Instead of the “Six degrees of Kevin Bacon” we play the “Six degrees of Julie Strauss-Gabel.”

 

But back to writing tips. Since I turned SILENCE in to my editor last week, I've been playing catch-up with my email. One of the most popular questions I'm seeing is some form of this: “I'm an aspiring author and I was wondering if you could share tips on writing and breaking into the industry?”

 

This is a tough question to answer. I always feel like I need more information before I can give a solid answer. Often, I want to write back with a few questions of my own. Are you an aspiring author with a seed of an idea, or do you have a finished manuscript? Are you part of a critique group, and have the members given you feedback on your manuscript? Do you know what a query letter is? (It's fine if you don't, it just means my answer will be different.) Do you have an agent?

 

Regardless of the answers to these questions, I think there is one piece of advice that is universal, no matter where you find yourself on the path to publication. And that is: be nice. Be courteous. Be generous. As Lilith Saintcrow says, Be tactful. Be interested.

 

Be humble.

 

Let me tell you a story. In the weeks leading up to HUSH, HUSH's publication, I thought reading early reviews of the book would be helpful. Or maybe I didn't even think that. Maybe it all boiled down to simple curiosity. But whatever the reason, I frequently visited Goodreads and Amazon, determined to learn what people thought of my book. As you might expect, there were glowing reviews, mediocre reviews, and scathing reviews. One particular review that fell into the latter category caught my eye. I stewed over it for a few days, and eventually forgot about it.

 

Fast forward several months. An email arrived from an editor asking if I'd be interested in reading a manuscript. If you're two steps ahead, you might have already guessed that the author of the manuscript was none other than the author of the scathing review I had, up until this point, forgotten about. The editor introduced herself and made the comment that her author adored HUSH, HUSH and would love if I'd read her book with an eye toward writing a blurb. It was an awkward situation, to say the least. In the end, I did the only thing I felt appropriate: I laughed it off, then politely informed the editor I was swamped and unable to read the manuscript, but thanked her for thinking of me.

 

You might think I turned down reading the manuscript out of revenge or to give the author the finger, so to speak. I hope I'm not that petty. The reason I decided not to read the manuscript was because I wondered what would happen if I did read it...and loved it. What if I sent the editor a handful of glowing words, and she decided to stick them on the front cover of her author's book? Would the author love having my praise splashed on her cover? Probably not. In the end, I decided to take the higher road and let the author breathe easy. (It didn't slip my mind that the ultimate revenge would have been making sure my name got on the cover of her book. But again. Higher road. Always the better path.)

 

Interestingly enough, this once-aspiring author didn't limit her somewhat rantish reviews to HUSH, HUSH. She'd made quite a habit of belittling authors' books along the way, and I suppose it comes to no surprise that, as far as I know, she was never able to find an author to blurb her book. This isn't to say an aspiring author can't be honest when writing reviews, but if your goal is to be published, it might serve you well to drop the books you don't love, and talk up the ones you do. You don't have to love every book, every time. But I think a bit of courtesy in saying, “This wasn't for me, and here's why,” says volumes about you as a reviewer and a person. No one wants to start their career surrounded by nothing but a lot of burned bridges.

 

Whether you believe in karma, the Golden Rule, or the old saying, “What goes around comes around,” all have stood the test of time. If you want agents, editors and authors to respect you, take the first step. Extend kind words. Talk up books you love. Be polite and respectful at conferences. Attend author book signings. All of these things will go along way.

 

So, yes. That's my writing tip of the day. Be nice.

 

 

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Published on February 17, 2011 03:10 • 18,114 views
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message 101: by Petra SockieX (last edited Mar 01, 2011 09:17AM) (new)

Petra SockieX Becca Fitzpatrick wrote: "Interestingly enough, this once-aspiring author didn't limit her somewhat rantish reviews to HUSH, HUSH. She'd made quite a habit of belittling authors' books along the way, and I suppose it comes to no surprise that, as far as I know, she was never able to find an author to blurb her book"

You don't think that's petty? I think it is, very.

Its always good advice to be nice to people, but that shouldn't extend as far as 'drop the books you don't love' i.e. not writing negative reviews in case you piss off authors (like you) who will exact some petty revenge by refusing to write a blurb and then blogging about them (leaving it to others to look up the 1-star reviews by GR authors).

I do enjoy a good, scathing review sometimes but I never enjoy authors trying to silence those who write them.


message 102: by Katya (new)

Katya Drop the books we don't like? Then how are we supposed to finish high school? I don't know about the rest of the users here, but I personally found a great deal of books on my high school curriculum to be exceedingly tedious, yet I kept on reading them because a) I had to graduate, and b) they illustrated social and moral trends of past years which are revelant even now. By representing certain social trends, books reflect our reality.

That does not stop with the classics in the high school curriculum. The reason why people are taught literature in school is to help them look beyond the words and find the meaning. We read modern fiction for fun, just as I suspect Dumas' contemporaries read "The Count of Monte Cristo". But they found something in that story that resonated with them, just as we find in modern fiction something that resonates with us.

I'm not comparing Becca Fitzpatrick to Alexandre Dumas, but there is one thing their books have in common - they tell a story to us. And if we dissect "The Count of Monte Cristo" for the sake of understanding Dumas' peers, why should we not dissect "Hush, Hush" to understand our own society better? And why should we not object to the trend, if we find it objectionable?


message 103: by Petra SockieX (new)

Petra SockieX Katya - I think Fitzpatrick meant to drop reviewing of the books we don't like, not reading them.


message 104: by Lucy (new)

Lucy Petra, I'm pretty sure she meant both.


message 105: by Joyzi (last edited Mar 01, 2011 04:34PM) (new)

Joyzi Hellion wrote: "No. Probably too busy copy editing book 3 and envisioning herself Nora making out with Patch."

Lol. Do you think it would be more healthy if she will comment and defend her post?


message 106: by Lucy (new)

Lucy Absolutely not. It would be career damaging and just bad for her in general... do I want her to anyway? Yes. If I were her I wouldn't post here, but if I were her I wouldn't have posted that to begin with so what I think of as appropriate behavior is probably miles from where she is.


message 107: by Joyzi (new)

Joyzi Yeah me too, it's weird that she post something like this...


message 108: by Polina (new)

Polina Dear Ms Fitzpatrick,


Do you understand what you did when you posted "Be Nice"? Let me tell you: You buried yourself and your career forever.

Do you even know the definition of "taking the high road"? I guess not. If you did, you wouldn't have posted your opinion of other people's thoughts about your work even if they didn't like it. Someone said some bad things about your book. So what? You wrote the book not them, you loved your work and you are proud of it. Why should some stranger's opinion of it matter? Why would you humiliate yourself by responding to it? Take the high road!

But you did! Yeah, right! You took the first chance to take revenge on the author of the review. You, almighty Ms Fitzpatrick, were asked to read a manuscript by this person and turned it down because of fear it would actually be good, or even worse it would be better than your books. Then what? You'll have to admit the truth. Even more, you'll have to say some nice words about the manuscript. Your big name might end up on the cover of this person's book. Get real! You wrote two! books and not that good to be honest. Who cares about your praise? If I were this person, I would rather not publish my book than have your name on it. What is worst, you posted this story on the net hoping that others will support you and admire you for what you did. Look at me, I am so noble. I took the higher road! If you say so... In truth, you hit to a new kind of low. Congratulations!

To conclude, I'll give you a piece of advice as well. If you want to save what is left of your little career, you'd better apologize to this person for involving him or her in you pathetic attempt to draw attention. And BE NICE! because you never know, tomorrow you might end up in a similar situation. I assume you wouldn't want other people to treat you like you treated this aspiring author.

PEACE


message 109: by Cory (new)

Cory Polina wrote: "Dear Ms Fitzpatrick,


Do you understand what you did when you posted "Be Nice"? Let me tell you: You buried yourself and your career forever.

Do you even know the definition of "taking the..."


Well said.


message 110: by Mel (new)

Mel Polina wrote: "Dear Ms Fitzpatrick,


Do you understand what you did when you posted "Be Nice"? Let me tell you: You buried yourself and your career forever.

Do you even know the definition of "taking the..."


You are... epic.


message 111: by Katya (new)

Katya Polina wrote: "Dear Ms Fitzpatrick,


Do you understand what you did when you posted "Be Nice"? Let me tell you: You buried yourself and your career forever.

Do you even know the definition of "taking the..."


Seconded. We just might have another person up for the B*lls of Steel banner.


message 112: by Joyzi (new)

Joyzi Polina wrote: "Dear Ms Fitzpatrick,


Do you understand what you did when you posted "Be Nice"? Let me tell you: You buried yourself and your career forever.

Do you even know the definition of "taking the..."


Agree, posting this blog it seems she's even proud of what she have done. Reading reviews, consider negative reviews scathing, stalking the reviewer of the said review and having the ultimate revenge of not having read or ignored the aspiring author's work because of this aspiring author hates her work in the first place.

And then not only that but she also advice aspiring authors to only review the books you love or in case if you'll write a negative review, be nice by just saying this was not for me because of this and that.

Why? Why on earth should you do this? Because there's always the possibility of having this scenario repeated again. You won't have the opportunity to be publish because a certain author might already held grudge on you by criticizing his/her work. They won't give you a chance, you have already burned the bridge, and that's your fault for posting your opinion about their work.

I don't know but this post just shouts WRONG and ATROCIOUS IMO.


message 113: by Petra SockieX (new)

Petra SockieX I shouldn't think she has buried her career for one minute let alone forever! But I appreciate where the hyperbole came from. I don't blame her not responding to this Its not her career she needs to salvage but her credibility, at least on Goodreads.

I'm sorry for her, she thought she was a good enough writer to be extremely vicious and disguise it under the banner of 'good advice' and it all went belly-up. We all have thoughts of revenge (even if they never even get uttered) and we all have made terrible errors in judgement, she did it publicly.


message 114: by Donna (last edited Mar 03, 2011 01:35PM) (new)

Donna I'm a little offended at the suggestion that we should all "be nice" just in case, as if teenage girls and young women (the primary audience for YA paranormal romance fiction) need to treat their lives and future careers like tea parties. Sit down, shut up, be nice. Don't expect your ideas or your criticism to be taken seriously. Speaking your mind will hurt you, so it's best to hold your tongue unless you're sure that whatever you say will be inoffensive to the point of being dull.

It's like real-world girls should be as boring as some weak boy-dependent YA heroines.


message 115: by Lucy (new)

Lucy It's interesting her blog is privatized and down.


message 116: by Hirondelle (new)

Hirondelle The main blog is down - with a message that it is being moved, though a couple recent blog posts were lft there. I don´t know if an author can pull back a blog feed after it was "sent" to goodreads.


message 117: by Marta (new)

Marta Acosta Oh, I'm afraid I have to comment again!

In defense of Ms. Fitzpatrick, she never said not to write a negative review. In fact, she suggested a way to write a critical review that still respected the efforts of the author: "But I think a bit of courtesy in saying, 'This wasn't for me, and here's why,” says volumes about you as a reviewer and a person.'"

Readers have been skeptical that someone who had publicly been nasty about her work then asked for a blurb. I'm not. Stuff like that happens and leaves you scratching your head, thinking, "Well, this is certainly WTFish!"

I think Ms. Fitzpatrick is advising aspiring authors to consider their relationships in the publishing world. It is not vindictive or petty NOT to blurb. No one is owed a blurb by any other writer. Blurbing means taking several hours to read a book, several back and forth emails about a quote, blah, blah, blah. It's working for free as a favor to a stranger.

If you hate the book, you're in a pickle, trying to figure out if there's anything nice to say or if you should not offer a quote, thereby angering the author.

And the funny thing is that there is no evidence that author blurbs actually help book sales at the reader level. The blurbs do encourage book buyers (the people who order books for a bookstore) to stock a book, but an excellent cover is much more effective with book buyers and customers.

Oh, I'm having a Leave-Britney-alone! moment, so I better stop.


message 118: by Lucy (last edited Mar 03, 2011 03:17PM) (new)

Lucy No, you're definitely not having a leave-britney-alone moment. You're right on some of this. No one is owed a blurb and certainly not someone who doesn't hold a writer in high esteem as an author. But I still see an implied threat. She could have gone in a lot of directions from Lilith Saintcrow's post. Instead she pushed this at people who don't rate every book fours and fives. It's more than a little suspect that the direction she took Saintcrow's advice was the one that benefited her the most.

If it was just blank-check career advice she'd suggest book reviewing anonymously from the get go.

There are authors who offer this advice on negative reviews of their own books. 'Keep it to yourself if you want a career, be nice if you want a career.' Well, that might sound like advice if those authors didn't post it on reviews of their own books. Fitzpatrick's advice might have felt more wholesome if she didn't so obviously benefit from it.

I think Stephen King said something along the lines of 'if you want to be a writer the last thing you should worry about is polite society.' I don't agree with personal attacks on authors; I also don't agree with authors who shovel shit and request you not say anything with subtle menace.


message 119: by Marta (new)

Marta Acosta Lucy wrote: " I also don't agree with authors who shovel shit and request you not say anything with subtle menace. ..."

Lucy, I've been looking for a title for my next book. Now I have it, Subtle Menace!

I know there's a back-story to these interactions on GoodReads because you have a very lively community.


message 120: by [deleted user] (new)

I'm curious. I have my Goodreads profile set to be as private as I can make it; I assumed that meant that nobody but my approved friends could see my reviews/ratings. I, therefore, put absolutely no censor on my sometimes only one sentence explanations for my ratings. Not too long ago, an author "liked" my review of her book. It completely freaked me out. How did she have access to my review when my account is private? Do Goodreads "authors" have special access or is it not possible to have a completely private account? I know, off topic. I'm just wondering. I could care less if "Pittacus Lore" reads that I thought "his" crapass book was crappy, but for authors I do respect, I wouldn't want them to read my half-assed, meant-for-close-friends-only remarks.


message 121: by Lucy (new)

Lucy It means they can't get any information on you beyond your display name, but your reviews are published and available on each book's page. Search for yourself by going through the star ranking you gave it.


message 122: by [deleted user] (new)

I know I should have been a wiser user, but I'm appalled. When I first started using Goodreads, I, in no way, thought of anyone other than my friends being able to see my books/ratings/reviews. I would never have written some of the things I've written (and, really, none of it is that bad, but I'm not the type to want to have my completely subjective negative opinion about someone's hard work available to her/him). I suppose if an author wants to seek out negative, amateurish, half-baked comments on people's Goodreads ratings, that is her/his prerogative. I just wish Goodreads gave us the option to have our ratings/reviews be private. I guess I'll have to find a different way to privately discuss books with my long-distance friends.


message 123: by Lucy (new)

Lucy You can create private group. It's an option right next to friends. Create it and don't allow people to join without mod permission. You can discuss whatever you want with your friends in relative privacy.


message 124: by Petra SockieX (new)

Petra SockieX It is said that all publicity is good publicity, so maybe this works for her.

I'm not ordering the book for my bookshop though! But then again I'd never heard of her before this.


message 125: by Grace (new)

Grace I just joined goodreads, so maybe I'm not 100% sure what's going on here, but it seems like Fitzpatrick isn't talking to goodreads reviewers. She's giving sound advice to aspiring authors who also write reviews. It looks like this is a feed from her blog, so she wasn't posting here to talk to goodreads people. She might not even know this is on here. I have the same feed thing on my facebook, and I forget that it transfers over.
And I don't see malice or threats in this. She also said to be humble. Do we jump all over that? It's just advice for life in general--be nice, especially on the internet. Reviewers are people, authors are people, and it's easy to cross the line here and attack her. Looking back at her other blog posts, she seems like a nice person, whether or not you like her fiction.
It's totally cool to not like a book, to even hate a book and list every reason why and send that out to the world. But if you want to be a part of the publishing business, you are reviewing your peers, and yes. I think that changes things. You don't have to kiss butt (and that's transparent), but just think before you speak. Don't personally attack authors. Back up your loving or hating with informed details.
Sorry, but Be Nice makes sense to me.


message 126: by Char (new)

Char Grace - A lot of Goodreads members, such as myself, are aspiring authors and I think as an aspiring author I see this as a woman who has been fortunate enough to get published then saying to people who aren't published that in order for us to get published, (or have her read our manuscripts) we have to be nice to her and her books even if we don't like them. It's disrespectful to assume that every wannabe author is going to write a review which is a personal attack on the author.


message 127: by Hirondelle (last edited Mar 04, 2011 01:06PM) (new)

Hirondelle I think most, if not everybody, is aware this is a blog feed. But if Ms Fitzpatrick is going to use goodreads blog feed to promote herself, then readers who only saw it on goodreads got a right to say what they think of it, on goodreads itself. She can choose to be aware of it or not.

And for goodness´s sake, this all feels like "you got to be nice to us or you can not sit with us at lunch". Everybody backpatting and loving each other´s outfits, fine - but usually an environment where criticism is not tolerated can became quite stale. If somebody writing something really awesome can not get published or marketed because of her opinions of other people´s books, then surely that is a loss for the genre.

Being nice is well, nice. But always being guided by being as nice at every possible choice is a life path which might turn to mediocrity. And being the nicest person in the world does not mean one can *write*.

Reviews are not always reviews, opinions are just fine with me, and they are very rarely (IMO) directed to the authors. I can not see how a review can turn an already published book better. Just let it go.

Reviews are there (IMO) to engender discussion or help readers chose what they want to read next. Readers, their attention and their budget are finite quantities ( to a limit) so books (and authors) are in competition with each other for reader attention. No book is right for everybody (really) and usually there is a right reader for every book (maybe). If nothing "not nice" ever got said about any books how could readers like me hope to filter out what would actually work for them?


message 128: by Petra SockieX (last edited Mar 04, 2011 01:16PM) (new)

Petra SockieX Grace wrote: "But if you want to be a part of the publishing business, you are reviewing your peers, and yes. I think that changes things. You don't have to kiss butt (and that's transparent), but just think before you speak. Don't personally attack authors. Back up your loving or hating with informed details. "

No one was talking about personally attacking authors, not the blog, nor any of the comments I've read (most).

If your book is good enough it will get published. It's the manuscript not reviews that is important. What is most important is that it looks like it will sell and make money. Publishers don't look at the reviews you've written about other people's books. As far as blurbs go, ask your editor who would have the most weight that she could get.

If you can't interest a publisher and you are paying for it yourself, what are other authors whose books (but not themselves) you've been negative about going to do? Get mega petty and say oh don't buy this book because this author wrote horrible things about mine on Goodreads or elsewhere and who are they going to say it to and where are they going to write it? Would anyone take that kind of thing seriously? I don't see this as realistic scenario. Just as Fitzpatrick's little attempt at revenge here has got her a lot of flack, how much more would a more pointed attack with names attached attract?


message 129: by Katie(babs) (new)

Katie(babs) And the fame continues from Mr. Scalzi himself http://whatever.scalzi.com/2011/03/04...

I laughed my butt off so hard.


message 130: by Hirondelle (last edited Mar 04, 2011 01:24PM) (new)

Hirondelle Petra, for the sake of argument, I can sort of see people being petty about it. I have no trouble believing people can be petty about the most trivial matters (and I still get surprised by seeing people being petty about matters even I did not think anybody sane would be petty about).

I can see that clique-ish and petty behaviour can occur in any medium. And maybe this is prejudiced of me, but OMG does it look like to me that YA fiction writing is susceptible to it.

But I do not think being not nice (and people can be petty enough to define not nice in very unusual terms) is going to affect a really awesome from being recognized. And an all-nice medium has got to be saturating. So, do not ever say anything negative about a book. But then a petty paranoid author can think you are being "not nice" if you are not effusive enough in recommending her (Sadly the gender just suggested itself) newest book. Or if you do not mention it, OMG a snub, an intentional snub. So everybody is nice, they are all pals together and everybody promotes and loves everybody´s books. By which time, promoting and saying one loves a particular book will mean nothing.

I was checking my profile and found this quotes which I think applies

"- "They speak very well of you".
- "They speak very well of everybody."
- "That so bad?"
- "Yes. It means you can´t trust them."


message 131: by Kat Kennedy (new)

Kat Kennedy I feel like authors are side-stepping the issues, though, and this frustrates me.

The issue is - we're writing non-professional reviews for the books we read. Get over it and stop shitting on us. You don't have to like us but making thinly-veiled blogposts about how we're not going to get published and shouldn't write negative reviews if we want a career isn't really a good idea. Also: blow me.

I'm in no way banking on being BFFs with Cassandra Clare, so at least I'm not being unrealistic with my expectations.

And the authors are jumping on the bandwagon by making us out to be tinfoil hat people with "YA Mafia" conspiracy theories. Do I think they're all conspiring against me? Well, let's just say that I would be QUIVERING in my boots if Ms. Fitzpatrick were /sarcasm. That was never really the point of the uproar! So why make it the point?

I would prefer a blogpost along the lines of Ms. Ilona's which was something along the lines of: Let them write what they want to write and go back to your ego den, bitches.


message 132: by Cory (new)

Cory Katie(babs) wrote: "And the fame continues from Mr. Scalzi himself http://whatever.scalzi.com/2011/03/04...

I laughed my butt off so hard."


I hate that they're patronizing us. But I guess I never liked Scalzi anyway, starting from his post on teen writers.


message 133: by Hirondelle (last edited Mar 04, 2011 01:59PM) (new)

Hirondelle I think he and Holly Black do not put the point too explicitly but that it is:

of course there is no YA Mafia. Still it seems some people wish it existed and that they had that power to bligh a person´s career because of a perceived slight in the past.


message 134: by Lucy (new)

Lucy He was explaining to us dim-witted reviewers that authors don't do this despite posting on our reviews and implying they will.


message 135: by Kat Kennedy (new)

Kat Kennedy Are there any examples available of authors making this threat on reviews? I've never had one and though I've read many instances of authors and reviewers clashing on reviews, I've never actually seen this threat on GoodReads. Has this happened on blogs?


message 136: by Hirondelle (new)

Hirondelle Kat, I think so, there are some links posted in commentaries of other blog entries and twitter conversations which seem, well bully-ish to wannabe "hard" reviewers with publishing aspirations.

Even this original blog entry seems a bit well, strong for lack of a better word. Even realizing that Ms Fitzpatrick probably was not thinking her blog feed with her references to goodreads was geting posted to goodreads.


message 137: by Katya (new)

Katya Scalzi does have a point - if he's an asshole, the people will know it. Just how everyone saw that Fitzpatrick was being petty in this post, even though she says she hopes she isn't.


message 138: by Lucy (last edited Mar 04, 2011 02:36PM) (new)

Lucy Messaged you some stuff Kat.

What bothers me is they're very up in arms about how we're hurting their feelings when it comes to negative reviews about relationship abuse fantasies written for teenage girls, but a group of authors don't feel any secondary concerns about encouraging people to censor their thoughts and opinions.

They should be the biggest proponents of discussing topics like this and in the end most of them are still going 'oh well it's just logic that you're damaging potential connections.' As if we're too slow on the uptake to put two and two together. I'm concerned some of these authors are a little slow on the uptake at this point.

They think only aspiring authors are offended by the message, but I'm not one and I still find the implications of what they're saying totally horrifying.


message 139: by [deleted user] (new)

Cillian wrote: "Everything would be so much easier if they'd followed one simple formula:
Reader reads book-->reader hates book-->reader writes bad review-->writer reads review-->writer swallows his/hers pride, sh..."


Completely agree.


message 140: by [deleted user] (new)

I feel like they are insulting our intelligence and making it seem like we are "overreacting" as a way to dissmiss our concerns. It's annoying me.


message 141: by Joyzi (new)

Joyzi No matter how this problem would end, sure I won't read any of her books in the future


message 142: by Ella (new)

Ella I don't think that telling people to 'be nice', especially aspiring authors is bad advice. Whether or not you want to believe it, the publishing world is VERY small. When I was querying agents and started getting offers, the agents who offered to me read my blog, twitter etc. I could see this from my stat counter etc. Everything you put out there under your own name online, is fair game. Do you think an agent or editor wants to work with someone who posts scathing reviews (and I'm not talking about professional, respectful negative reviews), or, who replies to public posts like these using f-bombs etc? This isn't a game! It's a business! If you want to be part of the business you have to act like a grown up. The comments in this thread are much more unprofessional and bitter sounding than the actual blog post itself. And publicly saying that you will refuse to support an author, while totally within your rights, is just silly professionally when you think about it. What if someday your manuscript is in front of the same editor who edited the books of the author you trashed? What will that editor find if he/she googles your name? It's not smart.


message 143: by Cory (new)

Cory Ella wrote: "I don't think that telling people to 'be nice', especially aspiring authors is bad advice. Whether or not you want to believe it, the publishing world is VERY small. When I was querying agents an..."

Did you join this website just to bestow us with this little nugget of knowledge?


message 144: by Petra SockieX (new)

Petra SockieX Publishers look for books that will make money. Do you honestly think that they would turn down a possibly-profitable manuscript because you write scathing reviews or actually use the word 'fuck'? Do you think an editor would turn down a mss and tell his/her boss, that they were turning it down because you'd trashed a book they'd edited? How long do you think that editor would last in the business?

*Sigh* As you said, this isn't a game its business.

Funny how an author with no books just joined today to make exactly the same point as Fitzpatrick. At least she wrote under her name, I wonder why you didn't?


message 145: by Ella (new)

Ella Actually I did just join today! I've been following this whole issue on another blog that posted a link to this discussion. More evidence of how small the writing community is. And yes I do believe that an agent or editor would choose to not work with someone who presents themself *very* unprofessionally. In fact, when I asked my agent, (after I'd signed with him/her) if it was common practice to look up an author's blog/facebook/twitter etc, before signing them, my agent said, "yup, we try to weed out the crazies." I'm not under any delusions that I'm the most talented writer on the planet...not even close to it! But I do know that I'm decent, just like thousands of other aspiring authors. An agent or editor knows that craft can be honed and improved, but before they commit to working with an author for his/her entire career they usually want to make sure that person is going to take it seriously and professionally! Unless you have such a huge commercial high concept manuscript that anyone can see it's going to be an instant NYT bestseller or the next hollywood hit, how you present yourself is *just* as important as how well you write. I'm not producing those kinds of manuscripts. I write quieter literary books, so I'm just not willing to take the risk of alienating the very small world of Children's lit. I know a host of writers who get blog hits from some of the big houses when their manuscripts get taken to acquisitions. It's just the reality of having an online persona. I'm not saying I wouldn't ever write a bad or negative review, but I would do it in a very professional/respectful way. I wouldn't trash my 'boss' on the internet, even if he deserved it. It's just not a good move business wise. Trashing another author's novel is the same thing, because you are *also* trashing the very hard work that an editor put into the book. An editor who probably invested hours and hours of work into a book that he/she really believed in. I wouldn't want to burn that bridge! I am writing under my own name, but I'm not published yet.


message 146: by Cory (new)

Cory Ella wrote: "Actually I did just join today! I've been following this whole issue on another blog that posted a link to this discussion. More evidence of how small the writing community is. And yes I do belie..."

What's your book about? Is it a paranormal romance? Or urban fantasy?


message 147: by Ella (new)

Ella I don't write paranormal or fantasy, my books are contemporary YA's.


message 148: by Cory (new)

Cory Mine too. When does yours come out and what's it about?


message 149: by Ella (new)

Ella I just signed with my agent last month, and am working on some revisions, so it won't even go out to publishers until probably, next month. The one that I'm revising for agent is about two teens (boy and girl) who find out they are connected by a single secret that has affected both of their families. What is yours about? My WIP is a little different and kind of crosses two genres, so I'm not sure how it would even be classified! Maybe DaVinci Code meets Princess Diairies meets National treasure? (That sounds a lot weirder than it really is, but best examples I can think of).


message 150: by Cory (new)

Cory Very weird, but I love mysteries. I even liked the Princess Diaries before Forever Princess.

My WIP is about a band geek who's hopelessly in-love with a girl that will never love him back. It's kind of like a realistic version of the 500 Days of Summer without the manic-pixie element. I've written three novels before, all of them sucked. You know what they say, it takes one million words to get the crap out of your system. Good luck with getting signed.


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