Where are you looking--results

The Snarklings respond:

Helpful books:

1. 78 Reasons Why Your Book May Never Be Published, Pat Walsh (Penguin)
2. The Elements of Style, Strunk and White
3. Self-Editing for Fiction Writers, Rennie Brown (HarperResource)

Helpful places to research agents:

4. Jeff Herman's Guide to Book Publishers, Editors and Literary Agents

"the one-stop shop. WM et al pale in comparison. Nothing else is more precise. It's where I found my agent and it's where I send all my workshop students. Just my two cents, but it blows the others out of the water."

5. Guide to Literary Agents, Writer's Market

"If you read it carefully, you can get lots of good information.I wonder if there is a preponderance of agents with last names beginning from A to D who get a preponderance of queries--just because exhaustion can set in and writers can get impatient going all the way through to Susan Zeckendorf Assoc. Inc. But, as I did, sometimes you begin at the Z's and go backward."

6. EveryoneWhoIsAnyoneInPublishing

"this guy is the consummate bitter writer, but he has good info. If I were an agent, I would not respond to his queries because he posts absolutely everything. As a writer, I pay attention."

7. Writers Free Reference
"it's good because it lists agent websites. You can tell a lot about anyone from their website, especially agents. Some are merely listings pulled from Publishers Lunch; others are works of art. And, as you can see, many agents don't bother to set up websites."

8. Publisher's Weekly: reviews section online

"for the agents who represent authors I enjoy reading"

9. Conferences

And from Miss Snark:

10. Association of Authors Representatives


Molly said...

If we are listing most helpful, then John Gardner's fantastic THE ART OF FICTION tops my list.

Anonymous said...

Outing Miss Snark?

Writers Free References and its convenient one-page list of agents and their emails got me to wondering if I could figure out who Miss Snark might possibly be.

Searched on all earthlink emails. Eliminated those who are not in NYC and those who take email queries.

And the finalists are--two females who are in NYC and don't take emai queries:

Olivia Blumer

Patricia Vanderleun

Of course this could be totally off. Miss Snark may be a man. The list I searched is not exhaustive. She may have set up an eartlink email for the blog to send bloodhounds off the track.

Apologies, but I couldn't resist.

Miss Snark said...

Good grief.
What a lot of work for ..well..0 batting average.
AND thinking Miss Snark might be a man.
Miss Snark is consulting her seconds about flinging down a glove and calling for a duel.

You have a LOT of time on your hands bucko. Time to read a good book. See the comment above yours for a good suggestion.

Anonymous said...

Idle hands are the devil's workshop.

Kate S. said...

I've come across a couple of books about writing that proved to be a waste of time. The most recent one went on and on about how the writer has to abandon intellect and write from the "white hot core of the dreaming self" (or something like that). This approach is so alien to my personality and to my writing process that I gave up about 20 pages in. I wouldn't deem it the worst writing book I've ever read though. First, because I couldn't make such a sweeping statement without actually finishing it. Second, because I think my rejection of it was a very subjective thing. That book might light a fire under someone else. How useful I find a writing book to be depends not just on how good a book it is in the abstract, but also on how well its focus meshes with the stage I'm at in my writing life. There are a couple of books that focus primarily on the generation of ideas and they were exactly what I needed when I was just starting out. Now, I'm swimming in ideas and books about structure and revision are more helpful. Later come the books about marketing and promotion. The one constant is that I always enjoy the ones that are part memoir for the sense of community that they convey. A couple of recent reads that I thought worked well on multiple levels for writers at varying career stages are Anne Lamott's "Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life" and Carolyn See's "Making a Literary Life: Advice for Writers and Other Dreamers." Both are smart, funny and compassionate with plenty of solid advice for beginners as well as some entertaining war stories for veterans of the writing life.

Anonymous said...

I've found "The Forest for the Trees" and "Thinking like Your Editor" to be readable and useful.

Christine said...

I'm glad to see the one and only book about writing makes your list. "Self Editing" is an awesome book. Every serious writer should own a copy and it should be well-worn and dog-eared by the time they're ready to sub their first ms.

And I think you can figure out Miss Snark's first name is, if you look, and not that far away.
Does it begin with a J??

Anonymous said...

Oh puh-leeze. It's obvious that Miss Snark is none other than the younger, more beautiful sister of the divine, star-making Bebe Glazer. :) Cigarette anyone?

Molly said...

Would that be Bobbie?

Molly said...

PS Another entry for LEAST helpful agency sites:

Jane Starr Agency

Unless I am missing something, what you see is what you get. No other pages, just a mailto: functionality if you click on the image.

Miss Snark said...

Miss Snark is now off to change her agency website to more reflect that link to Bobbie. Clearly she's been missing a raft of white hot prospects by not giving such sterling advice.

Maria said...

A favorite book for writers:

Kirsch's Guide to the Book Contract. by Jonathan Kirsch

Sure, we all hope to have agents to work the details. Even so, it never hurts to have SOME idea what all those clauses mean. It's a great guide.