Nitwit of the day

Please Sandra, shut up.

You're not, and I mean really NOT, listening when the commenter to your blog said that people would read what you wrote and pay attention. I came to your blog from GalleyCat which has a gazillion readers. Check your site stats, I bet they went through the roof.

I beg to point out that the new editor you're assigned will most likely be less than 30, in publishing for fewer than 10 years, probably five, and the FIRST thing s/he'll do is read your blog.

Young energetic and excited editors are exactly who you want to be friends with. They're not burned out. They may lack experience, but you've got that in abundance and can be a resource.
You'll be lucky to get an editor now whose first impression of you isn't "she's a whiner".

Yes, Joe Blades leaving is a melancholy day. But, it's not the end of the world. And in fact, some of those editors over there at Ballantine, whippersnappers though they are, are pretty damn good.

Shut up and count your blessings.


Anonymous said...

Drama, katz fights, young editors, and I'm stuck in the middle of nowhere listening to that stupid chirping noise my fire alarm is making until someone replaces that damn battery.

And I thought Amsterdam had strange characters. Pink gin fizzles for all!


harridan said...


The woman really did go a bit bang bang angry over the original anonymous post. She spewed fire all over the poster.

Granted, she really was having a bad day based on the weekend call and hence, read the post wrong (namely, as a threat). But those are the times you need to step back from the puter.

The internet is too instantaneous. It's not like writing a letter and letting it mull for a while before sending. With snail mail, you have to package it, stamp it, and then make a physical effort to put it in the mail.

With the net, it's type your tirade, then just hit send.

Bonnie S. Calhoun said...

Good way to win friends and influence people.....not!!!!

Anonymous said...

I agree - shut up. I've been an editor for 15 years. When I started out I was hungry, aggressive and endlessly searching for a great project. Never underestimate an editor of any age - they are working for you as well as for themselves. In this business authors should count their blessings that they even have an editor (or agent) at all.

Christine said...

Yeah, shut up. Some of us have never been published by Ballantine. Some of us, despite the fact we have publishing credits to our name, can't seem to find an agent.

So please, stop your whining.

Rick said...

I can understand her being worried that her new editor might not feel the love that Joe Blades presumably did for her books. But then a little flirtation might be in order, to see if she can strike a spark.

Her new editor certainly won't be feeling much love just now.

Bernita said...

Oh dear. Oh dear. Oh dear.
An object lesson for present and future writers.
I bet her agent is really pleased too.

Rick said...

Following up, I read more of Scoppettone's blog, and yikes! She sounds generally ... difficult. A few posts down she complains about the hemline in the cover art.

Granted, I hope that when my book is published I like the cover art - that my protagonist doesn't look like a bimbo, etc. But really, I suspect that people who do cover art for a living know more than I do about getting a reader to flip open the book.

Anonymous said...

Well, I think I have a very young editor. And, by golly, she edits. Which is more than can be said for senior editors, I know. I am one author who is deeply grateful for this input -- doubly so since I am probably by age and background pretty intimidating to a young editor.

Sandra Ruttan said...

My husband wants to know if he can excerpt the first line and convert it into a screensaver for my computer.

Seriously, wow. Writers should love editors. And when there are so many writers out there looking for publishers, a writer who automatically assumes nobody will be as good as their last editor might just find themselves in the 'outdated' pile of authors that none of these enthusiastic editors want to deal with. If she wants to rant about it, she should get a pseudonym, at least.

the chocolatier said...

Goodness! I read three of her comments and decided I would never want to work with her on a book, in fact, I'd never want to work with her flipping hamburgers.

Anonymous said...

'Joe Blades', gosh, that sounds like a name out of book! I don't know him, but I'm already sorry to see him go, after reading Sandra's blog, and yours.

Poor Sandra, dumped on, dragged around the block a few times, and definitely not the favorite daughter of Anon, mother goddess of Blog posters.

Perhaps, Killer Yapp could share his bone with her?

Megan Frampton said...

At what point does she not realize she is working in a BUSINESS?!? Those comments are totally out of line, and I wouldn't blame her new, young editor if she decided to spend more time with someone who's actually appreciating the fact she's being edited and walked through the publishing process.
My editor is very young, but she's good. And I inherited her when my previous editor got promoted.
Two words: Lo. Ser.

Sandra Scoppettone said...

I can't believe the reactions to my blog. My blog is about nothing but writing and what it's like to be published, get a contract, not get one, feeling bad on a writing day, feeling good, etc. It's not about anything personal like my cat or what I wear.

As Ed Gorman said to me this morning:
"What's the point of publishing a cowering blog?"

Why should I shutup...the whole point of the blog is to take the reader with me as I go through the life of being a published writer. Guess I won't be published anymore, huh?

And nobody reads because I also said:

"I’m not saying an editor of that age has to be horrible, in fact I know that someone so young could be the best editor I’ve ever had."

I don't think a single person read my post correctly. This is because in this form as in email there are no nuances.

And if you'd read further, Rick, you'd know the hem had to be shorter because the book takes place in 1943.

I guess I'm shocked at the reaction I got because if you read my post you'll see it's really all about projecting and that I make fun of myself.

Why do I think there are a lot of wannabes leaving comments? Seems like a lot of fuss over very little.

Another Author said...

My editor is about 30, younger than me, and has a helluva lot more experience in publishing and marketing books than I do. I consider myself lucky to have her as an advocate. I will admit, if she were leaving I would be very upset because I think we make a great team . . . but I also know that my house has a lot of good editors and that my current one would do everything in her power to make sure I landed with someone who loved my voice as much as she does. And if not . . . well, it's upsetting but it's business and another reason why I have an agent. A GOOD agent. To help get over these career humps.

Christa M. Miller said...

Too bad. I'm a crime writer and I want to learn more about the genre as well as publishing, but not from someone as mean as that. Oh well.

Anonymous said...

miss snark...i love you. your blog entry is right on the money.

- shamelessly anonymous

emeraldcite said...

Don't think I'll ever buy one of her books...

roach said...

If I had written something that a majority of people were "misreading" I would assume that my writing wasn't clear, not that the majority of people don't read.


But that's just me.

Bernita said...

Oh dear. Oh dear. Oh dear.

Sonarbabe said...

HOly smoke stacks! I admit, I did get what she was saying about a young editor possibly being the best she could ever have, but man! The remarks in the comment section came out of left field. I didn't find anything worth flipping her switch over. A simple, "I believe you misunderstood what I meant," reply and a clarifaction would have sufficed instead of having her head come off and start rotating.

As for myself, sorry to hear the editor is leaving. Very sad. However, at the moment, my concern lies with getting an agent! :)

JodyTresidder said...

Memo to Sandra (via Miss Snark):
If you're going to be peevish in public, do it with panache!
Position yourself as an endearingly snippy oldish trout, not a humorless carp.
(I'm thinking of E. F. Benson's characters as excellent blog persona role models).
By all means, rail against callow youths infesting editorial these days - dreadful squirts, the lot of them! - but make them smile.

The greatest pity is that elsewhere Sandra's blog is quite sparky and candid. She's not only possibly putting off future editors with her sour comments, but potential readers of her novels as well.

Christa M. Miller said...

I posted before I'd seen Ms. Scoppettone's comment, so I just have one more thing to say:

Miss Snark may have great fun at our expense, but she has NEVER called us wannabes. That's credibility.

Anonymous said...

Methinks this author is finding her self-inflicted serving of filet of sole not to her liking.

This is why I won't blog. I like both feet on the ground, not tucked behind my teeth. I agree with Bonnie--winning friends, NOT.

Unknown said...

Touche' Christa!

Bonnie S. Calhoun said...

Well!!!Since bernita repeated herself, I guess it's good enough for me to do to!!!

How to win friends and influence people....not!!!

The Girl You Used to Know said...

Miss Snark, take a big swig of Gin...

I don't think Sandra meant anything by her blog. Not like some people are taking it, anyway.

BUT, I will also say that some authors do go overboard with relaying their woes. I find that sometimes I'll read an author's blog on their latest rejection or their most recent tif and I grow weary. Yes. Weary. If they are always that damn whiney on their blog, I think I probably won't like them personally. Which then means that I won't buy their book.

Sure, everyone can have a bad day and bitch about something that bothers them. It's their blog--they can do whatever they want. But readers like me do get tired of the moaning and groaning. I think maybe Sandra fell victim to the "tired" group. If all her posts were like that, I would've just rolled my eyes and chalked it up to bitters. But I didn't get the whiney vibe from her blog...just from that particular entry.

K. I'm done. I've poured a glass of chianti and am toasting you and your pail of gin.

Bottoms up!


Anonymous said...

Whining seems to be bad form no matter what the forum or justification. It's just unnattractive.

ilona said...

"I don't think a single person read my post correctly. This is because in this form as in email there are no nuances."

If over a dozen people read the post the same way, then I respectfully suggest that the author failed to make herself clear. I'm reminded of a workshop environment, where a flustered author, bombarded with critiques, stands up and says, "No, you guys didn't get my point! The story is about melancholy, not bestiality!" To which a nice chorus usually answers, "well if all of us didn;t get it, what makes you think everyone else will?"

This has been a fantastic educational experience for me.

Anonymous said...

ROTF--oh, dear, oh, dear, oh, dear!

One of my writer buds (author and editor like myself) sent me a link to this, and it's been a heck of a good laugh reading of poor Ms. Scoppettone's blight--uh--plight.

Miss Snark--I adore you, and drinks are on my tab should we ever meet. We can close the karaoke bar down with a rendition of "Who's Sorry Now?" dedicated to "a published crime writer (about 15 novels) who posts her thoughts on writing and what it's like to be a professional writer, the good and bad days, experiences, and leads to things that might help a novice writer."

Ohhhh, brooooo-ther.

I couldn't believe that anyone with a mere 15 novels under her belt could presume to be so pretentious, but there it is for all the world to see. I'm no novice to this business and this is the first time I've ever heard of her. Hopefully it will be the last, unless she gets over herself and decides to go for a more professional attitude. After that public snit--and it was NOT a good career move--I want nothing to do with her either, should any of her deathless prose cross my desk.

It's one thing to be honest in one's blog, but quite another to shoot yourself in the foot. I have two blogs, one is my professional side, the other (under a pseudonym) is my evil (but honest) twin who is into venting about the absurdities of publishing. Oh--I'm amusing about it, by the way.

Indeed, Ed Gorman is a great one to quote, but cowering is one thing, whining is quite another. Stand in line at a store and time how fast you try to tune out the whinging kid in the cart next to yours. (Going to my Happy Place, now.)

One of my other buds went through a 5-year stretch in her pro career where 4-5 of her titles were bought by editors who quit or moved to another house, leaving the books orphaned and subject to no promotion or sales by replacement editors. She didn't have the 15-book track record, but refrained from boring her friends with wailing and teeth gnashing. She was too busy writing. Now she's got more contracts than she has time to fill. Editors love her positive attitude, and she's always the first one I call for a story when I'm filling out a roster for project.

Scoppettone be brave, not annoying, professional, not pouty. For all you know your next editor might be the best thing that ever happened to you. Who's better for your career? A self-proclaimed burn-out job or someone hungry and ambitious and looking to make an impact on his or her own career? I know who I'd pick!

BorderMoon said...

My dear old mother always said "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all." This twice holds true if your words are circling the globe -- and the publishing industry -- at twice the speed of gossip.

Mother knows best, I guess!

As does, of course, Miss Snark.

Andy J said...

Writing and publishing are obviously highly competitive worlds and for every person who is going to pat you on the back (or console you) there is apt to be another who'd like to give you a swift kick in the pants or an express trip down the stairs, deserved or not. There is little in life that cannot be improved by reflection and revision and blogging (and responding to comments) is certainly no exception. Spontaneity is vastly overrated and about all I can say is, "Bloggers, grow your skins thick. You're gonna need 'em."

Cornelia Read said...

On the other hand, as Alice Roosevelt Longworth so famously said, "if you don't have anything nice to say, come sit next to *me*..."

Lauren Baratz-Logsted said...

That wasn't Dorothy Parker?

Cornelia Read said...

"[Alice Roosevelt] Longworth maintained her stature in the community, socially and politically, garnering her the nickname of 'Washington's Other Monument'....Of her quotable quotes, her most famous found its way to a pillow on her settee—'If you haven't anything nice to say, come sit next to me.' To Senator Joseph McCarthy she stated that the garbage men, taxi drivers and street sweepers in her neighborhood could call her by her Alice, but he could not. She also informed President Lyndon B. Johnson that she wore wide brim hats so he couldn't kiss her....Following a break in of her home in the 1960's, Mrs. Longworth planted and trained poison ivy to grow up the fa├žade of her Washington home as a deterrent to future would be burglars."


I love this woman.

PaganChick said...

I think that people are having difficulty reading these days. There was nothing whiny in her blog. She didn't insult or make sour comments about young editors. All she did was make fun of herself.

I think the real issue is that people don't like to hear anything even remotely negative about a profession they want to be in. It's like when we say celebrities or skinny people have no right to complain because they have it so well. It's totally out of jealousy that these types of comments are made.

I do think she overreacted in her comments to her commenters, but I think she couldn't figure out what she said that would cause people to attack her. I've read her post twice and still can't figure out why people are accusing her of being difficult or whiny. But, if so many people found something wrong in what she said, she must be wrong right? It couldn't have anythng whatsoever to do with following the leader could it?