11.26.2005

www.newp,not.gonna.read.it

Dear Miss Snark,

Apart from absolute honesty, then, what does interest you on an unpublished fiction author's website? Do you always check out the websites (if they have them) of authors you're considering offering representation to? What kind of information do you (or an editor) like to see there? Blurbs of completed works? A hint of personality so that you can guess whether or not they'd be hell on wheels to work with? Their preference of gin brand?

If someone writing me a query letter has a website, and I'm not certain of some of information in the query letter (like who published a book), I'll go look.

If someone has navigated the hoops of fire and we are in discussion about representation, I check it out for two reasons: find out if it's any good (and thus doesn't need a huge makeover before editors start doing what I'm doing now) and to get a sense of their personality.

I've never turned someone down cause they had a lousy website. I've run screaming into the night when I saw websites full of wild ass political invective that seems ill thought out and hostile. You don't have to share my political beliefs but you have to write well about what you think.

And of course anyone who has a long blog about how horrible agents are gets a pass.

It's not required that you tell a prospective agent you have a website. if you've got one full of pictures of puppies and balloons and darling little foo foo bunnies, and your poems from sixth grade, it's perfectly ok to never mention it. Ever.

In fact, if you aren't published, you don't have much to put up there unless you're posting your work. I never read that stuff on a website. I have enough slush right here to keep New York's Strongest busy for quite some time.

5 comments:

domynoe said...

In fact, if you aren't published, you don't have much to put up there unless you're posting your work. I never read that stuff on a website. I have enough slush right here to keep New York's Strongest busy for quite some time.

Hrm. I had my website up before anything was published (and I still have no novels on the published list) and actually created quite a bit to put up there. While my "work," it's stuff I am offering for free deliberately and really have no intention of trying to get published other than in the form it's in on the website. I tremble to offer it for your perusal, since I can see quite a few snarky remarks as a result, but, hey, everyone needs a little snark to set them straight, I suppose. (and, yes, I do realize that was quite a round about sentence there.) Obviously, since this is your blog, feel free to remove said link. alden.nu.

*Realizes and update is in order on the main page and rushes to do so*

Miss Snark said...

Your links page is pretty amazing.

domynoe said...

Thanks. It's been rather neglected of late with the day job keeping me busy even in the evenings, but I do try to update every now and again. :)

Rick said...

I lean toward domynoe in this case. My (admittedly now languishing) website has some essays on SF/F-related topics, but no fiction samples. Teresa Nielsen Hayden once actually linked one of my pages, but didn't come running to ask if I had an ms to send her, and I didn't expect her to.

On the other hand, my site is languishing precisely because I shifted my efforts to revising my ms, and once my agent accepted it, to working on the sequel. When I have a contract I'll re-launch the site as a blog - not to impress an editor who will have already bought my book, but to raise my profile as publicity groundwork.

Darby said...

I keep a website at darby.tv. It's mostly a place to purge very short fiction I find myself writing all the time but don't want to think too hard about what to do with it. It's just my own little trip.