3.22.2006

I wonder how much he paid...

Miss Snark is perusing her Publishers Weekly.

March 6 issue, page 81, the classified ad section produces:

Category: Seeking Agency
Headline: Wanted: Literary Agency

Body: To examine a rare 107,000 word Self-Help manuscript introducing a flowing patented reading format. Also, the Agency would manage the licensing of the reading format. Selected Publisher should be flexible in typesetting and speedy in publication.


There are days when there just isn't enough clue dust in the container.

21 comments:

Elektra said...

I wonder if this is the same person who was too afraid to query, because the patent for his book hadn't come through yet?

Delilah said...

re: ". . . there just isn't enough clue dust in the container.

I think this one wins it for the funniest comment you've ever made -- and that's saying a lot!

Lisa S. said...

Dog have mercy! There goes another keyboard.

December Quinn said...

You're always beating me to the punch, Elektra!


You know, somewhere there's a guy (or girl) who's saying to themselves, "They'll be chomping at the bit for my book, after seeing my clever publicity gambit!"

Yasmine Galenorn said...

I'd like to make some comment, but for once, I find myself speechless. Well, not really. Clue dust nothing, you need to beat this one with the clue stick. (And this is the same type who will moan and complain about publishers never recognizing his genius).

Anonymous said...

I saw this classified in PW and actually had to read it twice to confirm it's stupidity.

Ewoh Nairb said...

re: ". . . there just isn't enough clue dust in the container.

A few years ago I came up with a clue rating system. It has proved to be spot-on every time. Here it is:

Clue-level 1: you have a clue
Clue-level 2: clueless - but that can be remedied fairly easily
Clue-level 3: clue-resistant - you still have a chance of getting a clue, but it will have to be beaten into you pianfully
Clue-level 4: clue-proof - no way in hell

Please use at your discretion.

Anonymous said...

They actually print classifieds like that? Doesn't PW have someone with a cluestick to beat clues into people that have no idea what they're doing?

Anonymous said...

I hear you can buy economy sized buckets of clue dust at Costco, Miss Snark.

I also hear that clue dust is flammable, so you can torch this moron if he queries you.

Yasmine Galenorn said...

They actually print classifieds like that? Doesn't PW have someone with a cluestick to beat clues into people that have no idea what they're doing?

It's business, simple as that. He probably paid a bundle for it, and anybody who has money can buy ads in most magazines. PW isn't there to tap writers on the shoulders and say, "Uh, that's not the best way to do this." They're there to make money, just like the rest of the publishing industry.

LOL, I think it fitting, though, that he probably paid a bundle, considering his attitude, not to mention lack of initiative to find out just how to appropriately market the work on his own.

Miss P AKA Her Royal Cliqueness said...

So, the placer of the ad is either:

A) Flush with cash and in that case should start his own vanity press - Clueless Publishing. Tag line "we stay clueless so you won't have to."

B) Too lazy to read the very publication that may have given him a clue.

C) Knows the industry doesn't work this way but figures his will be the Self-Help book that changes the tide.

Elektra said...

What is this new format? A weight loss book that doubles as a weight? A dating guide that sends subconsious signals to unwary men?

Carter said...

To examine a rare 107,000 word Self-Help manuscript introducing a flowing patented reading format. Also, the Agency would manage the licensing of the reading format. Selected Publisher should be flexible in typesetting and speedy in publication.

1.) How rare is it? Tartare or just red and juicy?

2.) Does it include a faucet to turn it off when you need to put it down?

3.) Double-jointed typesetters are pretty rare. Good luck with that.

4.) Speed kills. Please proof-test this theory for us.

Mark said...

Actually it's "champing" at the bit.

December Quinn said...

Actually it's "champing" at the bit.

Sure, if you're a pedant.

It was "champing" originally, yes...five or six hundred years ago. But there's nothing wrong or incorrect in using "chomping", which has been common for several hundred years as pronunciations change.


Elektra, I believe you're right, and the new format is a book that emits high-pitched sound waves to attract men, or perhaps to make the "reader" no longer feel hungry-or maybe the exercise the purchaser will get is running away from neighborhood dogs. :-)

Mac said...

I did a quick search of the US patent office database but didn't have enough information to find the patent.

I suspect that it is a 'design patent' rather than a 'real' patent. Design patents cover things like the shape of the Coca-Cola bottle - it is basically a trademark.

We might sneer but it would be interesting if he had trademarked a particular layout of self-help book. After all, it doesn't have to be an improvement, just visually different. (eg: Coca Cola bottle)

Since patents and trademarks are fundamentally public information* it'll be interesting if someone can track down a copy of the patent/trademark.

Mac
(*There are bizarre exceptions, but they **SHOULD** be public information)

Anonymous said...

maybe it's something like this:
http://www.clipread.com/
I couldn't imagine reading a whole book like that.

Quooquoo said...

Actually, Clipread IS easier to read....

Anonymous said...

I checked out clipread.com, and found it made the reading MORE difficult. The site suggested the format was based on poetry, apparently, but generally poetry is designed to be read slowly, savoring each word, rather than quickly and easily.

Mark said...

Well I'll go with the New York Times word wizard who in 2002 changed mine in a letter. That's pretty recent, so...

December Quinn said...

:rolleyes

Whatever you like, Mark.