9.16.2006

oh dear dog, please tell me this is a joke

Tell me why this is a bad bad bad idea.
Then, I'll agree.

77 comments:

judy said...

I'm sure that the editor at the other end of this charade is not going to be happy.

-c- said...

There was a scene in Six Feet Under where Billy's mother invited Claire out to dinner and then attempted to convince her to take her son him back. Out came Billy to seal the deal. Claire, of course, was sickened by the lameness of it all. As would this Tor editor be.

Anonymous said...

She shoulda submitted to the crapomiter - her book could use a shot from the ole cluegun. How many adverbs can we cram in the first two paragraphs?

If the snarklings don't spot the nitwitery in the first thirty seconds, they need the cluegun too.

SandyO said...

1) Pissing off an agent by encouraging her to be spammed is not the way to impress her.

2) If the book isn't exactly what the agent is looking for, then how can it be perfect?

Can't image why Miss Snark doesn't give her real name and email. ;)

ya author said...

I'll bet when this author isn't writing she's selling Amway.

SandyO said...

My bad, Ms. Genoese is an editor, not an agent. But a writer shouldn't want to piss off either an agent or editor.

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

*slams head on desk*

First Sobol, now THIS???

Sheesh. These people are making it harder for a talent author -- BY THE MINUTE.

Thanks, folks. Thanks, so very fucking much.

slwhitman said...

If a writer's friends started commenting on my blog saying "buy my friend's book! buy it! buy it!"--and they weren't Holly Black or J.K. Rowling or, perhaps in your case, George Clooney, that's a big mark against the book. Unless the book were so outstanding and the author so easy to work with (and I'm imagining the answer to that 2nd question is no, if they ask their friends to spam a blog). Overall, it shows just plain unprofessional behavior.

Anonymous said...

Because now everyone knows just who this writer is and what a stupid thing she did and is suggesting. Anyone with that name is going to be on do-not-deal-with lists for a long time.

rick said...

Here is your Jewish-Inspirational-Paranormal Romance even though the short synopsis doesn't stress the romantic part much.

http://aberdeenpublishing.com/awakened.html

-rick

Jenny Rappaport said...

Because Anna will have a fit, that's why it's a bad idea... plus the fact that it's rude and is a genuine way to get yourself an instant rejection, fast.

Anonymous said...

A local DJ got convicted (and fired) over a proposal much like this one. It boils down to "Hey, gang! Have a few yucks and help me bully this unsuspecting victim! Your mission is to spam her! Wouldn't that more fun than you've had since you outgrew prank phone calls?"

Recovering Editor

Annoyedymous said...

Sounds like a great way to piss off an editor to me, asking folks to bomb the comment box...

richard white said...

Reasons this is a bad idea:

1) Editors ain't stupid.
2) No one wants to feel like they're being railroaded into a decision.
3) It's never a good idea to upset someone about to make a business decision (hopefully) in your favor.
4) Editors have long memories.
5) You posted this on the internet where anyone can see it.

Did I miss something?

domynoe said...

*smacks forehead*

Why on earth does she think this will do any more than irritate said agents? Lawd.

Virginia Miss said...

Did I get this right? An author, by way of her blog, is asking her BLOG READERS to convince a TOR editor to buy her manuscript?

Miss Snark, you asked your Snarklings to post on why this is a bad idea, but alas, words fail me.

Ali said...

Could it possibly be because NOBODY wants to be hastled to buy something? Not only is it unprofessional, but it is meerly a desperate ploy to get attention. The only attention THIS ploy will get is a form reject while Ms. G--which is considerably more polite than the response spammers get from me. Which is no response.

LA Burton said...

Is that a joke!!! Never happen!

anna louise said...

hahahaha. thanks for the pointer, miss s.

xo.

otto said...

I'm speechless. Absolutely speechless.

stay_c said...

And the funniest part is she reads the blog and STILL doesn't get it.

I'll buy the damn clue gun and mail it to her, if it would help.

Marie said...

Okay, right off the bat, what she thinks is clever will very likely turn out to be annoying to the editor she wants to "entice" into buying her ms.

What makes her think the editor will judge her ms by the opinions of people who post comments on her blog? They aren't necessarily (and most likely aren't) the ones who would actually buy the book. They aren't bound to buy the book in the end just because they posted.

Also, is the editor even still looking for that kind of romance, not to mention her story doesn't seem to fit exactly what the editor was looking for?

LOL, any other editors/agents and godlike publishing gurus she ever queries could see this and think "I'm not even going near this, near her, ever".

Not only can this royally backfire, it can blacklist her with agents and editors... because as you remind us often, Miss Snark, you guys talk to each other.

randomsome1 said...

I can get my f_list to spam someone who may just be considering my work? And it'll get me published? F'n Sweet!

[/sarcasm]

BarbaraWebb said...

Hmm...maybe because trying to browbeat editors into an aquisition doesn't work out for anyone?

Also, I can't say that her favorite quotes from her own book (a concept that strikes me as conceited) make any sense to me, a person who has never read the book.

Kim said...

that dull thud was the sound of me hitting the floor...

Eeekk.... I sure hope this is a joke.

Is it just me, or does anyone sense that there will be one pissed off editor at Tor if anyone actually has the stones to do this??

Anonymous said...

This was the reason I gave her:

"While this is a unique way to get promotion for your book, I don't think spamming the blog of an editor who's been kind enough to open her life up to the world at large and demystify publishing is the type of "paying it forward" agent and editor bloggers talk about so much.

Even if 500 of us read your stuff and like it enough to post, publishing isn't a ballot. She's not going to buy it if she doesn't like it, and if she liked it, she'd buy it even if no one said anything.

Please, don't pursue this, don't freak Anna out and scare away a valuable writer resource and entertaining blog for the sake of getting published.

Just don't."

desert snarkling said...

Well, I suppose it's one way to get your manuscript rejected more quickly ...

Anonymous said...

OMG! That's all I can say. Wait! Maybe I can say more. Does WTF describe this?

I'm in shock. Um, let me leave and take my meds--

Miss Snark, this HAS to be a joke. Please tell me it is.

A Snarkling

Anonymous said...

I don't know where to begin. It's a joke, right? Nobody is that stupid.

Jim Winter said...

Well, that nails it.

I'm going to auction the rights to my book off on eBay.

Bloggin' Grammy said...

Oh my, snarky...send KY!

eric said...

I am last one who can chime in find fault with the zany, outside of the box, ideas on self-promotion.

katiesandwich said...

Uh... Why ISN'T this a bad idea?

Wow.

dorthygale said...

It's a joke. It's gotta be. That can't possibly be real. It's a wacko publicity thing.

Or a desperate plea to be blacklisted.

and so long first rights.

No. It has to be a really dumb joke.

Anonymous said...

That's hilarious. In the "OMG, who would do something that inane" way?

Why it's a bad idea?
1) Because people don't like random strangers telling them how to do their job.
2) 'Cause it's seriously gauche.
3) Because if the author is trying to organize web campaigns before the book is even sold, it makes you wonder what kind of crazy stuff she going to get into if Anna actually bought the book.
"Hey everybody, my editor wants me to change X in my book. But she oh so wrong. Leave comments on her blog telling her so.
4) People don't like people who encourage their readers to troll their blog.

Sue said...

It'a bad because the way to an editor's heart is through good writing and not through spam.

It's bad because Editor Anna does not strike me as the sort of person who would be impressed by the kudos of anonymous others*. (By anonymous I mean those she doesn't know in person or by reputation. A name is just a name.)

It's bad because the author is showing her ignorance of the publishing process. (Though, to her credit, she is aware of what Editor Anna is looking for -- in part.)

*I know her only through her blog, but it is part of my regular reading as she is entertaining and offers interesting insights into the world of Tor.

Sherryl said...

Because it marks you down as the kind of loony who harrasses editors and agents and makes them crazy.
No one ever talks about blacklisting loony authors, but I know several editors who have their own secret list. And from what Miss Snark has said about how editors and agents alike do actually talk to each other, this person has probably put herself on other loony lists as well.
(Please don't get PC with me about the word loony - it is a frequently-used term where I live for writers who make editors' lives a misery.)

xiqay said...

Well, here's some thinking why an author might not want to do this.

No one wants someone else to tell them what to do. Some, most people have a knee-jerk reaction to do the opposite. If hordes of readers descend on Miss Genoese telling her to buy the mss, perhaps she'll feel that knee-jerk.

And if no one or only a few rise to the call, perhaps she'll feel there is no one really interested in this mss after all.

In either case, the author has taken a bad risk.

Now, as for why it's a bad idea from Miss Genoese's standpoint, perhaps you and others could provide that perspective.

Anonymous said...

Tell you this is a bad idea? Someone please tell her! It's like watching a train wreck.

KEZ said...

...She's asking to have her butt handed to her, and her book blacklisted. Just...not smart. And quite annoying. Well, that's my guess at least.

meg said...

Yikes! Where to begin with what's wrong with that!? Aside from the obvious don't-harass-an-agent-about-the-slush-pile, this unsolicited ms is not going to the appropriate person at TOR as per their submission guidelines!

snarkfodder said...

Bad? Yes. Horrible even? Yes. Funny? YES. And she thinks harassing an editor anonymously is the bad part. I am in awe.

rabs said...

*snerk*

Wow -- that is a bad idea. I'm almost impressed.

I don't think that I'd wanna work with someone who agitated online to get the hoi polloi to harass me on my personal blog. Not the greatest selling strategy ever.

Dave said...

Oh My Stars? It's Wrong! Wrong! Wrong!
Lots of editors say
I'm looking for a blank novel about blank. And I see nothing wrong with writing a novel and sending a query letter trying to fill that desire.

But don't sic your friends on the editor. He or she will just remove you from any consideration of anything (other than the blocked list or the idiots I never want to hear from list) ...

This is TOR, also. TOR! one of the largest in the business... Did this person read her blog where she talks about the number of manuscripts she rejects and why?

Now how else is this wrong?
a)I know from my dealings with editors on technical journals that you never lobby, bug, or spam an editor. That creates an enemy and those editors talk to each other. I Can't tell you how many picky, silly and just plain dumb changes I made to suit editors.
b) How many times has Miss Snark lectured about not bugging agents and editors? 5, 6 thousand?
c) How many times has Miss Snark discussed how web publishing and a web following are not good writing credits? (hint, it'sa big number)

Anonymous said...

I blame Stephen Colbert for this. He's asked people to spam websites for months (infamously attacking Wiki entries and stuffing the ballot box to get a bridge named after him).

The only problem is that Stephen Colbert can get away with it; this lame-ass writer cannot.

Yes, it's wrong when Colbert does it but at least it's funny. This twit has no clue.

Nick said...

Um... who is this person? It seems she already expects everyone to know.

-Nick

PicAxe said...

I once overheard an editor say, "God, I hate authors."

Now I know why.

Bernita said...

Oh Nurse! Nurse!

Jessica said...

Is it just me or does she seem a bit obsessed with poor Anna Louise? :/ (Or is she just majorly sucking up to her?)

I read her other posts. Crazy person alert!

helen said...

Of course it's a terrible idea. But I can understand why the author can't see that. You hear so many stories of people building up a massive audience for their book/music/film through the web (I'm thinking Belle de Jour/Arctic Monkeys/Snakes on a Plane) that I can see why someone with a slightly lower clue quotient than the rest of us might think this idea was a stroke of genius. And perhaps, handled slightly differently - or if the novel was actually, y'know, any good - it might have been.

Ray Goldensundrop said...

Human pathos is a great literary element, but on a blog it's just pathetic.

I'm reminded of the early bloggers who attracted readers through the reality flow of consciousness about employers. Oh yes, so entertaining and obviously self-destructive.

Sometimes I'm sorry we live in the Too-Much-Information Age.

I hope it's a joke too. But it isn't.

Shelby said...

The thing that cracks me up about this is that she recognizes that comments from "Anonymous" are a bad idea, but somehow if you leave your actual name that makes it okay.

Aries said...

It strikes me as a bad idea simply because there aren't any shortcuts to getting published by a big name, prestigious publisher and that writer is looking for one. I think she should be pitied rather than mocked.

The Unpretentious Writer said...

Oi, bad idea.

Although, I wasn't aware that Jewish-Paranormal-Romance was a genre. I'll have to remember that the next time we do staff rec's at the store.

(Also, not the biggest fan of her first sentence, but that's got nothing to do with her judgement.)

Edyta said...

Sarah is obviously ignorant of the huge difference between assertive and aggressive.

amicietta said...

Poor dear.

Both of them.

spy scribbler said...

*cringe* Did she win nitwit of the week??

I feel sorry for her, at this point.

December Quinn said...

Miss Genoese showed up and left a rather pointed comment on the girl's blog. Ouch.

Just goes to show, there are no shortcuts, and thinking you have a special way to get around one of the sharpest and most open editors in the biz is Not Smart.

NewroticGirl said...

This seems to fall under the category of:

"My mom says I'm pretty so you should date me."

jnr said...

well, the behavior demonstrates a fundamental lack of understanding of what an editor does: evaluate material using his or her own judgement.

worst thing is, she still (as of friday, anyway) hadn't seem to realize that it was a genuinely bad idea...not a good idea misinterpreted by an insensitive world. she hasn't called off the campaign.

i was thinking that some of your commentors might be judging her a little harshly until i read that. oh well.

redcap said...

Oh the horror! The horror!

Anonymous said...

Oh, my goodness.

The cyber version times 500 of "My mom and friends really liked this!"

Anonymous said...

What really strikes me as strange is that now she's got a post saying how she hates spam and she never meant for the editor to be spammed. It's like she doesn't get that it's not really about spam. What if she'd asked her readers to all write letters to the editor. That wouldn't be spam, but there'd still be the same issue of it being a REALLY INSANE AND STUPID THING TO DO. Either suck it up and apologize, or don't, but like Miss Snark said, don't rationalize it (I'm sorry, but I never thought of it as spam...). Blah, blah, blah...I think she's gonna need that pen name after all.

tetzm said...

My advice before it happened would be to avoid coming across as difficult and demanding.

Alas, no one asked.

Reminds me of my brief career as a riding instructor, seeing a train wreck on horseback and thinking "Don't you just KNOW not to do that?" It's surprising what people don't know or what they think is perfectly logical.

Catja (green_knight) said...

In case she still needs to be told why it's a bad idea - because it shows a fundamental lack of understanding the publishing process.

Editors don't buy manuscripts because the author's friends like it. Editors - particularly at large publishing houses - buy books because they think they will make a profit.

On that topic, I can recommend - which is no coincidence - http://alg.livejournal.com/84032.html
and http://alg.livejournal.com/89781.html

which deal with the dreaded Profit and Loss calculations and is one of the best explanations I've seen. *That* is what she'll consider for every manuscript that comes over her desk. And the chances of something that is well written are much better than those for a book that is ok; even if the ok one comes with a platform of people who say 'I wanna read more'. Anyone in business will be only too aware what percentage of 'I am interested in theory' is willing to put money on the table when the time comes...

David said...

Well, it's cluelessness rather than malice, but the effect is going to be the same.

The proposal might be brilliant, but the editor won't be able to look at it without associating it with the flood of spam.

On the bright side, time passes, people forget, and this act of stupidity will eventually cease to hamper the author's career. In twenty years, or so.

Sha'el, Princess of Pixies said...

Dear Anon:

What's a random stranger?

Sha'el, Princess of Pixies said...

One simply cannot take their approach to social interaction into the way they submit their work.

We may rally our friends, we may lobby our relatives, but we may not plague editors and see print.

And ... royal commands do not seem to work on agents and publishers either. I'd offer TOR a royal license if I thought it would work. They could put "Publisher to Her Highness, Sha'el, Princess of Pixies" somewhere in each volume they print. And Anna could sign all her correspondence with, "Editor Royal to the House of Sha." I just don't see it working. But I did offer her an Oreo. She never answered. Oreos work with my children though; so I still have hopes.

I don't understand those two rejections from TOR year before last. It's probably that I like turnovers more than pistachio muffins. It couldn't be my writing. ... Could it?

mistri said...

Her faux-apology is just ridiculous - making out as if Tor will just chuck the MS on the reject pile now. Not that there's anything wrong with that, of course. Behaviour can be as important as the writing once it gets to that level of rudeness/foolishness.

It was stupid. But all she has to do is say sorry - instead of coming up with excuses.

Dee said...

Darn, I'm always late...they took the post off the blog...don't know if it was the "author" or the Blogger people did.

It must've been a real BAD thing...too bad I don't know what it is...
anyone willing to give me a general idea???

Kim said...

Dee

It wasn't bad in the sense of evil-bad. Basically, an aspiring author had submitted a partial to TOR and then, on her blog wrote a post about it. Sounds ok, right? Well, what she posted was that people should read the first chapter on HER website (or blog. I don't really remember, since it was late last night when I read it). Then, when a body finished reading it, said author suggested that a body then go to certain TOR editor's blog and post a comment on how much that body loved the first chapter and how they wanted to read the rest. That way, the editor would see how many people loved it, and would buy it from our intrepid author.

In a nutshell, everyone was supposed to crash this editor's blog to get her to buy a manuscript. Needless to say, NOT a good idea. A lot of people pointed it out - on her blog as well as this one.

The author did apologize, but it was a backhanded (lefthanded??) apology. A lot of people pointed out just how backhanded (lefthanded??)it was. Yikes.

Now, original post, apology post, and all comments regarding said post have been removed. Whew... now you're caught up :)

At least, I think that's it. Anyone out there - if I've got it wrong, please correct me! I promise I won't blame you for my eff up :)

Beth said...

What I'm wondering is why none of her blog readers seem to think it a bad idea...until after it backfired.

Anonymous said...

Posts be gone now.

desert snarkling said...

Salon had ?a good article on how to apologize.

I've been online 20 years, myself, and know folks who've been on longer. Usenet, gopher, and relay predate the web by quite a bit. If you worked for or attended a university during the 80s, you could be online. (If you worked for the right government or university department, you could be online longer than that.) The larger world discovered the 'net in the mid-90s, but it's been around since the late-60s.

Anonymous said...

Well one thing is for sure... this author won't have trouble in the marketing dept. when she is asked to help promote her work. She seems quite capable of getting the word out :)

Anonymous said...

Beth, that's because those of us who are not off the deep end don't read Sarah R. Yoffa's blog. I've run into her far too many times on the internet, and each time her egomania drove me away. Sadly, I feel I have to post this anonymously, as I don't want to have to interact with her at any point in the future.

Wonderwood said...

This is a belated comment, but it needs to be made. The reasons why this was a bad idea are self-evident. It boggles the mind that someone with enough clarity to complete a novel could be so in the fog on a professional/social level. Regardless of the degree of badness the idea possesses, don't we - as writers - have to probe deeper? What is her motivation? What's her inspiration? What makes her tick? Is she stubbornly, selfishly, sluggishly slogging along, mired in a foggy bog devoid of sufficient illumination for self-examination? Or is it such a nouveau - pardon my French - experience, the birthing of an idea, that she is enchanted by it, and uses it foolishly and with childlike enthusiasm? One wonders. Either way, a fascinating study of the darkness in which the soul can live.