9.11.2006

Remember to breathe and tie your shoes

Just a suggestion: Maybe you should have a caption at the top of the blog that says, "Read the damn FAQ before you send me anything." Because honestly, as a newbie I didn't know you don't accept queries through the site and I don't think it's as obvious as you seem to think it is.

This is the reason there is a warning sign on handheld paint removers that says "do not use as a hair dryer" and on ladders that says "place only on a flat surface". People do the nitwittiest things in the world then get all indignant cause "you didn't tell me that using a 1200 degree paint remover might burn my scalp. It looks like a hair dryer to me!".

"Do Not Query Miss Snark" is as obvious as it can be to anyone who has paid one whit of attention to anything I've ever said; anything any of the standard industry reference guides say; anything your common sense tells you.

Did the absence of submission guidelines offer a clue?

Did the word uranitwit offer a clue?

Did the email "url" of wtf.sol offer a clue?

If it is not obvious after all that, designating anything you send as junk mail seems offensive only cause it's a good defense.

Step off your righteous indignation ladder.

28 comments:

Aarin said...

Clue-gun activated.

Agreed.

A Reader said...

I remember clearly when I was a newbie to this blog some months ago, and I remember how obvious it was to not query Miss Snark. Particularly since "Miss Snark" is a fictitious character. Just reading a bit of the archives gives that away. When there are so many agents that a writer CAN find information on, why would a writer query one s/he knows nothing about?

M. G. Tarquini said...

Always best to research a little. Find out if an agent represents what you write, has a physical address.

And a first name.

Bloggin' Grammy said...

Darlin' snark woman, now I did get lost here for hours on end Saturday readin' your blogspot until I couldn't see anymore, ignorin' the Sugarland, "Something More' tune on my cell phone until 10 pm only to discover 8 messages later, crammin' chip after chip with onion dip most times missin' my mouth cause I weren't lookin' and cussin' at cavalier.com when my signal was lost & I had to reboot the dang thing and come back to cyberspace.

Let me tell you this, MISS gin pail drinkin', zip zappin', yanno-in', killer yappin' dawg owner...THERE WAS NO MISTAKIN' THAT YOU DON"T ACCEPT QUERY LETTERS OR MS'S VIA THE EMAIL ADDRESS THAT YOU HAVE POSTED IN YOUR PROFILE.

Goodness me, if I keep comin' here readin' that folks are drivin' you to drink, I just might have to get me pail or two, a bucket or three for my chardonay and join ya.

Hecko, those big girl glasses that I partake of my libation from just won't do the trick.

Toastin' you and that dawg of yours! Happy day, now

Elektra said...

Here's a rule when querying: Stop. ask yourself, "Do I know this agent's REAL NAME?"

If the answer to the above question is "no" (or "yes, it's Barbara Bauer"), then DO NOT QUERY!

Cudd said...

Hmm... maybe you should move your e-mail address from the profile page to the bottom of the FAQ page. It's too easy for the nitwits to find as is if someone got away with e-mailing you that without already feeling like a complete nitwit.

Kim said...

I have to admit - it took me a few minutes to figure out what **sol** meant, but when I did, I had to laugh. I thought 'how obvious is that?'

Apparently not very.

Back-up clue gun locked and loaded.

Dave Kuzminski said...

And remember also that any comment you leave is subject to being posted. If your comments reflect on you as a nitwit, you need only look in a mirror to find the responsible party.

The Unpretentious Writer said...

"Step off your righteous indignation ladder."

Only if it's placed on a flat surface. ^_^

Jillian said...

Miss Snark,

It might just be on my end, but I've noticed the past few times I've visited your blog that all your juicy info -- archives, fake email address for subs, etc. -- is way, way down at the bottom of the sidebar. There's a huge gray area between the profile and the rest of the stuff. In the past, it didn't show up that way. I'm wondering if something's off in your template.

If that's the case, newbies wouldn't see all that info unless they scrolled almost all the way to the bottom of the fairly long page.

FWIW...

jessica said...

You made that letter up, right?

judy said...

Yeah, my browser has it all messed up, too.

BJ Nemeth said...

For what it's worth, everything looks proper and good on my Mac running the latest version of Safari.

Society is already dumbed down enough as it is. If you try to query Miss Snark through her blog, you deserve the consequences. (Which aren't nearly harsh enough.)

Anonymous said...

Never mind whether you missed the 'DO NOT QUERY MISS SNARK' bits of the blog. There's also the fact that you should never query any agent without knowing:

a) her name

b) what she's sold

c) whether she represents your genre

If you do query an agent without having the first clue about any of these things, I think you count as a nitwit, whether her blog says 'Don't query' or 'Oh yes, please, query me now!'

Anonymous said...

Miss Snark,
What happens when something wonderful comes to you via the Crapometer, for example, and you want a crack at it for real? Do you blow your cover and request more pages? If I'd gotten a good review from you on the crapometer I'd be so frustrated as to how to get to you, or the real you anyway. Would I have to send a query to every agent in the NY area? I love your blog, but wonder if it sometimes frustrates even you.
The downside of anonymity.
from - anonymous

M. G. Tarquini said...

Here's a rule when querying: Stop. ask yourself, "Do I know this agent's REAL NAME?"

*dissolves into laughter*

Elektra, you are soooo going to get the bill for this keyboard, as soon as I figure out where to send it.

BradyDale said...

STAND STRONG!
Really, I just put a note in the comment box at the gym to complain about the fact that they have SO DAMN MANY SIGNS everywhere. "Do do this" "don't do this" "please don't stand here"
AAAAGH!!!
I'm so sick of signs!
messages! orders!
People should be less impatient and try to figure it out and shouldn't complain when you don't wipe their heinekens for them.

Michele Lee said...

I admit it. I sent a test mail to uranitwit@wtf.sol I thought I might get an amusing auto response. I'm pretty sure all I said was "hi".

Corn Dog said...

Indignant and a nitwit, huh? Does that spell indignit? Steady yourself, Indignit, several clue guns are aimed at your head and torso. This could have all been avoided with a little lurking, a little reading and not so much writing and pressing the send button.

v word: oiaqiwze - item 34 on the new sushi menu

Eric Riback said...

I recognize the writer. Back in grade school I got her to repeat this mantra repeatedly, quicker each time:

OWA TAGOO SIAM

nitwit said...

sorry, I still don't get .sol

Anonymous said...

I luv ya, Miss Snark, but I got say that you and the Snarklings protest too much.

This newbie was not showing righteous indignation. He or she was pointing out that there are lots of different types of readers who stream through blogs. They see literary agent and they rush off their e-query to you.

If they were good, wanting to learn, studying how to be a writer, etc. they wouldn't. But honest newbie thought you might like to think about a more direct sign-do not query-to save yourself these headaches.

In this case, I think it is you whose "righteous indignation" is out of order. At least, as directed to this newbie.

Kim said...

I think (and I could be wrong, remember I had to think about it) that sol is S*@# Outta Luck

3 said...

I'm almost sure that the template-viewing issues are from entries like crapometer #77, ones that have big long dividing lines a la ========== between query and pages. The template can't truncate or separate that so it has to give somewhere else. My guess is those entries just have to cycle off the front page and into the archives.

Helen Ginger said...

Thank goodness I was late in reading this today and had already finished my coffee. You don't have to read far into Miss Snark's blog to find out enough to avoid being a total nitwit. (We're all partial nitwits most of the time.)

Jillian said...

It would appear that they have done so. The template is back to normal -- as least for me!

Anonymous said...

If the answer to the above question is "no" (or "yes, it's Barbara Bauer"), then DO NOT QUERY!

Both ears and the tail to electra for that one. I have pasta bits wedged firmly in my nasal cavity from the involuntary reverse snort.

Aconite

Bella Stander said...

But honest newbie thought you might like to think about a more direct sign-do not query-to save yourself these headaches.

It wouldn't. It never ceases to astonish me how many people who consider themselves to be writers can't be bothered to read or to follow written directions.

I have a notice on the first screen of my writing site telling authors not to solicit me for reviews. They do anyway, then argue with me when I tell them that PublishAmerica isn't a commercial trade (i.e., real) publisher. Back in the day, I answered countless phone calls asking how often Publishers Weekly is published.

If I were Miss Snark I'd have a gin Jacuzzi, not a pail, and would long ago have escalated from clue gun to nuke. I admire her kindliness and restraint.