11.03.2006

Nitwit of the Day!

Here's a big hunk of clue cake for everyone at the book buffet: don't diss your publisher in public. Not now, not ever. Not even if you think you're right, especially when I know you're wrong.

Anne Stuart couches her nitwittery behind "oh I'm always honest" and "someday I'll learn to be discreet". Honestly Anne, do you think no one from Mira will see this? Well, ok, maybe you think they should. Why? Do you think they will have some sort of Road to Damascus moment and leap up to be passionate about selling your work? Been awhile since you've worked with people if you think that's a good strategy.

Here's why dissing your publisher is stupid. It removes every desire to go the extra mile for you. Every and any.

You don't have to be grateful for the work people do for your books. Just don't trash them in public. People aren't doing all you hoped for to help you? Suck it up, welcome to the real world.

And if by some chance, you DO say something you regret, you call up or email the interviewer and say "I've been a true nitwit in that comment, please don't post it (or please delete it)". You can recover from nitwittery if you work fast. Of course you can compound it by saying "I was right" and "it's only the truth".

And if you want to comment or email me all atwitter about this post here's what I have to say to you: "I'm always honest". It's not true of course. I've learned that discretion is the better part of being a grown up.

92 comments:

Southern Writer said...

Oh my. If you don't want your contract, I'll be happy to take your spot.

Couldn't agree more with you on Dubya Bush, though.

Kristin B. said...

Problem is, a lot of writers don't seem to understand that a publisher is your employer, just like, you know, people who pay you to do work for them. Would I go out and bash my employer on the internet, for all the world to see? Dear dog, no. There's this thing called a "working relationship", ya see, and I like to keep it. Mutual respect is kind of an important part of that.

Not that I think that someone shouldn't "stand up to the man" if they're getting screwed. Just don't do it in a way that jeopardizes the rest of your career.

Bernita said...

~waiting breathlessly for someone to burble about "the climate of fear..."~

Linda said...

I couldn't agree more.

And this should include writers posting foolish things that potential readers can see. Case in point: an author sued someone for plagarism. Because of the publicity, I picked up a copy of one of the author's books to see what he'd written. At the same time, the case received a judgment, and I posted a link to a news article in my blog--just a link and something indicating the case had ended. That day, I got a comment from him that looked like he spammed every blog that mentioned the case. The comment was angry, bitter and very distasteful. So much so that I put his book down on Chapter 1 and gave it away, and I never touched one of his books again. He could have easily taken the high road and approached the court case with dignity--and probably would have gotten more readers out of it. Instead, he took the low road and spammed blogs to vent his anger.

~Nancy said...

Wow. I just don't get why authors - or anyone else - would want to do this.

Sure, plenty of people here at work rub me the wrong way, but I have to work with them, so I save my rants for when I talk to my hubby at home. That way, I get it off my chest, but I don't get anyone upset at me. (How we supposed to work together if I bitch to their face?)

Might be too late, but I'd take that part of the interview (or whatever) down.

~JerseyGirl

Verification: lxxnq - The sucking sound of a contract being cancelled.

Maya said...

Harlequin noticed all right. They're just putting the best public face on it that they can:

www.isabelswift.blogspot.com

You have to admire them for trying to make lemonade out of lemons.

Laura K. said...

Maybe she thinks if she disses everyone who's ever published her, it's ok. I have to say that the interview, which has the obvious effect of making her unpopular with her publisher, doubtless also makes her unpopular with some readers. She's doesn't write the kind of thing I read, but if she did I'd be crossing her off my list for the sheer whininess of her answer.

Anonymous said...

Making books ain't cheap. A publisher invests tens of thousands of dollars on your book, minimum. Editorial, typesetting, production, paper, printing, binding, storage, review copies, marketing, publicity...the list goes on. Guess who pays for that? Your publisher. And if your book doesn't do as well as they'd hoped, you still get to keep the advance they paid you. They're the one taking the financial risk.

Dissing your publisher (especially publicly) not only removes their desire to work for you, but it's a h-u-g-e red flag to other publishers, that you're "difficult". Sure maybe you can pull a switcheroo a coupla times, but trust me, keep with the trash talk and you're gonna be Typhoid Mary in no time.

Don't be an asshole to your supporters. You expect your readers to support you with their dollars, right? Well, your publisher already did that. So be nice.

Zany Mom said...

There is an extra slash in your link to Ann Stuart's page, making your link not work. Just a heads up.

Sarashay said...

I just worry that scam publishers like PublishAmerica will use that warning to club their authors over the head with--"See what we mean? Saying bad things about your publisher will get you in trouble!"

carrie_lofty said...

Link is gone :(

Alley Splat said...

Ouch.

Miss Snark, the link didn't work - try this:
http:///www.likesbooks.com/annestuart2006.html#lastquestion

verification bbaeiiu, which sounds like what her publishers'll say when they read that!

Simon Haynes said...

I look at my own books as if they were boxes of cereal.
Once you hand in the final manuscript book marketing has more in common with selling groceries than promoting the author's neat turn of phrase.
Stack 'em in the shops and sell them with milk for all I care.

Ric said...

OMG! Is it any wonder that her publishers 'lose enthusiasm' working with her?

While there may be more than a kernal of truth in what she says, does Miss Snark have a definition for prima donna?

SandyO said...

People have the freedom of speech. But most do not want to take responsibility for their actions. Just because you can say it doesn't mean there can't be reprecussions.

I'm sure Ms. Stuart will whine if she doesn't get the publicity, etc, she thinks she deserves. But then she'll probably just blame it on Dubya.

cudd said...

Miss Snark, you have a 3rd / in the http:// part that might prevent the link from loading for most people--I had to copy shortcut, paste, and edit out the error to see the link myself.

Wilfred the Author said...

As I was taught in my management training. Praise in Public. Reprimand in Private.

This is one nitwit of the day that I agree with.

Jen said...

I've never heard a writer spout off about how truly great they are before. LOL. Wow...humility..get some.

Talk about biting the hand that feeds you.

Myfanwy Collins said...

Oops, there's an extra / in your link so it's creating a dead link.

Dave said...

I learned a long time ago not to absolutely expose myself on the internet. One time was a lesson of the early days of AOL when someone spread my home address around. Another time was from a secretary and very good friend who forced me to justify a raging, screaming, angry memo to her (Then she made me tear it up). Those taught me to be just a little prudent and circumspect about what I reveal online or in e-mails.

Her comments were indiscreet and unecessary. That's the biggest hurt - unecessary - It wasn't the forum to say those things and it isn't a confidence among friends.

December Quinn said...

I don't even understand her complaint. She thinks they treat publishing as a business? Oh, no!


She should be grateful they do.

Anonymous said...

A publisher who's "about slots and numbers"? What's the world coming to?

michaelgav said...

This is like a jackass quarterback ripping his offensive line in the newspapers for not protecting him.

Doesn't she have an agent to do her nudging and complaining for her?

How pervasive is author ignorance of how publishing works?

Because if I'm a field rep for that publisher, and she just ripped me in public, I'd just as soon bury her in the midlist the next chance I get.

HawkOwl said...

"Diplomacy consists in thinking twice before saying nothing."

retterson said...

"Discretion is the better part of being a grown up."

Classic, quotable and eminently true. Where do I buy that bumpersticker?

Anonymous said...

Miss Snark, the link is not working. Care to reprint the content of Anne Stuart's snarkishness?

And it seemed that the folks at MIRA have responded. These ladies have class.

S William said...

I ditto southern writer. I sit down. I shut up. Pounding keyboards is better than making widgets.

Leslea said...

That last "rats" comment really punctuated the entire rant with nastiness. Prior to that, it just sounded foolish.

Anonymous said...

Here's an author with multiple books in print. Who's been published by some of the top houses. Who received great reviews from Publisher's Weekly for her last two books. And then she goes and crabs about how Mira doesn't love her enough. How Zebra paid her too much and let her books disappear. How Signet's enthusiasm waned.

She sounds like a spoiled brat.

Existential Man said...

MIRA MIRA on the wall
who's the classiest of them all?
Despite being trashed by Stuart
for not loving her enough
you're proclaiming yourselves her fans, showing all the right stuff;

she whines, she complains like a big-shot writer
rather than accept the publishing game, taking her licks like a punch-drunk fighter

the sky is the limit for an ego so inflated--
not so suprising from her mouth pop comments ill-fated;

"enough about you, lets talk about me!
I'm the best around--can't you all see?"

iboas are cute and not a moment too soon
to squelch the rantings of this crazy loon.

King said...

Oh god. The snippy rules and regulations of the conglomerate publishing world. I'd think you'd be grateful if a writer ripped you self-deluded insular overeductaed mandarins-- if the writer were any good.
Your focus on manners instead of ethics, knowledge, and real talent is why you're discovering no great writers. You get instead merely the apple-polishing conformists.
What writer of integrity would want anything to do with you and your endless series of hoops to jump through?
Would a Tolstoy, a Joyce, a Hemingway?
The entire lit-world is set up to shut out the independent voice.
Who are your well-hyped authors? Clueless rich kids named Pessl and Foer?
Are they telling the real story of this nation?
Do they represent authentic American culture?
If you believe they do, it shows how completely clueless the lot of you are.
Thank you.

Querier said...

Now I have a question. Where is this "response" from MIRA that a few have mentioned? I didn't see anything on the link that seems to qualify. Can someone help out a potential nitwit?

Also, did anyone else notice that the Isabel Swift blog has a link to the Sobol Award? I thought that had been declared a scam ... or at least awfully darn close (if it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, all that). Why would she have that on the blog?

Anonymous said...

You know... Anne Stuart's honesty is amazingly useful to rookie authors... I've seen her speak openly and honestly like this to other published authors at conferences and found it very educational to hear her honesty about past mistakes and to hear what challenges an author at her career stage faces. We have much to learn from her, I think. But I agree she shouldn't rant about her publisher on the record...
I'm not even putting this comment on the record...

Anonymous said...

Many years ago a couple of writers publically complained about their publishers at a convention. Said publisher heard about it and was not impressed. Long story short, these writers are in the "where are they now?" category.

Don't like what your publisher is doing? Complain to your dog, or as you say Miss Snark, suck it up.

Elektra said...

You shouldn't even have to complain to your dog--go to the publisher in a professional manner. Say things like "what can I do to help market?", so them, and then I bet they'll start pushing a little harder, too,

pooks said...

I love Sister Krissie and her work, but I'll go even farther here. Yes, bitching about your publisher in public is insane.

To bitch about print runs, shelf space, editor woes, etc. to people who would give their eyeteeth to sit where you're sitting is insensitive to say the least. For her to complain about the lack of support she got (while mentioning she got overpaid) is downright rude.

What part of her readership was supposed to care?

However, I do agree with those how have said she is generous with her advice and experience, and I hope this doesn't hurt her. Generally if the sales are there, publishers will be, too.

Amra Pajalic said...

I found her answer very interesting. All the publishers were at fault and lacking. When I hear that I have to wonder what she did to contribute to this relationship being the way it is? After all, she is the common demonitar. But the most telling answer was her idea of friendship.

"Loyalty, of course. Looking out for me. Taking care of me. I'm someone who takes care of the world, striding through life, never needing help until I fall apart. Really good friends step in and help, even take over. "

Perhaps we can read into her answer about friendship her attitude and expectations of her publisher?

Anonymous said...

the whole response from Mira--a show of appreciation for her which included photos-- was taken down within 5 minutes after my "MIRA MIRA" poem above was posted as a comment...i was surprised they let it go up at all.

lizzie26 said...

Wow, after reading this: http://www.isabelswift.blogspot.com
I have to say, MIRA did a great job in the come-back department! Anne Stuart must be squirming. Or maybe not.

Demented M said...

Miss Snark:

As an agent, what would you do with a client like this?

Do you try to talk to them?

Do they go to the bottom of your priority list and you hope they move on?

What do you do when pitching the author's next project in cases like this?

M

Anonymous said...

Is it just me or does the HQ blog seem to be pimping the Sobol Awards???

AA

Sumac said...

King, you sound like a failed writer. Most people who write vastly overestimate their own talent, even though they may be perfectly reasonable, intelligent folks. Thus, the industry blogs are filled with bitter retorts like yours.

Publishing is a business, not wish fulfillment.

If you're not a writer, but rather a dissatisfied reader, start your own publishing company. I'm serious. It's pretty cheap to do these days and you can publish the scads of brilliant "authentic" manuscripts that will land on your doorstep every day. And you will never be fed up with the arrogant, ignorant people who all think they can do your (low-paying, often thankless, always-for-the-sheer-love-of-it) job better than you. Nope. Never.

Anonymous said...

amazingly, the post is back up
including my poem-comment which is astonishing if you think about it...they are expressing their dedication to her and yet also allowing my poem to remain, which, if it is allowed to stay, makes the point for them at the same time they are worshipping her!
i would think Stuart herself would object to her own publisher allowing a poem critical of her behavior to remain on the site.
gotta love the workings of cyber-space!

Michele Lee said...

Hmmm... "I am a goddess." I seriously doubt the problem with any of the publishers is their fault.

Anonymous said...

Did Anne Stuart speak out of turn? Most probably. But she's an outspoken woman, which most of the time takes the form of intelligent discourse, unconquerable humor, and genuine support for other writers. She's also a very talented writer.

As blooper of the week, her mini-moan takes the blue ribbon. But as one who admires her work and her independent spirit, I hope--no I'm sure--she'll survive all of a piece. So will Mira because of the great crew of editorial staff who work there.

One day, the writing goddess willing, I'd love to write for them--so I can moan, too.

Good people on both sides. One bit-too-loud-this-time mouth on one of them.

Richard Lewis said...

Well, no such thing as bad publicity.

I never heard of Anne Stuart until today. Now, if I'm in a bookstore, I'll keep an eye out for her and browse through her novels.

Sure it's stupid to diss one's publisher in public (I have a wonderful one, that means you, Ed!) but that doesn't mean A.S. is crossed off my list of authors I'm going to read.

Richard Lewis said...

"I'm a goddess"

Me, I see tongue in cheek. Am I the only one?

Anonymous said...

Once you get on the other side of the publishing wall, you'll find out just how quickly that excitement can turn sour and how authors are often treated like yesterday's newspaper--the good as well as the not-so-good. It's a business, yes, it's all about money and receipts, and that means authors are routinely treated like dirt by the publishing industry (not necessarily their editors--often the editors have no say in what goes on).

So she spoke a little too openly--her bad and unfortunately, it will be remembered. However, just how many of you have gone off on your employers to your friends and coworkers? Writing isn't a perfect career, there are major disappointments in store that you feel all the more keener when you see your books remaindered, your shelf life drop to six weeks at most, and your hard work pay off in pennies. Give the woman a break--she might have just been tired and worn out that day.

Miss Snark said...

She may have indeed, but it's still witless to say that stuff to anyone other than your hound or sweetie or friends.

People lose their jobs for blogging about the companies they work for!

They lose jobs for writing books that don't mesh with corporate "objectivity".

You'd have to be a complete nitwit to think saying these kinds of things in a public place is a good idea.

Anonymous said...

Bad idea, Miss Snark? Witless?

No one disagrees with you--but not bad enough for so much disparagement of a woman of value and talent.

Can we chalk it up to a bad hair day? Mira handled the incident with class, because Isabel Swift is a classy lady. Anne Stuart had a witless moment; she is not a witless woman.

Anonymous said...

Likely Stuart's grousing would have slipped under the radar had it not appeared on this blog. Did you feel it was your duty to make a mockery of her?

I don't think, Miss Snark, that you have any inkling of how difficult it is to be a working novelist. Unless you're a bestselling author you are patronized, left out of the loop, and lied to. If you make even a peep of protest, you're considered to be difficult.

I know the "talent" in every industry is viewed with distain, but they do put the scheckles in everyone's pockets so it would be nice to be treated with just a little respect.

I agree that Stuart was shooting herself in the foot, but you didn't have to help her. This is a very tough business and working writers are the ones with the least power. Cut us a little slack would ya, Miss Great and Powerful Snark.

overdog said...

Sounds like Ms. Stuart was feeling comfy and treating the interview like a chat with a pal, when she should have been thinking about how it would sound to a larger audience. It might be okay to say those things to a friend. It's unprofessional to say them publicly.

This reminds me of the first interview I gave, years ago. The interviewer was a friend, but in this case, that was lucky. When we finished she told me she would edit a few things, pointing out that I needed to be careful. When one speaks in public one must be aware of who's listening.

Think about it: famous actors, interviewed all the time, are trained by publicists and handlers. They know exactly what to say to create the effect they choose. Sarcasm, tongue-in-cheek, etc. can be misunderstood when gestures and expressions (facial and vocal) aren't part of the equation.

You can also be edited, so you'd better hope the interviewer likes you.

Something to think about for when your book sells big and you go on your own publicity tour.

Miss Snark said...

Peep all you want.
Just don't do it in an interview.

writtenwyrdd said...

I found this link some time ago. I like to call this the "Be Nice...Or Else" lesson. http://miss-read.livejournal.com/778.html

M. G. Tarquini said...

Lots of people forget that what goes on the internet is public. And more or less permanent.

Anonymous said...

" I've had trouble with publishers all along. I probably shouldn't have left Avon -- they were for sale at the time I left and they didn't seem to have a business plan, so I foolishly thought I could do better"

A writer of her stature should have her own business plan. She can well afford to hire a business manager, accountant and a lawyer if need be to oversee her income.

And like it or not, she might be a writer, but she's also a BUSINESS PERSON. She can call herself a small business owner, of if you're John Grisham, a corporation. But someone in business does not do well to diss the people with whom they want to make money with.

docbrite said...

Kristen B, if my publisher is my employer, I wish to hell they'd offer me a nice health plan and 401K. I've always thought of myself as an independent contracter, and don't consider myself an "employee" of my publisher any more than I consider myself the employer of the guy who comes to fix my toilet (to use a particularly elegant analogy). He's employed by the plumbing company, and temporarily subcontracting for me; I'm self-employed and subcontracting for the publisher. Obviously I hope my relationship with the publisher will be somewhat longer than with the plumber, but otherwise the situations seem roughly analogous. Anyone else agree? Disagree? I'd be curious to hear others' opinions on this.

(Of course, I agree that it is foolish -- though occasionally tempting -- to publicly criticize one's publisher. Employer or not, they are certainly the hand that feeds you.)

Anonymous said...

Man, what an amazing rush to judgement. So many authors ready to piss on their own--when one of them dares to speaks her mind.

Interesting . . .

Anonymous said...

Talk about a storm in a D-cup.

She had a case of foot-in-mouthitis. Big whoop, we all do. Yup, even the divine Ms Snark.

And I agree with docbrite. Publishers aren't employers. There's no reason authors should kowtow to them. Openly criticize them in public forums, maybe not too smart. But beg for scraps at their table - not so much.

And "I am a goddess" - joke, people. Good grief.

spymum said...

C'mon Anonymous, that level of blabberie about a working relationship (to a public audience) is a major faux pas, especially to a journalist. It does sound as if she began to think of it as a cosy chat.

Still, (not being a romance fan!) it sounds as if she is pretty d**nm sucessful writer, so she'll be just fine!

Christine said...

What I want to know is...

How many eggs in a Clue Cake???

spyscribbler said...

I made that mistake on a very private loop of ten or so people who I thought I knew personally, when directly asked by another writer about a publisher's payment record. *sigh* I answered honestly (and turns out I was mistaken about one point, too). Word gets around.

When it comes to publishers, you're not doing yourself a favor by being honest. No matter how right you are, just don't do it. No matter how much you want to warn your writer friends, just don't do it. We mended the fences, but still ... don't do it. Not ever.

Stacy said...

Just so there is no confusion, I unofficially represent the man, not the poor downtrodden writer.

Publishers are out there with nothing but their reputation to cover their need for great amounts of cash. If the authors they spend these wads of dough tell all and sundry that they have no business sense, can't sell worth crap and treat their authors like s**t, then this WILL impact on the goodwill they depend on to move the damned books out of the warehouse.

And I know this is not a popular opinion around here, but authors need to get over themselves. If they are all so damn terrific and don't need the services provided by an established and reputable publishing house, then they should all run down to the nearest large Printery (that's what we call them here) and pay them to do up a cover for them and produce their magical tome. I'm sure they will sell like hotcakes.

Melissa said...

Anon-on speaking your mind
Even little ol me knows better than to piss on a publisher. Have I had problems with them? Yep. Do I post about them? No.
I do think she has a right to say what she wants, but this wasn't the smartest thing around. I hear authors complain all the time about the attention they get from their publisher, but that is one on one, not to the world. Granted, like I said, she has a right to say what she wants, but it wasn't IMHO the smartest thing in the world to say. And to a lot of struggling writers trying to make it, I am sure it came off as whiney and snarky. I understand she is disappointed in her publishers, but airing it publicly isn't the smartest avenue to take.

Termagant 2 said...

Poor judgment, maybe, but illustrative to the rest of us on how supportive (not) the big pubs can be to the name writers. I assumed pubs took some care of those who are selling well and getting lots of attention. In my view, care means promo dollars, marketing efforts, and business-type items. Not friendship. I have friends for that--I don't expect it from my publisher(s).

Guess those of us who are disappointed with small press practices had better steel ourselves for when/if we sell to bigger houses.

T2

Anonymous said...

King,
Oh, spare me the litany of geniuses who'd never have been published if the publishing community had insisted on authors having a fricking clue about social interaction instead of writing talent.

If you're brilliant enough, your publisher will overlook your immature, clueless, boneheaded behavior. Guess what? Odds are really, really really good that you are not that brilliant, so don't hamstring yourself by acting stupid. And for pity's sake, learn the difference between "You will never be published if you don't conform socially" and "Don't be an idiot in public if you can help it."

Aconite

Anonymous said...

I think my DD would say the writer sounds "bragadocious." I would say it's basically too much information.

skybluepinkrose said...

Writers are indeed business people, and the same wisdom applies: If you must diss someone, do it where other working stiffs do it -- to your SO, to your journal, to your close friends, to your therapist, and if you need the recipient to be somebody who gets writers and you know and trust the members, to your critique group. No place else.

A publisher is not an employer. A client of your freelance writing business is not an employer. Not any more than you are your doctor's or lawyer's employer. I receive fees and royalty checks without withholdings, get 1099s rather than W2s, receive no benefits whatsoever, and do my own withholding and make estimated tax payments for my FICA and income tax. I'm an independent contractor, and everybody I work with and for wants it that way. I do too. Whether the business associate you're railing against is an employer or not -- just don't.

Writerious said...

Thing is, and the part that I think King and his ilk are missing out on, is while writing may be an art (or a craft, or both), publishing is a business. And when writers seek to get their work published, they are, like it or not, removing the artist (or craftperson) hat and putting on the business hat -- or should be. Publishers and agents expect a professional relationship with their authors. They're not there to coach, cajole, or babysit authors, especially those with oh-so-precious Gustav Corbet-sized "I am an artiste!" egoes.

Imagine, then, if you're in a different line of business. Let's go with the plumbing example. You run a small plumbing company. You install plumbing in newly-built houses. On your client list are several large building firms, and you've benefitted greatly from contracts with them. The business relationships with those firms have had their good and bad points. One day, the buisness reporter from local newspaper comes to interview you about your plumbing business, and ask you to tell him everything about what it's been like to work for these large building firms. So you tell him everything, good and bad, from the bonus you got from Firm XYZ for finishing the job early, to how the owner of XYZ can be a big jerk sometimes.

Day after the article comes out, the owner of XYZ calls, chews you out, and cancels your contract with the company.

Are you suprised?

What would really be surprising is if the owner of XYZ wrote a letter to the editor of the paper in praise of your small plumbing firm.

That's what MIRA's response was. Very classy. I think it says more than "We're not bothered by this author's complaints." It also says, "We support our author. Period. Complaints? We know not of what you speak." Very classy indeed.

BuffySquirrel said...

The eggs aren't in the cake, Christine; they're on the nitwit's face!

docbrite said...

ContractOr. You'd think after 13 months in post-Katrina New Orleans, I would know how to spell that word.

Shesawriter said...

Who among us hasn't made a faux pas or two? We're only human. I for one love Sister Krissie, and will chalk this up to a bad hair day. She's a gifted author whom I've admired for some time. Hell, she could write a book on toilet paper and I'd read it. ;-D

...just sayin'

self-employed said...

People are romanticizing publishing, reducing it to some cozy office business.

A writer isn't an employee or partner. A writer creates a product purchased by a giant corporation. The corporation doesn't have to do anything with the product, but if they choose that path the writer will most likely complain. After all it's the writer's life and career and she may have sacrificed years for this one product. And many times an editor is just as helpless as the writer. The editor IS an employee, and often doesn't have a say in what happens to a book once it's written.

Anonymous said...

This is Anne Stuart being Anne Stuart. She's never minced words. And if you don't know her writing, or her history, or who she is in the romance writing world (and why successful romance writers in general agree that she IS a goddess), you should learn before you hop on the bandwagon to complain about her behavior.

Kanani said...

If ever someone needed a lesson in what to put out there and what not... it's her.

Interviews are not the opportunity to cozy up with the interviewer and talk off the top of your head. I mean, you can do this if you have amusing anecdotes, a personal philosophy that is in some way unique and helps you through the day, or you want to sell a cause. But by and large interviews are given for ONLY one reason: to sell your product.

And that product might be a book, your talents, or to talk about writing and inspire others.

She needs to hire a publicist who will be the front person on all her interviews. She simply has too much 'bla bla bla' on that site. Stuff we don't need to know and isn't very interesting.

As someone mentioned above, she can well afford to hire one. Or more to the point, she can't afford NOT to hire one.

And yes, when you make a gaffe, you really do need to say "I'm sorry."
Just like Mel-a-bu. Only no one quite believes him!

Anonymous said...

first time i have ever heard of anne stuart.

blaironaleash said...

And "I am a goddess" - joke, people. Good grief.

Overall, not too smart, no. But the above - yeah. Are there really people who could fail to pick up on that?

Stacy said...

re the 'I am a goddess' comment: I think everybody realized that it was supposed to be a joke; it just wasn't very funny.

Stacy said...

I just had to add this. I am currently evaluating a self-published textbook that will be competing with a book I worked on; the author might have had a kernel of a good idea, and there is some material that is useful in there, but the whole thing is just badly done. No organizing principle, no appreciation for the art of book design, no feature to really SELL this. And just like that, it is a piece of crap. And the sad part is that when the author decided to self-publish and beat the major publishers at their game, everybody WANTED writers in that area. He could have got it published legitimately if he had been willing to do the work.

King said...

Snark-- what happened to the follow-up responses I posted here. Oh, you're a real believer in free and open discussion alright: NOT!

Anonymous said...

Quoth King: Snark-- what happened to the follow-up responses I posted here. Oh, you're a real believer in free and open discussion alright: NOT!

Did Miss Snark pimp this blog as a place for free and open discussion? And I missed it? Dang.

Aconite

P.S. King, you may want to review, yanno, punctuation usage. And spelling. If you, like, wanna be taken seriously as a writer. Weirdly enough, editors and readers seem to care a lot more about that kind of thing than an author's personal philosophy of the nature of publishing. While blogs are informal venues, it's been my experience that good writers don't stray too far from good grammar even when being casual. The good habits are so ingrained, they become the default. Just sayin'.

King said...

We live in an overregulated, constipated society. For the great writers of history-- Scott Fitzgerald, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Shakespeare particularly-- precise punctuation was a secondary consideration; because they had something to say!
You seem to be a lot of anal schoolteachers. (Read the entirety of my blog and you'll see that I actually make few punctuation mistakes. I also have something to say.)
A novel soon to be released by the cooperative project I belong to (I won't name the book for fear Snark won't post this; we are the opposition to her gang of miscreants after all) is filled with misspellings. It's also a great read by an extremely talented writer. The mistakes add to a sense of chaos which is the theme of the work-- representing the chaos of the contemporary age.
(Dear blog author: Can you please post this? Thank you! I'm so grateful!)

Sumac said...

Oh, King Wenclas, of course it's you. I've been reading about your crappy manifestos and attention-getting stunts for years.

Misspellings don't make a book more interesting or "chaotic." They make it hard to read. They give people a headache.

Language signifies. If you're going to write a book that massacres language then what have you got? "A tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."

Good luck making that big literary splash.

King said...

Those who would put language into a narrow box massacre language.

Anonymous said...

Those who would put language into a narrow box massacre language.
The language of the eternally unpublished (printed, but unpublished): "The rules don't apply to me."

Aconite

Anonymous said...

BTW, King, you do understand that Shakespeare was using punctuation as was appropriate to playwriting of his era, and that the versions of Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky you've probably read were translations, right? Shakespeare's plays weren't meant to be read; they were meant to be seen and heard. And if you are fluent enough in Russian to understand the intricacies of punctuation usage in the originals, I salute you.

Aconite

Anonymous said...

Oh BS. I work for a publisher. Guarantee that Mira doesn't care. The people at Mira who work with Stuart don't do so because they're in love with her. They do so because Mira is their employer.

But Mira is not Stuart's employer, as someone upthread asserted. They buy her work because they want it to make them money. They will calculate how much it costs to promote the work and if it's worth it to them in potential sales, they'll promote it. This is not the PTA. Likes and dislikes don't set budgets at corporations -- and if they do, the people doing the liking and disliking without regard to the profit and loss sheets won't have their jobs much longer.

If dissing the publisher in a general way ups her sales, they aren't going to care. Recording artists do this all the time.

You people need to get out more, and cut the grade-school fingerwagging. Teacher is not going to give Stuart a demerit for talking out of turn.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, last Anon (who works for a publisher). Finally, a good slap of common sense!

Anonymous said...

The company that is MIra may not care about what she said, but I'll bet the individuals who worked on the books Stuart slammed do. Such things may not matter much while your star is shining bright, but it's really not smart to assume you'll always be doing so well that you don't need the goodwill of others.

Aconite

Stacy said...

I can think of 3 authors right now who my company will not work with on new projects; they will only be asked to work on revisions of books on the market, always giving them the option of asset royalties if someone else does the revision. Why? Because they are not nice people and everybody hates them.

It is hard to work with people you despise, and the timeline for getting a book published is longer than a Hollywood marriage - you need to be able to tolerate each other.

You can't ignore the human element, and Publishers are not faceless behemoths, they are made up of hardworking people who just want the opportunity to do a good job. Putting up with an author's crap is part of the job, sure, but believe me, there is a limit. I think that if I saw a blog post like the one that sparked this thread, and showed it to my boss, her boss and the company owners (and I would, because there are some things people need to know), there would be a quiet, very quiet decision to slowly phase out our dealings with the author. She would never know about it, but her words would echo through these halls. And when she came in here smiling and laughing as many authors do, remembering our children's names and asking how we are, we would all smile back, thinking - what a hypocrite. Because NOW we know what she REALLY thinks of the work we do.

Care Taker said...

I know Anne Stuart casually via the author network (I is a auteur, meself,) and she's never made any secret of her crusty and cheerfully rebellious attitude. A few years back she gave one of the most rousing and hilarious luncheon speeches every delivered at a usually prim and stodgy Romance Writers of America conference. She made fun of man-tittied romance cover boy Fabio back when he was sucking all the publicity air out of our authors' universe, and though some said she was shooting her career in the foot, she sailed merrily onward. Why? Because she writes damn fine books and publishers can sell them easily. Writers who sell well have no problem getting more contracts, no matter what they bitch about in public. Writers who don't sell well play nicey-nice and kiss publisher butt in public all they want, to no avail. Huzzah to Anne! She is dead-on with her comments about the half-brained efforts of major publishers to package and sell books. And btw, to those who say "this is like dissing your boss in public," well, no, it t'aint. A publisher is not a writer's boss. A publisher is an investor and partner in the writer's creative work. The publisher makes a boatload more money off that work than the average midlist writer ever hopes to make. And the publisher often treats that work like leftover cheese on a hot sidewalk. Writers get stuck with lousy covers, deadend promotion plans, and the sheer apathy of major publishing houses who are more interested in reprinting ancient Danielle Steel books than in promoting current talent. Like a waitress in a restaurant, the writer is the one who gets stiffed for the cook's mistakes. Anne is saying what all of us fulltime veteran, write-for-a-living types know: you're lucky if you find a decent publisher who doesn't completely screw up your books and your career.

Anonymous said...

Publishers love it when authors keep quiet and don't share information. I would hope, however, that an agent would see the value of authors knowing what's going on and talking to each other and sharing their hard-earned wisdom. But then maybe agents also have a vested interest in keeping authors ignorant and scared. Miss Snark ought to really think through her own potential bias here-- after all, if authors start talking amongst themselves, will the "insider status" of agents be threatened?

Krissie has never been either of those things-- ignorant or scared-- and she's done her best to make sure that other authors have the option to know and understand more about the ridiculously complex publishing industry. She's taught us more than any agent ever bothered to do. She's busted free of the patriarchal mentality that dominates publishing. The truth is, and she lets us know, the best writers can't become best sellers without the publisher doing its job, and frankly, a lot of publishers don't do their jobs as well as the authors do. They let their art directors create awful covers, and often the editors are too scared to point out that the hero actually has brown hair, not blonde hair as on the cover, or that the scene portrayed doesn't occur in the book and gives the wrong impression, or that the cover copy is misleading and foolish. The publisher doesn't ship books or make sure they get into the stores or send out review copies in time. They give absurd advances to celebrities for books that will never earn out, and then offer proven authors insultingly small advances. They insist that the best of our authors "dumb down" their books even though there really is a market for literately written and complexly plotted genre fiction.

And then publishers will cut an author loose, just like that-- because the publisher didn't do its job. There is no loyalty in publishing, and the sooner authors learn that, the better. Maybe if more authors spoke out, we wouldn't be operating in the culture of fear that seems to have overtaken Miss Snark.

Lacey