1.10.2007

Miss Snark flicks your dic

You know how much Miss Snark loves Satan..well, when the Devils Dictionary (publishing versions) turned up again here and here, Miss Snark felt the call of the brimstone as well.

Herewith:

A is for Agent. There is a reason A leads the pack. Agents are the top of the heap.

B is for Barnes and Noble. Noble barns full of coffee swilling readers and the occasional buyer whose demand for rotating stock, low prices and new merchandise is largely responsible for the death of the midlist, the demise of indie bookstores, the death of authors, the odd lightning strike, the massacre in Rabbitania, and the deaths of all bunnies and kitties this month.

C is for Costco. Fewer readers, steeper discounts. Otherwise, see above.

D is for Dog. Dogs are the new reading aids in schools. Every school should have a dog.

E is for Eclectic. Eclectic list means an agent can't figure out what s/he's good at selling.


F is for Foreign Rights Sales. Foreign Rights sales means all trips to Europe are tax deductible.

G is for Galley. Galleys are when you find out the author has thanked her nail technician for being a good listener (cause she only speaks Vietnamese) and her hair stylist but not her agent.

H is for Histrionics. Histrionics are what ensues when author discovers editor is a nitwit and editor discovers author is a nitwit and agent knew both were nitwits and wishes them on each other.

I is for Invoice. Invoice is what Miss Snark would like to send to editors who say "just send it to me" to everything and have bought nothing from her for five years.

J is for Jitney. Jitney is also the get away car, used to flee the scene of the grime on summer weekends.

K is for Kill Fee. This is the fee Miss Snark pays to the Franciscan Friars everytime she plans your murder. Or your editor's murder. Or your suicide/murder.

L is for Libel. Libel is calling Miss Snark nice, kind or any other actionable word including but not limited to "sweet, darling, gentle, melodious, sugary or lovable".


M is for Motion Picture Rights. Motion Picture Rights are useful for giving authors hope of making more than lemonade stand wages in any given year.

N is for Net Income. Net income is how crafty publishers acquire intellectual property for no money down, and no money ever.

O is for Out of Print. Out of print is when the publisher won't print any more, can't find any more in the warehouse, and still lists the book as "on backorder" so the rights don't revert.

P is for Printer's Errors. Printer's Errors are always the reason the agent doesn't get thanked in the acknowledgments.

Q is for Qualifications. Qualifications for agents include the ability to listen to complete and utter bullshit from authors, editors, publishers, clients, publicists, bookstore event managers, and writing conference organizers with a totally straight face.

R is for Remainders. Remainders cause hissy fits in authors and require therapeutic applicants of Motion Picture Rights balm; also a display of Agent Qualifications.

S is for Suggested Retail Price. By printing a SRP on the actual product, it is what makes sure when quantity is limited a bookstore can't do the logical thing and raise price. Ignore all lessons you learned in Econ 101: Microeconomics.

T is for Thesaurus. Thesaurus is where authors find 101 ways to say "said".

U is for National Writers Union. The Writer is right. The agent is wrong. The publisher is wrong. Always.

V is for Vetting. Vetting done by the Smoking Gun gets you on Oprah.

W is for World Rights. World Rights are generally those demanded by small publishers with no distribution who print books in their basement and sell on the net and are sure they are going to strike it rich.

X is for Xmas. Xmas is a one day holiday that requires all of publishing to shut down for two weeks, and "ease back into work" for another five days.

Y is for Yea. "Yea" is the phrase meaning "I understand everything you say, the irony of it in relation to my question/answer, and we should indulge is some meaningless flirting soon". Coined by Aaron Sorkin.

Z is for Zoroastrians. Zoroastrian's funeral rites involve rapacious creatures
consuming the corpus of dead people. See also: Literary heirs.

26 comments:

Lauren said...

How about "cute," Miss Snark? Is cute okay?

Miss Snark said...

You'll be hearing from Shyster Snark with a cease and desist...as soon as I pry him off the bar stool. (He's the guy who said "I can't be a lawyer; I don't want to pass the bar, I want to live in it).

xiqay said...

Oh dear dog. Thank you for the hilarity.

My fave: Yea. Although your definition of Remainders may be the best I've ever read. It's all come clear now.

and if you think you can escape in a jitney, you've never seen one in this part of the world. check [url=http://www.film.queensu.ca/CJ3B/World/Philippines.html]jeepney[/url]

Anonymous said...

Screw both the links. I will stay with A,brose Bierce.

Southern Writer said...

I love the reading to dogs idea. How does Killer Yapp feel about it?

BernardL said...

"I is for Invoice. Invoice is what Miss Snark would like to send to editors who say "just send it to me" to everything and have bought nothing from her for five years."

Perhaps if Miss Snark would send them some marketable pulp fiction, she wouldn't need 'I is for Invoice'.

There would then be room for I is for Ignorant, as in one who lusts after the Devil, who according to Dante, will roast torture poor Miss Snark for eternity. Jump ship, KY, and turn away from the dark side. :)

Anonymous said...

If Ms. Viehl's piece is the "publishing version," what industry does mine refer to? Just curious.

TNH

Patrick Nielsen Hayden said...

I will never in a million years understand writers who get their underwear in a twist over hearing that some small quantity of their books have been remaindered.

Remaindering means your publisher printed enough copies to meet demand, and you have the brains of a sea anemone. #1 New York Times bestsellers get remaindered. Get A Grip.

(Of course Miss Snark knows all this, nor is she the hypothetical target of this rant.)

M. G. Tarquini said...

I got a corgi who don't need no speshul training to be a reeding aid. She's also a tv-washing and a cooking ade. She don't much care whut yur doing so long as you scratch her atween the eers while yur doing it. With her head on the keybord she aims to be a speling ade two.

The eskie doesn't work, however. He likes to sit on the chair and watch.

Brady Westwater said...

As the lawyer for the Ambrose Bierce, as soon we can locate him, a suit for plagarism will be filed for use unauthorized use of his dictionary.

Simon Haynes said...

You know, you do remind me of PBW.

Anonymous said...

S is for Suggested Retail Price. By printing a SRP on the actual product, it is what makes sure when quantity is limited a bookstore can't do the logical thing and raise price. Ignore all lessons you learned in Econ 101: Microeconomics.

I've always wondered how publishers get away with this and it doesn't get called "price fixing." Which would be, uh, yanno... illegal. Is it because nobody really cares about the price of books except the publishers?

Annwyn said...

Too funny! Especially since I work in a book store - recommended retail price, pfft, as if we sell at that!

HawkOwl said...

I particularly like H. And Z.

Luc2 said...

You wrote: "Printer's Errors are always the reason the agent doesn't get thanked in the acknowledgments." I wonder about that all the time. Agents don't get mentioned in most books, except for some acknowledgements. Why? As a result, I can't find agents of some of the writers I like on Agentquery, Predators en editors, or Google. I think that getting your name mentioned on the first page of the book would be the best form of marketing.

me-oh-my said...

"Out of print is when the publisher won't print any more, can't find any more in the warehouse, and still lists the book as "on backorder" so the rights don't revert."

This scares the holy bejeezus out of me . . . wha??

They can do that?

How have I not heard of this before?

And more importantly . . . how do you handle it, or are the rights just stuck until futher notice?

Oy, vey!

Alankria said...

For some reason I had assumed it was standard for publishers to buy world rights. Thanks for correcting my assumption.

Anonymous said...

LOL, got to be your funniest post title ever!

...dave conifer

katiesandwich said...

G and T were my favorites. Especially T. That made me laugh out loud.

Tattieheid said...

Just love it.

S. W. Vaughn said...

This is so awesome. I'm printing it out and hanging it on my jitney.

Scene of the grime. Just awesome.

I think my favorite, though, is your definition of "thesaurus." :-)

Do you think "she snarked" can be found in the ol' Roget?

Ryan Field said...

E should be placed on a billboard in Times Square.

~Nancy said...

(He's the guy who said "I can't be a lawyer; I don't want to pass the bar, I want to live in it).

Sounds like my husband. ;-)

~JerseyGirl

Sha'el, Princess of Pixies said...

Me: Bill, why are you hiding behind that clump of Buck Brush?

Bill E.: I think our neighbors are fire-worshipers.

Me: Oh, I think they're Methodists, actually. But what if they were? Fire-worshipers, I mean?

Bill E: Well, their cat died. I think they're going to have a Zoroastrain funeral for it. I'm waiting. Can you keep it down. This is dangerous.

Me: A cat funeral is dangerous?

Bill E: Fire worshipers bring rapacious creatures to funerals.

Me: Bill, that's nonsense. Where did you get that idea?

Bill E: Killer yap told me. He says he saw a Zoroastrain funeral in the Bronx once.

Me: I think he's confused…..

Bill E: Snarky told him too.

Me: Bill, a Zoroastrian funeral is different, but there's no rapacious creature. … Just the demon of putrefaction that gets his chance for a few hours, and then there is the urine of a white bull and ….

Bill E: I DO NOT want to know. … So do you see any rapacious creatures next door, yet?

Me: Bill, traditionally a Zoroastrian body is consumed by birds ….

Bill E: See! Rapacious Birds! Get me one. I have a use for a rapacious bird. [Glances toward the Barn Cat's lair.]

Writer on Board said...

Dear Miss Snark,

I am a fully functioning representative of Barnes and Noble Inc. We would be very interested in having you share your views with us. We would like you to come into corporate headquarters tomorrow. Come alone. And please tell no one about our meeting. No need to bring a planner, you won't be leaving. I mean, you won't be needing that. Sorry. Thank you and we hope to be seeing you soon.

-The Man

Termagant 2 said...

What?! R isn't for "Royalties?" They are our sine qua non! Rally, termagants, rally in the majesty of your strengh and forbid this outrage!

T2