Monday, November 10, 2008

A Special Missive from the Mailbag

I have no idea why this letter was sent to me at my Editorial Anonymous account. But enjoy!

My name is [name redacted]. I have been writing for over fifteen years. I have 16 published books. A majority of them are non-fiction. My books have done well, but I think they could do even better if I had a publicist helping me get my books and work into the right hands.

I am almost finished with a fiction book that I am writing. I believe this book will do extremely well if it is marketed correctly and given to the right people. Enclosed is my bio, and a couple of sample chapters from my soon to be fiction novel [title redacted] is suspense and mystery that will make the reader want to read on after each page is finished.

This book also was the capabilities to become a 5-star movie. The potentials are endless. I have a lot to offer, but what I am lacking is a good publicist that can help me. I never had a publicist before and I think this is my problem.
Author [name redacted]:
[photo of the author from her prom night redacted]
[yes, seriously.]

BOOKS PUBLISHED:
1. The Complete Herbal Guide: A Natural Approach to Healing the Body
2. Natural Cures For Common Conditions
3. Epilepsy You're Not Alone
4. Eternal Love: Romantic Poetry Straight from the Heart
5. My Mommy Has Epilepsy (Children's Book)
6. My Daddy Has Epilepsy (Children’s Book)
7. Keep the Faith: To Live and Be Heard from the Heavens Above (poetry book)
8. Live, Learn, and Be Happy with Epilepsy
9. Epilepsy and Pregnancy: What Every Woman Should Know
10. Faith, Courage, Wisdom, Strength and Hope
11. How to Be Wealthy Selling Informational Products on the Internet
12. How to Become Wealthy in Real Estate
13. How to Become Wealthy Selling Ebooks
14. Life’s Missing Instruction Manual: Beyond Words
15. How To Become Wealthy Selling Products on The Internet
16. Breast Cancer: Questions, Answers & Self-Help Techniques
17. How Thinking Positive Can Make You Successful: Master The Power Of Positive Thinking

93 comments:

Deaf Brown Trash Punk said...

that gave me the epic lulz

Anonymous said...

Wow.

I'm sorry you thought it was funny to post this.

Kerry said...

wow. just... wow.

Lorelei Armstrong said...

The writer got waaaay to into her last non-fiction book.

Editorial Anonymous said...

Anonymous, do you think it was really meant for me? I have to think it was spam, since there isn't a question anywhere in the letter, and I'm not a publicist.

philologia said...

I get the feeling that poor idiot's just waiting to get stiffed by some "publicist". Shoot, I'll set her up a blog and charge $50 and consider it work well done!

Ben-M said...

Captain Obvious says: It seems fairly futile to blank the name of the author when it's one click away via their bibliography.

Sarah Laurenson said...

Yeah, you can take the time to find out who she is, but you'll also find out she is self-published (lulu.com) and gives her own books 5 star reviews. So it looks like she seriously needs a publicist. According to some of the other reviews, and this letter, she needs an editor almost as badly. Maybe she meant to send you the editor letter, EA.

Christy Lenzi said...

>>and I'm not a publicist.<<

Oh, don't be modest--that was a bang-up job of publicizing her.

christine tripp said...

I don't know how some of you found this info on anon, I thought I sort of knew about computers, the internet but you guys have far surpassed me:) Anyway, I would say to anon, what you need is to work toward an agent, not a publisist. A publisist would be for those that have already made it with recognized publishers. Meaning these authors are too busy to handle their own promotion.
Of course, anyone can find people who will take our money (certain publisists, agents ) but those that are on the up and up take on clients because the potential to make their living is already there. Either way, this search would have nothing to do with an Editor, as far as I understand it.

Anonymous said...

According to Authors Den she has worked in advertising with some pretty huge companies. There really is no reason for this. As cute and young as she is, she should know (or find out) better. That's what we're all doing here.

Sharp learning curve ahead.

B. Nagel said...

Can I just post this one line? I found it in "A Message from [Name Redacted]" at AuthorsDen: "Below are several books I have recently wrote to help others."

Mmmm. It kind of makes you cringe.

GeePig said...

Um, but if she is so wealthy from selling ebooks and such on the internet, why can't she afford her own publicist?

Doughboy said...

This seems unkind to me.

If someone makes a mistake, they make a mistake - I wouldn't like this to happen to a badly worded letter I sent to the wrong person.

Perhaps I'm too naive, but I think I'm going to have to leave you to it.

astrajingga said...

I recommend Book No.17. You won't need a publicist then.

AC said...

I second Christine--this chick needs an agent, stat. For her "fiction novel."

She also needs to troll all the fabulous agent and editor blogs out there for a few months, to learn why this e-mail was such a bad idea.

Anonymous said...

Regarding her bibliography: why so many fits and starts?

ChrisEldin said...

10. Faith, Courage, Wisdom, Strength and Hope

This is just wrong.

She forgot 'Hotness.'

Anonymous said...

I'll admit I have to agree with the first Anon and doughboy.

When I think of all the clueless things I've done in this business, I cringe. But if someone were to advertise my stupidity on a blog where others could find out my name, I'd be crushed.

While I guess there's no such thing as a stupid question... there may very well be such thing as a stupid question turning you into a spectacle on a blog.

Will Entrekin said...

I can't understand why you filed this under "How to Tell You're Never Going to Get Published." A single (and perfunctory, too) Google search and I'm already at the page for "The Complete Herbal Guide," which I can certainly buy.

She's right; she needs a publicist. She needs someone who knows the proper avenues and who knows how to write a press release. But her knowing she needs help with both is a lot farther than some writers ever get.

Anonymous said...

I admit - I have no pity for her. She's confused publicist with publishers, clearly, has a poorly worded letter to the point of laughability, and has sent a letter which amounts to SPAM.

That's fair game.

Anonymous said...

If you call self-publishing on LULU being published.... um... then I don't know what to say.

Becky Mushko said...

I wonder if she mailed this letter to other writing-related blogs?

Perhaps she thought if an editor or agent posted her letter, that she'd receive a lot of publicity. (And she sort of did. Just not the way she wanted.)

Or, perhaps she thought you'd be so impressed with her long list of, ahem, published titles that you'd jump at the chance to publish her "fiction novel" even though it's only "almost finished."

I wonder if she's now now going to, er, publicize her titles as being showcased on the illustrious Editorial Anonymous blog?

Anonymous said...

A simple and perfunctory search would result in finding out her books were "published" with Lulu. Not exactly a publishing credit!!

christine tripp said...

I think it's been filed under "how to tell your never going to get published" because the email, in essence, boils down to a query letter. I think the author emailed the pages of her manuscript, her resume/bio etc in the hopes that EA, as an Editor, might jump at signing her, all under the guise of talking about a need for a publicist. I agree the tone we are taking is harsh, mainly because we have been able to discover who this author is and that's too bad. I think most of us, from time to time, have been guilty of posting to a blog (or cornering an editor/art director at a conference) with a bit of an alterior motive. Sort of, Love your blogging, love your talk, hey take a look at my work!!!
I still do think that what this author should be looking for is an agent, not publisist for her new novel but she could also just work on her query letter and submit to some of the smaller press's.

Cheryl said...

Why did you bother to redact her name if you were going to list the books she published? LOL

Though I'm sure she won't appreciate having this out there, I think it's a great tool for newbies. It does everything one shouldn't-rambling, alluding to 5 star movie potential-I learned a lot from it.

She could use this as a stepping stone for her next book which could be about the do's and don'ts of querying-seriously, I'm not being snarky. She could help others learn from her mistakes.

Will Entrekin said...

@Anonymous 12:06-- from Wikipedia: "Publishing is the process of production and dissemination of literature or information – the activity of making information available for public view."

I can't see how Lulu doesn't fall into that scope. I used Lulu to print a short story collection, and I've been very happy with the results. I think it's rather like a gun; guns aren't good or bad, it's how people use them.

Now, whether she used it well is another story altogether and one I can't speak to (I didn't read her content). However, just the fact that she's seeking more help speaks volumes that she at least knows she doesn't know, which is more than I can say for too many writers.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 12:06 here.

Good point. At least she knows she doesn't know. I only hope she figures it out soon before she continues emailing all and sundry what is an extremely embarrassing (five star, potentials...) letter.

Anonymous said...

Guess he missed the "But seriously, don't try to query me or submit to me. I'm anonymous" part. Which is RIGHT under the email address...

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:21 here. EA, whether it's spam or not, I just don't see the point of publicly humiliating someone who can be easily identified. To me, it calls your judgment far more into question than hers.

bemused said...

Yes, but if she didn't want to be identified she surely ought to have omitted her book titles, or specifically asked EA not to mention them.

At the end of the day, it just shows that she clearly has not read much, if any, of EA's blog. If she really wanted helpful feedback from EA, and was serious about being published, why didn't she take the time to do some research and read the blog properly? When you submit to a publisher you are expected to find out their submission guidelines and follow them, if you want to be taken seriously. Why should EA's blog be treated any differently?

Jolie said...

All I will say is this:

People are responsible for their own unprofessional behavior, and for finding out how to behave professionally.

Jeremy said...

It's sad that someone with so little understanding of the English language thinks she's a writer. She needs to find another line of work, other than self-publishing and posting positive reviews about her own work. The only successful fiction she's created is her own self-image.

Anonymous said...

Man. I cringe. Seriously fair game, though. If you are going to send something like that out, you better know where you are sending it and why.

And if it was earnest and actually meant to be an attempt to find an agent or publicist or editor (and I'm not sure it wasn't just spam advertising), then she should really stop and do her research on such topics before doing anything else.

As for the comment on being published through Lulu, it shows the lack of industry knowledge to call it that. In the industry (ie, when pitching to agents, editors etc.) having "published" through lulu does not count as published. Know the industry.

It would be like saying you are award-winning if you created an award and then gave it to yourself.

Jo said...

I am filled with pity.

Will Entrekin said...

@Anonymous (6:04): I believe that was me calling Lulu publishing. And to be candid, I published it because I do know the industry (at least for short stories, which is what my book is, mainly), and it's crap.

But hey, I studied fiction with Janet Fitch and made my collection the very first e-book on Apple's iPhone. What do I know?

(and of course among agents and editors self-publishing is looked down upon. If it weren't, agents and editors wouldn't have a job)

Your notions (as well as many here in the comments) represent a view of "publishing" that is, at its best, antiquated and quaint, and at its worst downright absurd.

Anonymous said...

Your notions (as well as many here in the comments) represent a view of "publishing" that is, at its best, antiquated and quaint, and at its worst downright absurd.

So I'm guessing you're not searching for a traditional publisher then, given that self-publishing is so awesome....

Right...

An apple by any other name... is still an apple. Lulu is looked own on for a reason. Doesn't matter that you have stories on iphone. Are they in brick and mortar stores? If not, it's not publishing.

Will Entrekin said...

@Anon (8:00): For my novels. Not for short stories. I didn't say self-publishing is awesome, just noted that it can and often does have its place.

As for the whole brick-and-mortar question: you still go to those? That's so cute. I'm telling you, it's so neat to see people going all, like, old school and such.

(I think we've strayed from the original subject, though, which was Stacey Chillemi. Hope she finds her publicist)

Anonymous said...

Anon 8PM here

Yes, I hope she finds her "publicist" too :]

And good luck with the novels. Yes, I still go the brick and mortar... heh. Probably not for long though, with Borders about to go under.

Anonymous said...

"But hey, I studied fiction with Janet Fitch and made my collection the very first e-book on Apple's iPhone. What do I know?"

You know how to rub me the wrong way enough that I immediately discard your argument?

Every self-published author I've ever known has a very healthy sense of self for sure, but a very low tolerance for criticism (see the quote above). Both of these qualities tend to show in the work to its detriment in my opinion, which is why instead of sifting through all that lulu crap looking for a rare gem, I appreciate the initial quality filter provided by editors and agents.

(Another) Anonymous

B. Nagel said...

Writers are, by virtue of their work, skilled craft persons. As such, their work is open to review and critique. To label yourself a writer is to call everything you have written into question.
This discussion is not off base or unfair. The business of writing is a harsh mistress.

Ebony McKenna. said...

This reminds me of the Catherine Aird line: If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a horrible warning.

astrajingga said...

Really, if people can't take honest criticism, maybe they shouldn't ask for it.

Please continue EA, be what you're here for :))

Sarah Laurenson said...

I still go to brick and mortar stores. I would take a date to brick and mortar stores. It's a heady, wonderful experience to reach out and touch so many books and know I can purchase them. I use things like amazon, but I don't really like it.

Such an interesting discussion on whether or not she set herself up for being the bad example. I think this is more like Query Shark - you send it in, you take your chances.

And self-pubbing can be a very good way to get your work out there - if you know what you're doing. POD is slowly becoming the future - maybe - but that doesn't mean every person who can put words on paper and pay someone to bind them into book form is published.

Crimogenic said...

I too cringed. And I hope that any mistakes I make on my road to being publishing don't morror this poor author (or spammer?)

Anonymous said...

...no surprises that she illustrated the kids' books herself...

bootsandbibles said...

To the people thinking this is too harsh:

This is the publishing industry, not social work. If you're worried about having your (or someone else's) feelings stomped on, then perhaps the publishing industry – and anything else falling under the umbra of "entertainment" – isn't for you.

If this author learns from this, reads such blogs as EA's (or Miss Snark's – talk about "unkind!") and can turn to make her work into something of a legitimate and professional calibre, then I don't think this will have been unkind in the least. Otherwise, if she gets hurt by this, and decides to bow out of publishing now, it'll save her a lot of turmoil in the long run.

I suppose EA could've clipped out the book titles, and that would've been a certain extension of courtesy, but all in all she brought it on herself. One can only hope she doesn't bring it on herself again. I suppose time will tell.

Anonymous said...

bootsandbiddles said:

"... This is the publishing industry, not social work. If you're worried about having your (or someone else's) feelings stomped on, then perhaps the publishing industry – and anything else falling under the umbra of "entertainment" – isn't for you..."

Yes, publishing is harsh. Editors routinely laugh at dumb writers, whose work will never stand a chance to get published -- writer's whose only desire is to be part of the same industry the editor has chosen to work in. And then, other writers, who somehow forget they were once that green, chime in: "Off with her head! Off with her head! Thank god I'm not that stupid!"

But here's the thing: The children's book industry is only as cut-throat and harsh as the people in it. EA is probably free to mock the post you just made, too. Would that be alright?

Don't get me wrong. I come here for hard advice, I do appreciate EA's style. However, I feel that leaving the book titles listed so the person could be named was wrong. I think EA maybe didn't think that one through all the way.

So here is my better, larger question...

Why are we, as writers, so eager to riducule other writers that are so OBVIOUSLY not a threat our ability to get published?

Anonymous said...

Okay, about the book titles...they sort of are the entertainment, or at least a good part of it.

Perhaps its not fair to out her in that way, but she sent the letter to a blog. And she has gotten a good deal of attention and internet traffic as a result. Maybe she wanted that.

Also, anon 2:03 aren't you doing what you claim to criticize when you put "OBVIOUSLY" in all caps??

Laurie said...

Man, I leave for a few days and I come back to - drama! All the makings of a juicy novel, we've got the all-powerful editor, the lowly author who gets humiliated and even a gang war of "published" authors mocking the "self-published" ones.

Hmmm...can't we all just get along?! EA - we may not know you but we love you!

Anonymous said...

Why are we, as writers, so eager to riducule other writers that are so OBVIOUSLY not a threat our ability to get published?

Because those writers didn't do their homework. Because those writers didn;t bother to read ONE sentence beneath EA's email address. Because those writers are either dim-witted or spammers.

No sympathy.

Anonymous said...

I'm uneasy with the fish-in-a-barrel quality of this post. But I'm not sure this woman counts as a newbie. She's self-published SEVENTEEN books. To me this suggests she decided long ago to disregard people like us, who judge her by standards that aren't meaningful to her at all.

Anonymous said...

I have ethical issues with the publishing of someone's private missive. Especially when it's so easy to search this author's name out via the titles given. Makes one wonder what the legal ramifications are.

Dal Jeanis said...

Not likely that there's any legal ramifications. Stacey Chillemi sent the email to someone whose name is "Anonymous Editor", and who runs a blog. The email asks for publicity for her books. Anonymous Editor complied beyond her wildest dreams.

What's to sue?

The conversation about the definition of "published" is amusing also, especially the anonymous person who says that it has to appear in a brick-and-mortar bookstore to be published.

ROFLMAO.

Lots of books are in libraries that aren't in B&N. Lots of classic computer manuals for mainframes don't ever show up in any kind of store, except by special order, but are respectable publications nonetheless.

The language I use is called English. Words in English already mean things. Just because you want them to mean something else, doesn't mean the dictionary will change to agree.

Per Princeton, "published" means "prepared and printed for distribution and sale".

Per dictionary.com, "to publish" is "To prepare and issue (printed material) for public distribution or sale".

"Self-published" is a subset of "published". So is "traditionally published" or "published by small-press" or "published by hand on organic hemp paper".

Nine tenths or more of everything published on Lulu may be crap, but it's published. If you want to argue, take it to Webster and company.

Dal Jeanis said...

Oh, forgot to include the link regarding being skipped, which is an increasingly common book ailment that further removes presence in brick-and-mortar stores from being a good proxy for "traditional publishing".

Anonymous said...

Anon 4:47 said:

"...Because those writers didn't do their homework. Because those writers didn;t bother to read ONE sentence beneath EA's email address. Because those writers are either dim-witted or spammers.

No sympathy..."

What are you, twelve?

Anonymous said...

Legal issues? She sent it to a blog that publishes letters sent to the blog. Is EA supposed to contact everyone who sends an email to her blog that clearly posts emails, and say wait did you really mean to send it to me? Realy? Are you sure? Okay, just checking one more time...

Please.

Anonymous said...

What are you, twelve?

Nope. 26. And I still have no sympathy.

Editorial Anonymous said...

I'd just like to say that I did think hard about including her oeuvre. I did it, in the end, not because it was funny but because coming at the end of a letter complaining about her lack of success, titles like "How to Be Wealthy Selling Informational Products on the Internet"; "How to Become Wealthy Selling Ebooks";
and "How To Become Wealthy Selling Products on The Internet" smack strongly of fraud.

Sarah Laurenson said...

I sincerely hope that she has been one of the anon posters or is at least aware of this discussion. This is mild compared to what could happen by not doing your homework in this industry.

Sometimes the best lessons are the ones that smart a bit because they make an impression. And this one seems to be smarting a bit for quite a number of people.

Good lesson, EA. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I agree that she made herself fair game. For those who think posting her letter was too rough, call the wa-a-ambulance. The fact that she has spent whatever it takes to "publish" this many books and that anyone at all has paid money to read them must say something about our society--not something good.

Will Entrekin said...

"I did it, in the end, not because it was funny but because coming at the end of a letter complaining about her lack of success, titles like "How to Be Wealthy Selling Informational Products on the Internet"; "How to Become Wealthy Selling Ebooks";
and "How To Become Wealthy Selling Products on The Internet" smack strongly of fraud."

Wait, by "letter," are you referring to the one you posted? Because I just re-read it, twice, and I don't see her "complaining about her lack of success" anywhere. In fact, she states her "books have done well," and the only thing she actually states she is "lacking is a good publicist."

Moreover, did you redact a financial disclosure as well as her name and her (single unpublished) book? I'm not sure I believe you can make any statement about the author's wealth or lack thereof.

I wasn't going to comment, especially after the direction the thread began to take, but suddenly your statement takes it from some random, anonymous Internet posters disparaging a misguided author who's actively seeking guidance to . . . well, your careful wording prevents it from being an outright accusation, but I'd say the implication that you believe she has actually committed a crime (which fraud is) is there. Worse, it's already been repeated elsewhere.

Then again, I'm probably making too much of nothing, given the amount of credibility anonymous people on the Internet tend to actually hold in the real world.

Anonymous said...

Oh puhlease. Come off it. Do you really expect us to believe she's rolling in the dough from her book sales when she can't even write grammatical sentences in an email? Okay, maybe she's a trust fund girl. Or maybe she won the lottery. But we all know what this is - garbage. Unless, of course, she gets a publicist, in which case the book will have the "capabilities to become a 5-star movie" and the "potentials" will be "endless."

She messed up. End of story.

Still bemused said...

Will Entrekin ... I think you missed EA's initial point, which was - the letter writer does not actually ask for any help from EA. All she does is tell EA that she thinks she needs a publicist for an unfinished book that she only vaguely alludes to. What on earth is EA supposed to do with that? As far as I am aware, EA is not a publicist.

Furthermore, I believe that one can make certain assumptions about her level of success in the industry, going on the information she has provided. I suspect that most 'wealthy and successful people' would take a more direct approach in an effort to attain a publicist ... like hiring one! Rather than casually mentioning it to an anonymous children's book editor. To me, the letter reads like someone who does not have any connections in the children's book industry, or the resources to attain the publicity that she believes she requires, and is consequently hoping to gain the good favour of EA by impressing her with her list publications and 'future prospects'.

While I certainly do not think that people should be subject to unnecessary criticism or unkindness, I think that someone who claims to have been a writer for the last fifteen years and has published seventeen books should be more aware of the industry in which she works.

This is a forum for seeking advice and exchanging ideas and opinions. The letter writer put herself into this forum, and is thus subject to feedback and criticism just like everyone else who has submitted query letters, questions etc to EA.

Alex Fellows said...

Please post that grad photo. Or just send it to me. Please.

Anonymous said...

This blog is anonymous. And like anonymous confession or anonymous sex, there is a brutal honesty to be found that can turn sometimes ugly in pursuit of its ultimate reward.

Further to that, Will, I think it is plain you're personalizing this because a rejection of this woman's efforts (disseminating questionable self-endorsements) and its subsequent lambasting as silly and amateurish feels suspiciously like a rejection of your own marketing methods.

To that end, I think there is something here you too can learn from.

But if you want somebody to bring flowers and tell you they love you while doing it, don't start by groping them up in a dimly-lit public washroom.

literaticat said...

Wow. Some of these comments are making me hate the world, and it is too early in the morning. Thanks for reminding me to get off the internet!

Anonymous said...

Look, there's truth to both points of view here (and I did briefly wonder when I first read EA's post)... but who among us had EVER heard of SC until we Googled the book titles?

SC wanted publicity and she got it. Hell, I might even buy one of the kids' books to see how what it's really like. As I said earlier, no surprises that she illustrated them too.

I woudn't be at all surprised (having known people that like to get rich using the internet) if this is exactly what she intended. I think she's probably sitting on her small-mid sized yacht laughing her head off right now and writing (poorly)to the next blogger.

shelley matheis said...

Took a look at the 'Complete Herbal Guide." Nice cover but $40.00 for a paperback?
Yes, I'd say she needs help with her selling.

Anonymous said...

The full moon. It must be the full moon's fault.

BuffySquirrel said...

There's what the dictionary says and then there's what the industry thinks. And according to the industry, printing a book through lulu is not publication. The same as "publishing a libel" under English law doesn't require more than putting up a notice on a corkboard in a public place.

And yes, many of us still go to "brick-and-mortar" stores. I was in one today, in fact. I was also in the library. Just me and my iPhone.

Anonymous said...

After reading briefly on Amazon and Writers Den, I have concluded that she is a real estate agent married to a chiropractor, with money to burn--and somebody told her she could write. Each of her book descriptions and/or excerpts is not merely awful, but spectacularly awful. Thanks for the teeth-grinding entertainment.

Kimberly Lynn said...

Anonymous,

I think the fact that you went to such lengths to learn every blasted detail about this writer is seriously disturbing.

"Spectacularly" creepy, in fact.

Anonymous said...

I will leave the discussion of this writer's life and delusions to others, but I have a question for the group.

I think that, right or wrong, a large group of amateur writers do see this kind of publishing as publishing. I'm a children's librarian, and I run into a lot of would-be writers who are considering this avenue, and also a lot of folks who are trying to get rid of entire storage units worth of these books when they realize they can't sell them. I would really like to know how I can tell would-be writers that these books will *never* be purchased by my or any other library and are *very* unlikely to be bought by anyone not related to you...without sounding catty and pessimistic. My uncle published a book through one of these places and I have trouble explaining even to my own family what the difference is...

I think what I'm saying is that this woman is misinformed about vanity publishing, but she is far from the only one, and I don't know how to get the truth out...

BuffySquirrel said...

Anon, you can't tell people what they don't want to hear.

Anonymous said...

I am amused by folks criticizing EA for making the ambitious writer's identity discoverable. EA redacted the name. The critics only know the author's name because they went and looked up the author's work--they couldn't resist the urge to spy and pry. (Unless I am misattributing motives and all you complainers wanted to purchase your own copies of the oh-so-tantalizing titles.) If you think the misguided writer's identity should remain anonymous--then don't go looking for it.

Anonymous said...

"Why are we, as writers, so eager to riducule [sic] other writers that are so OBVIOUSLY not a threat [to] our ability to get published?"

Maybe because this particular writer has attempted to join the ranks of shysters who bilk the (even more) ignorant by selling them overpriced advice on how to get rich, be happy and naturally cure any ailment under the sun?

"I think the fact that you went to such lengths to learn every blasted detail about this writer is seriously disturbing.
'Spectacularly' creepy, in fact."


Five minutes reading her online book descriptions and drawing a couple of conclusions--easy.
Being called "disturbing" and "creepy" for it--priceless!

Anonymous said...

Ick.

What a hateful thread this has become. As if getting an agent or selling a book isn't hard enough without writers trying to slaughter other (so-called) lesser writers. In reading these posts I've found myself hoping that the hate-filled posters never get a book deal. So I guess that makes me guilty right along with them.

Time to check this blog off my list for awhile, I think.

Anonymous said...

I don't think anyone has an issue with this letter being posted. But I sure have a problem with EA giving up this woman's identity. The truth is, she wanted us to know who this person was. Maybe so we we'll all think twice about what we send, I don't know. But I do know, it wasn't about fraud. Come on. Fraud?

I know that people like this muck up the works for everyone. I know that the slush piles in EA's office are a mile high because people like this don't do a smidge of research and expect other people to fill in the blanks. I can appreciate the frustration. But that is part of the job. We all have frustrating parts to our jobs. I don't particularly like wiping someone else's tiny poopy butt. But it's part of my job.

Until now, I've thought that EA would be exactly the type of editor I'd love to have. And it isn't even the posting of this letter that's changed my mind. It's the justifying (really? Fraud?). It was a crappy thing to do. No one deserves being humiliated. Even if they don't know that's what's happening. Maybe especially because they don't know. We all make mistakes. Big people can own up to them. Editors should be big people.

Anonymous said...

All the outrage assumes the author didn't get just what she wanted--people are googling, people are going to her website, people are talking about her. She wanted publicity--even if she had gotten it via a more traditional route, people still would go look at those titles and the reviews, etc. Yes, people here know she wrote a crap ass letter, but everyone has written a crap ass letter before. Not sure that the BIG deal is.

Vic said...

If you guys don't leave this alone, you'll put EA off this blog, and those of us who actually learn a lot from her insightful comments will be the ones who lose out.

If you're taking this blog off your list over this, fine. The world will not end for EA, you know.

I have to admit, I didn't even bother looking for the author. I couldn't care less. I found the originl post mildly interesting and only read the comments when I saw the numbers.

I don't get what you're all fussing about. And no, that's not an invitation for you to rehash your arguments. I've read them. It's just not as interesting as you indignant anon people seem to be making out.

Let's move on people, and get back to learning about the editing and publishing process.

If you don't want to be here, feel free to go elsewhere. Just stop giving EA flak because your sensibilities were offended. We've got it. See? Now go away so we can get back to work.

Deaf Brown Trash Punk said...

Some of you are such major whiney crybabies. Boo hoo, boo hoo. Go cry to your mama.

chill the fuck out.

Anonymous said...

For anyone truly committed to children's books, this thread is a major bore. Really, I've been on this blog since it started and I don't think any post has received so many (largely pointless) comments.

So ... in the interest of getting things back to some topic (any topic!!) that actually matters, here are some things I'd like to know/discuss:

-- how does an editor go about editing a nonfiction book? (e.g., does she read up on the topic, etc.?)
-- why do men get more Caldecotts?
-- can you ever publish with more than one imprint at one house? (say, a picture book at Schwartz & Wade, a novel with Random House?)
-- what marketing efforts have made a difference to anyone? (website? school visits? signings?)
-- what are your early Newbery, Caldecott, Printz picks? Who's got buzz?
-- how will the economy affect children's publishing? what's the climate like?

Anyone else with burning (interesting, topical, relevant, reasonable, thoughtful, swear-less) questions? Please, please, please speak up and save us from the inanity ...

Sarah Laurenson said...

Yes. Can we please move on? This whole 'my morality is better than your morality' discussion is getting old. Just like changing the channel on the TV, you all have free choice to read or not read.

Sorry but I'm a bit tired of people deciding what my morality should be right now. Especially when they legislate it and try to dissolve my marriage or the ability of my friends to marry. You want to discuss real morality issues and forcing others to live by your rules, come and see me.

Otherwise, let's get back to our regularly scheduled programming. OK?

Merry Monteleone said...

-- can you ever publish with more than one imprint at one house? (say, a picture book at Schwartz & Wade, a novel with Random House?)

I can answer that one!!! The lovely Cindy Pon (I can drop back the link if you like but you can google and come up with her blog, "A Little Sweet a Little Sour") Sold her first novel in a two book deal a few months ago, and then the editor noticed her wonderful artwork by visiting her website, which led to a picture book contract.

So yes, if you have talent for both it's definitely possible.

I'd love a new discussion, too, just not on the economy... everyone's talking about the economy in publishing and it's a valid topic right now, but it's depressing as hell. How 'bout a study of Children's Books that have soared in rough economies, that might be something for us to sink our teeth into.

Anonymous said...

I'd also like to know what is a "productive" writer in an editor's eyes? Is it seeing a novel a year? Five picture books? I'm not talking necessarily books accepted but projects submitted.

And good point about the economy. Maybe there is some silver lining EA can uncover from an insider's point of view? Something we can keep in mind to weather tough times?

Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I thought this was a discussion. I didn't realize we were all supposed to agree. I've always thought one of the better things about discussion was getting to re-examine my motives and ideas by listening to others. Oops!

For a blog trying to teach us about courtesy and respect in publishing, I just found all this ironic to say the least.

Anonymous said...

It's a stupid, needlessly inflammatory discussion. I think everyone agrees that this woman is an idiot. Until she posts herself with some thoughts on being outed, who gives a crap?

And count up the comments. How many of them really are contributing to a "discussion"? 10? 8? 5? A number are just variations on "wow," another handful are just blatant baiting ("whiny" isn't spelled with an "e") and a good number are just smug "At-least-I'm-not-that-stupid" back-patting.

It's just sad that "easy" posts like this ("Hell, well, I'll chime in and say she's stupid!") begin to be the ones that attract the most "discussion." Sigh.

I'd be curious to know if EA expected such a response ...

Anonymous said...

I believe EA can shut down the comments whenever she chooses. Meantime, it's always amusing when a few people try to decide for everyone--on someone else's blog--what is or isn't interesting and when a discussion should end. If the discussion bores you, why are you reading it??

When companies publish poor or mediocre books solely because the authors are celebrities, how much slack do serious writers cut those authors? What is the difference between using one's celebrity to break into publishing and using one's money to attempt to buy one's way in, 16 times, no less. Then she poked a rattlesnake and got bitten; and people blame the snake??

An EA fan

Anonymous said...

Just feedback, my dear, just feedback. (Last I knew, EA liked feedback.) One could easily glean from the number of comments that this is the type of thing that readers find interesting.

And, recently, there is a car-crash quality to the comments section. I know I shouldn't look but the sheer horror of it draws me in ...

And sometimes there is a nugget of wisdom tucked in there. And like someone else said, the sheer number of comments made me feel as though there was something of interest going on. Thanks for putting me in my place. You are right; I should not continue reading.

Friday night, here I come!

Sarah Laurenson said...

There's a difference between a discussion and someone pushing their POV as if it's the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

BuffySquirrel said...

People always blame the snake.

HANNAH'S DAD said...

Anonymous wrote:

> But I do know, it wasn't about fraud. Come on. Fraud?

Well she did write:

1. How to Be Wealthy Selling Informational Products on the Internet
12. How to Become Wealthy in Real Estate
13. How to Become Wealthy Selling Ebooks
14. Life’s Missing Instruction Manual: Beyond Words
15. How To Become Wealthy Selling Products on The Internet
...
17. How Thinking Positive Can Make You Successful: Master The Power Of Positive Thinking

Have you ever seen such a puddle of snake oil?