Pub Rants

A Very Nice Literary Agent Indulges in Polite Rants About Queries, Writers, and the Publishing Industry

No Reply At All

STATUS: Finally getting around to blogging today.

What’s playing on the iPod right now? CALLING ALL ANGELS by Train

It’s the end of the era, and I have to say it makes me a little sad. Today Sara and I decided to no longer respond to query letters sent to us by snail mail. As much as it pains me to be one of “those” agencies that doesn’t respond to writers, it just doesn’t make sense to spend the time, the resources, and sacrifice the poor trees to kindly mail people a letter that informs them that we only accept inquires electronically.

We have done everything in our power to make the information of how to submit to us as widely available and easy to access as possible—both on the web and via print mediums.

Most things sent to us over the snail mail transom don’t remotely fit with what we clearly state we are looking for and it’s time to stop wasting paper, ink, and manpower on responding. From the ones we have received in the past, it’s obvious that the writers who haven’t contacted us via our submission guidelines are not researching and targeting us specifically.

From this day forward, anything received via snail mail goes into the recycling bin that is picked up every other month by our shredding service.

But if you send that query by email, we do read each and everyone that comes in and we do respond (although we can’t guarantee that a reply will reach you as we are often foiled by spam filters etc.)

So save that tree. Go electronic.


65 Responses

  1. Aimless Writer said:

    I think its a good move. Easier for you and for us. No more postage! Yay! (starving writer and all that)
    And I think we should always reread the guidelines when we’re ready to send regardless if we think we know them as wants and needs do change.

  2. nlnaigle said:

    You’re right. If anyone did the least little bit of research on NLA they would know what you represent and how you like to receive submissions.

    I do have a question though. Those darn spam filters — what happens if you email someone because you’re interested and you never hear back? Do you try again, or with the amount of email that you handle do you even realize it?


  3. RyanBruner said:


    I had that experience (not with Kristin, however). I had queried an agent, who requested a partial. I sent the partial, but never heard back. After a few months, I e-mailed her, but still nothing. Then I tried e-mailing from a DIFFERENT e-mail account, and I finally got her response to that. The other account wasn’t filtering her e-mails even though my main one was. (This was, by the way, an agent who didn’t explicitly state that they only respond if they are interested.) The agent, as it turned out, had requested the full!

  4. Cursing in Heels said:

    Gah! I hate doing snail mail queries. I try to be very environmentally conscious, buying recycled paper, etc, but it gets very expensive! Then I worry it got shuffled in with the wrong person’s mail, or someone in the mailroom spilled Mountain Dew all over it and threw it away…it just creates more stress.

    And for those that may be weary of email queries; your submission system is, by far, the best I’ve come across so far. It’s very user friendly and the response times are dead on.

  5. Josephine Damian said:

    “We do not accept snail mail queries.”

    From your website. Clear but perhaps needs to be in bold? In a line by itself so it stands out more? Just a suggestion.

    But there are always folks who fail to follow instructions not matter how obvious.

    Me? I consider snail mail more reliable than email and RyanBruner
    and nlnaigle explained the reasons why. But we scribes gotta follow the stated guidelines and hope for the best.

  6. Anonymous said:

    Good for you. If someone can’t be bothered to do the research or follow the directions like the rest of us, they don’t deserve representation.

  7. Paul West said:

    I agree with you that email queries are a much better method. BUT! What about those dorks who still send snail queries with a SASE? It won’t be killing any trees to simply return the query in the SASE with a note “We do not accept snail mail queries.” If you’re trying to save trees, well, the tree that the SASE was made from is already dead. So, I think, to simply ignore the query with a SASE, is rude. And this is from an Environmental Biologist.

  8. Pam Halter said:

    I think it all comes down to READING THE GUIDELINES. If a writer were to do that and still send a query or proposal snail mail, they deserve to be ignored, SASE or not.

    I just got back from CA this morning (I live in NJ) and I’m tired and grumpy. 😉

  9. Anonymous said:

    I’m gagging on the sense of self-righteousness emanating from this blog. Smug much?

    I guess those poor folks with bad internet connections (or none at all- there are still areas of the country without broadband or even the excellent phone line service we enjoy in the major metropolitans… no 56K for them) will be doomed to research their queries the old fashioned way– with market/agent compilations and the ads in the back of Writers’ Digest.

    Once again we are exposed to the inflated ego of another agent whose time is “too valuable a commodity to be wasted” doing something as pedestrian as opening mail. You would think that agents have the hardest job on earth, rather than what it is… a nice, cushy office job where the main goal is too communicate with other people, via phone and e-mail, with an extensive amount of reading. There’s no supervisor waiting in the wings to take credit for your successes or to blame you for any failures– there’s no quota of tiny things you have to assemble or of giant things that have to be moved from one place to another– there’s no standing in extremes of weather trying to figure out just what the hell the problem with that bunch of wires is, because a thousand people are without power and getting cold– there’s no chance that the next car you pull over could have a crackhead with a pistol behind the wheel, one who doesn’t plan on spending a night in jail.

    Yeah, you’ve got it tough. Maybe you should knock off early and go to On the Border for a marguerita… you’re the boss, after all.

  10. Anonymous said:

    Loutish & crude, funny but true.

    Hurray for those anxious to label themselves pioneers. Savers of the world, savers of the forests, protectors of the environment. The electronic elite. The technocrats.

    Huzzah for those who so willingly agree. Commend away, ladies and gentlemen. Cheer for a whining rant without calling it so; instead clap your heroine on the back and tell her that she’s right. “Excellent choice, ma’am, every move a good one, everyone should do what you do, stay ahead of the curve.”

    All the old agencies in faraway places like Manhattan (the ones that have been successfully agenting for scores of years) should hang up their fountain pens. Give up. How stupid they are to hold fast to a system so futilely ancient as “mail.” I would imagine that Writer House is closing the doors (that have been open a ridiculously long time) and bowing out in favor of those technologically savvy enough to be Kristin.

    Oh well. Out with the old, in with the new. Just imagine, it only took six years for Kristin to change the world of publishing. Bravo!

    Samantha Dayne.

  11. Anonymous said:

    Anonymous 12:40pm: Bitter much?

    Agents, like other people, want to have lives after their job is done. Why make the job longer and harder by opening mail when the policy is clearly to send all queries ELECTRONICALLY? Agents don’t owe you anything. The problem with the 21st century is that for the first time in human history, people feel they’re owed something. The government OWEs me this, my emplyer OWEs me that, agents OWE me a chance using snail mail.

    Get over yourselves.

  12. Anonymous said:

    This bitter b-fest is good stuff. Rant on my fello’ malcontents! Rant on!


  13. Anonymous said:

    -Anon 12:40

    Kind of laying it on thick, don’t you think? Yes, let’s take the worlds hardships out on all the canniving agents bent on excluding the computer illiterate users …via snail mail.

    Give me a break!

    If an author is serious about this business or most jobs for that matter, computer skills are essential. From typing your manuscript on word to communicating through email. Especially when its a quick question when it would be too time consuming to get wrapped up in a phone conversation.

    So ya, maybe some people don’t have a home computer. Well, then go to the local library. Since your already there researching, right. Email is free through hotmail, google etc. There’s just no excuse.

    Plus it saves you postage.

    So sir or ma’m, maybe you should knock off early and go to borders for a marguerita…with you know, all the worries of crackheads, bad weather, supervisors and all those crazy wires.

    Cause you sound like you need a breather. Seriously. And if after some needed quiet time you still feel strongly about the use of paper, then query other agents and stop reading this blog. simple.

    Geez, it’s her business and her blog. At least she answers all email queries. Some agents don’t even do that.

    -Kristin, please ignore the crazies.

  14. Anonymous said:

    “I guess those poor folks with bad internet connections … will be doomed…”

    Even small towns have libraries with internet access. I’m in rural Indiana, and while I don’t have internet access myself (because it’s not available here), the library does. And even if the library didn’t, I would drive the two hours to Indianapolis if I had to. The point is, it’s up to the writer to follow the submission guidelines.

    And many of the agents at Writers House accept submissions via email and prefer them…

    Do the research people. If you can’t be bothered to fight for your novel, why the hell should the agent?

  15. Dave Shaw said:

    Anon @ 12:40, I see the light! There should be equal access to all agents and all publishers for all writers! I presume that you’ll be starting a snail mail campaign to insist that all those agents that only accept snail mail queries and submissions should also accept email, right? After all, no one should be excluding poor technocrats, either! And then there’s that ridiculous insistence that correspondence and submissions should be typed out, via computer printer or typewriter, rather than written longhand. I mean, longhand was good enough for the likes of Swift, Dickens, and their publishers and agents, right? Why should anyone be forcing people to use new-fangled technology like typewriters?

    After all, what right does a business person have to tell his or her customers how he or she wants to run his or her business? Writers of the world, unite!

    Drat, my tongue just got stuck in my cheek again…

  16. Paul West said:

    I’m sorry, but I still can’t see what’s so difficult about using the SASE to send a polite note that you no longer accept snail mail queries. It only takes a second. You can have a bunch of slips printed up and have your assistant do it for you. If you get 100 queries a day, it wouldn’t take more than 10 or 15 minutes to send them back to the writers who haven’t read the guidelines, or ins some cases don’t have access to the internet (libraries or not).

    To me, it’s only polite to at least respond with something and where I come from, it’s rude not to.

  17. Jana Lubina said:

    I absolutely despise people who post their idiotic ranting under the protection of “ANONYMOUS.”

    Have the nads to post your name.

    And it’s just another example of writers acting like precious little darlings.

    Those are the guidelines. This is the real world. Deal with it.

    “I guess those poor folks with bad internet connections will be doomed…”

    Are you kidding me? The tiniest backwater villages all over the third world have libraries and cyber cafes.

    Stop being a malcontent just for the sake of it.

  18. Anonymous said:

    Anon 12:40

    I’m reading and re-reading Kristin’s post, and I can’t seem to find the part where she claims to have the most difficult and important job ever in the history of time. I must be getting distracted by the enormous chip on your shoulder. Silly me.

  19. Anonymous said:

    Can we, the collective readers of Kristin’s blog, please kindly agree not to feed the troll?

    Judging by style, there’s only one of him (or her). He’ll get bored eventually.

    If we just ignore these anonymous rants attacking strawmen, maybe they will go away.

  20. Jamie Ford said:

    Must. Ignore. Troll…

    When I was choosing between agents, I gave a special nod to those that worked electronically. The publishing world works that way. Why not the agent side of the biz too?

  21. Anonymous said:


    I see your point. And it may be rude. But that’s business. As a small business owner, I can tell you, every 15 minutes counts. I’m not sure how detrimental 15 minutes would be to Kristin, but considering she only has the one employee, I’m sure it’s significant.

    However, I will admit that I always respond to letters/inqeries for my business. But I don’t get hundreds of misdirected fools a day…

    Anon 2:39

  22. Dave Shaw said:

    re: not feeding the troll

    My apologies. Normally I avoid doing that, too, but I’ve been so distraught since I found out that no one accepts cuneiform tablets anymore…

  23. Signature Vintage said:

    I just realized how funny my earlier post looks amidst the debate going on… I was posting such a “cheery” comment, lol! Nonetheless, my comment still stands, I love the blog and fully support electronic submissions!

  24. Dave Shaw said:

    signature, don’t worry about it. Most of us agree with you to a greater or lesser extent, or we wouldn’t be here. Some argue about specifics now and then, and we do have this one little troll problem lately, but overall there’s some reasonable information exchange here.

  25. Paul West said:

    Don’t get me wrong. I love this blog too. I just think it’s kind of petty to not respond to a snail mail query if a SASE is provided. I mean, after all, it’s already stamped and everything, so a quick insertion of a rejection note CAN NOT be a huge deal.

    I mean, really!!!

  26. Diana Peterfreund said:

    These people who are submitting to her snail mail address must be getting it from SOMEWHERE. So the question is, where are they getting her snail mail address that doesn’t specify that she only accepts submissions through email?

    Some agents I know who only accept submissions through email don’t list their mailing address at all.

    And let us not discuss the irony of people posting on a blog in order to complain about how hard it is to get internet connections!

    I also don’t agree that it’s petty to not respond to the equivalent of junk mail. I throw out all those credit card offers and catalogues without opening them. I don’t bother opening them, checking “not interested” and mailing back the postage paid envelope. Just toss. I didn’t solicit it, I don’t want it, and I don’t even have a posted policy on my mailbox stating as much! Is that petty of me, to throw out junk mail?

    I wonder if all these people who are so insistent that they not follow submission guidelines walk into Starbucks, cut the line, go behind the counter, attempt to pay with hazelnut shells, and then complain that they aren’t serving Pepsi. That’s pretty much the same behavior.

    Follow directions. It’s not rocket science. I didn’t base what I sent to agents on my personal preference, I based it on theirs. If they wanted snail mail, I sent snail mail. If they wanted email, I sent email. If they wanted partials, or queries, or synopses, or whatever, that’s what I sent. Same way I don’t order a pepsi at starbucks, and don’t complain that they don’t have it. I really don’t get what the big deal is.

  27. Anonymous said:

    You are all right. So right. So so right. Congratulate each other.

    One of you thinks that writers have to be technologically inclined… that’s just sad. Do you really believe that just someone shelled out a grand for a laptop they are a better writer than some poor schmuck forced to use legal pads and a twenty year old typewriter? Our greatest works of literature are by people who had to spend years scratching away with pens, quills and pencils. Some were written on mechanical typewriters. All I can see is that now, technology has sped up the rate at which agents like Kristin can slap a cover on 100,000 words and call it a ‘novel’. The level of commitment to ‘being a writer’ has shrunk. You get over that, friend.

    Someone also said that nowhere in KN’s post does she mention how hard her job is. You must be a newb. In the two or three years that I have been reading this drivel, it has been one of her favorite topics– telling everyone just how busy she is, how swamped with work she is, and much of a sacrifice it is for her to look at unsolicited queries.

    After all, to an agent, looking at the unsolicited query of an unpublished writer is the ultimate act of benevolence to a species undeserving of any regard.

    In all my life, I have NEVER heard anyone bitch about how difficult and demanding their job is. And I grew up between a free-market clam fisherman and an air traffic controller.

    Go forth and bend thyself. Since I consider your intelligence to be wanting, the vernacular for that is, “Get bent.”

  28. Anonymous said:

    *Diana P, me love… some of us care about the rest of the world, hence the reason for someone with an obviously good internet connection speaking for folks with none. You’re brighter than that, dear.

  29. Anonymous said:

    There are plenty of agents with huge clients who only accept queries by referral; whether by e-mail or post is irrelevant. These agents don’t take anything unsolicited at all.

    Why don’t unpublished writers have a problem with these guys?

    Here’s why: The real power agents don’t suffer from the need to blog about what they do every day. They don’t spew their opinions to the ether. They are quiet, more than competent and easy to respect. Kristin Nelson has a very obvious inferiority complex, stemming from the fact that she’s a new agent in a city literally nineteen hundred miles from publishing’s mecca. She needs to do this to convince all of you that she’s just as good as the people who’ve been doing this for decades, and only a few blocks from where the publishers are.

    For all you blogging heroes out there with a problem over people posting anonymously, one of Nelson’s own heroes was an anonymous poster. Remember Miss Snark? Hmm, I don’t think that was her real name, do you? Why didn’t she try and claim credit for all her wisdom? Because saying bitchy things is easier when you don’t have to worry about demolishing your career over something you’ve said in a vapid blog. Miss Snark presumably worked in a much larger shark tank than Nelson, and any one of the bigger sharks would have had her junior-agent ass for lunch if she was caught venting to the heavens on this industry.

    Samantha Dayne.

  30. Anonymous said:

    Personally, I’d just be happy if Nelson would admit that having a blog at all is just what it is… advertising. Cheap, easy to maintain advertising. She isn’t helping anyone. You people who think she’s helped you are kidding yourselves. Answer this; published yet? No? Didn’t think so.


  31. JulieLeto said:

    I know, I know…don’t…feed…trolls. Ugh!

    Agenting is a cushy job, huh? If that were true, anyone could do it and do it successfully. Alas, that is not the case. Clearly, these people you grew up between were not self-employed. I, however, grew up in a family that runs a small business and I can tell you my parents (and now my brothers) work harder than anyone they employ. If they didn’t, the bills don’t get paid. Same with agents. And writers, for that matter. We’re self-employed and only take in cash when we MAKE A SALE. Luckily, sometimes we can make sales over a margarita. It’s a perk. Get over it.

    And if a writer isn’t working on a computer with an internet connection in this day and age, they are at a disadvantage. Sad, but true. Maybe not for the creative part of what we do, but definitely for the business part.

    There’s nothing wrong with living in the 21st century. Most of us are doing it without much hardship. It’s all about priorities.

  32. Anonymous said:

    Julie- did your parents constantly tell people how hard their job was? Do you? Do you feel the need to make sure everyone knows how valuable your time is, and how honored you should feel that they have deigned to speak with you?

    Probably not. No one wants to hang around with someone who does that.

    Oh, and the free-market clam fisherman was by very nature ‘self-employed’ (this solitary breed of fisherman goes out rain or shine around three AM, where he shovels a thirty-foot rake back and forth in a foot of mucky sand for about ten hours. Then he gets to bag the clams he’s caught and sit on a dock until around six PM selling the clams to local restaurants). My neighbor did it for as long as he lived next to us… and Mr. D never complained once.

    I happen to know a few writers who struggle every month with money woes, and the only way they ever get onto the web is when they head to the local library and wait in line to get on at a blazing 56k connection. To use a popular election term, I feel that Nelson is disenfranchising writers in these straits. The high and mighty attitude suggests that all agents should take similar actions.

  33. Anonymous said:

    Okay, okay, I’ll admit it. I’m a bitter, jealous ass-wipe who thinks agents are here not to spend the majority of their time selling their clients’ work, but to give non-published writers a helping hand (especially non-published writers living in the Dark Ages without internet, and writers who don’t follow guidelines).

    Samantha Dayne.

  34. Anonymous said:

    That wasn’t me… forgive me for not having some lame blogger identity to ‘legitimize’ myself in all your loser eyes. Whoever copied me above missed the point. I’d rather not hear from Nelson at all, I’d rather her just sell her clients’ books and stop pretending to give a hoot about unpublished writers at all. THIS IS ADVERTISING. You are all just a bunch of lame-no-thought-suck-ups who think she’ll look at your Harlequin rip-offs.

    Samantha Dayne.

  35. lisa said:

    Fantastic! As a publisher I too have stopped responding to snail mail submissions and request that all enquiries be sent by email. The amount of paper sitting around my office that’s just going to be shredded after I’ve read one or two pages makes me want to cry!

  36. Jamie Ford said:

    Samantha. Don’t you find it ironic that after all your anonymous ranting, you don’t allow anonymous comments on your own blog…

  37. Samantha Dayne said:

    That, and I wasn’t anonymous. I signed my name all the time. I felt forced to become a blogger because one of your cleverer friends signed an idiotic post in my name. I can’t have that, now can I?

  38. Jana Lubina said:

    “Do you really believe that just someone shelled out a grand for a laptop they are a better writer than some poor schmuck forced to use legal pads and a twenty year old typewriter? Our greatest works of literature are by people who had to spend years scratching away with pens, quills and pencils.”

    But people are not scratching away with pens, quills, and pencils anymore, are they? The ones who are, languish in the minority at a huge disadvantage, as has already been stated. And it’s not “sad but true,” it’s progress; very necessary and beneficial progress. You seem to be romanticizing this image of the noble and reclusive writer who slaves away in obscurity for decades because this wacky modern world is obsessed with technological advances he cannot understand nor afford. That writer doesn’t really exist. People who slave away in obscurity for year after miserable year with nary a publishing credit are not diamonds in the rough, they’re unpublished for that long with good reason. Furthermore, business changes. All business. Not just our precious, precious writing world. Those who do not keep up get left behind. Are you suggesting that the vast majority should slow down for the few? That makes no sense.

    Computers can be bought for a few hundred dollars. I’m a freelance writer, and the majority of my income comes from that venture. I’m not rolling in money yet, but I make a decent living most of the time. If I had said to my clients that I would only be submitting my work via snail mail, they would have laughed in my face and hired someone just as capable who has access to a computer and internet connection. We’re all expendable. The Faulkners and Hemingways of this world are few and far between, and they probably have a computer.

    How many manuscripts are submitted to agents and editors each year? I think it’s some absurd number like 200, 000. Are you really saying that the novel scratched out with pencil on a legal pad could potentially be some masterpiece, but alas, never to see the light of day since Author X lives in rural wherever and can’t find a computer? BS.

    One last thing: Miss Snark was one of the first agents running a blog about the business side of writing in a time when it was not considered good business practice to do so. Her wanting to post anonymously is a completely different matter, and a moot point.

    (And being contrary does not make one a troll. This forum doesn’t exist merely to serve those of us agreeing with the popular opinion.)

  39. Dave Shaw said:

    I agree, stating a contrary opinion doesn’t make one a troll. Neither does stating opinions in opposition to that contrary opinion. Insulting other people for their statements and opinions is what makes one a troll. Can we all try to keep that distinction in mind, please?

    Now, to my mind, what we have here is a decision by the Nelson Agency to limit its potential clients by requiring them to submit queries, etc., via email only. That’s a decision that the management has made to try to improve the efficiency of running the business. If you want that changed, you need to convince management that the decision was not in the best interests of the business. Persuade Kristin that the financial benefit of responding to those snail mail queries is greater than the cost of processing them, and I’m sure she’ll change her mind. Good luck doing that, though, because I don’t think you have much chance of success. She knows the historical and projected numbers that she’s looking at to make her decision, and we don’t.

  40. Anonymous said:

    jana- you really believe that about Miss Snark, but think that people who post anonymously on these things are somehow dirty and wrong. Wake the hell up. The blinders that are the fashion around here are amazing.

    Snark was Snark because she was anonymous. She would be anonymous if she picked up where she left off. Come off it.

    As for the conversation upthread about writers at a technological disadvantage— I don’t think I see anything about those people being better than the technological ones. It looks more like they are talking about the fact that a significant portion of the population is not rich. That may mean everything from hand-writing to a ten year old computer and an old dot-matrix printer. To think that your way is the best, only way to do it is ignorant and incredibly narrowminded.

    This reminds me of liberal fascism. “Writing is a field that is open to all, to anyone with an imagination”- the broad, benevolent statement said with a warm smile. “Now all you need to start out is a computer, a highspeed internet connection, a good printer and a website. Do not bother typing up your work, since no one takes paper submissions anymore. Definitely do not hand write anything, unless you have the wherewithall to later have it transcribed to an appropriate e-format for submission…”

  41. Anonymous said:

    uh-oh, someone woke up on the wrong side of the blog today. touchy touchy. nerves jangled a little?

  42. Anonymous said:

    She needs to do this to convince all of you that she’s just as good as the people who’ve been doing this for decades, and only a few blocks from where the publishers are.

    You say this like it’s a bad thing. I mean, yeah, obviously Kristin’s doing it because she wants to have a bit of an edge with picking up the best new debut authors. But… uh… it appears to be working.

    She is getting hot new debut authors. She is running a higher percentage of auctions than others who have years of experience on her. She does appear to have a lot of cred with editors because she can be really picky about who she represents. And if you look at the authors who have gotten these deals with her, a lot of them repeat variants like, “I chose Kristin because of her blog.”

    So… she’s trying to set herself apart by blogging. She’s succeeding. And it’s making a difference for her career and for her authors.

    Who in their right mind shrinks from an agent because the agent happens to be savvy about promotion?

  43. Anonymous said:

    Simple. Honesty. Be honest about the reason for a blog– business. Don’t hide under an umbrella like, “just trying to help out starting writers”. That’s crap. Met her once, found her rude and abrasive. Too many asskissers here making her a saint. Don’t believe she’s as good as a NY agent in the business for twenty years. Don’t believe it’s that important to be electronic only– mags and publishers are still insisting on paper submissions with no sign of stopping -talk to some of them and you’ll here the drawbacks of e-submission-, as are established agencies.

  44. Anonymous said:

    anon 12:16- says you. your source of information about kristen’s track record is kristen herself; don’t think that too many private contracts between writers and publishers are open for public scrutiny. blinded by the artificial light. i can start a blog and tell you i’m a friggin genius, too. this is her show & there ain’t a clause holding her to the truth as she blows her own horn.

  45. Anonymous said:

    anon 12:16- says you. your source of information about kristen’s track record is kristen herself.

    ….Publisher’s Marketplace being, what, chopped liver?

  46. Anonymous said:

    really, a place that publishes details about private contracts! cool! and here I’d been under the impression that postings there were by the people involved, to build up some heat for a project. my mistake. back to the underside of my rock!

  47. Diana Peterfreund said:

    Not anonymous, not unpublished, not looking for an agent, as I have a lovely one who, like Kristin, isn’t based in NYC, and yet still manages to have several NYT bestselling authors on her roster, and has sold six novels for me in less than three years to two major publishers. I have no motivation to suck up to KN, though I have met her several times (and had a book rejected by her once) and found her to be sharp and professional.

    When I couldn’t afford a computer, I used the services of the library, as Ray Bradbury once did (he famously would drop a coin in a slot of paid typewriters and type furiously until his time was up. Why is that? because the magazines would only accept typed manuscripts. And he wanted to get his stories published. He didn’t expect publishers to make allowances for him.) Wireless internet connection? Please. How about an ancient, refurbished computer that can run a word processing program and a disk to save it on? How about writing the drafts longhand and then typing it into a computer at the library, or borrowing from a friend, or begging your employer to let you use the company computer after office hours, or just typing out a brilliant, must-have query on the email and explaining whatever mysterious hardship you may have that prevents you from typing anything ever.

    These imaginary genius yet impoverished masses with their amazing, yet handwritten, books — where are they getting their information about manuscript and agent submissions to start with? Where are they even finding the listings? They can’t afford to buy the books, most likely, so I’m guessing they are getting their information at the library. that’s where I used to read the old copies of literary marketplace, etc. Libraries have computers that they rent or allow the use of. Yahoo email is free. I’ve done it. I’ve been there. Scores of other writers have done so too. You aren’t “speaking for anyone” here. If they are capable of finding NLA at all, no matter how impoverished or rural, they are capable of sending an email.

    Sorry. I just don’t buy it. That there are authors without their own computers, or regular access to email? Sure, I was one of them. But I still managed to email publishers and editors. I begged my employers to let me borrow their printers and paid them by cleaning their house. (Let me tell you, it’s a lot harder to wrangle printer usage, even if you bring your own ink and paper, then a quick peek at a web based email site.) I did what it took.

    this is what you DO, folks. Don’t like the way KN runs her business? The fact that it’s email only? the fact that it’s in Denver? Fine. Don’t submit. Don’t complain. If you don’t believe she’s made the massive amounts of sales she’s made anyway, then what’s the problem?

  48. BookInTheOven said:

    So…I’m confused. People are complaining that the blog is advertising. Of course it is! That’s a good thing. It’s also informational–which the best blogs are (or no one would read them, thus defeating the purpose).

    Agents sell stuff. Advertising is beneficial to selling stuff. Agents need contacts. Blogs make contacts. I find her info helpful so I’m guessing that others do too. She’s killing two birds with one web 2.0 stone. If you are upset that this blog is advertising; don’t read it.

    For the email thing; she likes emails. Find an agent who doesn’t if it bugs you. If you don’t like emails you probably wouldn’t be a good match for an agent who did. Personally, I’d never submit to an agent who didn’t take email submissions because that’s my preferred method of communication. Probably points to chemistry or likelihood of a lack-thereof.

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