Pub Rants

How To Avoid Homer Simpson Moments

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STATUS: I have to say that I’m really worried. I’m a huge HBO Entourage fan and I watched this week’s episode last night—the one where Vince sleeps with his agent (and I’m not talking about Ari). This bothers me on so many levels but please, please, don’t let this show (because of this episode) jump the shark.

DAMSEL UNDER STRESS hit shelves this week and look at this great article on Shanna in the Dallas Morning News. That’s my kind of publicity.

What’s playing on the iPod right now? I SAW THE LIGHT by Todd Rundgren

I have to say that sometimes I’m mystified by aspiring writers.

For example, last week I received a call from a writer who was looking at our website (and said so in the message) but was asking how could he/she submit a query to us.

I have to say that this had me scratching my head. I’m not the most technical person out there either but I think our instructions are pretty darn clear on the Submit Manuscript page of our website.

Or better yet, we’ve received quite a few emails in the last month where the writer emails us to ask if we accept email queries.

You can see where sometimes these types of moments make agents want to slap our foreheads in frustration. Still, I know that these incidents are the exceptions and not the rule. Thank goodness.

19 Responses

  1. Pepper Smith said:

    Just a thought, but sometimes browsers do odd things with web pages. Is it possible that he couldn’t find the link because his browser wasn’t showing it?

  2. B.E. Sanderson said:

    Well, that has to be about the most frustrating thing I’ve heard about lately. Makes me want to run around smacking people in the back of the head. Maybe shake some sense loose, if there’s any in there to shake loose that is.

    Why don’t people just read, do research… You know, the things writers are supposed to be doing beyond the actual writing.

  3. Anonymous said:

    Are you kidding about Entourage? This week’s episode was one of the best yet! I could watch Ari and Drama all day long. (Although the bit with the agent did kind of make me go, whoa!).

  4. Joelle said:

    Yeah. And those people make those of us who know what we’re doing afraid to email, even when we have a legitimate reason why!

  5. robin said:

    I think Vincent will keep his agent as a girlfriend (or not) and get back together with Ari.

    And was that the first time Ari appeared all naked and buff-looking or was I just not paying attention before?

  6. Anonymous said:

    Robin, Jeremy Piven must have started working out. I think he/Ari looked especially hot and delicious in that episode. Hubba hubba.

  7. Christine said:

    I have to say that I had a hard time finding your guidelines too, Kristin. They didn’t jump out at me on the site, I had to poke around a bit. I think I found them after I sent the query…then I felt llike an idiot.

    I’m glad it wasn’t just me ^_^

  8. Kris said:

    Maybe the problem was that this person did not notice there was more info on the submissions page. You give a lot of detail about what you are looking for at the top, but then, if you’re not paying attention, it might look like that’s then end of the info on submission. You have to page down to see the link to the email for submissions.

    Maybe you should put the link higher on the page. Not everyone has extra-large monitors and/or opens their browser to take up a full screen.

    Just a thought…

  9. Ryan Field said:

    Kristin your instructions are perfectly clear. This person is not a writer, because writers know how to follow instructions and understand the process. This person wants to be a writer. One of the best agent interviews I’ve ever read was in Writers Digest where Laurie Liss discussed talking with someone on the telephone. A wannabe writer who didn’t know the drill, and who was calling her to see if she’d be interested in his manuscript. Well,the manuscript turned out to be THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY.

  10. Eric said:

    Kristen, your guidelines are linked just fine. I am a Web developer, and you would be amazed at the idiotic questions I get from people using the feedback forms on some of my clients’ sites. I regularly get people asking “How do I contact so-and-so” and I reply, “By clicking on the link that says “Contact Us” at the top of every page. Some people are just to lazy to look.

  11. Victoria said:

    A lot of people don’t know how to research things. Then there are the ones that think writing/publishing is an art and not a business.

  12. joanr16 said:

    Oh, d’oh. I hate it when sharks are jumped by TV series that I love. It always seems inevitable, somehow….

    On a positive note, I love, love, love the title of Shanna Swendson’s latest. It’s even better when seen on the cover!

  13. Arjay said:

    I read the submission guidelines. My question relates to the Young Adult/Middle Grade area.
    What does “must be high concept and have commercial bent” mean?

  14. Patrick McNamara said:

    It’s still possible for someone who knows what to do to make mistakes. I’m always finding accidental errors in query letters after I’ve sent them. One of the most recent was forgetting to include the genre of the manuscript even though I’ve always included it before.

  15. Kim Stagliano said:

    Patrick, I’m laughing with you not at you. I emailed my MS’s cover sheet to my agent to review for layout, make sure I had his address and email the way he wanted it for contact info. His response? “Looks good Kim, but don’t you think you should have YOUR name somewhere on it?” I’d forgotten to include my name. You know, the author!

  16. Anonymous said:

    It’s not just writers–stupid people find their way into all businesses. Such as the publicist who once emailed me to ask for my email address.

  17. Anonymous said:


    I thought this week’s episode of Entourage rocked! Seriously. I loved that Vince slept with his agent. It sets up so many great potential situations, and is clearly how he finds his way back to Ari. Loved it. I think the show just gets better and better.

    Ari and Drama and Lloyd. Love Lloyd.