Pub Rants

A Valid Reason for Psych 101

Last week was certainly an interesting one where queries were concerned. I received a query from a person who had cc’d 60 other agents on the email. Now, that’s the first mistake here. I understand that this business feels depersonalized and the standard rejection letters certainly aren’t a joy, but… MORE


You Excepted—Not.

Last week a gentleman called and left a message on my voicemail. He said, “I see that your voicemail says that you do not accept phone queries.” Then he proceeded to query me by phone. What part of my voicemail message did he not understand? I was sorely tempted to… MORE


How To Lose a Publisher in 10 Days

I’m thinking of a line from Forrest Gump, “I’m not a smart man.” To recap: Smoking Gun reveals that James Frey’s memoir is basically a fabrication. Frey goes on Larry King Live to “defend” himself and implies that his publisher and editor Nan Talese knew all along that the work… MORE


Would You Like Truth With That?

One of my favorite writers is Allan Sloan, the financial journalist from Newsweek. If you ever want to read compelling writing, pick up a copy. Any person who can make corporate mergers and mutual fund topics fun to read is a writer to watch. If he’s covering a stock that… MORE

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Relentlessly Nice

Sometimes I regret growing up in Missouri where I was relentlessly taught to be nice. It means that when I’m sitting across the table from a would-be writer at a writers’ conference who’s pitching me the most outlandish novel (you name it)/memoir-about-being-abducted-by-aliens/nonfiction-project-I-don’t-even-remotely-represent, I haven’t the heart to say that it… MORE