And occasionally brutal.
Foot? Check. Gun? Check. All five toesies sighted, finger on trigger…
Okay, so here’s the deal. I’m not going to say anything bad, and even if I did, I doubt they’d care. The point is a that the ‘Cruel to be kind’ frame of mind has been met with a great deal of success, despite accompanying moans and groans. These pros of the publishing world keep it real, and no, they’re not going to kiss your boo boos and make you feel better. But they will give you some sound advice…after pointing out that you’re being a crybaby and acting like an ass.
*note: the very reason why you need a support system, even if it’s an online writers group. These people might seem heartless, but that’s kinda their job. Yours is succeeding because or despite them because really, if harsh words make you give up--and not just momentarily--then the fact is YOU WILL NOT MAKE IT.
So without further ado, the top five big bad publishing meanies are...
5. The Intern
Harsh reality. Great insight. Didn’t get a chance to read it all, just found it recently, but it has serious merit.
4. Query Shark
Mean, but honest and polite. Maybe it’s just me, but I find a cordial kick in the gut more painful than a cheap shot. Does not change the fact that this blog is an essential read for anyone at the query stage. Before they send a single one. The brave souls having their queries shredded and the agent sweetly tearing them a new one are doing you a big favor. If you’ve got to make mistakes in your query, have the class to make new ones. Might confound the agents enough to make you stick out ;)
3. Editorial Anonymous
Cut and dry and straightforward. Found this site recently and I luv it, but it deserves to be on this list for the gloves off approach.
2. The Rejectionist
This blog can be cringe worthy. Many of the sweet, helpful, never-give-up pieces of advice given by other agents is doused in kerosene, and--one can imagine--lit with some glee by a guy with a cigar and a glass of bourbon, sitting with his feet on a big, scuffed old desk. But by god if you can read these post and still click send, you know you’ve got one of two things. Talent and a never say die attitude…or at very least guts. Without talent you might not get far in this industry, (I say might because some mighty pretty, mighty popular books on the shelf prove otherwise) but no meanie is gonna hold you down.
This blog is excellent for all its tough love and sound advice. Kindhearted agents make some of your worst mistakes seem forgivable. The Rejectionist makes it clear that in most cases, that little gaffe may kill your career.
1. Miss Snark
Well this is just obvious. A shame that there’s no new post, but the old ones are worth reading over and over for many. Not too many though. Remember, the people who earn the ire of agents make the rest of us look good--well, once we’ve conveniently forgotten the painful similarities in some of our first queries anyway. Miss Snark drills the facts that are not getting through into the stubborn heads of fumbling artists. With her heels.
Most would pity them, if not too busy grasping onto each and every misstep they made that we didn’t. Yes we. I am guilty. No cookie for me.
Comments on pros who have meaner blogs are welcome. I would love to read the words of someone truly evil, so long as I come away bruised and bloody and better equipped for battle than before…
Or at very least have a good laugh. Not at someone else’s expense. That would be wrong. Okay, well maybe a little snicker would be okay ;)
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