Author Beware

  • By: Jessica Faust | Date: Jul 13 2007

Received in response to a rejection letter. This goes into the category of “oh, brother . . .”

. . . the difference between the multitudinous, plethora of publishers that will never be Penguin, Random House, Norton or the like is that all the fore mentioned have in the genesis of the history of their company a number of stories where they took something that was very obscure and obtuse from a relative unknown or completely unknown and unproven entity; put some work into developing and marketing it, took a risk and ultimately ended up being the largest publishing houses on the planet. Many of the newer smaller publishers that advertise of “Writers Market” basically want something for nothing; they want proven established authors writing “commercial crapola” for the consumption of the Philistine farm animal masses. Your company for example in my looking over the selections of your catalogue has not an inkling, iota or modicum of anything remotely resembling something with an avant-garde idea, original thought, envelope pushing premise or anything even close to something “outside the box”.

A great philosopher once said (I think it was me)

“mediocrity is a consolation prize given to those hapless and fearful who will not take a chance, depart from security or forsake a comfort level”

“If the quills fit wear them”


27 responses to “Author Beware”

  1. Avatar Anonymous says:

    Yikes! That wasn’t fun to read.
    No wonder an agent is reluctant to share their pearls of wisdom with an author of a rejected project. That kind of disrespect towards an agent really ruins it for those of us who value what you think, who find the constructive critism that you might be willing to share just that–constructive. You share so much with us in your blogs Jessica; informative, insightful, helpful info. That right there shows your nature and I’m sure if that author had approached you with some respect, you might have been willing to share some constructive info with him/her regarding their rejected project. I’m from a different era…you don’t burn bridges…you adapt a student-of-life approach;if one project isn’t to an agent’s particular liking, maybe another might be just what they’re looking for.
    So, let’s all take a deep breath. There. Now we can move on. 🙂


  2. Avatar Angelle Trieste says:

    That’s just horrible.

    Why do writers do this? A no is a no. There’s really nothing more to be said or discussed. Writers are better off writing another book than ranting about Rs they get.

    A, who is working on a new book while querying agents with the ST she just completed.

  3. Avatar Swede says:

    “Oh brother”, indeed. What we have here is a dearth of commas, and a plethora of psuedo-intellectual babble. Give me them farm animals anytime, they fork over the bucks for the crapola. What a clown. 🙂


  4. Avatar Cole says:

    I am constantly blown away by the fact some authors will so willingly shoot themselves in the foot… amazing!

    And I’m sorry you were there to feel the aftershocks.


  5. Avatar Bernita says:

    Some writers are so turgid.
    (Yes, I wanted to add a letter there.)

  6. Sounds like something Hemingway would write. Not.

  7. Wow! What a blow hard! I can’t imagine how fun this person must be to deal with on a personal basis.

  8. Huh? The convoluted writing style alone was reason enough for rejection, never mind their stupid rant.

  9. Dear dog. Why why why…

  10. Avatar Lesley says:

    “A great philosopher once said (I think it was me)”

    Wow…Now that takes some gumption! A good dose of lack of sense and some gumption.

    Personally I guess I’m one of the “Philistine farm animal masses” who enjoy the “‘commercial crapola'”
    because I like to read a great deal of what is out there for sale.

  11. I’m still laughing over the self imposed title of ‘great philosopher’…

    Besides shooting themself in the foot, who has the time to compose such a ridiculous diatribe over a rejection? Judging by the lack of professionalism and outright disrespect, he/she will spend a lot more time writing these little ditties than their next ms.

  12. Avatar Anonymous says:

    Oh, yes, the “I’m Such A Literary Genius, The People Putting Out Commercial Crapola Are Too Small-Minded To Take A Chance On My Incredible Gift” syndrome.

  13. Sounds like somebody’s having a bad day! Valium anyone?

  14. Avatar Adrienne says:

    Eh, anyone who spells “four” “fore” in a letter attempting to demonstrate their brilliance loses any authority in my estimation.

    The weirdness of the world.

  15. That letter is hilarious! Such arrogance, coupled so gloriously with awful writing.

  16. Avatar Jen Arnold says:

    If I can’t even make it through your blog, I don’t even want to know what the book is like! If it takes reading one sentence five times to figure out what the heck you’re trying to say – forget it! And learn how to use COMMAS!

    Sorry, have never blogged before, I usually just lurk in the shadows, but this one ranked right up there on the DUH-meter!

  17. >>Your company for example in my looking over the selections of your catalogue has not an inkling, iota or modicum of anything remotely resembling something with an avant-garde idea, original thought, envelope pushing premise or anything even close to something “outside the box”.<< Ummm…but he wanted you to represent him.

  18. Avatar Anonymous says:

    “Eh, anyone who spells “four” “fore” in a letter attempting to demonstrate their brilliance loses any authority in my estimation.”

    They didn’t mean four, actually. They meant: aforementioned. They decided not to put the ‘a’ in front, which is acceptable, however they divided the word into two for some reason. Or for no reason at all, I can’t be sure.

    Anyway, you can tell because aforementioned makes sense where ‘four mentioned’ does not. There are more than four publishers listed. And yeah, I’m giving the author of this rejection response the benefit of the doubt that they can count.

  19. Avatar WordVixen says:

    You know, that reminds me of the Space Ark! query that Miss Snark posted a while ago. If it had sounded just a little more bitter I’d be very suspicious.

  20. Avatar Anonymous says:

    In this day and age, this kind of response actually scares me a little. It’s just so NOT nomral.

  21. Avatar Kate Douglas says:

    Jessica, did you make that up? I can’t believe ANYONE would actually write rubbish like that and send it to you…

  22. Avatar Writerious says:

    Oh, I don’t think she needed to make that up. I’ve seen rants like that on writer’s boards. There are plently of thin-skinned, thick-headed, I’m-so-wonderful-so-why-can’t-these-Philistines-understand-me kind of writers, who are so full of their own preciousness that they take all rejections as personal attacks.

    What I can’t believe is that this guy actually used the word “Philistine.”

  23. Avatar Ciar Cullen says:

    Crickey. I also hate those damned cowards who won’t take a chance on an avant-garde idea.

    Have you seen the Gecko caveman commercial where a broadcaster asks a very inane question and the caveman just goes “What?”


  24. Avatar Lisa Hunter says:

    So you’re corresponding with the hero from Confederacy of Dunces?

  25. Avatar Anonymous says:

    That was awful. Pretentious much? And where’s the commas?

    Stuff like this just ruins it for the rest of us with enough sense to simply reply with a “thank you.”

    Grace Draven

  26. eeewww. I barely got past the first couple of lines, it was just too darn hard to read.

    Maybe it’s the internet, and my increased exposure to idiots, but I see this sort of nonsense a lot on forums and blogs recently.

    I think it’s generational. Kids raised with the whole ‘nobody is right or wrong, there is only what is right for -you-‘ philosophy. Not forgetting the ‘don’t criticize youngsters, you’ll crush their creativity’ notion, or, my personal favorite, “let’s not teach literary or artistic technique, let’s just encourage self-expression.”

    As a consequence, nobody knows how to take criticism on their technically impoverished creations, which, they are certain, are masterpieces.

    *whew* –end rant—

    I notice that collecting rejection letters is something of a writer’s hobby. I hope, when I get mine, that I’ll have the grace to be thankful for whatever useful advice the respondent has offered.