Tuesday, August 30, 2005

MORE ... On The Elusive Publishing Business

If you aspire to publish a book, or even are vaguely interested in the publishing business, hurry over to the website of Miss Snark, an anonymous literary agent in New York.

Since coming back from vacation a mere two days ago, Miss Snark has been critiquing the first pages of manuscripts sent in by her loyal readers. She’s examined 34 writing samples so far, running them through her Crapometer and commenting on the merits.

Miss Snark loves George Clooney, gin, and good writing, probably in that order. Her comments are incisive and blunt, but never boring.

Send in your own first page and see what she says.

On the subject of writing and publishing, I heard about a book 78 Reasons Why Your Book May Never Be Published and 14 Reasons Why It Just Might by Pat Walsh. I thought it was a silly title and had no intention of reading it.

But then I started to hear great things about the book: it’s a no-nonsense guide to writing and publishing, Walsh’s voice is witty and light, etc. The blog Slushpile recommended it and it turns out Walsh was the editor who acquired Michelle Richmond’s book Dream of the Blue Room. Plus his agent is Amy Rennert. And he wrote for the San Francisco Chronicle at one point. And he was an editor at MacAdam/Cage in San Francsico. All those factors convinced me to get the book.

And it’s good. Very good. It’s a quick read full of tidbits about how to determine if you are a serious writer, one who can crack the barriers put up by the publishing industry.

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