Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Whittling Down the Clues

If you’re interested in what aspiring authors hope to peddle to publishers, visit Miss Snark’s blog, where she has invited writers to submit synopses of their books. I love Miss Snark’s blog (she’s an anonymous New York agent) but this latest round of commentary confirms that we have very different tastes. She clearly prefers mysteries, thrillers and commercial fiction, even praising one synopsis as “one of the best I have ever read.” I didn’t like it at all.

But who is Miss Snark? I’m don’t think anyone has found out. And it would not be an impossible task, since there are fewer than 271 agents working out of New York in the Association of Authors' Representatives (AAR) database. Of course, figuring this out would take time.

What do we know about Miss Snark?

1) She is in New York
2) She is a member of AAR.
3) She works in a small literary agency with just a few agents.
4) She does not take e-mail submissions.
5) Other unreliable clues – she drinks gin, lusts after George Clooney, and takes a lot of vacations.
6) She has an amazing work ethic.

The other popular anonymous blogger was Mad Max Perkins, and as far as I can tell, no one unearthed his identity either.

In other news, both Ed and Scott have interesting posts on author self-promotion. Ed wonders whether the new author blogs on Amazon will ever work because they will forever carry the taint of commercialism.

Scott is annoyed at the new literary wunderkind Benjamin Kunkel. His magazine n+1 has an article entitled “The Reading Crisis,” which criticizes authors for hawking their work. I guess not every author can be like Kunkel, who was anointed by the New York Times Book Review this year for his comic novel Indecision.


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Julia Fields said...

Miss Snark is actually Janet Reid of the JetReid Literary Agency. She runs her own one-pony show out of her home.


- Reid lives in Brooklyn (Snarkville).
- Reid sells to Ig Books and small presses (as noted by Snarky in her blog).
- Reid is a good friend of Maud Newton and Sarah Weinman (noted often on Snark blog--do a search! and btw, both Newton and Weinman recently removed their Miss Snark links! Coincidence?)
- Reid and Snark appear often on MediaBistro, in a portion run by Sarah Weinman (search google).
- Reid is a loner agent (Snark is a loner).
- Reid's site is suspicious, evasive (her real name is missing, address is a P.O. Box, her pre-agent credentials and/or resume is missing), just like Snark.
- Reid hosted a blog panel in NYC (Nov. 2004) for Maud, Sarah, and the man who runs Publisher's Lunch, Michael Cader (search in Snark blog: she idolizes him!).
- Reid's style, voice, are identical to Miss Snark. Compare Reid's FAQ to the Snarky talk, then go to Publisher's Marketplace, fine Janet Reid, and note the Snarky talk.

Lady M said...

Youse guys care that much about "who" she is? LOL!

Too funny - this is like... what do you call it... Not treasure hunting... that other game? Where everyone is given a list and you have to find everything on that list?

Does it really matter who she is, in reality? Doesn't she dose out a lot of good advice, and give writers hope - and ambition?

Doesn't she at least present a positive voice in the publishing industry?

I'm new, so I don't know all the gossip going around.

But to me, she seems like she's doing a good thing. And I like her wit and satire.

Good enough for me just having her as Miss Snark - and not Miss Snark unclothed.


Ah well - interesting read.

Lady M

Word Doctor said...

It's called a "scavenger hunt," and no, it doesn't matter. Shit either direction.

Anonymous said...

There are more hints in today's entry about an April conference. All signs hint to a conference where Janet Reid is on the faculty.

Penny Manning said...

Okay, while everyone is on the subject of Janet Reid...Is she a good agent? Are her clients' books worth reading? Can anyone tell me is this an agent worth submitting to? Thank you in advance for any insight regarding Ms. Reid.