Friday, October 13, 2006

With torches and pitchforks

The angry mob is coming! Apparently, I have managed to outrage a certain portion of the writing populace. In fact, I merit a four page forum post. How exciting.

Let me make a few points clear and then I shall walk away from this and not deal with it anymore.

  1. I do not think I am God. I never said I was, I don't act like I am, and if you think that I believe that I am, you are sorely mistaken.
  2. You are perfectly free to disagree with anything that I write here.
  3. You are perfectly free not to submit material to me, if you do not like what I say on this blog. It really doesn't bother me.
  4. Yes, I am young, but being young is not necessarily a liability. I am learning as I am going along, and I have had excellent mentoring and instruction from both Paige Wheeler and the others at Folio Literary Management, as well as my current boss, Lori Perkins.
  5. I read every single one of my queries. E-queries and snail mail queries. Anyone who assumes that I don't is making the wrong assumption. I also read every single one of the partial manuscripts I request. I also read every single one of the full manuscripts I request.
  6. I answer my own phone. The only number that gets given out is my cell phone, which I use for business, and I'm the only one that answers it.
  7. My boyfriend gets mentioned because he is the other inhabitant of my workspace. If I worked in an office building, I would most likely mention the other inhabitants of it that impact my daily job.
  8. I do not expect writers to kowtow to me in any way, and similarly, I do not kowtow to them. I evaluate you on the basis of your writing. I also make it a practice to personally speak to every single person that I take on as a client via the phone first, and if I or they feel uncomfortable in any way, then we do not pursue the business relationship.
And that is all that I have to say about that.

38 comments:

Jodi Meadows said...

Now you're really famous.

Also, the first guy reminds me of the one guy. You know the snarky one who inspired the requery post? That one.

And look on the bright side. Fewer queries for you to read. Since they're not going to send them. ;)

kiwi said...

take it with a grain of salt, Jenny. This guy clearly has a bone to pick with the industry, and you simply got in the way. Sounds like a frustrated writer letting off steam. Best way to handle folks like this: silence, silence, silence--works every time.

Those of us who frequent your blog regularly know where you are coming from and appreciate your honesty.

December Quinn said...

Don't worry about it, Jenny. Most of us understood your post and weren't bothered by it.

You can't please everyone, and frankly, you shouldn't try. You know how hard you work and what kind of reputation you have in the industry. If they don't, it's their loss.

Joe said...

If there's ever a time in someone's life when absolutely everyone likes them, they're probably doing something wrong.

Char said...

Maybe you should not of rejected him. Though I'm sure he's just mad because of a previous situation were his boyfriend misplaced his quary letter on accident.

kiwi said...

Silence, silence, blissful silence.

McKoala said...

Don't let them get you down! Big fat grain of salt, like kiwi says.

Charlie (Colorado) said...

Fuck'em.

Richard White said...

Unfortunately, it's quite obvious that the poster there can't tell when someone's using a bit of hyperbole to make a point (which is how I took Jenny's original statement).

I enjoy visiting Absolute Write and I've learned a lot from there, but too many of the people there tend to believe they're "God's Gift to Writing" and their words are strictly gold to be spread amongst the unwashed. Disagree with them at your own peril.

Then again, bulletin board bullies are a dime a dozen.

Ben S. D. said...

Oh, I just HAD to reply to that. LOL

Bernita said...

Richard may be right.
On the other hand, someone with knicker-knots in search of their 15 seconds will only pretend to take a mild exaggeration literally and claim it as "proof."

Sounds like the type who places page 50 upside down...

Sam said...

You post your business ethics, and some whiny wanabee writer objects. He rants on a forum (had to go see for myself, & looks like sour grapes to me.)
Anyhow, I honestly think it's nice of you to clarify things. You didn't have to. I would have raised my (perfectly plucked) eyebrows and left it at that, but I suppose that any criticism stings, be it rejection from a publisher or sour grapes from a wanabee writer. My agent is really young and very new too, but I adore working with her because she's got so much enthusiasm and energy. I hope this makes you feel better.
So, ((((HUGS))))!

Kimber An said...

We'll protect you, Fair Maiden! Everybody, pull your swords and spears! Or, charge all phaser banks and bring quantum torpedoes on-line! Spit-wads would probably work too.

Bernita said...

"spit-wads" !!!
You take me back, Kimber An!

Kimber An said...

Yeah! Everybody whip out your straws and hawk your loogies! On three - one, two, three - PATOOOY!!!

kiwi said...

Kimber an, I like the way you think. Count me in. I'll have a friend of a friend whisper a word in the President's ear. I just know George W. Bush loves a good fight, and he has a nuclear arsenal! What fun this could be!
Jenny, never fear, the redeemers are here to save the day. Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrr Brrrrrrrrrrrrrr Brrrrrrrrrrrrrr. That’s the sound of ram horns calling all to battle.

December Quinn said...

Cannons to the left of us...cannons to the right...

Yasamin said...

I had a friend who was bullied once and do you know what she told me ... well screamed at me?

"I'm a damned weed!! you can keep trying to pull me, kill me, extract me, whatever!! but I will never die!" I liked it.

and the spitwad thing made me giggle.

Maprilynne said...

OMG! You have a boyfriend? And you live with him! And he sometimes touches the SASEs?!? Well, that definitely means you're a third-class agent. (rolls eyes)
I don't get it.
An agent who posts on their blog "I hate these $%&#ing writers," that is an agent you want to avoid, not the boyfriend-having types.

Kimber An said...

Yeah, having a man in your life usually means you have a life, and that can be really annoying to some people.

Sha'el, Princess of Pixies said...

Dear Jenny,

I haven't queried you yet, but I'm much more likely too after reading that post and your response to it. You did well, my dear.

Besides, I'm one of those "mean" people from Miss Snark's blog. We meanies and ingrates must stick together, mustn't we? Ignore those who behave in a less than adult way.

Look at all those who read your blog that have migrated over here from Snarkie's blog! We're a nice bunch and attracted to others of the same colour wing ... umm of the same stripe? ummm of like good taste and refined judgment. There. That'll do it.

James Dashner said...

Jenny, stuff like this is nothing but good news. The more publicity you get, the better clients, leading to better contracts and contacts, and eventually my million dollar sale.

To you, I dedicate this limerick:

There once was this guy--TeddyG.
He's as funny as cancer and pee.
He ripped on the Jenny,
But he ain't worth a penny,
He needs to be dumped in the sea.

(Sorry, my limerick skills went south since high school.)

Jenny Rappaport said...

James, it's a good thing I keep you around for your novel-writing skills instead! =)

And thank you everyone, for your wonderful support and encouragement.

whatisthisiamnotgoodwithcomputers said...

What you said was not a big deal.
You didn't even need to explain yourself. I can understand why you did, but really, you didn't need to.

For someone to be outraged over where you put your mail is, to put it plainly and honestly, that guy's problem entirely, not yours. He's nobody to you; he's not even a client.

If he's so offended, he wouldn't want you as an agent anyway, nor would you want him as a client.

Hopefully, he will see this as a need to take a step back and re-evaluate his priorities, and you shouldn't give it another thought.

chisem said...

Good morning Jenny
Hope this comment isn't too late. I was offended by the youth reference. Youth is NOT wasted on the young. A number of years ago, I was the youngest managing editor in the state of Texas, perhaps the US when I was 25. It was the same year the paper was named the best in the state in it's category.
I doubt you will let him distract you from your work, as I didn't in my youth.
Albest,

BuffySquirrel said...

Now, look, this isn't a pitchfork, it's a toothpick for a giant. And as for the thing you thought was a torch, that, er, that, er, that's his nightlight.

Yes. Toothpick and nightlight. Honest!

kiwi said...

Sure it is, Buffysquirrel. And those squeaking brakes you can hear? I believe that is the pest control officer with a very large net. :}

Dave Kuzminski said...

Bernita, everyone knows it's page 49 that you put upside down.

As to the folks who can't understand how the systems work, well their ignorance will likely keep them on the outside until they do.

Marcia Colette said...

Excellent!

I was in my late twenties and teaching a software programming class when an older gentleman said "I've been programming longer than you've been alive. What could YOU possible teach me?" My reply "Absolutely nothing that someone of your age should already know. So let's start with good manners and work our way from there, shall we?" I ended with a cheesy grin and earned his respect from that day forward.

Cath Smith said...

OK folks, these comments are making me feel very uncomfortable.

You've posted some unpleasant comments about an individual who is easily identifiable through the link Jenny has given in her post.

The four (now five) pages of discussion were about what writers expect from agents and whether an agent should hold themselves up to the same public standards as expected from writers. As with any discussion forum, things can get a little heated sometimes.

I believe Jenny's response was spot on - can we please leave it there?

Bob Liter said...

Personally, I like young women even if I am 83 years old.

lizzie26 said...

Some people misconstrue blogs for the actual agency web site or the professional site of the agent. Blogs are just web logs, the alternative to a hardcopy journal, but better because others can read and respond.

Think of it this way, Jenny: Now you have more traffic coming to your site.

kiwi said...

hey bob, I read 'Bonus Baby' the other day; nice short story. Love the 68 percent waist-to-hip ratio.

Anonymous said...

Jenny, I don't comment much on people's blogs, but I wanted to let you know that I appreciate your honesty and frankness. People who are too busy being a strangely stuffy version of "professional" often never say what they really mean and end up being resentful and angry. I find you to be the perfect combination of professional and fun, and I like that you don't take yourself too seriously. And anyhow, things like boyfriends moving stacks of paper happen every day to people--it's not unprofessional to acknowledge it, it's unprofessional to pretend it doesn't happen and look the other way.

Christine said...

Folks need to get over themselves. Stick to your guns.

Eileen said...

I find angry mobs are very easily distracted. I suggest you yell out "look an editor!" and when they turn to trample him/her with submissions you can duck out.

Bernita said...

Shush, Dave, or you'll spoil it...

Mac said...

Ye gods. Thanks for pointing to this (I think.) Sorry I'm late to this party.

AW has over 10,000 registered members--the opinions of the loudest aren't necessarily representative of everyone.

I was awfully glad to see lots of people speaking up in Jenny's defense, as well.