Wednesday, November 30, 2005

My Last Word On This

In the past two days I’ve been called: a nitwit, pretentious, angry, mean, sour, a whiner, crazy, suicidal, insulting, a nightmare author, difficult, and have been told to shut up.

I’m sure I’m leaving some nasty name calling out, but I think any reader will get the general idea.  A lot of this bad-mouthing came from a blog called Miss Snark, the literary agent.  She/he might as well call him/herself Miss Anonymous. I doubt very much if this person is a literary agent.  I know my agent would never have the time to write a blog.  Not to mention the inclination. 

I had no idea what I posted would create such a brouhaha.  I was simply continuing to do what I state above this post.  All along I’ve taken the reader with me on this last book.  Losing my editor was another step.

I’ll continue my blog as before.  As of this moment this tempest in a teacup is over for me.


Anonymous said...

This has been one of the weirder web dust-ups I've come across.... I've had problems with that blog too; I think ad hominem attacks, meanness and ass-kissing are common there.

Moralizing makes me sick; I don't see what most of the commenters on your post have seemingly become so upset over. I do think you might have shot yourself in the foot a bit with the young editor you haven't worked with yet, but I also think you could probably make it up to the person (if you feel so inclined, I mean). Like I don't believe it's that big a deal. You were seemingly upset. People get upset over things, feel passionately, sometimes speak too quickly. Whatever. I think that's often better than holding stuff in and being an apathetic-dishonest-cowardly-phony pushover! Also, IMO not all publishing professionals are made of glass; they know working with artists/creative people can be tricky. Many of us creative-types are prone to being passionate--this is, like, nothing new. I think insiders who don't like working with creative people tend not to last long in creative environments anyway and probably shouldn't.

The implications that you're a nightmare to work with seem illogical to me. You're such a nightmare that your editor personally called you to let you know he was leaving. To me, if an author's a nightmare, an editor would more likely pull a hasta la vista without telling that author hasta la vista.

Publishing's generally a sucky profession for many, in my opinion and experience at least. I spent one year in-house as a copy editor, and that was enough to make me go freelance-only for years afterward. Many editors are underpaid, IMO, and many authors wind up suffering because the whole system sucks for practically everyone not at the very top. I think the powers-that-be want to keep things that way for various reasons. I speak my mind on this all the time, and I don't give a shit what most others think. They're doing nothing for me as a writer anyway.

I hope things work out okay for you. I think you have enough of a track-record that you could probably move on to another house if need be.

Good luck!


Carolyn B. said...

Hi, Ms. Scoppettone,

I've read with interest your original posting on this topic and the followup comments here and elsewhere. Man oh man.

My impression? For what it's worth ... I read your original posting as fairly innocuous, well intentioned, and clearly expressed. I've reread it, and I still see it that way -- not whiny. Just legitimately worried about developments that can affect your livelihood. I think people are reading too much into it.

I am interested in the original "editorially orphaned" dilemma and far less in what impact your blog has on your career, which is your own business to manage. I think your posting was successful in its efforts to advise inexperienced writers and interested fans about one of the publishing pitfalls that writers face. Your responses to anonymous critical comments were less successful, in my opinion. Have you considered that it's possible you share good intentions with some of the commenters whose comments or whose anonymity offended you? Just as your original posting seemed to be geared toward educating others about worrisome consequences of current publishing events, perhaps some of your commenters simply intended to express their worries that your blog posting would be harmful to you.

But when it comes down to it, it's your blog after all, and you're an adult who can live with the consequences of her own actions. And I didn't see you asking for advice.

So life goes on. I remain interested in hearing more about the uncertain publishing-house status your editor's exodus leaves you in, whenever this becomes less of a painful subject. Did the new young editor you mention get assigned to you, and did he/she shrug off any stepped-on toes? Are you staying with this publisher?

Good luck!

writing magic said...

I'm sorry about all the fuss that was caused over your post- I'm glad you've decided to take the high road and let it go. I'm glad it exposed me to your blog, however, which is fascinating!

I'm curious to hear- did your agent talk to the publisher? What's happening with your book?

Good luck- I hope your book doesn't stay orphaned!

Sponge Girl said...

"I doubt very much if this person is a literary agent. I know my agent would never have the time to write a blog. Not to mention the inclination."

Right, because no self-respecting person with a real job would have the time or the desire to write on the internet.

But that's enough about Miss Snark.

I have to agree that the original post didn't stir me in any way - negative or positive. I suppose thinking back at it the revelation of your agent's departure was a little too detailed - I'm sure he wouldn't like his burn-outs discussed in anyone's blog. But even so, I did not read it and think "Dear God, what self-destructive mission is this woman on?!".

As far as the "young editor" comment goes, that didn't affect me either. I'm younger than 29 and didn't feel offended in any way - heck yeah most twenty-somethings have less experience in anything than a fifty-something - pitching, making cups of coffee, tax returns and sex to name a few. And, as you point out, you don't definitely believe a young editor would ruin your life - it just doesn't tally with your experiences to date.

What did disturb me were your responses to the comments - even anonymous commenters have the right to an opinion. Keep in mind that this is the Internet - if you feel comfortable posting with your own name then fine, but there's nothing reprehensible about wanting to keep a barrier between one's virtual and real lives.

Not everyone who disagrees with you is an envious wannabe or malicious blog disrupter - perhaps some of those comments actually had a grain of truth in them.

Sure, continue writing your blog, be honest and upfront about your experiences, but don't air other people's dirty laundry - and don't assume any criticism whatsoever to spring form hate or jealousy.

Olen Steinhauer said...

This whole brouha, which I've caught in retrospect, seems pretty silly to me. Sandra--you never dissed anyone in your original ageism or anything of that sort. And if people want to misinterpret the words you very clearly wrote, then you have a right to stomp on them.

This is Sandra's blog, and if people come to her house, they've got to face the fire and play by her rules. Snark and many, many others retain the right to bash comments they consider unworthy, and Sandra should be afforded those same rights. If you don't like it, go play somewhere else.

Fact is, Sandra's been in the business far longer than me or most anyone who comes a-visiting. I would never freely offer "career advice" to someone with that kind of experience, and if I did, I'd expect to be either shown my faults, or pointed to the door.