Monday, December 21, 2009

2009: A Year in Rejection?

It's worth paying attention when Wylie-Merrick dole out advice on a blog, isn't it?  Read here and decide for yourself, then come back and discuss: "There’s a saying on the literary street that it’s better to have not published at all than to publish and fail."  Is that true?  I find the whole tone of the W-M blog obnoxious. (Is it just me? Or is it the the evil little blog-writing minions and their attitude?)  By the way, I've been informed that Wylie-Merrick is not the freaky dude with the scary nickname pictured left. That is in fact Andrew Wylie, who is of no relation to Wylie-Merrick Agency. It's confusing.  


Anonymous said...

It's true what he says about editors checking previous sales figures before deciding to buy a book. I have even heard of writers adding an initial to their names to keep bad numbers from being found.

Still. If we, writers, were good at marketing, do you think we'd be sitting at home trying to write books? Hell no. We'd be working for a marketing firm making the big bucks. Publishing houses buy writers' books because of their writing skills, then punish them for their lack of marketing savvy. It sucks.

I also object to the idea that a book "fails" if it's not a blockbuster. Some books have smaller audiences, but are still great and contribute to our literature and to human happiness. If publishers were satisfied with smaller profit margins, more interesting books would be published, writers would spend time writing rather than pretending they know how to pimp their work, and the general level of literary quality would rise.

Of course, this is a temporary situation. As everything shifts to digital, the landscape will change. And one thing that will probably happen is the obsolescence of agents. No wonder Wylie's got his knickers in a bunch.

Dennis the Vizsla said...

Hmm, sounds like the industry should just pack it up and go home, then ...

Anonymous said...

Okay, so let me get this straight---Mr. Wylie is observing: (and stop me if you've heard any of this before!)

Writers must write a wonderful query letter to garner an agent's attention. (Oh. And you probably want to send that email these days---okay?)

Publishing houses put their diminishing advertising dollars on the sure thing---celebrity/famous/blockbuster authors.

Writers must be the best advocate they can be of their own books.

Wow--I'm kinda sorta bowled over that Mr. Wylie took time out of his important weekend to be this truthful and honest; caring so *much* to write stuff I've kinda sorta heard a million times before (and by way funnier writers!)

On the other hand...that poor man! He blogged on Sunday, all erudite and worldly with a voice that will still the mighty waters for *sure*...and we, surly and ungrateful writers that we are, we have yet to flock over and comment on this very influential man's blog. To thank him for for sharing his wisdom. To thank him for teaching us, guiding us; giving us a light and vision and lots of amazing stuff to mull over as we plot our writerly futures.

We are bad.


Minnie Mouse said...

Wylie-Merrick? I agree, obnoxious tone.

Minnie Mouse said...

Oh, FYI: Andrew Wylie (a mega-agent) isn't an agent with Wylie-Merrick. Wylie-Merrick is a smaller agency, and its agents are Robert Brown and Sharene Martin-Brown. Confusing, I know! :)