Monday, May 31, 2010

Letter From Jacob Appel

Dear W,R:

As promised, I wanted to let you know that I have heard back from Betsy Lerner. She went above and beyond the call of duty for a complete stranger, and even sought input from other agents on my behalf, but at the end of the day, a collection of unrelated short stories by an unknown writer is just not a good risk at the moment. That being said, if I ever manage to churn out a novel or a collection of interwoven short stories, I am assured that she would take a serious look at it and would likley help me find the right representation. Ms. Lerner was extremely kind to me, and generous with her time and energy. I'd urge your readers to consider her for a future Golden Kindness Award.

In any case, I am grateful to LROD for all of its efforts on my behalf. And to you, W,R, for your advocacy. If I ever do manage to place a collection, and you reveal your secret identity, you will certainly be thanked profusely in the acknowledgements.

I'll keep you all posted....

Jacob M. Appel


Anonymous said...

While it's no shock that agents aren't looking to sign writers with collections of unrelated short stories, it is depressing that Jacob Appel is put in the "unknown writer" category like the rest of us. Yeah, I know a random stranger on the street doesn't know who he is, but he's appeared in, like, every freaking lit mag! He has so many publications, but I guess it just doesn't add up to anything bigger.

I don't know if he is working on a novel or not, but some people are just short story writers, not novelists. And they are screwed, as far as getting a book deal through a New York house is concerned. Of course, there are still collection competitions....with Mr. Appel's previous success and tenacity, surely in a couple of years or so he might win one of these contests and have a book come out that way?

Either that, or I guess he needs to get a story in The Paris Review or The New Yorker. Would he have a chance at getting an agent then? Just curious.

Dennis the Vizsla said...

That is a tough sell if you're not like Joyce Carol Oates or Stephen King or that guy who writes funny stories for "The New Yorker" whose name I can't remember at the moment.

Steve said...

If Jacob Appel really wanted to publish a book of stories he could easily do so with a university press or an independent publisher. If he wants a New York house and cash money, that's another story. Personally, I think the dude owes us a book...and by us I mean all the writers who have supported him by submitting stories to the contests he has won. So Mr. Appel, I besiege you. Contact someone at U of Michigan Press, or SMU, or, well, you can look them up, because your house must be one huge roll-o-deck of addresses of journals. Let the acquisitions editor get a glimpse at your publishing history and you're all set.

Anonymous said...

I am seriously wondering what is WRONG with all those agents/publishers!!

Unrelated?? Not hardly - they are related by the fact that they are all WINNING STORIES no??

I would suggest calling JA's collection something like "And the winner is...!" and it would sell big, i'm sure of it - i mean, every comp enterer, mfa grad student etc. would want a copy, for SURE and that's got to be many thousand right there... Sigh. But wth do i know?

Anyway, Jacob Appel you seem like a lovely guy and a talented writer and it's crazy you can't get a book deal either, but I'm happy to be in the same club as you!!

Anonymous said...

While I agree his publication history would be a big asset, and you'd think that university presses that publish short story collections would want him, I've been around long enough to know it's not that easy. I seriously doubt he's turning down publication offers to hold out for the big bucks from a New York house. ;)

Anonymous said...

Jacob is one of the finalists for the Hudson Prize, offered by Black Lawrence Press. I'm also one of the finalists, so I'm not actually rooting for him ;)

But if I end up finishing second (or, likely, worse) I sure hope it's him that beats me. One way or another, he's going to have a great career!

Heather said...

He's not just one of the finalist - he's got two entries in the finalist category, and another two on the semi-finalist list. I'd say his odds are pretty good.

Heather said...

(it would be, frankly, awesome to see him win). Go, Jacob, go!