Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Why I Am ePublishing My Book

So far I’ve blogged about the way the publishing industry has treated other writers, such as Brian Keene and Stephen King.

Today I’ll provide six tidbits from my own experiences.

Experience the First: A few years ago, a certain first book—let’s call it The Fabulous Book—by an unknown author was getting a lot of attention. Because I had a similar novel, I sent out a few queries and on request, I sent the manuscript to an editor. She wrote back, saying, “This reminds me a lot of The Fabulous Book, which I loathed.”[Underlining and bold are hers, not mine.]

Experience the Second: I sent a query to a very well known agent with a huge Internet presence. In that query I used the word “discrete,” meaning “separate or distinct.” The agent apparently didn’t know the word existed and thought I’d misspelled “discreet.” The agent returned my letter covered with an angry message scrawled in red ink saying, “I reject any query with a typo. You’ll never get anywhere as a writer if you don’t learn to spell.”

Experiences the Third and Fourth: Two different agents yawned during face-to-face pitch sessions at conferences. I was paying for these face-to-face sessions and had also spent a great deal (over $1000) for transportation, the conference fee, and the hotel. One of the two was at least nice enough to cover her mouth with her hand. The other one opened his mouth so wide I had an alarming view of the dental work on his molars.

Experience the Fifth: An agent posted a query online looking for someone with expertise and publishing experience in a particular area. I have the expertise, but not the publishing experience, so I responded, detailing my expertise. The agent sent back an email that began, in all caps: “HOW IS THIS WHAT I ASKED FOR?”

Experience the Sixth: An editor at a certain publishing house was enthusiastic about a book of mine, and in the last communication I had with him, he told me to expect to receive a contract soon. Weeks, and then months, went by, and finally I learned the editor had left the company—without a word to me directly, or to anyone there about me.

Have you had a similar bad experience with an agent or editor? Please post it here as a comment!

Fortunately, thanks to ePublishing, I no longer have to deal with these people. Hope you'll buy my eBook, Listening to Ian Magick, on sale June 1st at Amazon for Kindle.

If you don't have a Kindle, you can download a FREE Kindle app for your PC by clicking here. For Mac, click here.


  1. “I reject any query with a typo. You’ll never get anywhere as a writer if you don’t learn to spell.”
    LOL, this is hilarious! Do they really do that? I mean I check, double-check and triple-check everything I post out there, but still! ONE TYPO. Sheesh. Anyway, thanks for sharing your experience! :)

  2. Yes, it really happened. And remember, it wasn't even a typo on my part but a word the agent didn't know! Thanks so much for commenting. TG

  3. I did hear once about someone being threatened with the sack because he used 'pedagogical' in a memo and a director read it as relating to paedophilia. After he'd explained, a memo went round saying that company memos should henceforth only use vocabulary that appeared in the local Sunday paper. A couple of weeks later he sent in his letter of resignation, which he constructed out of words cut out of the local Sunday paper.

    It is very sad that people in positions of authority think it's acceptable to treat others like this. And also very sad when they don't have decent mastery of their own language. Who watches the watchmen, eh?

  4. Hi Anne-Mhairi: OMG, that's even better (or worse, actually!) than my experience. Yes, it is sad. Thanks for your comment!

  5. Wow. Some of that is bad--especially the typo comment, which was made in ignorance. The fifth mentioned is really bizarre. Why do people get like that? Aren't they too busy to take the time to get snappy over things?

  6. I don't know why people get like that. Some people are just rude or mean, I guess. Thanks for your comment!

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