Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Recycled Post: Dina Drinks Because You Suck

Dr. Dina is a little busy this month. We've had the Evil for Julie Fundraisers going on, and just because the donation part is over doesn't mean the work is. As such, Dr. Dina is recycling a post from the archives. We'll return you to your regularly scheduled evil at some point sometime. (Nice vaguery there, don't you think?)

Anyway! Today's post is brought to you by 100% recycled material! Enjoy!

Originally written April of 2012, so it's a couple years old.

Dina Drinks Because You Suck

I, regrettably, know one (or two, or five) of the individuals responsible for this rant, and what set me off this time was a particular post by one of them doing EXACTLY WHAT  YOU'RE NOT SUPPOSED TO DO if you wish to become a professional writer.

This person is in the process of querying agents, i.e. they're looking for professional representation in a professional field. Now, said person has a history of fail, but this particular incident takes the cake.

This person blogged about their rejection.

"Well Dina, that's not so bad," you say. "After all, rejection is part of the process. Why shouldn't we blog about it?"

Blogging about being rejected is fine. Utterly fine. Blog away about your fail. But what you don't do –


- is call the agent out on your blog BY NAME.

You don't say "So-and-So of This Agency rejected me. Add their name to the list of people who have."

You do NOT call an agent out on your blog. I don't care what they've done or haven't done. It's bad enough to blog about your rejection, but to blog about it so candidly?

"But Dina," you say. "What's wrong with that?"

A couple things.

1) Professional writers take rejection like adults.

You don't broadcast to the world that someone was fool enough to ignore your genius or however you want to phrase it. It's one thing to blog that you're querying. I know it's part of the process and some people need cheering on or consolation or whatever. All that's fine. But you don't slander (or libel as the case may be - "libel" is in print) an agent or agency just because they told you "no." Bad, bad form, whatever your reason. Which brings us to –

2) Rejection is between you and the agent.

How would you feel if you turned someone down for a job and they went and told the world that you suck for not giving them the job? Agents don't post their rejected queries online (well, not in their entirety and certainly not with any identifying information. I admit I love Slushpile Hell), and authors shouldn't post the list of agents who rejected them online.

Professionals don't do that. Professionals don't even mention they're in the query process until they have something to announce – like an acceptance of representation. Even then, some don't mention it. Some just put a little thing on their contact page of who reps them. Some don't even do that.

Now, given all that, it's your prerogative what you blog about/what you put on your website*. Your blog, your career, your life. If you get your kicks burning bridges, then by all means, post every damned rejection you get online for the world to see. I guarantee you no agent in the world is going to touch you once it gets around what you're up to, and believe me, the Internet isn't as small as you think it is. The publishing world is very small, and someone, somewhere (like me, for instance) is going to notice your douchebaggery and call attention to it.

If you bothered to research how to query properly/how to do things professionally, why don't you also research How Not To Be A Douchebag Author?

Oh, one last thing. Probably a bad idea to blog things like "To Any Agent Reading This Post," and putting your query letter up online and querying them with a URL.

Just sayin'.

*ETA 2014: This also includes your Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter...any of your social networks. The internet is forever, and what you say on it can get you into shit. How deep that shit is depends on how deep the hole you dug was, and how big a shovel you used...

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