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Miss Snark: Literary Whippings

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An anonymous literary agent calling herself Miss Snark runs a blog where she dispenses blunt, pointed comments and criticisms that are engaging and entertaining. You can submit work to her and she’ll run it through the Crapometer and post her thoughts. She also responds to comments.

One viewer asks “I see a lot of agent websites that are curt and unfriendly. It’s like they hate you. Some want you to jump through a hoop of fire before submitting a proposal. Then there are the agents that lecture you about properly addressing them, as if they are royalty. Then they send you a rejection notice and don’t mention you by name or sign it. Ugh, I’m getting tried of these people. I keep going through this process and thinking …there has to be a better way.”

Miss Snark’s response? Cutting, realistic, devastating, and true, “Well, you can call Miss Snark Her Royal Snarkieness if you so desire but you really don’t have to. You do however have to call her Miss Snark. Not Mr. Snark. Not Ms. Snark, and certainly not Miss Anthrope.

I’ve yet to see an agent’s website that asks for more than you to simply use the correct name. That’s hardly ‘as if they are royalty’. Let me know if I’ve missed seeing one.

And ‘jump through a hoop of fire’? Do you honest to god think we do this to make your life wretched? Think again. We ask you to submit work in the format that WE have to submit it in. Unless you want Miss Snark rewriting your pearls of wisdom don’t you think you’d do a better job of communicating your ideas?

And as for the lack of personal response, you get to complain about that ONLY if you send out 100 personalized query letters a week, every week, for over a year. That’s what rolls through the door here.

There are lots of offensive things agents do (see posts on fees etc) but what you’re complaining about isn’t on the list.

What you’re complaining about is that no one is treating you like a valued customer. Well, I have news for you. You’re not. You may become a client sometime, somewhere, but until then, you’re asking me to use my valuable time to read your work. You’re not paying me. You’re not compensating me in any way. I’m mostly glad to do it cause I think there’s a chance I’ll find something in this pile, but don’t ever think you’re doing me a favor by letting me see your work.

You’re just one in a group of people clamoring for attention. Know that, understand that, and either accept it and quit complaining, or go publish on your own. There are LOTS of ways to do that now. Cafe Press, iUniverse, Authors House. $500 and no interference from Miss Snark.”

Fans of Simon Cowell are strongly encouraged to check out her site here.

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