Posted on November 11, 2009


I bet you know what that title means, my friends.

It’s a loathe day.

It was inspired by several of the comments on GalleyCat in response to this post: “Literary Agents, bah! Who needs them?”

There’s lots of ridiculous to choose from, but what really got my goat was a tiddle from the article itself:

“One published author who asks to be unnamed disagrees, “What do you need an agent for anymore, really? Why? To negotiate a meager advance? You can’t get them on the phone anyway. You’re stuck promoting the book yourself because publishers don’t put any marketing dollars into your book unless you’re John Grisham. I don’t see the whole point when I can hire an attorney to negotiate my publishing contract for a flat fee or just upload the book to Kindle myself.”

I commented my not-so-humble opinion on the response post authored by very wise, very experienced Miriam Goderich of Dystel & Goderich Literary Management. I tried to behave, really I did.

The gist of it is that LAWYERS ARE NOT SUBSTITUTES FOR AGENTS PEOPLE REALLY. Even publishing lawyers, who indubitably have a niche practice area. I promise you, even the very best publishing lawyer on the planet is not going to hold your hand through revisions, tell you when your ideas suck unneutered doggie balls, and fight tooth and nail for your CAREER.

That was the first, most immediate Thing That Pissed Me Off. This quote was the second:

“Agents and publishers are going to have to adapt to the changes in the business, there is no other way to survive the digital revolution that is coming,” says Jerry Simmons of INDI Publishing Group, “Failure to recognize this very simple fact will most likely mean the end to book publishing as we know it.”

I’ll admit to being fairly new to this writerly thing, and not knowing as much about the industry as others. But I do read the industry blogs. And all of the agent-y bloggers have written about ebooks, vooks, the future of publishing, yada yada yada. But THE END TO BOOK PUBLISHING AS WE KNOW IT?!

It’s not the zombie apocalypse, guys.

End-of-days quotes like those are only endearing when Philip Roth says them, and even he should probably shut up. I kinda think everything he does is cute because he wrote Operation Shylock, but really sir. The novel…extinct?! The END of book publishing as we know it? You sound a little stressed…


Posted in: publishing