Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Miss Snark (and Dick Cheney)

Doing the ol' Google of myself (I know you do it too), I discovered something I wrote at Miss Snark's blog.  Miss Snark is a literary agent who disbursed wisdom for writers wanting to get their foot in the door with agents and publishers (she has since stopped writing the blog).  She would hold an occasional (annual?) Crap-O-Meter extravaganza in which writers could submit their "hooks" for a book proposal.  She would then comment on whether it was any good from a literary agent point of view.  For the few she liked, the writer could then send the first 750 words or so.  And she would comment on those.

For kicks, I submitted a synopsis/hook type thing for one of my National Novel Writing Month novels, Dick Cheney Saves Paris.  It's definitely not your father's literary fiction, but I'm happy to report she liked the the hook. And that meant I got to send the first chapter or two for a response.

Interesting side note about Dick Cheney Saves Paris: I used to work for an on-demand publishing company (they make DVDs and books when there is an order for them, so there is no need for struggling artists to buy a huge inventory that might take a garage to store and forever to sell).  In doing a beta-test of their book service, I ordered a copy of my Dick Cheney book as well as two other books.  I wasn't planning on self-publishing these books, but since it was really just a one-time printing for myself, and since I was told it could not go live, I figured what the heck.  I mean, it's not like printing one book for myself could stop me from finding a publisher some day, right?  And plus, I was getting paid to test the system.  So I tried it out.

But did I mention that had bought the company?  And that when I tested out the book process, there was a bug that allowed my books to be listed on  I let the tech people know and they fixed the bug (good thing we were doing that testing).  The books were never actually for sale--I hadn't yet approved the proofs for them--and I was told they would no longer show up on Amazon.  But lo and behold, one of the three was still there when next I checked.

I thought of complaining again, but I kind of like the idea that people doing a search for "Dick Cheney" on may stumble across this.  So maybe this will stop a publishing company from picking this up--the fact that it looks like it has been self-published.  Sure, it says "Out of Print--Limited Availability"--I have the only copy, after all--but if any publishing company wants to see the book regarding which Miss Snark said "I"d read this" (and yes, she also said "I doubt I could sell it"), let me know.  I swear it hasn't been self-published.

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