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Authors Behaving Badly?

Shego - Facepalm

So, informal poll time — is this a spoof/satire, or a legitimate author blog?

http://rejectionqueen.blogspot.com/

She mentions having a novel coming out, but I can’t find any info on it, which suggests spoof to me.  I’m not sure, though. Most authors are fairly reasonable about rejections, but Rejection Queen wouldn’t be the first to flip out and shoot her career in the foot.  With a bazooka. Just see this post from agent Colleen Lindsay:

http://theswivet.blogspot.com/2010/04/what-not-to-do-when-you-get-rejection.html

That second one is an interesting case, as the idiocy comes from someone who has actually published with major houses.  But if you look at his published work, you notice that each book was with a different publisher.  Makes you wonder … did he storm off, or did the publisher exercise their “No a**hole” clause on subsequent books?

While some authors whine and moan, others actually do the work without expecting things to be handed to them on a golden platter.  See Rae Carson and Jenn Reese, both of whom recently landed awesome book deals.  Huge congratulations to them both!

But you know what?  Ask anyone who has accomplished what Rae and Jenn have, and they’ll probably tell you they got rejected plenty of times before reaching that point.  It’s normal.  Get over it.

You know what most successful authors don’t do?

This.

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

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Comments

( 114 comments — Leave a comment )
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spiziks
Apr. 23rd, 2010 02:17 pm (UTC)
I saw the Rejection Queen and marveled at her foolishness. Even when she got a nibble, she was unhappy. Who wold want to work with her? Editors and agents do Google searches as a matter of course. If they find your blog and it's filled with "I hate everyone, life sucks, you suck, everyone should die" entries, they'll reject you.

I blogged about this very thing at Book View Cafe a little while ago: http://blog.bookviewcafe.com/2010/03/22/writing-nowadays-bad-queries/
jimhines
Apr. 23rd, 2010 02:22 pm (UTC)
Yep -- I suppose it's possible she's using a false name, and thus Google won't kill her chances right off the bat. But just ... why? If you have to vent, fine. Go do it in private. Gripe to a friend, or gorge yourself on ice cream, or punch pillows (all of which I've done in response to rejection, actually). Making an ass of yourself in public, on the other hand? Not good.

I suspect if your book is good enough, agents/editors will overlook a lot. I also suspect very few books are *that* good.
(no subject) - deborahblakehps - Apr. 23rd, 2010 11:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - tom_gallier - Apr. 25th, 2010 04:15 pm (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - jimhines - Apr. 25th, 2010 08:37 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Anonymous)
Apr. 23rd, 2010 02:20 pm (UTC)
I'm with you, Jim. I think Rejection Queen is at best a spoofer (wouldn't call her a satirist, the vulgar blog doesn't have the wit or intelligence required for satire), or at worst someone with a pathological need for attention. Sad, really. I considered leaving a comment over there for the authors who think she's serious, but realized I didn't want to feed the "queen's" attention addiction.

Thanks for the post!

Lyn South
jimhines
Apr. 23rd, 2010 02:24 pm (UTC)
Either way, I suspect commenting on her blog would be a waste of time. If she's playing, it will feed her ego, just like you said. If not, well, I doubt anything I posted would have any effect except to further convince her we're all big meanies out to get her.
controuble
Apr. 23rd, 2010 02:26 pm (UTC)
Facepalm is putting it mildly. Didn't those peoples' mothers teach them any manners? Didn't their English teachers teach them the difference between to, too, and two?
::wanders off shaking head::
jimhines
Apr. 23rd, 2010 02:32 pm (UTC)
Yep.

Lesson #1: Proofread your frothing rants.

Lesson #2: Remember Wheaton's Law.
samhenderson
Apr. 23rd, 2010 02:30 pm (UTC)
I think spoof. Mostly based on the photos that accompany the entries -- they're just too precious.
jimhines
Apr. 23rd, 2010 02:37 pm (UTC)
I'm guessing those were just swiped off of flickr or a similar site. I was able to find the penheart one right away. Plug in a few keywords, and it's pretty easy to find and swipe photos like that.
peachtales
Apr. 23rd, 2010 02:32 pm (UTC)
Oh boy. Let's be a little more childish, whiny and rude in those notes. Wow.
Oh and typos. Oh my.
jimhines
Apr. 23rd, 2010 02:38 pm (UTC)
I deliberately omitted the saga where an author harassed an editor in his blog, urging said editor to kill himself. And his cat.
(no subject) - peachtales - Apr. 23rd, 2010 02:46 pm (UTC) - Expand
mtlawson
Apr. 23rd, 2010 02:33 pm (UTC)
Um, wow.

Some people have massive blind spots where their ability is concerned.
jimhines
Apr. 23rd, 2010 02:38 pm (UTC)
I AM A BRILLIANT, SPECIAL SNOWFLAKE AND YOU'RE ALL JUST JEALOUS AND BITTER, DAMMIT!!!
(no subject) - teriegarrison - Apr. 23rd, 2010 03:38 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jimhines - Apr. 23rd, 2010 03:40 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mtlawson - Apr. 23rd, 2010 04:32 pm (UTC) - Expand
marycatelli
Apr. 23rd, 2010 02:41 pm (UTC)
Now, now, now. There's no reason to not rant and rave and froth at the mouth at rejection.

As long as you do it alone, in a sound-proof room.

If you insist on putting it in writing, either bury it afterward or do it on a computer not hooked up to the internet (to eliminate temptation) and delete the file afterward.

It's not a problem as long as no one else knows about it.

jimhines
Apr. 23rd, 2010 02:45 pm (UTC)
Yep. I grumbled to my wife about rejections on many occasions. In the privacy of our own house.

Though even then, I don't think I was ever quite this ... spoiled about it.
(no subject) - nobu - Apr. 24th, 2010 05:43 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peachtales - Apr. 23rd, 2010 02:48 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - cat_mcdougall - Apr. 23rd, 2010 03:46 pm (UTC) - Expand
tsubaki_ny
Apr. 23rd, 2010 02:48 pm (UTC)
Is it just me or do an inordinate amount of these "Hey Authors, Don't Do This" examples seem to involve angry men attacking a female author in a cringe-inducingly sexist way? "You loose, silly woman"? Where did that even come from?
peachtales
Apr. 23rd, 2010 02:50 pm (UTC)
I think it was "you lose", but I don't think we'll ever know which one he meant, given his general cluelessness.
And yes, I've noticed that too, not just in these but in general.
(no subject) - tsubaki_ny - Apr. 23rd, 2010 02:54 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peachtales - Apr. 23rd, 2010 02:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jimhines - Apr. 23rd, 2010 02:52 pm (UTC) - Expand
teriegarrison
Apr. 23rd, 2010 02:50 pm (UTC)
Someone on AW was able to figure out who her writing partner is, so chances seem good that someone with Awesomely Serious Google-Fu will figure out her real name. Someone (maybe the same someone) also found comments by her on other blogs with the same whiney tone of entitlement, so while I wouldn't bet anything important, I'm tending to lean toward it being real. But wouldn't be surprised if it were a spoof.

Finally, a consensus seems to be building that her publisher is probably PublishAmerica, and if that's the case, she's possibly one of those who deserves it.
jimhines
Apr. 23rd, 2010 02:53 pm (UTC)
So it sounds like real whining, but false name? Interesting.

The PA bit wouldn't surprise me in the slightest. This sort of outraged, whiny entitlement plays right into their tactics.
(no subject) - sylvia_rachel - Apr. 23rd, 2010 03:06 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mtlawson - Apr. 23rd, 2010 04:35 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - cuddlycthulhu - Apr. 23rd, 2010 03:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
mardott
Apr. 23rd, 2010 02:56 pm (UTC)
I wish agents were looking for "next science fiction" book. If only it were that easy.

I sometimes include my website and blog urls in my query letters. I do include them in a cover letter if agents have requested a partial or full.

It would be... foolish, let's say... to have such whiny drivel on my blog if an agent dropped by for a peek. But if queen wants to put it on hers - well, maybe that's just one less competitor to worry about, eh?
jimhines
Apr. 23rd, 2010 03:01 pm (UTC)
"I wish agents were looking for "next science fiction" book."

Some of them are. Well, to be more specific, those that like SF/F tend to be looking for the next science fiction book that they really love and believe they can sell. And they're looking for it in a neverending influx of hundreds of queries and manuscripts.

Not easy, no. But not impossible.

Another commenter mentioned that Rejection Queen is using a pseudonym, which might protect her from casual Google checks. Of course, said commenter also mentioned that folks have been able to narrow down who RQ is in real life...
(no subject) - marycatelli - Apr. 23rd, 2010 03:02 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mardott - Apr. 23rd, 2010 03:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
sylvia_rachel
Apr. 23rd, 2010 03:02 pm (UTC)
Wow. I don't even know what to say -- I knew the Internet was full of raving wackos all kinds of different people, but I didn't realize there were quite so many people so very intent on making themselves look like losers.

Grumbling, or even ranting, about rejections is fine. Is there any writer alive who has not done this? Taking rejections personally is bad, but inevitable -- I would bet most of us have done this, too. Identifying the people who've rejected your work, calling them horrible names, and threatening violence, in public, with your name (or a name, anyway) attached? Surely anyone with functioning frontal lobes should be able to figure out in about two seconds why this is the Worst Idea Ever. There are, in fact, times when "all publicity is good publicity" really doesn't apply.

So "Rejection Queen" almost has to be a spoof. Except ... for what purpose? I don't get it. I just can't quite believe that anyone genuinely trying to get a book published would behave in such a bizarrely unprofessional way.
jimhines
Apr. 23rd, 2010 03:05 pm (UTC)
Others with more free time have done a bit of digging. The sense I'm getting is that the name she uses is a false one, but the content/sentiment is probably genuine. (I'm not going to take the time to verify this for myself one way or the other, 'cause I've got books to write.)

The vast majority of authors I've known, both published and struggling, are not whiny, spoiled brats. We know rejection is a normal part of the process, even when we're discouraged as hell. But the handful of idiots can make an awful lot of noise.
(no subject) - sylvia_rachel - Apr. 23rd, 2010 03:09 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mtlawson - Apr. 23rd, 2010 04:43 pm (UTC) - Expand
cuddlycthulhu
Apr. 23rd, 2010 03:12 pm (UTC)
Man, some people are just way to sensitive. What's the point of being rude to someone you're not going to work with when you might work with them sometime in the future?
jimhines
Apr. 23rd, 2010 03:14 pm (UTC)
Particularly when editors and agents are known to chat with one another ... or even write blogs of their own. There's no big scary blacklist in publishing, but if you make a big enough ass of yourself, people will talk about it.
(no subject) - cuddlycthulhu - Apr. 23rd, 2010 03:18 pm (UTC) - Expand
klwilliams
Apr. 23rd, 2010 03:13 pm (UTC)
When I get a rejection letter, I remind myself of the advice that J.M. Straczynski says that Harlan Ellison gave him: Stop writing crap. :-)
jimhines
Apr. 23rd, 2010 03:15 pm (UTC)
I found that my writing improved a great deal when I started using the built-in Microsoft Crapchecker in Word.
(no subject) - cuddlycthulhu - Apr. 23rd, 2010 04:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - jongibbs - Apr. 23rd, 2010 03:45 pm (UTC) - Expand
celestineangel
Apr. 23rd, 2010 03:15 pm (UTC)
... WOW. That's... special.

I especially love the last one, who couldn't bother with proper spelling or punctuation, yet has so many offers he doesn't know what to do with them all.
jimhines
Apr. 23rd, 2010 03:16 pm (UTC)
Oh, the offers are the easy part. There are plenty of places out there, Publish America being the most famous, that will happily publish your book and stroke your ego as they drain your bank account...
stormsdotter
Apr. 23rd, 2010 03:34 pm (UTC)
Oh gods. No. Just no. Do not bitch people out for doing their jobs. Stephen King kept all his rejection letters posted on his wall on a nail. If *he* got tons of rejection letters before being published, why do these people act so offended?

On a slightly related note, I got my first rejection letter on Monday when I was Quite Ill. Do you think it's worth it to write a brief reply? (Politely, of course!)
jimhines
Apr. 23rd, 2010 03:39 pm (UTC)
I usually didn't respond to rejections, unless there was something in there that seemed to open the door. (Something beyond a form letter.) On the other hand, I know one author who sends a quick "Thank you" letter. Another didn't necessarily respond to rejections, but might mention it in the next submission, or would comment on the magazine ... over time, it built into a conversation with the editor.

I don't think there's a firm rule, but I tend to err on the side of not adding one more e-mail/letter to the editor's list of things to read.
(no subject) - stormsdotter - Apr. 23rd, 2010 03:56 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - celestineangel - Apr. 23rd, 2010 05:53 pm (UTC) - Expand
jongibbs
Apr. 23rd, 2010 03:44 pm (UTC)
Good Lord!

I know rejection hurts, but what were these folks thinking?
jimhines
Apr. 23rd, 2010 03:49 pm (UTC)
Your question contains an underlying assumption...
(no subject) - tsubaki_ny - Apr. 23rd, 2010 05:15 pm (UTC) - Expand
jennreese
Apr. 23rd, 2010 04:06 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the shout-out, Jim! :-D
jimhines
Apr. 23rd, 2010 04:08 pm (UTC)
You're welcome! Can't wait to cheer more as you move through the process ;-)
(no subject) - cathschaffstump - Apr. 23rd, 2010 05:38 pm (UTC) - Expand
teriegarrison
Apr. 23rd, 2010 04:16 pm (UTC)
Oh! Spoof or not? Go to the beginning of the blog, read a few entries, and judge for yourself. (Hint: I'm now firmly on the 'not a spoof' side.)
jimhines
Apr. 23rd, 2010 06:24 pm (UTC)
Having read through some of the archives, I agree with you.
(no subject) - scottakennedy - Apr. 23rd, 2010 06:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
barbarienne
Apr. 23rd, 2010 04:45 pm (UTC)
I would sincerely hope rejectionqueen is a spoof, but if so, she needs to fine-tune the irony circuits so it's a trifle less Poe-riffic. Spoof only works if people realize that's what it is.

Alas, it's probably real. And her publisher is almost guaranteed to be PA.

I wonder if she'll announce the book on the blog? I mean, if she has a real publisher now, she doesn't need all those bitchy, evil agents, right? So what if they know her name?
beth_bernobich
Apr. 23rd, 2010 05:27 pm (UTC)
In the spirit of avoiding work thoroughness, I skimmed the earlier archives of her blog. In one comment, she says her publisher is Grand Central Publishing.

Which makes the whole situation even weirder. Grand Central Publishing is not a tiny publisher. They pay advances. Why couldn't this twit get an agent based on that offer?

(no subject) - jimhines - Apr. 23rd, 2010 05:55 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - barbarienne - Apr. 23rd, 2010 06:01 pm (UTC) - Expand
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mmerriam
Apr. 23rd, 2010 04:49 pm (UTC)
Authors (especially unpublished authors) who act unprofessional on the internet are shooting themselves in the foot, pure and simple. Act like a pro if you aspire to be a pro.

Me. I'm 600+ rejection in with no loss of enthusiasm for writing fiction.
raecarson
Apr. 23rd, 2010 05:10 pm (UTC)
Wow. The crazy, it burns.

And thanks so much for the shout-out!
reudaly
Apr. 23rd, 2010 05:33 pm (UTC)
SO...not only being bitchy about the rejections - but putting names and addresses... even if she *is* using a fake name, that's still going to come back to bite her.

I'm a long-time member of the Church of Don't Be An A**Hole. I've had my share of rejections (in fact I need to go poke some editors for the next round), but never would I don THAT. AND NEVER EVER NAME NAMES.

I hope that kind of stupidity is not contagious or genetic.
burger_eater
Apr. 23rd, 2010 05:34 pm (UTC)
I love these assholes! They make me look like a saint!

You know what really marks a writer as Likely To Fail? They blame other people for their rejections. Instead of saying "What is wrong with them?!?" every time a rejection comes in, they should be saying "What am I doing wrong?!?"

Because you know what? The person who takes the blame is the person responsible for a project's success or failure. Why would a writer want to give away all the power over their own career!
jimhines
Apr. 23rd, 2010 06:23 pm (UTC)
Yep. Bottom line, it's my career. I may not have full control over what happens, but in the end it's still my responsibility to deal with it and find a way forward.
cathschaffstump
Apr. 23rd, 2010 06:12 pm (UTC)
Having just decided that my writing can be way better than it was when I thought I should submit to agents, round one, I'd have to say that perhaps our bitter authors should be grateful that no one is putting out work they'd be embarrassed for the world to see in later years.

Unless quality isn't the issue. ;P

Cath
jimhines
Apr. 23rd, 2010 06:22 pm (UTC)
Oh, yeah. I'm so glad agents and editors had the good sense to reject several of my early books!
maggielyons.blogspot.com
Apr. 23rd, 2010 06:18 pm (UTC)
I'm feeling a little odd about the Rejection Queen melt down. I came across her blog recently when the google alert I have on my agent's name dinged, and I left her a comment a couple of posts back (not feeling inclined to touch the one about life sucking), recommending she cool it, or at least protect her identity. Next thing, this.

I sort of wonder if I might have poked at a hornet's nest. I'm probably just over-dramatizing, and others have probably come across it the same way and commented in the past, but the timing's making me feel a little squicky and a little bitchy. Not in a sleep-lost kind of way, but, you know.
jimhines
Apr. 23rd, 2010 06:22 pm (UTC)
It it helps, I've been reading through some of the older entries and comments. (I shouldn't, but there's a train-wreck quality that's drawing me in.)

The meltdown isn't a new thing. She's been getting comments similar to yours for months, if not years, and reacting to them ... well, about as you'd expect.

I can understand where the timing would make you feel squicky. I'm actually feeling a little guilty about the pile-on phenomenon now. But I definitely don't think it's something you need to lose sleep over, unless you were overly nasty in the comment (which I don't imagine you were).
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Apr. 23rd, 2010 07:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - maggielyons.blogspot.com - Apr. 23rd, 2010 07:50 pm (UTC) - Expand
haddayr
Apr. 23rd, 2010 06:56 pm (UTC)
If it's a spoof, she doesn't know what "spoof" is.

If you want to do something that is satirical, it has to be . . . well, satirical.

I think she's a straight-up moron, or she's someone who's trying to be funny but doesn't know how to do it.
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