Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Query Question: how published am I?

I have a question that you’ve come close to answering in your posts, but not quite.

I have a manuscript that I have been working on for some time and after many, many rewrites I have decided once again to try to query. The problem I have is with the “previously published” status. Several years ago, when I was young and naive (okay, not young but younger), I found an article about Hulu, where you could upload and print copies of your work. I thought it would be fun to have a hard copy of my book, so I gave it a whirl.

Where I faltered was in following the steps, it asked if I wanted an ISBN, which in my naivety, I did not know and clicked yes. I also clicked on Trade Paper rather than the novel format. So, the book has an ISBN in Trade Paper format, but was never available to be purchased. How messed up have I made things?

Is this novel to be tabled for eternity? Or is there some way I can still market it as an unpublished piece of work?

Given that you did not make the novel available for purchase, and (I hope) no copies are circulating among your friends or beta readers, you do get a mulligan on this.

Simply change the title and you're fine. You will not need to reveal your sordid past to agent or publisher.

There's one exception to this:
Did you register the copyright with the copyright office?   If you DID register the copyright, or it was registered for you, than you can't get a do-over.

If you want to query the manuscript, you'll simply explain to an agent who expresses serious interest what happened (much like you did in the question above).  It will NOT get in the way of securing a publication deal since the book wasn't ever made available to readers.

You will need to file a different kind of copyright registration if you're amending one that's already been done.


Julie said...

So where is the "published" line in the sand drawn if not at ISBN? Copywrite?

Anonymous said...

I have nothing to say. I'm just commenting to see if I'm first.


Julie said...

Man, I love this phone; not only does it not give me the chance to fix the spelling error (copyright), it double-enters it just to be sure. Anyway, good morning.

What about if it's self pubbed on one of those Wattpad type things without an ISBN, available for consumption - but no ISBN?

angie Brooksby-Arcangioli said...

Another question I didn't know I needed answered.

When I began wondering how publish, before discovering the reef and the tidal wave of info here, someone told me to buy an ISBN. Use cafepress. She said it was easy. Now she wishes she had tried traditional publishing. BUT she says it's too much work, too time consuming.

Today at 4PM my neice will play in her first Grand Slam at Rolland Garros. She's worked, trained her whole life for it. She's twenty years old. It's a big day, worth the wait.

I wish I could be there in person but I've have to complete sixty-eight paintings.

I hope OP gets the mulligan.

Colin Smith said...

It's questions like this that make Janet's blog the goldmine of information that it is. I don't think I've ever come across this question addressed as fully as it has been here in any books on publishing. "When Is Does 'Published' Mean 'Published'?" will have to be a chapter in Janet's book. :) This is one of those things that woodland creatures fret about, or just assume that since they had Hulu run off a copy for them it's no longer a queriable entity.

And this is just one of the reasons why you are all kinds of OSSUM, Janet! (Note: that was a sincere compliment--see yesterday's q).

Ritzy: Too bad. You have to get up really early to beat these folks. :)

Colin Smith said...

"When Does 'Published' Mean 'Published'?" is what I meant, of course. "Is Does" is not a Southernism. Trust me. Now, "might could" is popular 'round these parts, as in, "Give me till Thursday and I might could get it done." :)

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

I think the OP's post is a perfect example of how naïveté, regarding the ins and outs of electronic (anything), can threaten not only how our phones, TV remotes, car systems, computer settings, etc. perform, but how an uniformed-click can risk our very publishing future.

Because electronic, on-line, click to do just about anything, hit during my non-formative years, I have, after many stupid mistakes learned that "research" is as important as a good pro-biotic. One of my (10 year ago) most lame-brained, stupid ass, thought I knew it all mistakes, has cost us well over a hundred grand.

So like the law/advisement CBYD, (that's Call Before You Dig),so you don't cause gas, power or water lines to spew away your front yard as you plant a lone daffodil, how about CBYC, (Check Before You Click).
I know how much everyone here loves acronyms.

"Call before you dig", has nothing to do with my error, I just used it as an example. My idiot moment had to do with...oh never mind. I don't want to ruin my day. Oops, too late.

Lisa Bodenheim said...

Ritzy: and live in the right time zone.

2Ns: will it really ruin your day if we ask you to 'fess up your story? Your new phrase, Check Before You Click--great warning.

Thank you, OP, for asking this question. The things I learn on this blog! Not only are there all of these nuanced agent/publishing issues that can happen which Janet points out for us (spooky-scary for a woodland creature who still suffers from naivete). I now know--after googling it--what the Grand Slam at Rolland Garros is. Good luck to your daughter, Angie. *mumbling 'She's doing 68 paintings?' while I wander off*

Unknown said...

"Nothing worth having is free or easy."

Mother's voice in my head. Blessing and a curse. Not sure what it has to do with OP's question (every time I type OP I picture Ron Howard), but Mom seems to think the phrase is pertinent.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad Janet spells this out because there are so many ways to publish these days.

As I've said before, sometimes I think it's like offering to be the virgin sacrifice to save the village. Then asking does it really count if you did it once with Artemis Quiackyer because he really wasn't that good. I guess this time it really doesn't.

I wonder, though, a lot of people like to post their writing on their blogs. How much is too much? Can you overexpose your WIP?

Which reminds me, if you want someone to beta read for you. Please for the love of all that is holy, do not have your manuscript printed and send them the book. It's not easier to just type up the changes that need to be made in a separate document and refer to page so and so.

Craig F said...

It might be safer to build up a different manuscript to query. When you get an agent you can have a professional look in on the previous one. There are probably a couple of other questions that need answered too.

I don't have a copyright but I have a few patents. I know how easy it is to skirt the edges of those. It is probably just as easy to skirt a copyright. It is a good idea to have someone guide you through that though.

Best of luck.

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

Lisa, okay here goes.
Let me just give everyone here some really good advice and this has NOTHING to do with writing and EVERYTHING to do with realizing that even if you think you have ALL the answers,
I love doing that vertical-line word thing.
Anyway, here's my advice.

For all you parents out there with college on the near horizon for your children, (Colin listen up, your six will be there before you know it), DO NOT, under any circumstances, take out PRIVATE student loans for your children.
Go federal money only and DO NOT co-sign. If you don't co-sign the loans may have a higher interest rate but they can be consolidated at the end (which makes the monthly payments manageable based on the kids income) and you, as a parent, don't have to haul that ball and chain until you die.
Even some fed. loans, like 'signature loans' can't be consolidated either so check it out. And DO NOT do 'parent plus loans'.

If your kid goes to a private college or university the loans almost always offered first are private. They are evil. (Especially the ones offered by the bank Elizabeth Warren said she wanted to break into pieces. (God Bless that women).

So that's my major, clicked-to-f***-up and it has cost us our retirement.

Actually this little ditty didn't ruin my day because maybe I have informed a few of you.

So here's my two pieces of advice for the day:

1. Say NO to private student loans and don't co-sign.

2. Don't take advice from anyone, even me, especially me. INFORM YOURSELF.

Oh hey, wanna' buy my house? It's still for sale.

Laura said...

Oh, Carolynnwith2Ns, big hugs! I don't care what you say, it's always hard to share goof-ups. But thank you for that, because my son will (eventually) be going to college, and I have never, ever heard that before. You may have saved *my* retirement.

Thanks for being so open and generous with your story.

Colin Smith said...

2Ns: FYI, my two oldest kids are 21 and 19, and both are waiting on college so they can a) afford it (i.e., have some kind of income to help pay the debt); b) determine that they really need a college degree to do what they want to do; c) determine exactly what they want to do should they decide to go to college. Given that a college education costs about as much as a mortgage, I fully support their desire not to get into that kind of debt without knowing exactly why and what for.

Colin Smith said...

I should add that in the meantime, my oldest has been working as a nanny to support a program she is doing with a view to acting. My 19-yr-old is spending her time in language study and looking at ESL teaching options in Asia. So they're keeping busy. :)

Dena Pawling said...

Carolynn, sorry about your student loan disaster. Ouch that sounds nasty. My oldest joined the Navy, and it'll be the GI bill when he gets out, so I have no worries there. My middle two aren't doing anything more than community college [one is significantly disabled]. It's only my youngest I'll have to worry about. Thanks for the warning.

Here's something on your “check before you dig” story. Unfortunately, that doesn't always work out either.

Many years ago when I was just a part-time lawyer, we had a contractor working in the front yard, digging the foundation for a room addition. I was home one day sitting on the couch reading to my kids [who were very young at the time].

As I was finishing the story, I heard a loud noise and one of the workmen tapped on my front window and asked me to call the gas company. I searched for my most recent gas bill to get the phone number, but couldn't find it. No worries, I told myself, I'll call the police department business line and ask.

Me: I have a contractor working at my house and he wants me to call the gas company.

Police: Why?

Me: I don't know, but it sounds like jet airplanes taking off in my front yard. Do you have the number?

Police: I'll transfer you to dispatch, hold the line please.

I repeated almost that exact conversation with dispatch.

Me: And, um..., can I get the phone number for the gas company, please?

Dispatch: I'll call the gas company for you. And I'd appreciate if you would go outside with anyone else who's home with you now.

Me: Did I do something wrong?

Dispatch: No, ma'am. It's just better if you wait outside until we get there.

I took the kids outside, and a few minutes later, a fire truck showed up, followed shortly thereafter by the gas company. One of the firemen let my kids have a private tour of the truck, while the others, in full yellow protective gear, grilled my contractor. Turns out, he DID call before he dug, but my gas line was located in a different place than on the chart. They had to dig up almost half of my front yard to find somewhere to cap the line.

And my contractor added another $1000 to my construction estimate to relocate the line. Ouch.

[Sorry, I have nothing to add to today's question. I'm still a neophyte in that area.]

LynnRodz said...

Now I know, no copyright, it's a no-no. Years ago, I did copyright some of my music and lyrics and poems. If I ever want to self-publish those poems/odes (see yesterday's comments) is that going to give me problems I didn't foresee?

Angie, good luck to your niece, I hope she wins! I used to go to Roland Garros before I became allergic to the sun, not that today would matter. Anyway, back when Borg, McEnroe, Connors, etc. used to give us a real show!

Wow, 12 paintings down and 68 to go...you can do it!

Anonymous said...

Huh. I thought once there was an ISBN, that was it. Kaput. You're published.


I have no need at present for the information, but still. Interesting.

Unknown said...

2N's, that was one rough lesson. And all you were trying to do was what you thought best for your children.

Good of you to share.

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

Colin, you have smart kids. College isn't for everyone. For the kids who want to teach or work in a non-profit there are pay-down programs that are wonderful. But like I said, don't listen to me, be informed, stay informed and Dena, glad you weren't blown to kingdom come.

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

And Julie, I'm not politicizing. Really I'm not. I wanted you-all to know the name of the bank without me saying it. If I spelled it out I'd probably be sued. That's how bad they are.

Anonymous said...


Sorry, I deleted the comment. I'm slipping into a funk. I should probably go into hibernation soon.

Re the colleges. Will is going to a tech school to get his degree which will be a lot less expensive than a four-year degree. The company he's been talking to designs computer programs and they could care less about four-year degrees. They just want people who are familiar with the programs and are trainable.

Some of their engineers Will has been speaking to don't even have degrees. They took courses and then just learned on their own, but they knew enough going in the company could train them.

Google Mike Rowe who had the Dirty Jobs show. He's set up a foundation to help people find alternatives to college degrees that will actually make them a living in a job they enjoy.

Julie said...

On a different but highly relevant (to this group and to the QOTKU) subject - I met with the indy pub who is helping me with my Query this morning. I would love some feedback on the feedback I got, but I'm entering "edit" mode on the MS just now - is anyone out there willing to give me a hand this evening ~6:30+ ish?



Laura said...

Regarding copyright, I had never before heard that you shouldn't copyright your novel once you've finished it and before you sell it to a publisher. I work mostly in film, and there you *absolutely* copyright the script before you shop it around - it's actually hugely important, because if there is a dispute, it puts the case in federal court rather than WGA arbitration.

But not for a novel, huh? Wow. Good to know.

I've found pro and con arguments on Writer Beware http://www.accrispin.blogspot.com/2013/02/why-not-to-register-copyright-for.html and Matthew Warner on his blog http://matthewwarner.com/2013/03/why-to-register-copyright-for-unpublished-works/ but neither mentions that registering the copyright would make it harder to get published. On the other hand, they both agree that as long as it's registered within 3 months after publication, all your rights are preserved, so it does seem to be an unnecessary step.

I am always happy to have one less thing to do... :)

angie Brooksby-Arcangioli said...

This discussion reminds me of a post Janet had some time ago when someone sent her a book in the mail with the words. "I need an agent" written with a sharpie pen. I may remember incorrectly the wording. I think they wrote their telephone number but no name.

I've read on other agent blogs that obtaining a copyright before querying is a NO NO.

I have a question: Is obtaining ISBNs the authors responsibility? Or is it the publisher?

A few days ago I came across an article discussing the importance of establishing an online licensing system for copyrighted works on Writer Beware

To quote from the article: "A publisher-centric system will also assign rights incorrectly, especially considering that publishers have begun to claim ebook rights for works even though the contracts for those works do not mention them."

My neice lost but it was her first Grand Slam. The game finished a few minutes ago.

Click before you dig.

Colin Smith said...

Angie: I believe I'm correct in saying that the ISBN is indeed obtained on your behalf by the publisher. It's all part of the process.

Julie said...

I heard today that companies use "resume scanners" to look for certain words; they use these scanners to weed out resumes that they either do or don't want.

Are there now query scanners that Agents use?

REJourneys said...

I learned a lot today, reading the topic and the comments branching from it.

Julia, you're right about the "resume scanners." I went to a business school and that was one of the things they wanted us to know, and know well. The certain words are usually hidden somewhere in a job description. That's why, just like queries, one must always personalize their cover letter and resume.

That's my piece of advice today that will hopefully be useful to someone.

Now, I'm off to negotiations!

Anonymous said...

I think what Janet's saying is, yes, it has been 'published', but since there is only one copy in existence, there won't be other copies out there getting in the way of future sales.

That's all they care about, really. That, and what possible legalities they might have to go through. If there are no nasty contracts out there, and there aren't other copies muddying the water, your previous 'publishing' experience won't get in the way of being published traditionally.

If you've published electronically, that might be different, because it's harder to tell just how many people have copies of it. Most electronic publishing platforms make it possible for others to buy your books. That's great if that's your intent, but it puts copies out there that might jeopardize future sales.

Regarding scriptwriting: Yeah. When I entered a scriptwriting competition, I was amazed that I *had* to get my script copyrighted before I could enter it. And it's more expensive to get a script copyrighted AND registered with the appropriate authority than it is to copyright a novel.

In print, though, copyright is understood, as soon as the words are put on the page. Scripts are more than print, though, even when they are still in print. I think (I'm hedging a lot here, aren't I?). I think it has something to do with ideas being valuable in that line of work.

It's not the copyright itself that is a problem, I believe. It's the fact that the novel had an ISBN and was copyrighted. As Janet said, it's possible to amend a copyright, though.

I don't think that, even with both ISBN and copyright, all would be lost. I'm sure there are ways around it - especially since no copies were distributed. As long as the OP explains it when an agent appears interested (perhaps during The Call), as Janet said. It just makes things trickier.

Let's see if I understand this correctly: If an ISBN is given to a novel called 'This Title', then it's easy to get around that by changing 'This Title' to 'That Title'. But a copyright includes the entire novel, so the entire novel would be copyrighted. Which means that the publisher would have to file a different kind of copyright registration, an amendment - as Janet said - in order to copyright the version they are publishing. Am I close?

2Ns: Wow. That's terrible. I've gotten into a few 'too-naive-to-realize' scenarios, but that's beyond belief. Hope you're able to find something that helps you out. I had a whole rant on student debt and the local university all written out, but nah. I'm sure everyone has the same experiences.

Angie: ISBNs are always the publisher's responsibility. When they charge you extra to do that, then you want to be wary. The only time the author needs to worry about ISBNs is if they are self-publishing.

Julia: Query scanners = Agents eyes, at this point, I'm sure. And 'resume scanners' are basically searching for certain keywords. The problem with them is, if the person who wrote the resume doesn't know the proper keywords, they won't be looked at. That's why all the job sites these days tell you to read the language in the job posting and use it as closely as possible in your resume.

Hmm. Interesting. Today the recaptcha is UNDER the OpenId... I wonder if that makes it work more smoothly...

Donnaeve said...

Colin, you're right about the ISBN, she declares with authority! :) I'm feeling all righteous and very very "millenial" b/c I, my friends, have a NEW COMPUTER! TWO computers!!! Thanks to my husband who could no longer stand my squinty-eyed look.

I'm flipping OUT over the new keyboard, the new EVERYTHING. So, bear with me while I just chit chat here and type like a mofo b/c it's been soooooooo long since I could type like a mofo. My old laptop (and by old I mean I think that sucker was going on nine) had several issues. Rebuilt the hard drive last year...but the flickering screen, and they sticking space bar? Just sayin' it was getting dangerous and what if I lost all my work??? Eeek.

How's everybody doing? I saw the loads of comments (especially for WIR!) and would love to say I read them all, but then? I'd be a liar - just know I was thinking about all of you!

Anywho. Hope the OP gets a *doeyover on this.

*Yes. I too, like to make up words, much like our beloved TLC. (Terri Lynn Coop) Like coinkydink. Although I'm not sure I can actually claim ownership on that one. I love it though.

Back to migrating files. Fun! And I don't mean that sarcastically.

Lisa Bodenheim said...

Just a quick read between work driving.

2Ns: Thank you for sharing your wisdom. So sorry it worked out badly. I have a boomerang daughter still paying off her 4-year-degree debt. I don't charge her rent so she's paying big chunks. She graduated 2 years ago. Needless to say, her Plan A (going for a Master's degree after paying off loan) has been derailed. She is now looking at various Plan Bs and Cs.

Anonymous said...

Nice to see you back, Donnaeve! We missed you!

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

Donnaaaa, missed you.

LynnRodz said...

Yeah, Donna, I was wondering why you weren't commenting. Glad to hear you have a new computer.

Angie, it's already a big deal that she played in a Grand Slam. Good for her.

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

Thank you all for your expressions of sympathy regarding my stupidity.
The silver lining in all of this is that my daughters have awesome degrees, both undergraduate and masters. They and their spouses are all gainfully employed. (Lisa, both boomeranged until they found their way).
We all have, and will continue to contribute to their financial futures for quite awhile. I have beat myself up over this for a long time but not anymore. Like my husband says about things nowadays, "It is what it is". What it is, is the price of education, paid in part, by an uneducated mom who thought she was doing the right thing.

So what was the original question?
Oh yeah, don't click on anything unless it is what you KNOW it is. ISBNs or otherwise.

Anonymous said...

Oh! I have something to say. I didn't think of it yesterday because it was super early and I wanted that first comment.

I'm really glad the OP asked this. A couple years ago, my mom collected all my childhood poetry, typed it up, and published it on Amazon. Under my real name. I'd been hoping that, since I was fourteen when I wrote it and it seems to have sunk into obscurity, future agents won't mind... but there's a part of me that wondered whether they would look at the samples and decide I don't want to work with this lady, she's going to be way too much trouble.

That book is horrible. Horribly written, mainly. I probably look like one of those annoying kids who thought everything they wrote was a literary masterpiece. Well, I didn't. My mom did. I tried to convince her not to publish it, but, you know, she's my mom and it made her happy. At least the book has that going for it.

Anonymous said...

fourteen when I "wrote" it. when it was published. most of the poems were written between the ages of six and twelve.

Also, reCAPTCHA doesn't give me food. I either get house numbers or it just lets me through. It must not like livejournal.

Anonymous said...


I think that, as long as you're not trying to sell those poems now, you're safe. And since few agents will sell poetry anyway, that shouldn't be a problem.

Janet talked about another person who self-published a novel written when quite young. That was a couple weeks ago, I think, if you want to look for it.

If I remember Janet's advice, don't mention the book. If it comes up in a conversation with an agent - something along the lines of, 'have you ever published anything before' - then mention it.

But really, it won't have any bearing on your publishability. We were all young once. But not all of us have had the ease of self-publishing 'with a click' at that time (or parents just as naive), so we're less likely to have something like that embarrassing us later.

Back in 2012, I wrote a couple poems for a charity anthology. They weren't good enough to make it into the print anthology (only because they had rhythm and rhyme which, by the way, is frowned upon by 'serious' poets these days), but the organizers gathered all the submitted poems onto a CD to include with the printed anthology. So I guess they're published. I'm not going to try to re-publish them, and this anthology wouldn't be well-known enough to be considered a true 'publishing credit'. So I don't mention it. It's not going to help me or hurt me.

Your 'published' poems won't help you or hurt you, either.

As for reCAPTCHA: I think you need to comment a LOT for it to take notice of you. Maybe include a link for good measure. Maybe you need to post something that looks like spam: Buy my book, or something. :)

Hey! I got an OpenID error, then got 'Select all the food!' All I had to do was ignore all the booze. And the caffeine drink.

Christina Seine said...

Ah the perilous path to publishing. Filled with potholes and loose rocks and snakes that slither right past you and random signs that say Beware of Bees. And it's 90 degrees out and you keep hiking up this stupid path even tho you're getting heat stroke and your sandals are not meant for uneven terrain of any kind but DAMMIT if that smart-aleky 5yo can do it, so can I.

Oh wait, that was our family hike just now. Never mind.

We're in Phoenix. Melting.

7yo, as we land in Arizona: Mom, how do you spell Phoenix?

Mom, who literally has been awake all night: P-H-O...

7yo: No. FEENIX.

Mom: *sigh* P-H-O...

7yo: *makes Spock face*

Anonymous said...


I'm really sorry you went through this. I got into a mess years ago with pretty severe consequences also. It's not easy.

My sympathies.


Julie said...

By the way.
When trying to get a feel for male MC's:
There are worse ways to spend a couple of hours than in small indy bookshops perusing GQ.

Even when not trying to get a feel for male MC's.

Not (cough) that I would know.

Julie said...

And... what does it say if you are writing and editing to the exclusion of solid food...?

One can exist on coffee, Slim Fast, and McDonald's Smoothies indefinitely... right? Oh. And Protonix and Tums. Lest we forget.

Anonymous said...

Julia: It says you are committed. Or maybe that you should be committed... either way, it shows your writing means a lot to you.

This time I got to choose all the drinks! So booze, coffee, juice... ignoring the souvlaki, fish & chips ... Okay. I'm going out for supper this evening...

Anonymous said...


No offense to the GQ crowd, but being around most of those men would terrify me. I'd be afraid I might muss their manicure.

There, there, darling. It will be all right. I'll get my buffer out.

Vroom Vroom Oops, wrong buffer. Let me unplug that. Wait, don't run away!

I had a friend call me one time because she knew I was rewiring the barn. They were having electrical problems and her husband couldn't fix it. I said, "Well, I'm not really an electrician. You live in town. You should probably call an electrician." Thinking if they just needed an outlet replaced or something, I could do that, I asked what was wrong.

"The light bulb burned out in the kitchen."

"Just unscrew the bulb and screw a new one in."

"Oh, no. Cameron never does stuff like that. Our neighbor does it, but he's out of town."

"I'm not driving into town to change your light bulb."

On the plus side, Cameron always had very nice nails and I did not.

Donnaeve said...

Thanks all! I'm sure I missed you all more than you missed my blabbermouth, but let me just say this. Migration of docs = smooth. Migration of email account and files = total beeyacha.

My Outlook email is still not working right. I currently have 3 computers up and running, and based on what Level II support at MSFT said, (yeah after working with Level I yesterday it went to Level II) I should get email on all three. So. The idea is, once I know I'm getting ALL of them on the new devices I'll let poor old dead Jed, I mean dead Dell go to Computer Heaven. I am getting 90% as I should, i.e., for the 10 recent ones that came slithering through, all but one showed up on a new one and the old one, but not the other new one...and - never mind. It makes my own head spin just thinking about it. I understand it, but to write it out? B.O.R.I.N.G.

Wow. The clarity of this screen is stunning. QOTKU's blog never looked so good. Nor the pictures. I think I can actually count the shark's TEETH.


Donnaeve said...

Ha. I just re-read my comment and realize I sound a little ADHD. Time for a beverage.

Kregger said...

Try making your home page Google Chrome. It works on my two computers and iphone.

Anonymous said...

Donna: Check that the missing message isn't in the spam filter on that computer. It's possible that you've got the spam filter filtering harder on that computer than the other. Since Outlook is a separate program on each computer - just all connected to the same e-mail account - it's possible it's not set up exactly the same.

And isn't it always time for a beverage? :)

I got 'choose food' again. But there are getting to be more and more beverages in the mix with each time. I think reCAPTCHA knows what time it is...

Got an OpenID error, and had to choose the drinks this time. Yup. reCAPTCHA KNOWS.

(And see? Say 'Buy my book' once, and you get to be untrustworthy to reCAPTCHA!)

Anonymous said...

On another note, in case you think that Janet is only being nice by saying we're not wasting her time, here's another agent's view on it:

Amy Boggs on Twitter

You may have to scroll a bit, if she's tweeted more since then. But she's saying the same thing Janet always does: We're not wasting her time. She needs authors or she'd be lost.

Bread this time. Or it says it's bread. The example looked like it might have been a round pumpernickel. The two I chose looked like flatbread of some kind...

(Yes, I'm only commenting for the food. I get to go for supper soon.)

AJ Blythe said...

Anyone here lucky enough to be going to the Writers' Police Academy this year? Attending this is at the very, very top of my wishlist, and I'd hoped this year I might have made it, but a leaking shower and the costs of repairs (floorboards rotten on both sides of the wall so major renos) meant it wasn't to be.

Now I find out they've announced there'll be a shark tank at the Academy this year:

We are extremely excited and pleased to announce that literary agent/Query Shark Janet Reid has just joined the 2015 Writers' Police Academy faculty. The Query Shark herself will host and teach the following workshop. How to Write a Killer Fiction Query

Am sobbing into my bowl of cereal. Any chance you want to swim Down Under next year, JR?

Julie said...

What, what, what?
Where, now?
HRH The Tooth was the SINGLE argument that got His Financial Pursestrings to allow me to travel to NYC for WD this summer.

Julie said...

Oh, Julie, but they smell so nice!

I was married to one once. For three years. Only seventeen months of those were actually spent in his presence, and the entire thing was an utter fiasco, but still, he did smell nice. And he knew how to dress.

But the "So, mom. Shawn and I are breaking up. And, oh, by the way, it's not actually a break-up. To be honest, it's going to be a divorce. Mom? Mom. Mom!" conversation wasn't pretty.

On the other hand, I'm fairly sure he still hasn't told his family, and that just makes me chuckle.

The point of contention?

"You're going back to Arkansas?"

"Well, yes, Shawn. I told them I'd go back and be health supervisor at the Girl Scout Camp this summer. I promised. I have a commitment."

"I'm not going down there again."

"Um. Okay, well, I guess I'll see you when camp's over, then."

"No. Really. You need to stay here."

"Ah... can't do it. Gave them my word."

"If you go down there, we're done."


"If you're taking that position, we wouldn't have lasted anyway. I'm going."

And thus ended that marriage. I went to Arkansas; he apologized and said he was terribly, terribly sorry.

A week later, he said he missed me awfully.

A week later, he really, really, horribly missed me.

And a week later, his father was helping him move his stuff out. Et la.

You see? Integrity means different things to different people - and some people can see the beauty in the deep South, and some can't. But, to be fair, he was in the Deep, deep South, and had some traumatic experiences quite possibly not engineered for sons of multimillionaires raised on Phillips Exeter and the London School of Economics.

We're still very good friends. And he's currently working in finance in Providence, having been unwilling to follow his current wife down to her position as an attending physician in Alabama. :D

Like I say, just livin' and learnin' and gathering up goooood stories.

And, Colin, re: Southernisms, "might could" is excellent. I also like "couple few."

"Hey, y'all - are all y'all comin' round for the bar-b-que after the cow drop tonight or just some-a y'all? I've got a few cold ones put by."

"Couple few of us might could."

"Awright, just let us know - we'll be headin' over after the tractor pull so we can fire it up."