November 14, 2006

Jeff Herman's Guide to Publishers, Agents, etc.

In hell there is a post office and it has a very long line. The damnation is that every time you get to the front of the line you have the wrong envelope; Global instead of Domestic, Express instead of Priority, so you have to go find empty counter space to rip everything open and start all over again.

Sometimes you only bring one label with the agent's address, sometimes you're able to salvage the original by carefully peeling it off of the last TO & FROM sticker but your return address label rips so you have to hand-write that in your personal crappy font anyway.

The postal workers work at a snail's pace as if really listening to the talk radio crackling from the corner little boom box. They don't like being there and they want everyone to feel that. You feel it. Especially when the man in front of you has giant moving boxes, five of them, and they aren't taped or addressed. Or when you switch lines because your feet ache from standing still for a half hour and the person behind you in the last line gets serviced before you even move. Post office hell. And they say they'll pick up? I don't want the devils near my house. The mailman is problem enough, and he doesn't cross the driveway.

Just received my new edition of Jeff Herman's Guide to Publishers, Agents, blah blah blah. Money well spent. I like this guy. I'm impressed he includes his own agency with the address and everything. He must have a serious relationship with the US Post Office. I bet he had his own canvas cart behind the counter the mail workers just lob the piles of envelopes into.

Back to the edition, it's a twisted irony to have all of the wants, thoughts, and bios of all of the industry people out there but it also gets discouraging trying to find just the right person who takes your genre and would take it from you. Sometimes it seems the friendliest and most open don't want anything you're doing and all of the sticklers or snoots are the ones who may consider your subject. Fortunately the book is over 900 pages and I have come across several with potential and two that got me excited. I shipped off my revised-for-another-agent query which wastes a couple days and some chapters to one of the "perfect fits" so now I have a few weeks to sit back and wait for another punch in the stomach. However, I've decided if I had to choose my own eternal punishment it would be to open the mailbox daily to nothing but rejections rather than to have to mail a proposal even once a week and stand in the post office lines.

Maybe by next week they'll be piping in Christmas tunes. Huzzay!

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