Friday, July 29, 2005

"Hobby publishing"

In response to queries from Chryscat and yours truly, Miss Snark the literary agent writes of e-publishing, "Let's start with whether I consider it a serious publishing credit. No. Let's finish with whether anyone in trade publishing considers it serious work. No. And it's not the format. It's the problem, to be blunt, of standards. Anyone can do it.... It's hobby publishing."

To a followup comment from yours truly, asking if she considered writing for those e-publishers whose books are available in major chains nationwide to be "hobby publishing," Miss Snark responded with confusion: "I took epublishing to mean web based content. You are, I now see, talking about actual books in stores. When you say it's e-publishers but you have an actual paperback book Im a touch confused."

My guess is that Miss Snark doesn't handle romance, or she probably would have heard of Ellora's Cave, or at least noticed their books filling the romance section at her local bookstore. Although there are agents who handle romance who simply aren't interested in e-publishers and small presses, and she may be one of them. I left some additional information in the hopes of enlightening her a bit.

And I found a new writer to add to my list of NY/epubbed authors: Diane Whiteside, who writes for Brava and formerly wrote for EC.


  1. Here's another one: Beth Daniels aka Beth Henderson has just released a book with Scheherazade Tales.

    Hobby publishing, snort.

  2. Re "hobby publishing," Charlene, I think it's important to know that there are agents out there that think this. I'm going to be looking for an agent sometime in the next year, and I don't want to approach one that thinks that my last two years of writing aren't legitimate or relevant. I want an agent that respects me and my work. There seem to be quite a few out there that think this way about e-publishing, and that's an important thing to keep in mind!

  3. That is just unbelievable. The comments that people make out of total ignorance just astound me.

    I already know who I want for an agent. I have a first, second and third choice *g* It was one of my procrastination methods to research agents. All of my choices have ebook authors with them who have crossed to NY.

  4. Jaynie, if you don't mind, I'm going to email you later and beg for that list:-).

  5. Interesting comment because she obviously also doesn't know that Stephen King started publishing e-books a few years ago. One of his books was released ONLY as an e-book. I don't think Mr. King would call it "hobby publishing." Here's a link to an article.

    Bonnie Vanak

  6. In junior high, the kids who wore weejuns were cool, and those who didn't were not.

    The record companies thought Napster was a joke at first. Now sales of CDs have dropped waaaayy off. Saying that e-pub is "hobby publishing" is wishful thinking.

    Publishers have no idea where the future of their business lies. And the attitudes of some in the business frankly surprise me. It's not as though book sales overall are booming, or that new readers are flooding the market. If anything, the opposite is true.

    Yet then you get the kind of arrogant, dismissive attitude in that comment, or what Jack Scovil said about Anais Nin at 756 Agents.

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