Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Rainbows and gun analogies

Everyone who's anyone. Click on it, browse through briefly, then return. E-mail addresses! Hundreds upon hundreds of editors' and publishers' e-mail addresses! I felt like I won the lottery when I found this site. It was the pot of gold at the end of an Internet rainbow: 011010110100010100 = gold!

I don't know how he got them (who he had to kill, sleep with, insert your favourite cliché here _________) but the author of the above-mentioned site, Gerrard,* is an embittered, crotchety gift to struggling first-timers like myself. He levels the playing field, takes the secrecy out of publishing, knocks down the Berlin walls of injustice and inequity that stand between New Author (desperate, slightly sweaty) and Editor (all-knowing, crumb-covered).

But with great freedom, there often comes a greater price. Al Gore, Godfather of the double u double u double u, let me pose this question to you: When you have this kind of power at your fingertips, what do you do with it?

Now that I can, should I query editors, Al? All the "rules" are telling me no, but as Sunday's hot tubbing post proves, I have little respect for "rules." In fact, I mock them outright and place quotation marks around them! So what if I do it, Al? What if I make use of all of the terrible powers of this list and send my queries directly to editors? And what if they say no thanks without reading my ms, or blacklist me altogether because they are terrified of my supreme power ("how did she get my e-mail address? and how does she know about the crumbs?"). And then, after all this blood has been spilled, what if I actually do manage to get an agent (it could happen)? Then, then... then what? Will agent casually ask me of my querying history and recoil when I tell him what I've done? Will all my efforts have been for naught? For horrible horrible naught?

I have long had a tendency to jump the proverbial gun, Al. So by trying to get an editor to read my stuff, to circumvent the agent altogether, am I guilty of gun-leaping once more? Tell me Al, is "proactivism" in publishing just another made-up word for shooting myself in the foot?

*A reader alerted me to the fact that some anti-Semitic opinions have been expressed on the Everyone who's Anyone site. This is unacceptable, obviously, but I'll leave the link up since the publishing contact info on the site is so useful and unavailable anywhere else.

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