Romance, Historical, Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult, Book reviews, industry news, and commentary from a reader's point of view

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

10 Comments

  1. Kat
    Nov 12, 2006 @ 16:47:38

    For someone who normally loves reading about these kinds of online squabbles, this is actually becoming ridiculously boring. Mainly because obviously the publisher hasn’t tossed her out on her backside. So all the indignation on behalf of Mira seems a bit overblown to me.

    I’ve noticed some comments about how Stuart should have taken her criticism to the publishers first, yet no one seems to have bothered asking her whether or not she did this. No one also seems to have bothered to find out exactly what Stuart thinks Mira fucked up. Because you know, maybe they did get something wrong. For all we know, it’s a running joke between Stuart and her publisher. The point is, we don’t know.

    In other words, much conjecture has been made but no actual fact-finding done. I know blogging isn’t journalism but if we’re going to spend this much time posting/commenting/reading about this, more facts would probably help the discussion along.

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  2. Karen Scott
    Nov 12, 2006 @ 16:48:41

    What Kat said. *g*

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  3. Robin
    Nov 13, 2006 @ 11:49:55

    Here’s my question: if I’m going to take Snark’s employer-employee analogy seriously on any level, isn’t a literary agent who disses an author basically dissing HER employer-equivalent? Agent is to principal as agent is to author as employee is to employer?

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  4. Jane
    Nov 13, 2006 @ 11:56:29

    I don’t think it was dissing by Ms. Snark, necessarily, but you are right about the relationship.

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  5. Robin
    Nov 13, 2006 @ 12:37:26

    And yet the cloak of anonymity is sort of interesting, especially when the snark factor is so high (and the “victims” are those in one’s own general business). Why is it okay to say something anonymously that you woudn’t say with your name behind it? And why isn’t it okay to say something with your name behind it that would be much easier to see anonymously? I’m not suggesting that Snark shouldn’t say whatever she wants; it’s just that when the legitimacy of various types of criticism are challenged, these sorts of questions occur to me. What makes Snark’s criticisms more legitimate than Stuart’s, for example? Although I can’t figure out what, precisely, there seems something ironic about the fact that it’s the anonymous critical voice that claims legitimacy here against the non-anonymous one.

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  6. Jane
    Nov 13, 2006 @ 14:01:29

    You have a good point there Robin. Generally Ms. Snark’s victims are those who submit to her knowing that she will share any email and reserves the right to mock you. (it’s on her blog). What I find a interesting is the misunderstanding that her readers/commenters and maybe even herself have of AAR. It is a readers site and is providing information to readers. It’s not part of the “industry” and I do think that while the information was “public” the forum was for readers.

    And I have heard few (none actually) readers think negatively for Ms. Stuart for saying what she did.

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  7. Bev (BB)
    Nov 13, 2006 @ 14:57:09

    [quote comment="7441"]What I find a interesting is the misunderstanding that her readers/commenters and maybe even herself have of AAR. It is a readers site and is providing information to readers. It’s not part of the “industry” and I do think that while the information was “public” the forum was for readers.[/quote]

    Weeeellll, okay, this touches on a point that I’ve wondered about for years. Namely, when does a site that claims to review according to a “legitimate” standard of quality cross the line from being a solely reader site to being an industry one? Granted they might not be owned by the book publishers but they are one of the links between author and readers.

    This is not solely directed at AAR either. It’s just that they’re the clearest example of what I’m talking about. Recent blog discussions have made it clear that many authors have problems distinguishing between simple reader commentary and review sites. To me, saying a review site that gets quoted in novels nowadays isn’t part of the industry is just as bad as error, just in the opposite direction. Either we make the distinction or we don’t.

    So, what defines “part of the industry” in this context?

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  8. Robin
    Nov 13, 2006 @ 15:51:34

    And I have heard few (none actually) readers think negatively for Ms. Stuart for saying what she did.

    Miss Snark and others would probably say that this is because we readers are “outsiders” to the industry, which, of course, is true in some ways. But we ARE certainly interested parties, in that books are published and marketed for our consumption. There’s lots of stuff in my work that I don’t talk about publicly, and lots of areas in which I think public understanding of my industry is limited. But working in a public industry myself, I think that maybe I have a broader sense of what constitutes public information — or at least what DOESN’T constitute dirty laundry. It’s not like Stuart is dishing the sordid personal details of her editor or publisher’s life, or that she’s outing illegal activity to the New York Times.

    More and more I’m getting the sense that the world of authors is pretty professionally circumscribed, with silence counting as “good behavior” toward being seen as “easy to work with” and thus more readily publishable. Authors are told that if editors hear anything bad, they will be dropped, etc. Perhaps editors are forced to keep quiet about certain things, too, so they pass this limitation on down the pecking order. Of course there are always questions galore about whether it’s wise to speak about a particular thing, and whether the gains outweigh potential costs. But when it comes to power, plain and simple. isn’t it usually those without who are forced to keep the quietest? So Stuart broke the taboo. If her kind of comment is shun-worthy, it makes me wonder what the heck else is behind is teeming behind those informal gag orders! You’d think someone back there has got Jimmy Hoffa’s body in their backyard or something judging by the sense of outrage engendered by Stuart’s comments.

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  9. Robin
    Nov 13, 2006 @ 15:53:18

    sorry about the skewered sentences and typos; I’m hazy from a cold today.

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  10. sallahdog
    Nov 16, 2006 @ 00:28:41

    Jennifer Crusie on her blog today comments on Miss Snark and the whole Anne stuart situation…. Jenny made mention of the fact that at one time she publicly called Harlequin the :Evil Empire:…. Interesting to have a successful authors take on the situation, one who was willing to pony up under her own name….

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