Monday, September 25, 2006

Dear Bookfraud

Dear Bookfraud: My agent has run out of publishers to send my novel. I'm afraid that if I rewrite and try with a new agent, the editors will recognize my book and won't bother to read it. But I don't to change agents. What should I do?
—I Want to Be Published

Dear And I Want to Play Centerfield for the Cubs: Take the book, burn it, and do the same with your computer. Then quit your job, move to another town, and go into witness protection. It's the only way.

Dear Bookfraud: Help! I keep switching the voice from first to third person in my book. What should I do?
—Really Confused!

Dear Hearing Voices: Most people would say you should pick one and stick with it. But why don't you do something different? Combine the two, and go to fourth person. Or maybe you can also add the second-person plural with the first-person singular, and you can write it in the seventh person.

Deer Boofraud: Im in a MF.A program near NYxity. In workshop everybodytells me; my novel about a dairy farmer and his lover in Spottsville, Wis. I’m going to take a tripthere next month!) set in the 1930:s is “grate (workshop really are a nurtring, caring warm p;lace) and the only criticizms are minr, like my spelling an stuff. But when I send to agents they say,

Were not interest,”

But my teachrs and class friends loves it. What amI doing rong!?

Dear MF.A student: You’re writing.

Dear Bookfraud: The first stories I ever wrote were published in The New Yorker and The Paris Review, and I have several offers to publish my first novel. But I'm 22, and still confused about what to do next. Should I take the one-book deal for $450,000, or the two-book deal at $800,000? Also, how do I deal with all the attention? I do readings all over the country, and women are all over me!
—Young and Successful

Dear Mr. Big: You should take the two-book deal, shag all the gals you can, and get all the attention you deserve!

Too bad your first novel will bomb, you won't be able to finish the second, the publisher will take your advance back, and you will catch a variety of sexually transmitted diseases that will result in oozing green pustules on your genitalia.

Bad idea? I dunno

Dear Bookfraud: As the head of a literary agency and blogger, I get dozens of queries and e-mail a day. I have to hand off many of these to my Harvard-educated assistant, who is young but, like me, has impeccable taste. But when word got out about my assistant, many of my readers were upset — shocked, even. What can I tell them to calm them down?
—Miss Agent

Dear Agent Provocateur: Of course, you're swamped and you need help. But you didn't need to advertise it. You've crossed the Rubicon and your readers want blood. Fire your Harvard-educated assistant, read my book, and get me a serious advance like the dickweed 22-year old.

Dear Bookfraud: My 900-page debut novel, Killing Hearts, Killing Minds, was published to great acclaim. I came in third at the 1977 Toronto Book Fair contest, and I received teaching gigs at several community colleges as a result. But I haven't published anything in the last 30 years. I really need your help.
—Unknown Genius

Dear Literary Einstein: Lay off sauce and stop banging 19-year-old community college students. Then you'd have time to write.

Also, destroy all copies of Killing Hearts, Killing Minds. You’ll then have focus to write something new.

Dear Bookfraud: I am the editor of a literary magazine with a peculiar problem. All my submissions these days are subpar! But I can't tell this to our readers, who expect the best fiction in North America. I'm really stuck.

—Highbrow Literary Editor

Dear Sucky Submissions: You rejected me three times, you heartless bastard. Meanwhile, you run stories that read like they were barfed out by a U.N. subcommittee on malaria. Your readers know this and you are going to be out of business in two days.


Dear Bookfraud: Recently, I bought a white iPod 5G 60GB. What music should I put on it?

Podmiester: If you'd gotten the black iPod, I could help you, but I don't know how the white one works.

Send any and all questions to Due to the volume of mail we receive, we cannot guarantee we can answer all of your queries, but we do have a Harvard-educated assistant who will read them first.