A Couple of Beefs: Bookblaster and Performancing Metrics
Beef #1: Bookblaster. What a goofy idea, not even worthy of a link to them. I didn’t even know about these guys and their publisher/agent spamming service until I saw Matt Wagner’s post about them. Matt’s right. More importantly, is this really how lazy we’ve all become?! Rather than do a bit of research and handpick an agent or publisher to connect with, it’s better to use a spamming service (for $95!) to do it for you? Ugh.
Use the tools that are right at your fingertips! Google phrases like “book publishing agent”, “book publisher”, etc. Visit the websites in the search results. Decide which might be the best to represent or publish your work, then contact them yourself!
Beef #2: Performancing Metrics. I saw a note about their BlogRank service indirectly on Scoble’s blog (it's one of the widgets on Widgetoko). I figured hey, he’s a bright guy, how can I go wrong? I’ll tell you how… I installed their code and then tried to activate their metrics system…once, twice, I don’t know, maybe seven or eight times before I finally gave up. Doesn’t it seem ironic that a service designed to show you website metrics doesn’t have the bandwidth on their own site to handle new customer registrations?…
Okay, but let me talk about the other side of the equation for a minute, Joe. I have been looking for an agent to rep my parenting / fathering book for at least six months and the general process is
1. Dig around, find an agent that seems to work in the space
2. Email them a query letter
6. Email a follow up query
9. Email a second followup query
10. Receive a curt "not interested" or "not my space" without explanation
11. Go back to step #1
Oh, and you can't overlap because what happens if two say "yes"?
So, while I'm certainly not going to use Bookblaster, I certainly understand the appeal of the blasting approach and am sure that I'm not alone in finding that the process of identifying an appropriate agent for a specific book project is bloody difficult, slow as molasses and ultimately frustrating and discouraging.
ps: if you are an agent who works in the parenting space, email me! I want to talk with you! :-)
Posted by: Dave Taylor | June 28, 2006 at 05:09 PM
Hi Dave. Well, although I certainly wouldn't go the spam route of Bookblaster, I'd be pretty relaxed about sending a proposal out to multiple publishers on my own. After all, I think most (all?) agents will do that by default anyway; so if you're working with an agent you can almost bet your proposal is being reviewed in parallel. Why not send it yourself to 2, 3 or even 4 publishers? You're worried about one biting while it's still in the hands of one or more others? Great! Now you might be able to get them to bid against each other, assuming at least one other publisher is interested. Every author should be so fortunate...
Posted by: Joe Wikert | June 28, 2006 at 09:31 PM
I'm talking about sending my proposal to *agents*, actually, Joe, not publishers... :-)
Posted by: Dave Taylor | June 29, 2006 at 01:19 AM
OK, go ahead and replace "publishers" with "agents" where I said "Why not send it yourself to 2, 3 or even 4 publishers?" Why should they be any more or less sensitive to being part of a "multiple submission" than a publisher would be? Honestly, turnabout is fair play...
Posted by: Joe Wikert | June 29, 2006 at 10:22 PM