I’ve just been reading very kind words by writer Ken MacLeod on Déjà Vu:
I wasn’t the only reviewer who thought the book, and the writer, deserved a lot better. Ian’s efforts to become a properly published writer were serious, unavailing, and in the end heartbreaking. He had another life than being a writer, and reckoned it was time he got on with it.
It was a day in the Christmas holiday immediately following publication of the book that I got Ken’s email telling me how much he liked it (together with some business advice). That was the moment I breathed a sigh of relief. If Ken liked it, there was good chance it wasn’t rubbish. Grand days.
Anthony Horowitz quotes an interview with Giles Foden, author and professor of creative writing at the University of East Anglia.
At any event, he was asked—broadly—about the place of literary books in the new world and he replied: “It’s hard to establish what is good and what is not. Barnes, Amis and McEwan were the last people through the door and then the door closed and the building fell down.”
I don’t think the situation is getting worse for literary writers. Yes, literary fiction comprises a small portion of the market, but this has been the case for decades, perhaps longer. And while the chefs’ books and celebrity memoirs are popular during their marketing window, they don’t last. Literary fiction — and good fiction in general — has a long tail.
► Falling down | theBookseller.com
Well, this looks like huge fun. Apparently, some agents on Twitter have been tweeting about bad queries (tag #queryfail). And now the writers strike back:
It was bound to happen – the only surprise is that it’s taken a whole month. Writers were angry and wounded by March’s “Queryfail” on Twitter, which saw a group of agents tweeting about the worst submissions they’ve received from would-be published authors.
► Writers hit back at agents over queryfail | Books | guardian.co.uk