May 24, 2004

My money's on being flayed alive

I expect some of my favorite bloggers are in turmoil this morning after seeing themselves name-checked in my article on agent-to-the-interweb Kate Lee in this week's New Yorker -- their excitement at being mentioned in the magazine in conflict with their (perhaps understandable) instinct to flay alive anyone with the temerity to write about blogs for ye olde media. I imagine this guy will be particularly chagrined at my use of the word "karaoke," which he has, after all, made clear that he hates even as he forwards invitations.

Those who avoided mention in the story have no reason not to do their worst to me, which is the main reason I regret that a line about Choire got cut ( "'no interest in having an agent,' sighed Lee. 'Or if he does, hes being very secretive about it.') More disappointing, however, is that an early reference to Uncle Grambo had to go. It contained a callback an old joke in the form of the phrase, "addictively obscurantist lingo."

Q. Is she your agent?
A. Like they'd let me get away with that. The full-disclosure moment the editors decided was unnecessary: Lee did e-mail me, but I wanted to write this story more than I wanted representation.

Q. Is this your first article for them?
A. No, I write a Talk of the Town item like clockwork every three years.
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Posted by Daniel Radosh


What, my book doesn't count because I don't have an agent?

Way to plug, Francis! Of course there are several other bloggers with books and/or agents. But I was not writing about bloggers, I was writing about Kate Lee.

True, true. Is it really a blogfuck, per TMFTML, when bloggers are only the secondary subject?

Well, no (though in T's defense, he's just reporting that opinion, not stating it). The folks over at Gothamist seem confused on this point too. Some of the commenters there don't seem to have even read the article, which makes clear that KL understands that she's working with writers not merely trying to turn blogs into books. Still YOU try to convince bloggers that it's not all about them...

She's got six authors and zero deals. Smells like a pump and dump to me.

Actually she has 2 deals for bloggers (and others with non-blogger authors). And I'm not sure pump and dump is the analogy you want -- what's the con? Not that skepticism isn't in order. Indeed, KL's own recognition of the possibly limited potential of bloggers as authors is a part of the story.

Maybe I'm wrong about what my own article is about, but it's fascinating to see it interpreted through the eyes of the blogosphere.

I just feel sorry for Kate Lee. Her desk is going to be SWAMPED with submissions from bloggers. Heck, I sent her something this morning.

We hate it when our friends become successful.

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