Sunday, March 16, 2008

I'm A Crack Addicted Underwater Basket-weaving Aborginal Holocaust Survivor And Now A Best-Selling New York Times Author!

"Meet Margaret Seltzer, pen name Margaret Jones, who until this week was a half-white, half-Indian gangland drug runner who grew up a foster child in predominately black South Central Los Angeles. Her memoir was hailed as a "raw... remarkable book" in the Times, won herBestseller, Gawker, Penguin,Fake, Margaret Seltzer, Memoir, New York Times, Bestseller,  margaret-jones, book-review tentative online admirers and became the 28th best selling memoir on Amazon after it was released Friday. Of course Seltzer basically made her whole "memoir" up, being entirely white, having grown up in the predominately white San Fernando Valley north of Los Angeles, having gone to a fancy private school and having been raised by her biological family. Her book tour was supposed to start today in Eugene, Oregon but her publisher, a division of Penguin Group, has canceled all that and recalled her books. How did she get caught? Her lies worked too well: Seltzer's adulatory press was her unraveling. After a profile last week in the House & Home section of the Times, Jones' older sister called her publisher to rat her out." – You can read the whole sordid affair on Gawker.

Seeing this whole business, and having a book myself in the works, set the wheels a spinning in that little devious mind of mine. I riffled through the stack of rejection letters, poured over my frustration with agents and editors incapable of using simple email or fearing attachments because they're still on Windows 95 and decided to do a little guerilla work myself.

I spent a few hours compiling a short-list of those agents whom I had heard nothing from in response to my query letters of last year and sent the following brief note:

"Maybe publishers are now ready for a real memoir."

No preface. No mention of the above story. I didn't have to. Every agent and editor was busy at their respective water cooler wondering who was going to take a beating for this debacle and waiting for axes to fall.

And guess what? I got two requests for proposals from agents on both coasts. Fucking amazing. They didn't even know what my book was about. And maybe reality TV has finally taken it's toll.

Both new agents are still technologically Flinstonian and think that mailing large reams of paper, through communists censors, in a third-world country is a cheap walk in the park, but, I'm making progress. Or at least as much progress as one can make, dealing with an arcane industry that hasn't seen what the music business has done to itself in the last 10 years.

Two more agents on the hunt! Maybe I can sell the ones I don't pick on Ebay later.

Wild Wild East. Sometimes the truth is stranger than fiction.

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