I’m not saying most authors aren’t neurotic. That would be unlikely, as most humans are. New ones especially (authors, not humans), or those who have been through the meat grinder called (insert the name of your least favorite small press here) hell.
How the hell do you hold onto your dignity when you’re not Nora Roberts (or even a B-list author)? You’re constantly reading about how not to piss off an: agent, editor, publisher, marketer, reader. If I read one more blog about “queries that will make me vomit” from an agent or “submission no-nos” from a publisher…aargh. I know they have the power. You are a speck of dust in their inbox. They are a mote in your eye. You need them, they don’t need you. Unless you’ve written a great novel. They probably still don’t need you even then, because there are thousands of others out there willing to write the perfect query and send in the perfect novel.
How does this make you feel? I’ve been very lucky to have books published at a few great companies, and made some terrible (non)decisions early on and latched onto some real dogs. Karen chronicles the further adventures of NCP today. Holy Hell. That’s the attitude that eventually brings down dictators in a hail of gunfire.
So what power do we have? What are our rights as authors? We have the right to be treated with respect. Doesn’t matter if you’re a dime-a-dozen writer, a new writer, a clueless one, or one who got the query no-nos wrong and made the agent vomit.
We know that the power balance doesn’t tip in our favor. But I’d rather go unpublished than put up with a bitch. Authors can make lists too.