God bless you, Gerard Jones, wherever you are! And I mean that both figuratively and literally. For ten long years you have been a muse and an inspiration to aspiring novelists everywhere.
You’ve fought the good fight. No, you continue to fight the good fight. You’ve won and lost. But you’ve always come back swinging -- picking yourself up off the canvas of rejection and jabbing another stick in the eye of those who would deny you.
I love an insurrectionist … and a true original. I believe the angry author, Gerard Jones, is both of these things and I would like to thank him here, unabashedly, for all that he has done for us.
To those of you who don’t know, or who have never had to worry about such things, Gerard Jones is an angry man of mythic proportions who has rattled the cage of literary agents and publishers with a website entitled: Everyone Who’s Anyone in Publishing (www.everyonewhosanyone.com).
It is a blog, a rant, an encyclopedia and a directory all rolled into one. It’s also hilarious -- both intentionally and unintentionally so. But more importantly, it is a site that dares to rebel against those that man the palisades of traditional publishing.
To those of us banging on the doors of the literary establishment. Or frankly, simply seeking someone to read our latest dawn-stalking vampire thriller, Gerard Jones’ site is a beacon of hope. Or better, it is a safe port, where we can seek refuge upon inevitable rejection.
Oh, some say he is fueled simply by a revenge motive. But that would understate the incredible value he has delivered back to the community of independent and unpublished authors everywhere.
Not only does he spare us from the for profit catalogue publishers who’ve decided their path to fame and fortune is to peddle Frommer’s-like guides to the vagaries of publishing much like the flock that follows elephants.
Instead, he provides us with a universally accessible free list. Not a hodge podge of author-to-author jibber jabber, but an actual list of real people who might help us and then delivers a glimpse into their dark, uncaring souls.
Gerard knows that there is power in information. By rooting about for current
e-mail addresses, and by relentlessly tracking the progress of agents from firm to firm, he’s spared us the necessity of rewarding the compilationists with another $29.95 for this year’s publishing bible.
He’s also figured out that by publishing, verbatim, many of the unfair or cynical criticisms and rejections that he has received, he might spare us some of that same stinging hurt.
I suspect the motivation is more than a little martyr-like -- sacrificing his soul in the hope that we might be a little more discriminating about whom we attempt to share our literary marvels with. Taking a nail in the palm for the team, as it were.
Gerard became a blogger long before the name had even been invented. And he seemed to do it for the sheer anarchy of it rather than the opportunity for monetary gain. Of all the writing resources begging to be monetized, his is the first I’d support.
Sure, from time to time there are requests to contribute a little something to support his IP costs. Who could grudge him that? But of course, what starving writer can afford to do so? Nonetheless, he soldiers on. I believe Part Ten is now live.
I’ve never been much for writing fan mail. Hero worship, for me at least, has always seemed somewhat self-diminishing.
But in Gerard’s case I’m willing to make an exception. After all, his was the one voice that sustained me through my own nearly decade-long voyage of rejection – with appropriate due, of course, to the much loved but since departed Ms. Snark.
It is his unfailing stream of clever taunts and invective, directed at the very same real life targets that I’ve lacked the courage to confront, that has allowed me to imagine it truly is them and not me.
Despite their professions of compassion, I do not believe the agenting community has any appreciation of the eviscerating effects of their insensitivity. Or perhaps they do. Which just makes them seem even crueler still.
While I’ve yet to take Gerard up on his FREE AUDIO BOOK offer, I’ve thought long and hard about it. Call me unnecessarily paranoid when it comes to downloads myself (has he invented the mother of all viruses?), but I suspect it is brilliant.
More importantly, I sleep better at night knowing that Gerard is still out there yelling and shaking an angry fist at the world ... all the while singing the praises of GINNY GOOD at the top of his lungs.
With another fat stack of rejections for my latest novel, THE LAST CANARY, in hand, I once again find myself seeking solace in his words and comfort in his Promethean sufferance.
If you’re a new writer, struggling to get beyond the obstacle littered field that stands between you and your dream, you’ve got a friend out there … and his name is Gerard Jones. (www.everyonewhosanyone.com)