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August 26, 2008



Way too long to read. Should have been severely edited.

I agree that books are turned out too quickly, probably because that is an author's only defense against lack of promotion and subsequent poor sales. As a result, there are too many books on the market, all competing for a shrinking group of readers and making things worse. A vicious cycle.

I do not agree that authors should stay away from the web and stop taking an interest in how things are run or comparing their lot with that of other authors.

This business of "be quiet and write, and let me worry about your career" is just a tad arrogant.

Josh Kosterflux

The internet sux, dude. i know this one guy who was like all cool and everything and then he got on the internet and he became a total DwEeB!!! He was always being on the internet and like not being cool any more and once I said hey lets go to dave & busters and he was all like no dude because I have to play this rad game on the internet and I was like DuDe you so suck now with all that internet stuff. I like google image search though.

Michelle Gagnon

This was a great interview, David. What I love about Poets and Writers is that they're not afraid to provide a lengthy interview, a dying breed of journalism in this day and age. I also loved the one they did a few months back with Nat Sobel.

The King of Ding

I have not read this author she refers to, Joe Blow. Can anyone make some suggestions of which books of his to start with?

Thank you.

Laura Benedict

It was nice to get an in-depth interview that included her career story as well as sage advice. In these days of monster advances that never earn out and poorly-written, over-hyped books, it's an excellent reminder that most success comes from hard work on everyone's part. Thanks for the post!

Patrick Balester

Read the article. Long, but in-depth, and very informative. Good advice from an agent who I had not heard of before, but obviously has a lot of experience. Perhaps it's time to dig out that query letter and spruce it up.

Debra Darvick

I thought it was a terrific interview.
I appreciate P&W going against the current penchant for clipped bits of information and instead providing an in-depth exchange with a top-notch agent.


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David J. Montgomery is a writer and critic specializing in books and publishing. He is an emeritus columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times and The Daily Beast, and has also written for USA Today, the Washington Post, and other fine publications. A former professor of History, he lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and two daughters.

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