In the midst of news and controversy, Bad Poetry marches on…

May 6, 2014 | Written by Chip MacGregor

So HarperCollins is buying Harlequin, a couple people are claiming Barnes & Noble is going belly up soon, F+W Media is getting totally remade, the royalty reports for everyone are giving us hard news on publishing numbers, my friend Amanda is being raked over the coals for daring to reveal the dirty secret that some lawyers pad their numbers when working on book contracts, and Author Solutions is being sued by, um, nearly everyone in the Western Hemisphere, apparently. In the midst of all that noise, you know what you need?

That’s right… Bad Poetry. So thank goodness it’s our annual Bad Poetry Contest, which goes on the first few days each May, as my own little celebration for my birthday. Glad you’re here, and hope you’re coming to add to the badness. Just take a look at yesterday’s introduction, them jump into the comments section and offer your own heaping’ hunk o’ haiku. The winner will receive a fabulous grand prize of the worst-reviewed book on Amazon — which, you have to admit, is another reason to go on living. So get your coat and grab your hat, leave your worries on the doorstep. Just direct your feet, to the Bad Poetry side of the street!


Posted in Bad Poetry

  • Dan DeWitt

    I’m pretty sure she’s taking heat for implying that writers should avoid lawyers regarding contracts, and flat out stating that contract wording doesn’t matter as much as the spirit. Oh, and also for implying that most writers are morons, but I’d hate to muddy the issue.

    Nice summary, though. Really nailed the reason why many people are annoyed.

    • chipmacgregor

      Dan, I’ve seen your work before. You’re one of those guys who loves to sound angry and tough online, with lots of advice and loud opinions. You’re not really published, but you know all about the in’s and out’s of publishing because you’ve been rejected by all the agents and publishers. So, even though you know much more than anyone else here, let me explain the concept of today’s post for you: I was making a short flyover so that people would know I’d seen the issue, and would speak to it later, but we were going to focus on something else today. That help? I’m sure you knew that, being so wise and all, but I wanted to make sure. I realize Amanda’s blog post is the most important event in your life, and the sun around which your planet revolves, but you see, the first week of May, we do a Bad Poetry contest. It’s silly and fun, and not nearly highbrow enough for someone deep like you, but it’s my birthday, and — that’s right! It’s my blog! So I don’t have to listen to you harangue me, do I? Gosh, this has been great. Thanks for coming on. Write me a bad poem.

      • Dan DeWitt

        That’d be a heck of a retort, if we were in junior high. Well, gee, where to start?

        I’m pretty sure I didn’t even try to sound angry or tough. I did attack the substance of the posts, which was really, really easy to do. So you’re wrong there.

        I write genre fiction, including zombies. Not exactly highbrow, although I am pretty well-reviewed. So you’re wrong there..

        I self-published by choice, and I did that six months before I received a single rejection, because I knew I’d made a mistake in sending out a whopping four queries in the first place. So you’re wrong there.

        I don’t normally dispense advice, except when it’s so obvious that everyone, except people at your agency apparently, knows it. A good example is, “Have a lawyer go over your contract, and any agent who tells you that it’s unnecessary is sleazy and should be run away from.” So you’re wrong there.

        I know more about publishing than some, less than lots. I don’t pretend to know everything, but I do try to learn as much as possible. So you’re wrong there.

        And if you wanted to do a flyover, you probably could’ve mentioned something that was actually included in the post, instead of making something up in an attempt to make the people who took exception look bad. That’s just a big, fat fail on your part.

        I swear, for a literary agency to put literally no stock in words is something to see. You and your employees are looking less and less professional every time you open your mouth.

  • Marc Cabot

    If anything, she’s taking heat for asserting that lawyers don’t pay enough attention to their client’s interests. It is the exact opposite of padding. Maybe you should go read more carefully.

    And it is hardly “a dirty little secret” that some lawyers are dishonest, any more than it is a dirty little secret that some literary agents are dishonest. Would you like to compare horror stories?

    • chipmacgregor

      Happy to compare horror stories some day, Marc. I’ve seen some doozies, and I’m sure you have as well. But I believe what Amanda was trying to say was that she’s seen attorneys run up fees by making meaningless wording changes. (We can argue about how she could have said that better over on her blog post.)

      I saw where you said over at Passive Voice that you hate agents because they all rejected you at writing conferences. When we meet, I’ll give you a big hug, and you’ll know you’re loved. (But, really… if you needed love and affirmation, becoming an attorney may not have been the best career choice, my friend!)

      • Marc Cabot

        I love the smell of revisionism in the evening.

        • Dan DeWitt

          Marc, I’m amazed you could even respond after that smackdown!

          Seriously, though, do you remember that time when you jokingly said something about being rejected by agents at conferences, and a real agent who doesn’t get sarcasm tried to insult you and it fell completely flat?

          Good memories.

        • chipmacgregor

          Marc, in all good humor, you’re basically calling me a liar, when I’m telling you I understood what Amanda was trying to say. She was rushed. She posted something that now she wishes she’d said differently. She’s gone back to try and fix it, but that’s not good enough for you because…um, because you want to be an online tough guy, apparently. You’ve never said something and then realized later it came out wrong? Develop some grace, my man. But for now, have a sense of humor and write me a poem.

  • Dan DeWitt

    And now Chip’s deleting posts left and right. I don’t know how this could be more entertaining.