Honest Critiques

No, I mean it. REAL honest. Email your excerpts or full stories, up to 1000 words or so, to honestcrits [at] yahoo [dot] co [dot] uk. Synopses would also be welcome. My backlog is so daunting now that I recommend not submitting anything you are not prepared to wait a couple of months for a response on.
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  • Monday, November 07, 2005

    A reply from Bookner

    Dear Torgo,

    Thank you for your email.

    It's funny that you opted to concoct a fictitious interview when you could have interviewed me and posted the real thing. Perhaps you were afraid that I would come out ahead.

    I can't take your post seriously at all; it's certainly not journalism, and your post doesn't offer anything I haven't heard before.

    Just as you can keep insisting that there is nothing wrong with the status quo, so can I keep insisting the opposite, and nothing interesting will come out of the discussion.

    Please forgive me if I choose not to engage you in a debate.

    Jason Gonzales

    And a reply that I have just this second sent:

    Dear Jason,

    I felt that creating a dialogue based on statements on your website was at least as fair as your 'myth' and 'reality' concoctions, neither of which resemble the experience of my years in publishing in any way, and which many people in my position find not merely challenging or provocative but actively insulting.

    If my post does not offer anything you haven't heard before, you might consider this possibility: the fact that everyone in the industry is saying the same things about your endeavour is not because we are running scared, but because we are, in fact, perfectly secure in our position.

    I am more than happy to engage you in a debate upon any terms you care to mention and in any venue on the net - live chat, email, anything. However, I quite understand if you choose not to take up the gauntlet.

    Regards,

    Torgo

    EDIT: Irony from the B website:

    At Bookner, we believe in discussion and debate. Hopefully, by getting the basic misconceptions out of the way, we will have helped raise the level of the debate a little bit. So far, not anyone has given voice to what we at Bookner consider the truly difficult issues which merit discussion and a lot of hard thinking.


    A shame, then, that Mr Gonzalez does not see fit to answer any point that I raised in my original post; although this might be explained if by 'debate' he understands '
    you keep insisting that there is nothing wrong with the status quo, I keep insisting the opposite, and nothing interesting will come out of the discussion.'
    Torgo, 6:30 pm

    8 Comments:

    Fight! Fight! Fight!

    I'll run the book if someone else will sort out the mud-pit...
    Blogger Zolah, at 7:04 pm  
    I so don't get why authors would want to particpate in Bookner. I'm not published yet. But as much as I would prefer criticism to straight up rejection letters, I'd rather get it from trained professionals than from other (possibly bitter) unpublished writers.

    Plus every once in a while you get a "good" rejection from a respected editor or agent and that means so much more than praise from people who don't know what they're doing.
    Blogger -Ann, at 9:36 pm  
    Jason, ferchrissake grow up! These testicle-wagging sneers are very tiresome.
    You seems to make a habit of alienating the very people - agents and editors - that you purport will gravitate to your site.
    In fact, you offer writers nothing, as far as I can see, except an extra layer of time-wasting interference between them and the industry.
    Blogger Bernita, at 9:47 pm  
    Go Torgo! Go Torgo! Go Ann, Go Ann (love the hockey gear, by the way) And Bernita, you go girl!

    Zolah, forget the mud, use cement, maybe you can make Bookner shoes! This is what I get for going on retreat, I miss all the action!
    Blogger Bonnie Calhoun, at 5:40 am  
    Bernita is sooooooo right.

    Jason is doing this "ostrich with its head in the sand" thing.

    He insists his service is the way to go. Writers should come to Bookner and feel relief that they've bypassed the mucky muck of the whole submissions thing.

    What the Bookner site will not admit to, is that the agents and publishers they hope their nonpaying clientelle--namely, frustrated writers tired of the current system--well many of those agents and editors are telling writers flat out "we aren't interested in the Bookner service."

    And I'm sure the Bookner site would counter, "see, that's what's wrong with THOSE people. They aren't open to change."

    The truth of the matter is, the system as it is now works--often slowly--but it works.
    Blogger harridan, at 2:38 pm  
    Have you been to my website yet? AntiBookner - antibookner.blogspot.com

    It picks apart his whole website
    Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:10 pm  
    There's also a huge debate with Mr. Gonzales here

    http://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=16524878&postID=112842797154738221
    Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:13 pm  
    I just don't get it - agents aren't stupid. So why would they want to see work reviewed on a website where anyone can join, regardless of writing skill, and anyone can review regardless of reviewing skill?
    Anonymous Debra, at 12:52 pm  

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