Pet peeves. We all have them, and we all do things that are pet peeves for others. How about starting a blog post with a two-word sentence, which isn’t a sentence? Anyone? Bueller?
My Pet Peeves
On one hand, I am like everyone else. I don’t like repetitive tapping or spam phone calls late at night. Those are the easy ones.
I am also incredibly annoyed by bicyclists who never, ever observe any kind of traffic law. I’ll bet 99% of bicyclists have no idea of the hand signal for a stop. In fact, stop signs are translated “Go faster.” One of these days I am going to have an anxiety attack if I see someone on a bicycle hand-signal a right turn properly.
People who say, “I could care less.” Really? What are you trying to communicate?
People who pronounce the word important as “impor-ant.” There’s a “t” in there for a reason, because “imporant” is not a word. (If the Scrabble app rejects it, the word doesn’t exist.)
People who indicate a quantity of something by writing or saying “over” a certain number and the number is specific.
“He wrote over 17 books.” Really? So was it 18? Why not just give the number? Combining “over” and a number should be used to indicate something over a big general number, usually with a zero at the end or when using a word like “dozen.”
Literary agents have publishing pet peeves too. Probably over seven or eight.
Publishing/Agenting Pet Peeves
Writers who can’t think of anything to write about. You have all of history, the entire world, the universe, eternity, an infinite God, and the complexity of life itself. I can see how you would run out of things to write about.
Book proposals emailed to 47 (or “over 46”) agents at once. I know it is 47 because all their emails are in the “To” field, similar to sending out a mass mailing of your resume. Agents see this and within a few moments, hit the delete button. This email is not for anyone in particular, so it isn’t for me. This peeve also holds true for seeing my name in the “Cc” or “Bcc” field.
“My friends told me I should write a book. So, here it is.” Honestly, unless your friends are currently employed by a traditional book publisher in an acquiring position, you shouldn’t put a lot of stock in their opinions. Traditional book publishers make decisions based on different information than your friends.
Finally, the number one pet peeve in publishing? Readers.
Author did everything right. Good message and writing; solid platform; a well-crafted proposal that is purchased by a publisher, who does everything in their control to publish well. The book doesn’t sell as planned because readers didn’t resonate with it.
If we can get robots to clean the floors and mow the lawns, why can’t we program them to buy our books and like them?
Humans. Sigh. (Great, I devolved to one-word sentences now.)