I am not alone!

Oh, go read this guest post by Jon Merz on Joe Konrath's blog. He got told "the world needs Jon F. Merz's voice" in the course of a rejection. See? It's not just me!

Also, you'll note the arbitrary way his first publisher treated him--business considerations mattered less than the fact that the agent he fired was all palsy-walsy with his editor. That doesn't surprise me--publishing is a VERY small world, and people in that little club can have far more influence than you might expect. My first agent dropped my historical biography because an assistant of his had taken a class and become enamored with a crackpot theory on the topic. So the only way to write the book was to focus it on this crackpot theory, despite the fact that, hello, there is very little evidence to support it and a great deal of evidence to the contrary. I actually do take journalism quite seriously, and I'm not going to write a book that I think is a lie, period, and I'm especially not going to do it to make some boneheaded assistant happy. Need I add that the agent, who initially LOVED the proposal, had decades of experience in the industry, while his assistant had very little and was, in fact, leaving publishing? But it didn't matter that she was credulous and ignorant and inexperienced--she was in the club, so her opinion mattered most of all. (Oh, and when I finally got an agent who was willing submit the proposal to editors, guess how many decided to pass on the book because it didn't focus on the crackpot theory? None. Not a one. Thank you.)