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I work in publishing and I like to read things. Herewith: free association on books, nice things I ate, publishing, editing, Japanese pop, and other nice things I ate.
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26. Saturday morning educational video

How to swear in English (Korean instructional video). As the commenters say, "I would learn English from this man!" "Learn English? I would follow this man into battle!" (Warning: as our kind teacher points out, children and pregnant women should not watch, as it will not be beneficial for them.)

Thanks to Maud Newton for steering me to him.

5 Comments on Saturday morning educational video, last added: 6/20/2010
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27. weakness of nationalism at The Office

Editor Colleague: You know, maybe we should stop feeling so happy the US tied it up. After all, no one here even cares about soccer. That's all Slovenia has.

YT: Shh!! Stop! Be strong of mind and will!! Slovenia has plenty.

Marketing Director: Like what?

YT: Like... delicious cuisine.

MD: Oh yeah? Like what?

YT: Uh. [I'm not sure, so I scramble to look up "Slovenian Cuisine" on Wikipedia, and come up with this]. It says right here that... "There is no such thing as Slovenian cuisine..."

EC: Exactly.

Fight Wikipedia, my friends! Send me your best Slovenian recipes. Go US!

18 Comments on weakness of nationalism at The Office, last added: 6/20/2010
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28. just finished reading

Lips Touch Three Times, by Laini Taylor, illustrated by Jim di Bartolo. My review here. Anyone else read it? Any thoughts?

4 Comments on just finished reading, last added: 6/18/2010
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29. I guess I'm more closely genetically linked to her pet turtle than to her.

Fellow Editor: So I was thinking about this. I have a pet turtle, and every day she eats--well, it's basically lettuce, but it's still bigger than her entire body. Meanwhile, I eat this [brandishing a sandwich], which is smaller than my head, and I feel totally satisfied.

[file under: #problemsidonot have]

12 Comments on I guess I'm more closely genetically linked to her pet turtle than to her., last added: 6/18/2010
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30. life is meaningless without challenges.

This post has absolutely nothing to do with publishing, except maybe how much coffee people in publishing drink (a lot).

So back when I was very very young, I used to give blood all the time. I started when I was 17, and quickly figured out that giving blood was a nifty way to assuage my grieving conscience for all my other crimes against humanity. E.g. "You've been gossiping an awful lot about your friends lately; that makes you a nasty person. But at least you gave blood." Etc, etc. Plus giving blood is a good excuse to eat like a hooligan. Replenishing nutrients and whatnot. Right?

Anyway, this merry pattern dropped off about two years ago. At that point, every time I went into the NYC Blood Center, they would stab my finger and then turn me away for low iron. An outrageous accusation, especially hurled at one who could easily eat an entire cow over the course of a week (or other tasty iron-filled meat product, for that matter).

I tried eating more meat and going back. No dice. I tried supplementing iron-rich non-meats, like spinach and walnuts. YUM WALNUTS! An addiction was born. But no, still the iron count was too low.

The last time I went, I asked the guy what was wrong with me. "I never used to have this problem until a couple years ago," I told him.

"Hmm," he said. "Well, have you started drinking a lot of coffee lately?"

"No," I said. "No more than three or four cups a day. Unless I'm tired. Then sometimes more."

"Right," he said. "You know coffee depletes your iron. Try cutting out the coffee and coming back."

Obviously I laughed uproariously at his hilarious joke. Cut out the coffee! FUN.NY. Sure, I wanted to help save lives. But without coffee, I might accidentally kill someone myself, either through morning rage or sheer sleepy accident. So saving lives might actually cost lives. Which would defeat the purpose, right?

Well, anyway, suffice it to say that after lo these many months I am reversing that decision. I have to leave the country shortly (on vacation, boohoo, poor me), and that will make me ineligible to donate for six months. So, when inspired by my friend Ellen, who also wants to make a donation, I decided to squeeze one last little life-saving in before jetting off.

Our appointment is set for next Thursday. I haven't had any coffee whatsoever--not a single drop--since Friday morning of last week. Let's just say this is both easier and harder than I imagined. I come from a fine line of coffee drinkers. My father, who used to be in the navy, drank so much black coffee everyday to keep himself awake through his dog watches that on nights he managed to sneak in a full 8 hours to sleep, he would wake up 4 hours into it with a crushing caffeine withdrawal headache, brew himself a cup, and go back to sleep. I mean, he makes me look like an amateur.

It's very interesting to look at the facets of my life this probably largely psychosomatic drug has. For example, without the crutch of coffee, how do I trick my brain into engaging in the morning? A brisk walk? A math puzzle? Cake? (I have tried at least one of these options. I will not insult your intelligence by saying which.) And this is only one manifesting issue. My coworkers probably want to kill me--I keep walking into things, taking three times as long as usual to do stuff, and being unable to think of very common everyday, uh, what are they called. Those things, that you say and write. Words! That's them. But my coworkers are kind and haven't let on.

Perhaps we can break the addiction forever! Do I have staying power? I don't know. I like coffee. I like the smell, and also mixing it with lots of milk. But I do hear it does a number on your poor insides. I dunno. I'll leave big decisions until later.

Anyway. That's my adventure for this week. Now if the Blood Center tells me my iron count is STILL too low, I shall return here with irateness anon.

31. just finished reading

The Elvenbane, by Andre Norton and Mercedes Lackey. This is the one I promised you I'd review a couple days ago--the reread of my childhood magician's book. My review here. I know at least a couple of you have also read it--I hope you'll come out of your lairs and comment. (Dragon joke.)

8 Comments on just finished reading, last added: 6/16/2010
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32. writing @$$ off commencing

Please feel welcome to report your accomplishments here, fellow stalwart friends. The official goal is 3,000 words, but my personal goal is to finish one scene that's been tricky.

Knock 'em dead!

22 Comments on writing @$$ off commencing, last added: 6/13/2010
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33. ladies and gentlement, we have a bleeder*

*I borrow a term from vampire literature I've been reading lately to refer to a "real, live human being, who has presented itself in the flesh, for all the world as if it is begging to be sucked dry"

That's right. We have had an unsolicited, unagented author "drop by" the press to hand-deliver his work today.

He is, even as I type this from behind my little wall, describing to our poor managing editor the merits of his manuscript and exactly why he's sure we're going to love it.

What is our ME supposed to say to that?!

*squeak*

"Uh, thanks"?

"Well, this is a little uncomfortable. I really wish you'd stop describing your plot to me now so I can get back to work, especially since I'm not the one who will be reading this anyway"?

"Wish you had followed our submissions guidelines as they are available on the web, but instead you've chosen to demonstrate that you're above everyone else's submission guidelines, so thanks for helping us realize at the beginning of the process that you're going to be a handful to work with"?

It sounds (as I huddle behind my desk) like our ME is being very polite. Power to the ME! Better our ME than me!

I know dropping off a manuscript in person seems like a great idea--a way to make yourself stand out, a way to make yourself special, make that agent/editor remember you.

But it's really, really not.

Remember that on a whole, editors are introverted and antisocial (even, secretly, yours truly, if you crack through this blustery exterior--it's part of the job calling, if you think about it). This means that for many editors, in-person presentations like this feel an awful lot like confrontations. You do NOT want the person who's reading your manuscript having backed-into-a-corner thoughts about you.

In fact, you risk the editor becoming afraid of you, and assuming you are a stalker.

Anyway. Everybody reading this blog already knows these rules. It is, alas, the people who will never need this blog that most need them.

24 Comments on ladies and gentlement, we have a bleeder*, last added: 6/13/2010
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34. My Magician's Book (Or, the Life-Long Secret of the Reader Child)

So, fans of the Chronicles of Narnia, I'm going to remind you of one of one of Lewis's mini-fables, as this book reminded me:

Lucy Pevensie is looking in a spell book for a spell she desperately needs. The spell, it turns out, is in the form of a story, a really amazing story that Lucy can't stop reading. It's so good that she tries to go back and reread it, but finds the (magical) pages only turn in one direction. Worst of all, the story is erasing itself from her brain even as she reads it, so that by the time she gets to the end she can't remember it at all. But it was such a good story that from that day on, whenever she reads something that she enjoys, it's only because it in some way reminded her of that one perfect, lost story.


Sound familiar? The Magician's Book. The perfect story you read as a child, and which since you read it has gone utterly unmatched and only vaguely echoed by anything else you read?

If you're a nerd-child like me, you probably have a book (or book series) like this. You might still be able to quote from it extensively, even though you haven't read it in five, ten, twenty, or fifty years. You're still not sure you ever felt as good or as intense as you did that first time you read it, and you may have wished really desperately that you could just find and be transported to the world those characters lived in. Any of this ringing any bells for you?

When I read The Magician's Book, Laura Miller's monograph on her love of Narnia and rereading it as an adult, bells were clanging in my head, like Sunday morning at all the churches in the world.

For Laura Miller, the book columnist at Salon.com, the Magician's Book was Narnia. She writes about her childhood love for Narnia, her return to the series as an adult, and everything she has learned about and ruminated on regarding nerdy childish reading patterns. Some points she makes:

1) As children, we read books desperately then, falling wholly and completely in love with them (did you ever sneak a book under the dining room table or under the lid of your desk at school, and then get yelled at by your parent/teacher for reading instead of being social/studious? I did all the time. ALL THE TIME.)

2) We kept reading as adults, but don't really love reading as much or as purely as we used to when we were kids. This is because...

3) Experience, life-knowledge, exposure to various things, etc destroy our credulity as we get older, meaning we don't allow ourselves the same escapism we used to as kids. One of her great examples here is the nearly universal desire of children to read about talking animals or a hero's ability to commune with animals--it's because, down to that bitter moment we actually become adults, all children hang onto the hope that *they* will be the child to bridge that gap and talk with animals. Eventually, we finally give up on that hope, and then we feel stupid and embarrassed at ourselves for ever feeling hope in that particular magic.

(That's another sad part about being an adult--being embarrassed by the things that made us happy when we were kids.)

Laura Miller says that, for us, you know, us kids who read constantly and obsessively when we were kids, we've spent our entire lives trying, like Lucy, to resuscitate that feeling of total immersion we felt when we read our Magician's Books when we were kids. We read things and like or enjo

47 Comments on My Magician's Book (Or, the Life-Long Secret of the Reader Child), last added: 6/13/2010
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35. tons of good news

Lots going on in our part of the blogosphere...

First, a bunch of his friends have put together a huge online party, complete with prizes, presents, and games, for the release of Stephen Parrish's new book. And writing contests. I know "contest" is the magic word for a bunch of addicts around here, so run off and submit!

Next, devilish good news, my very dear friend Ellen Oh has just signed with the stellar agent Joe Monti. I'm SO happy for her. I know a lot of you guys know and love Ello as much as I do, so this is a big victory for the team!

Finally, he's so modest that I had to figure it out for myself, but very very long-time EdAss reader and commenter Charles Gramlich just had a book come out! Bitter Steel, a collection of epic fantasy stories, is available from Borgo Press.

As for me, I'm still icky-busy over here (you know, though, in a good way). But I will be doing Saturday's Write Your @$$ Off Day! The official goal is 3,000 words in one day, but my goal will be just to devote a couple steady hours to writing. I'm still working on that project that came to me in my dream, just like what happened to Stephenie Meyer.

That's all for now!

19 Comments on tons of good news, last added: 6/10/2010
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36. Summer Fridays!

So here's a wacky tradition that goes back to, we imagine, back when everyone in publishing was incredibly wealthy and had some kind of summer weekend getaway in the Hamptons. In the summers, we work an hour later Monday through Thursday, and then on Fridays everyone leaves at one o'clock. (Not everywhere... just most places.)

Obviously, for all the COOL kids, that makes summer the time of Karaoke Happy Hour. From 2pm to 7pm, at various New York establishments, Karaoke is only $4 per person per hour (I pay to sing, not to drink--I understand other people go to Karaoke for different reasons, but I have VERY clearly defined priorities).

So to celebrate, I link you (again) to this ridiculous video: "Total Eclipse of the Heart" (perhaps the best Karaoke song ever), the literal version. If you don't laugh, your next two songs at Karaoke are on me.

Happy Summer Friday!

16 Comments on Summer Fridays!, last added: 6/5/2010
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37. just finished reading

Rock Paper Tiger, by Lisa Brackmann. My review here. Anyone else read it? Any thoughts?

5 Comments on just finished reading, last added: 6/3/2010
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38. How to Throw an Awesome Book Launch

Hey Moonrat. Any tips for throwing your own book launch?

Uh, YEAH. I've seen some really excellent book launches in my time, so let me throw down a couple of ideas I've stolen from innovative authors.

1. Expect zero support from your publisher. I mean financial support as well as every other kind of support--a lot of publishers have a zero collaboration policy on book launches. Don't hold too much of a grudge--it's hard to justify spending marketing dollars on a party when they could be spent on retail co-op placement or ad initiatives. So just be pleasantly surprised if your publisher does send materials or people or money (hey! Sometimes it happens!), but be prepared to do it all on your own.

2. Put together an invite list.
Do this before you try to take any other steps, because knowing the names of the people (and how many) you expect is really key to securing a venue.

Don't fudge this--sit down and make an actual list. The reason I say this is because if you go the route of approaching a bookstore to host you, they might actually ask for a guest list to decide if they can break even on accommodating your party. But just practically speaking, knowing how many people might come will help you choose a good spot and make sure you have enough supplies. Pretend you're planning a wedding here--take it that seriously. Put the guests in tiers: Definitely will show up come hell or high water; Can probably count on him/her as long as s/he is in town; Might come; There's some chance s/he will show up. I do this pretty frequently, and always use Facebook and LinkedIn as well as my email address book to cross-reference who will be in the area. Remember to include local business people you've patronized--many of them will be tickled pink to see your project, and some of them may offer sponsorship (for example, donating door prizes) in exchange for the advertising opportunity (although I'd say don't ask people for this kind of thing unless you know them pretty well and are sure they won't take offense).

Then, prep yourself emotionally to only expect the "Definitely" people, but to be able to host the "Some chance" people if they happen to show up. Just like any party. Only take this one a little more seriously--the more the merrier at your book's big coming-out party. You want all the attention around launch time you can get, and your friends are a good place to start.

3. Venue: to bookstore or not to bookstore? There are advantages and disadvantages to both. A bookstore party is harder to score and more responsibility for you. You have to be careful of the property, the time frame, and the owner's interests, which include making money while they close down the store for you. On the other hand, if your party is a great success and lots of people buy books, you have an opportunity to create a beautiful relationship with your local bookstore.

Conversely, a non-bookstore venue is often easier because you don't have to worry about the above pressures. I've seen some very creative and successful venues: bowling alleys, hair salons, living rooms, back yards, clothing stores after-hours, liquor stores, ballrooms. In my opinion, the best venue is one you don't have to pay for. But other than that, there are really no rules to where you can throw a book party.

The downside about not having a bookstore party is you're going to have to arrange your own book copies and sales. Sometimes, your local bookstore will be able/willing to send a bookseller to staff and sell at your party, even if they can't afford to actually host the party. If you can't set that up (and it's often tricky, but it's worth a shot), you can always just order your own copies. (See below.)

4. Arrange food and beverages. Trust me--you can't have too much. And also trust me--if yo

41 Comments on How to Throw an Awesome Book Launch, last added: 6/4/2010
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39. Saturday morning publishing song

This made me laugh so hard I almost peed my pjs. This despite how, well, familiar poor Mr. Hall's plight is.

For bonus video-watching points, see if you can catch a glimpse of Dana Cameron, the fabulous Janet Reid's excellent client.

7 Comments on Saturday morning publishing song, last added: 5/31/2010
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40. BEA madness

There is many a box to be unpacked and many a display table to be artfully designed at Javits Center today for Book Expo America, so I fear I am going to have to save my "planning your own awesome book launch" post for later this week or next. Sorry. Not trying to be coy, just trying not to run around like a headless chicken.

HOWEVER. If you are in town for BEA, please let me know your plans, what events you're excited about or promoting, and who you're hoping to meet! Email me at moonratty at gmail dot com and I'll see if I can match you up with any events!

2 Comments on BEA madness, last added: 5/28/2010
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41. Janet Reid is having a flash writing contest!

It's only 100 words!

Go flex your creative muscles for the Shark! Rules here.

6 Comments on Janet Reid is having a flash writing contest!, last added: 5/25/2010
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42. rejection rejection of the day

An editor friend got a letter in the mail. It was a rejection letter she had sent to an author, and was annotated thusly:

~~~

[Note, typed, from my friend to the author:]

Dear [REDACTED],

We have already* considered and turned down your submission. Unfortunately, I just don't think that your writing is a good fit for us. I wish you the best of luck.

Sincerely,
[MY FRIEND]


[Note, handwritten beneath it, from the author to my friend:]

Why didn't you guys tell me that you're a red bunch of communists! Who needs you here in the USA? I certainly don't! Go to Hell, the Red Hell!

Sincerely,
[REDACTED]

~~~

*The same manuscript was already considered and rejected three months earlier

Aww. So sweet.

34 Comments on rejection rejection of the day, last added: 5/23/2010
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43. How much does an agent cost?

I got a note:

~~~
Hi Moonrat,
I have a book deal with a lovely indie publisher. I don't have an agent. *cowers and hides under table* I know you despise us little agentless authors *ducks further under table*, but I am a full-time school student, and I don't have the money to pay for an agent, either. I write because I love to write, I wasn't writing for the sake of getting published, but I was lucky and pleasantly surprised at the offer. Have you any suggestions (seeing as you also work in a small indie press) about publicity and selling your book? Also, what do independent publishers offer in terms of marketing strategies? *timidly peeks unagented head over desk* I'd much appreciate if you'd take the time to reply! Thank you!
Yours,
XXX

~~~
My dear, several notes:

1) I do not despise anyone, with the possible exception of Charles Dickens, who was just a real jerk to his poor first wife. But you might call that more of a personal grudge.

2) Agents do not cost money--you don't pay them anything at all up front. If an agent has told you they charge a fee, they are not a legitimate agent. You might find more information about heinous people on Preditors & Editors--pred-ed.com. Check 'em out. But REAL agents take a percentage of your earnings (15% in most cases) AFTER that agent has secured you a book deal (and sometimes other deals too). So, my friend, whichever agents were telling you to pay them for their services should be knuckled off your list in a great hurry.

3) Re: publicity and marketing: I shall save those ideas for tomorrow, as I just REALLY wanted EVERYONE to know that REAL AGENTS DO NOT COST MONEY UP FRONT (or at all, until there are earnings to be had).

14 Comments on How much does an agent cost?, last added: 5/20/2010
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44. cool things I found while catching up on my Google reader

(If you follow me on Twitter, you might have already seen some of these)

Got sucked into any good books lately? A couple visuals to make your day.
(via The Undomestic)

NYT on the (re)new(ed) movement to document rare and endangered languages. Lingistic enthusiasts, you'll love this--who knew there may be as many as 800 languages spoken in New York, including languages that are no longer spoken anywhere else in the world? (via Ellen W)

The 100 best Arabic books (in English), according to the Arab Writers Union. I'm 0 for 100. Clearly this is a language whose translations I need to explore more. (via Lit Saloon)

Booklist's Bill Ott talks about the mysteries he recommends to people who say they hate mysteries. I personally recommend Yiddish Policemen's Union, by Michael Chabon, especially to fans of sci fi and/or literary fiction. What would your answer(s) be? (I'm particularly interested in the genre bias here--there are great mysteries in every genre.)

Finally, my dad sent me this website: Demotivators. What can I say. Mission accomplished.

15 Comments on cool things I found while catching up on my Google reader, last added: 5/7/2010
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45. Cinco de Mayo cultural disconnect

So we ALL know Cinco de Mayo. I raise a mole enchilada to Mexico's victory over French forces in 1862.

However, apparently yesterday, May 4th, is a different kind of holiday for different people. I think of the May 4th Movement in China, where students fomented a revolution.

I have learned from certain people that others celebrate Star Wars Day--as in, May the 4th be with you.

Who would you guess wins on Google (in terms of top-ranking searches), Star Wars fans, or all of China?

Anyway. Mole enchilada!

12 Comments on Cinco de Mayo cultural disconnect, last added: 5/7/2010
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46. Is What It Is Ism (Or Why You Must Be Your Own Evil Drill Sergeant)

Here is a conversation that is, in some variation, overheard in publishing houses everyday:

Publisher: How's the edit on that John/Jane Smith book?

Editor: Well, John/Jane has sent back his/her responses to my edits. I mean, we did a ton of work--it's much better than the first draft. But s/he didn't really go as far with the second plot line/character development/cultural details as I was hoping.

Publisher: That's a shame.

Editor: It really is a shame. I just... I had really high hopes for this book, but I'm not sure I can get the author to really get it up to 100% of what it could be. I can take the time to do another round of edits, but then we might miss our to-production date.

Publisher: Nah, let's just push it forward. It is what it is.

~ ~ ~

What's your reaction to that phrase, "is what it is"? Does it go blithely buy you as an everyday-ism? Does it strike terror in your heart? Or a little bit of both?

The first time I heard the expression "It is what it is" I was an editorial assistant. I admit my first response was, "Oo, what a cool phrase!" I think subconsciously I had already realized that sentence would be an out-clause, the secret to writing off any editorial changes I would be too exhausted with a book to make. But of course, it's also an ugly sentence--it means we're giving up and moving on. And you know what? At some point it is said about just about every project.

The point I want to make today is about vigilance of craft. Creativity is exhausting. When you're working on a novel, there comes a point during writing, or rewriting, or editing, or re-editing, or hearing back the nitpicky bits from your crit group or agent or editor for the eight millionth time, when you just say "Ug, can I be done with this? I'll fix it later, or someone else can, if they really have a problem with it."

But the thing is, you can't count on anyone to fix anything later. When your editor sends you edits, you may be so sick to death of staring at your manuscript that you do the bare minimum to address the comments and then send that sucker right back. But then your editor may also have run out of steam, will have some version of the above conversation with her publisher, and everyone will move forward with the book as it is--in a permutation that will get slightly worse reviews than it might have received if we'd all pushed it a little harder, will therefore sell slightly fewer copies than it might have, etc.

We ALL run out of steam--writers, editors, proofreaders, marketers, publicists. The best professionals in any sector of the industry are the ones who fight it out a couple more rounds before throwing up their hands. Since you can't guarantee that anyone else who will be working on your book at any other stage will have the time, energy, and bandwidth to give it their all to the bitter end, you, the author, would do yourself a favor by not being the lazy one.

I'm writing this post today because earlier this week I was visiting a friend at her office and overheard one of her colleagues give an "Is what it is" speech. It made me realize these occurrences aren't rare--they're pretty universal. So the moral of this story is, fight the good fight, at every stage of the game. Write, re-write, re-re-write, and edit, then edit again, then re-edit again before you even THINK about submitting to agents. Then do it all over again. And over again.

In the words of Jason Nesmith, "Never give up! Never surrender!"

34 Comments on Is What It Is Ism (Or Why You Must Be Your Own Evil Drill Sergeant), last added: 5/10/2010
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47. things the rally monkey says

[We're watching 27 Dresses, as YT is a romcom fan.]

RM: Can they make a sequel called 28 Dresses, where Kevin Doyle realizes he's a cross-dresser?

11 Comments on things the rally monkey says, last added: 5/12/2010
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48. Drowning in the Title Pool

I got a note:

Hi Moonrat,

I'm almost done with rewrites on a novel, getting ready to send it to agents. I noticed recently on Publishers Marketplace that another book (same genre) with the same working title just sold to a big house. I know titles are fluid and by the time it gets to print, the title on the PM book might have changed. Or if I sell my book, the title could change. My question is: should I come up with a new working title before sending it out, if only to avoid confusion from agents/editors who may have considered the PM book? ("Didn't I just see this?") I'm reluctant to do it, because it fits so well with the book, but I don't want someone to pass, thinking they've looked at it already.

Thoughts?


Great question! A variation of this titling issue happens to a lot of people--you know, having the perfect title for your book and then realizing there are a host of outside circumstances working against your using that perfect title.

Honestly, as an editor, I remember stuff like that (if I've seen a book by the same title, I know instantly, even if the first submission was a project that went no further than my desk). I don't think I find repeat titles offputting per se, but I definitely remember. This is relevant in your case because since it's the same genre you might be submitting to the same editors.

That said, I got a book into production that had the same title (same genre, slightly similar plots) as another book at a much, much larger company. We had both announced our deals in PW, and just missed each other through neglect. At the last minute, the big house called me and tried to bully me into changing my title--but we were already close to press, and so we won (they had to change). There is no moral to this story, really; it only proves that it could come about that no one ever notices your title match.

But I think to be safe it would be a good exercise for you to think of a second-choice title and submit under that. Just in case someone is anal (and editors, as a career discipline, often are). Besides, as you point out yourself, retitling is something that often happens for marketing reasons, so if you've already spent some time thinking of second- and third-choice titles before you submit, you'll be prepared to have a great conversation about your options later.

18 Comments on Drowning in the Title Pool, last added: 5/14/2010
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49. various & assorted tasties

Here's my roundup of interesting links I came across this week (as always, much Twitter crossover).

Writers' Coalition has announced an official Write Your @$$ Off Day, June 12th! You might recall we had an unofficial one back here. Anyone else wanna play? I think I'm in!

Author Alaya Johnson talks on John Scalzi's blog about her new book, Moonshine, and how vampires are actually a metaphor for historically oppressed minorities.

Sarah Weinman shared one author's take on the 10 most harmful novels for aspiring writers. (I add Twilight to the list--what do you guys think?)

Twilight sales have waaaay dropped suddenly (my guess is everyone just owns everything already, so there's nothing left to buy). But the point is, does this mean the door is open for the next phenomenon?

You thought English speakers took Harry Potter fan fic seriously--check out the level people take fan fic to in China!

Our comrade INTERN anagrams the names of the big publishing houses. This is awesome.

The Rejectionist points us to this excellent list of horrifying rejections, some of them quite nasty--and all of them sent to people who went on to become extremely famous.

Tomorrow is an editing day. My weekend work partner is coming over and we're going to kick butt. But in between butt kickings, we will be making these.

Happy weekend!

10 Comments on various & assorted tasties, last added: 5/16/2010
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50. I woke up this morning

at 7:17 am. My alarm was set to go off at 7:30. But I woke myself up out of a very deep sleep (I mean, if the amount of drool on the pillow is some kind of sliding scale indication of how deep the sleep was). I was also in the middle of a very involved dream--a vivid dream, one that I remember all the details to (except, of course, how it ends, since I woke up--how frustrating!! I wonder what happened to that girl in my dream!).

I have no idea what startled me awake. But I do know it was some kind of miniature miracle (what do they call those? Stroke of good luck, maybe?) because if I hadn't woken up until my alarm went off, I probably would have finished the dream and exited REM and snoozed and woken up normally and that would have been the beginning of my day and the end, forever, of whatever happened inside my head last night (I'm a very clean dreamer--I never remember anything I dream, ever, unless I'm woken up in the middle of it). But my dream last night was SO UTTERLY AWESOME that instead of snoozing I waddled over to my computer and started setting down an outline based on the dream. It's the PERFECT story (well, sort of--I'm going to have to seriously edit my dream main character, since she was really credulous and unquestioning, like my dream main characters always are for some reason).

Alas now I have to go to work. But I wanted to share that I got hit by the muse. I thought if anyone could sympathize it would be you guys :)

41 Comments on I woke up this morning, last added: 5/20/2010
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