What is JacketFlap

  • JacketFlap connects you to the work of more than 200,000 authors, illustrators, publishers and other creators of books for Children and Young Adults. The site is updated daily with information about every book, author, illustrator, and publisher in the children's / young adult book industry. Members include published authors and illustrators, librarians, agents, editors, publicists, booksellers, publishers and fans.
    Join now (it's free).

Sort Blog Posts

Sort Posts by:

  • in
    from   

Suggest a Blog

Enter a Blog's Feed URL below and click Submit:

Most Commented Posts

In the past 7 days

Recent Posts

(from the Agent category)

Recent Comments

JacketFlap Sponsors

Spread the word about books.
Put this Widget on your blog!
  • Powered by JacketFlap.com

Are you a book Publisher?
Learn about Widgets now!

Advertise on JacketFlap

MyJacketFlap Blogs

  • Login or Register for free to create your own customized page of blog posts from your favorite blogs. You can also add blogs by clicking the "Add to MyJacketFlap" links next to the blog name in each post.

Blog Posts by Date

Click days in this calendar to see posts by day or month
new posts in all blogs
Viewing: Blog Posts from the Agent category, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 14,494
1. The Brave New World of Publishing

Technology(This is a re-post from one year ago.)

Here’s the deal: I don’t like the fact that you have to “build a platform” these days, any more than you do. But I get weary of writers complaining about it. I get frustrated by hearing that publishers are “abandoning writers” and “bringing nothing to the table.” I know it’s hard to market your books — I feel your pain — and yet I dislike it that people saying that publishers are shirking their duties by “leaving it all up to the author.”

REALITY CHECK:

Publishers did not create this brave new techno-world we live in.

It is not the publishing industry that has created this society of ubiquitous electronics, Internet noise, YouTube, X-Box, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Vine, and the decline of reading. It is not the publishing industry who put a computer in more than half of all American households, allowing millions of folks just like yourself to write books they want to sell.

It is not the publishers who brought our society to a place where it’s no longer possible to “market” books the old-fashioned way. It’s not the publishers’ fault that average human beings everywhere are being bombarded with literally thousands of pieces of information every day, making it more challenging than ever to draw a person’s attention to one little book.

The fact is, publishers are doing everything they can dream up, and everything they can afford, when it comes to marketing books. They have the same limitations you do: Time and Money. But they’re coming up with new ideas and innovations all the time.

Publishing is an “old world” industry, figuring out, day by day, how to thrive in this “new world.” We all face these challenges together. We all have to figure out how to get people to want to read our words… to want to PAY to read our words. We all have to figure out how to get our books to rise above the “clutter” and get the attention of readers who are willing to pay for them.

Those of you who find yourself bemoaning that “writers are expected to do everything” and concluding “we might as well self-publish” — perhaps the self-publishing route will work out better for you. For certain kinds of books and certain authors, it’s working out great. Give it a try!

But I want to point out that publishers are still in business because of the value they bring to the table — not just in marketing but in every aspect of the editing, production, and selling of books. It is harder these days to sell books than ever before, yes, but publishers are more than just a business selling widgets, they’re entities who take seriously the responsibility of preserving and disseminating the written word. And so publishing persists, despite the challenges, despite our changing world.

Part of the value publishers bring is a sense of history, a sense of tradition and permanence. Many authors still want to be a part of that. It’s about great stories and important thoughts. It’s about legacy. It’s about a dream. People in publishing still see this dream as worth it. They’re willing to swim against the tide because publishing isn’t just a business, it’s a life, it’s a calling, it’s a passion.

To all writers who believe in the dream, who have the passion, who feel called to the legacy — I’m right there with you, and so is everyone else who has staked their livelihood on this crazy, unpredictable, totally unrealistic business called publishing. Thanks for being here, and hanging on for the ride. To those who are frustrated by the ways it seems publishing can’t meet your expectations, I commiserate with you and I apologize that things aren’t the way we wish they could be.

To each and every author, I sincerely wish the very best for you as you seek your own way of getting your book to its intended audience. I am doing my best to be a positive and helpful part of this process.

Are you in it for the legacy? Or something else?

Comment below or by clicking: HERE.

 

TWEETABLES

Publishing is an old world industry, figuring out how to thrive in this new world. Click to Tweet.

Publishing isn’t just a business, it’s a life, it’s a calling, it’s a passion. Click to Tweet.

To all writers who believe in the dream, the passion, the legacy – I’m with you.  Click to Tweet.

 

 

 

The post The Brave New World of Publishing appeared first on Rachelle Gardner.

0 Comments on The Brave New World of Publishing as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
2. New Literary Agent Alert: Valerie Noble of Donaghy Literary Group

Reminder: New literary agents (with this spotlight featuring Valerie Noble of Donaghy Literary Group) are golden opportunities for new writers because each one is a literary agent who is likely building his or her client list.

 

valerie-noble-literary-agent

 

About Valerie: Valerie Noble is an Associate Agent at Donaghy Literary Group. While studying chemistry at California State University, Long Beach, Valerie mastered the art of doing proper research, particularly for technical writing. Her love of science and reading merged when she began penning her first novel in the midst of her studies. In true scientific fashion, Valerie researched all there was to know about publishing. She connected with agents, editors, and other writers, and interned for Jessica Sinsheimer of Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency.

An education is never finished and Valerie continues to cultivate relationships and hopes to use her knowledge and skills in finding fresh new voices for Donaghy Literary Group.

She is seeking: Valerie is seeking Young Adult, and New Adult — in the following areas:

• Science Fiction YA/NA
• Fantasy YA/NA
• Historical Fantasy YA/NA
• Historical Fiction YA/NA

Valerie loves YA/NA science fiction and fantasy (think Kristin Cashore and Suzanne Collins) but reads everything under the sun. For her, it’s more about the writing and less about the genre. In saying that, Valerie is generally not interested in romance or paranormal.

Submission Instructions: Electronic Submissions only. Send the query letter, 1-2 page synopsis and the first 10 pages of manuscript — all in body of email, no attachments. Send to query(at)donaghyliterary(dot)com.

 

2015-GLA-small

The biggest literary agent database anywhere
is the Guide to Literary Agents. Pick up the
most recent updated edition online at a discount.

 

Other writing/publishing articles & links for you:

 

Want to build your visibility and sell more books?
Create Your Writer Platform shows you how to
promote yourself and your books through social
media, public speaking, article writing, branding,
and more.
Order the book from WD at a discount.

Add a Comment
3. I Think I’m a Clone Now

Ah, back home and time to relax. Long weeks are brutal. Is that the television you hear? Well you haven’t been home all day so you decide to check it out, thinking you left it on. As you enter the room you see the television is indeed on. And you’re already sitting there watching it. What’s going on here?

writing-promptsWant more creative writing prompts?

Pick up a copy of A Year of Writing Prompts: 365 Story Ideas for Honing Your Craft and Eliminating Writer’s Block. There’s a prompt for every day of the year and you can start on any day.

Order now from our shop.

 

 

 

 

 

Add a Comment
4. How to Break the Rules of Writing (& More) According to Bestselling YA author Ransom Riggs

RansomriggsLike most first conversations and bad first drafts, my (WD’s Managing Editor Adrienne Crezo) interview with Ransom Riggs begins with a discussion about the weather. And not just any weather, either, but peculiar versions of standard precipitation: dust storms, cloudbursts, thundersnow and tornadoes. Of course, Riggs is experiencing none of those phenomena as he sits in the warmth of the never-ending summer of Los Angeles. “I hate to tell you what it’s like here right now,” he says. “No, I don’t. It’s gorgeous. Just perfect.”

That kind of easygoing humor is familiar to Riggs’ fans. Readers of his New York Times bestselling young adult novel Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and its sequel, Hollow City, convene on Twitter (@ransomriggs) and Instagram (instagram.com/ransomriggs) to follow the seemingly unshakable optimism of a guy who really enjoys what he does. Life is uncomplicated for Riggs, as is his approach to work and writing. “[I never] set out to be a writer,” he tells me. “I took a fiction class [in college], but … I just thought, That’d be a fun thing to do for a semester, not, This is my future.”

Whatever dreams Riggs may have had about his future, he couldn’t have predicted the wild success of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, a tale of time travel and magic set against the eerie backdrop of unnerving black-and-white photos of levitating girls and creepy twin clowns. Before Peculiar Children’s release in 2011, the film rights had already been snapped up by 20th Century Fox, and the movie, directed by none other than Tim Burton, is slated for release in summer 2015. Hollow City, second of the three planned Peculiar Children books, was released in January 2014. And in the midst of all this, Riggs also released Talking Pictures, a coffee-table book of found photographs, in 2012.

It’s easy to see why Riggs is enjoying the ride, but what appears to have happened overnight actually evolved over many years. It started with a love of film and photography, which led him to collecting old secondhand photographs. In 2009, Riggs was encouraged by an editor at Quirk Books to use the found pictures as the basis of a novel. At the time, Riggs was writing daily for mentalfloss.com, a popular general-interest trivia website, editing and filming short documentaries, and shooting photo essays as he traveled. He laughs to himself as he recalls his initial reaction to the conversation: “OK, Quirk. No one’s going to read that. Let me go back to blogging.”

Luckily, Riggs decided to take the editor’s advice. He compiled his found photos and wound a weird, twisting tale around them—and, in return, an eager YA audience turned the Peculiar Children series into an unlikely hit. Here, Riggs talks about his writing and social media habits, why he doesn’t follow rules, and why it’s important to take time off.

[Writing a Hero's Adventure story? Here's a simple template you can apply to your own work-in-progress.]

Your photo collection plays a huge role in the Peculiar Children books. Can you tell us how you started collecting people’s castoff snapshots?

I was at this swap meet in Pasadena [in 2009] called the Rose Bowl. I knew people sold old photographs, sort of in the corner of my mind, but I was never very interested in them … because they all looked like junk. But then I found a booth at this particular swap meet that was operated by a fellow named Leonard, who had clearly gone through many, many, many bins of photos and chosen his favorite 200 and put them in little plastic sleeves. I started looking at them and I [thought], Wow, there’s something really special here. This guy has the eye of a curator, and every [photo] is like a little piece of lost, orphaned folk art. That’s really cool! As someone who grew up loving photography in every way I could, I would have loved to have had a photo collection of my own, but I couldn’t afford to buy prints. … So I thought, Here is a way I could start my own little museum of photographs.You get to be your own curator; you’re rescuing them from the trash and saying, “I decide this is art, and I’m going to keep it.”

It occurred to me, as I collected more and more, that my taste in these photos ran in very specific directions. One was a sort of Edward Gorey-esque Victorian creepiness, and the other was photos with writing on them. I always felt like these were completely anonymous photos. … If they’ve written a little bit on the picture, especially if it’s more than just a label, if it’s a thought or a feeling or something revelatory, there’s a window into this lost world that suddenly has context where it did not before. That’s interesting.

Do you collect photos now solely for book material, or is it still a thing you just enjoy doing?

It’s still partly just a hobby. Maybe one day they’ll find their way into something I do, but maybe not. I just like owning them.

I started without anything in particular in mind to do with [the photos]; I just sort of wanted to have them. … And they’re not all creepy. There are so many I have that I love that are just sort of evocative in some simple way—the look on someone’s face, or a cool angle or interesting subject or something. I have a lot that I don’t even necessarily know that I’ll use—they don’t fit in the Peculiar Children books and they don’t fit in [Talking Pictures]. I just like them.

[Get Query Help: Click here for The 10 Dos and Don'ts of Writing a Query Letter]

In Peculiar Children and its sequel, Hollow City, your protagonist, Jacob, has some pretty interesting magical powers, but he’s also a teenager with all the typical teenager woes. You’ve called Jacob your “fantasy self.” How much of you is in Jacob, really?

You’d have to be a literary critic or a psychiatrist to pick the writer out of his work. Every fictional story goes through this sort of blender process where you take some real experience … you know what’s real or true when you put it into the blender with fiction, and then it gets all mixed up with something that didn’t really happen, but there’s still a little of you in there. I think the writer is in there no matter what you do. You can’t really remove yourself from it.

Did you set out to be a novelist or did you have other plans?

No, I wanted to make movies. When I was a kid I wanted to be a novelist … but then around the eighth grade I discovered movies and I became completely obsessed and lost myself in this dream of making movies. My friends and I had a video camera, and we would make movies all the time.

I knew I wanted to go to film school, but I also knew I wanted to learn things first. I wanted to learn about the important ideas and read the great books, so I went to Kenyon [College], but always with the understanding that I would go to film school afterward.

[I] was chasing the white pony of having a film career [and] doing whatever I could do: making short films and editing things and freelance writing. The writing thing came about completely by accident. … I never really wanted [it], or looked for it. I feel like the opposite might be true, instead, where if I’d tried really hard to be a writer, maybe someone would’ve [asked], “Do you want to be a filmmaker instead?” And I would’ve [said], “OK”—the theory of inverse effort.

I think [filmmaking] was a way for me to get into novel writing, which is not something I might have done on my own. Now that I’m doing it, I find that with each Peculiar Children book I have to work harder to include photos. The story has all this momentum of its own now.

Will that momentum carry the Peculiar Children series beyond the three books you have planned?

This story that I’m telling now will conclude in book three, but I think I’ll leave the door open to that world. I’m going to do something else next, but I will probably come back and write more [books for the series] one day.

Do you follow any specific writing rules?

I always distrust overly specific writing advice. I don’t agree with it, necessarily. When you’re thinking about what to write or how to write something, it’s too easy to make a lot of arbitrary rules for yourself. I think the difficult thing with learning how to write is not learning the style or rules, but figuring out what story you want to tell.

I spent a lot of time telling the wrong stories, especially when … I was in college or when I was a kid trying to imitate C.S. Lewis or Stephen King. I never understood why my writing didn’t take off. I would think, Well, the sentences are correct, and the characters are talking and everything looks right, and it seems like a story. I did exactly what [they] told me to do, but there’s no blood in it and I don’t know why. It’s something you have to learn, how to tell the right stories for you, and it’s this completely ineffable thing.

[Here's a crash course of tips for writers looking to break into copywriting.]

What about schedules? Do you wake up some days and think, I’m not going to write; I’m not going to edit. Do you take days off?

Oh, all the time! Sometimes I say, “Today, I’m going to clean my house and go to the movies.” Or, “Today, [my wife] Tahereh and I are going to ride our bikes and go and eat too much Persian food.” That happens a lot. That’s a lot of our days, actually.

I spent the last three months plotting book three [of the Peculiar Children series]. So just in the last couple of days I’ve transitioned into writing actual sentences on pages of the book, and now that I have that momentum, I do want to write every day—at least a little, just to keep the thread. A lot, preferably, but between books I’ll go months and months without writing. It’s exhausting. I’m just like, “I can’t.”

That’s a long break between projects! It’s a wonder that you fall back into the groove at all. Is writer’s block ever a problem for you?

I don’t really believe in that whole “wait for the muse to strike” thing. I’m more of a “sit your ass in a chair and start typing” guy. … People treat writer’s block like it’s this kind of mythical, mystical ailment. It’s actually a very specific problem, and that is that something is wrong with your story, or wrong with your scene, and you’re trying to do something that is not motivated by your characters. If your writer’s block is so complete that you don’t even know where to start, it’s probably that you’re not spending enough time at the keyboard. It’s all part of the process.

I also think that writer’s block comes from judging yourself too much, and [thinking], I only wrote one sentence today! I’m terrible!

How do you keep yourself in a chair and working when you’re so active on social media?

I find myself retreating from social media when I need to work. I realize that I’m becoming too dependent on talking to everyone on Twitter. It’s too distracting. I’m constantly reaching for it, like a drug or something.

You can spend a whole day clicking and scrolling and feeling like you’ve gotten something done—Oh man, that was a really funny tweet—but then at the end of the day you’re like, I did nothing. All day, I’ve done nothing at all. I have nothing to show for it. Except that funny tweet, of course.

So you live in Los Angeles with your wife, bestselling YA author Tahereh Mafi. And you two work together. Do you share a desk?

Yes. It’s a very long desk, very wide. So there’s space enough for our things and our laptops and all our books, and we put on our noise-canceling headphones and [work]. That’s the thing about being married to another writer—we know all of the ways in which the other person is weird and quirky, because all writers are a little weird and quirky. So we [know we] need our quiet, broody time, but then we need to run around and go have fun when writing time is over—when work is over—because we’ve been kind of cooped up inside of our own brains all day. It works. Somehow it works.

You share a lot of your social media time with Tahereh, too, which your fans seem to love. But it seems as if it could become overwhelming at a certain point. Do you ever try to hold back?

I think we’re pretty knee-deep in it all, we read a lot of it. And it’s largely positive, which I think is pretty rare. I’ve been waiting for negative weirdness to start to surface, but it hasn’t yet.

I wouldn’t keep posting pictures of Tahereh on Instagram if people didn’t keep going, “Yay! Give us more,” you know? I feel like we both have been waiting for the Internet to collectively be like, “OK, gag me, it’s enough already!” But, bafflingly, it hasn’t happened yet, so we just keep going.

How about some parting advice for writers?

Just unclench, live your life and spend less time berating yourself. Anxiety and stress are the enemies of creativity.

***********************************************************************************************************************
CrezoAdrienne Crezo is the managing editor of WD. She lives, works and writes in Ohio. Follow her on Twitter @a_crezo.

Add a Comment
5. Vacation Reading!






Ranchero by Rick Gavin was a hoot.

A little short on plot, but I barely noticed cause the writing is so good and the characters are beyond memorable.

Here's an example of a total throw away character, a dog who appears exactly once in the book:


The neighbor off the back has some kind of short-haired dog with three legs and one eye and a sour disposition.  He looked like a veteran of the Great War.  I know him a little. His name was Rusty.  I'd made his acquaintance a few months back when he'd spent about thirty-six straight hours barking at a stump.  I think Rusty's remaining eye was clouded with cataracts, and just generally Rusty had lost all interest in caring what was what.




The main character Nick Reid is a repo man. He's hunting the ne'er do well who got the drop on him and made off with his borrowed coral colored Ranchero. 

Here's what happens at one critical juncture:


Weary now, I raised the shotgun barrel toward the ceiling, more or less aimed it at an orange and black MOWING AHEAD sign, and squeezed off a shell without really thinking just what I was up to.


[I should mention here that the MOWING AHEAD sign is on the ceiling, not on the street.]


Lead pellets would have punched on through, and we'd have been left with just some instructive racket, but the little rubber balls I was shooting stayed in the house and went everywhere fast.  They hit that sign and came back down, bounced all over the place. They filled that room just like a swarm of hornets.

Those pellets hurt so much through my clothes I was doubly glad I wasn't standing around naked. Tommy [who was standing around naked] for his part, balled up on the couch and ducked under his filthy blanket while Eugene [also naked] couldn't think of a thing to do but wail and leap and dance.

"What the hell did you do that for?" Luther wanted to know.

"Crazy son-of-a-bitch," Percy Dwayne added.

Tommy came out from under his blanket to add a few choice words as well. Eugene just whined and flopped around on the floor.

Like most rash things I get up to, that one hadn't been helpful.

Even Desmond, after a great while, told me, "Let's don't be doing that again."


This book conveys place (the Mississippi Delta) so beautifully that I felt like I lived there. The rhythm of the prose is gorgeous, nary a misstep.

It's funny without being comic or over the top, and gorgeously written without standing around admiring itself in the mirror.

I loved it.  You might too.

0 Comments on Vacation Reading! as of 9/2/2014 8:38:00 AM
Add a Comment
6. GIRL ON A WIRE Early Bird Special

Anyone who tells you magic isn’t real doesn’t know what they’re talking about. Just like anyone who tells you falling is like flying has never done either.

If you've spoken to me anytime in the past, oh, two-years-ish, you might have heard me gush about  GIRL ON A WIRE from the talented Gwenda Bond. And... its October release date is almost here! In fact...   

*drumroll* ... 

YOU CAN READ IT TODAY!

Yes I know it ISN'T October yet! This is a September surprise. GIRL ON A WIRE is a Kindle First pick. Which means, if you're an Amazon Prime member you can read GIRL ON A WIRE for free (FREE) (zero dollars!) right now. If you aren't, you can read it for $1.99 (which, let's face it, is ALMOST FREE). This deal will be going on the whole month of September. Yesssssss.

GIRL ON A WIRE is the story of Jules Maroni, the extreme high-wire walker and teen daughter of circus royalty. When somebody starts planting jinxy magical items on her costumes, it's unclear if the culprit just trying to scare her... or actually kill her. And is it all just old superstition, or could there be real magic at play? Jules teams up with the son of a rival family to solve the mystery, and sparks fly. (So yeah, it's basically Daredevil Juliet and Trapeze Romeo Solve Possibly Magical Crimes. Yessss.)

Get your e-copy today, a month before everyone else! And if you want to win a new Kindle Paperwhite, check out Gwenda's contest!


0 Comments on GIRL ON A WIRE Early Bird Special as of 9/1/2014 2:59:00 PM
Add a Comment
7. Not yet

I am still on vacation.
All electronic devices have been hidden for safekeeping.



0 Comments on Not yet as of 9/1/2014 9:47:00 AM
Add a Comment
8. nope, not yet

Still on vacation Hiding from the world.




0 Comments on nope, not yet as of 8/31/2014 8:04:00 AM
Add a Comment
9. still gone

Yup, I'm still on vacation.


0 Comments on still gone as of 8/30/2014 9:11:00 AM
Add a Comment
10. Does Your Dog Go Suffer With Panic Anxiety Because of Loud Noises? Here's the Cure!

Does your dog seem to experience panic anxiety when he or she experiences loud noises such as thunder, lightning, and fireworks? Does your dog or your cat for that matter start to shave and quiver? Hide under furniture or behind furniture? Cower in the bathroom near the toilet.

Symptoms of Stress

If you see any of these signs, your animal is experiencing storm or loud noise phobia. There is a litany of other symptoms that you may see: your dog is pacing; your dog is looking for a place to hide; your dog pees on the floor; your dog is a nervous wreck; your dog looks at you with big brown eye that say “Please do something, just don’t sit there!”

A True Story

And how do you feel about all of this? Do you wish that you had a possible solution up your sleeve? Well, I’ve been there and done it. I’ve felt like racing to the vet through a howling storm, where all the traffic lights in my town and the next were down. I actually did this, and intersections were a gamble on living or not because there were other crazy people on the road, but not all were headed to their vet. Yes, there were a few close calls. And what did the vet do? The vet prescribed some mild medicine for Roscoe. So, that’s one solution: doggy medicine to calm raw nerves.

Other Possible Solutions?

1.     Hug Therapy —Maybe your dog just needs some extra hugs and reassurance. Snuggle up in a blanket and whisper soothing words to your dog. Don’t feed them a stack of treats. This might reinforce the behavior that you want to see fade. Just let your four-legged family member know it loved, and the world isn’t really ending.                               

2.     Thundershirt Therapy--for your dog or cat—According to the manufacturers, this shirt or sweater is 80% effective in reducing the stress of storms, travel, separation, and other anxiety causing events. Check out what PetSmart.com has to offer you and your four-legged buddy. The odds are in your favor.

3.     Be Proactive Therapy —Let rover become used to noise in general, especially if you get your dog as a puppy. Play your CDs periodically in the house over an extended period of time, and from day to day increase the volume, while rewarding him or her with treats. This will develop a liking for music and noise. It won’t become a big deal.
 
4.     If All Else Fails Therapy—race through the storm to see the vet, but be careful on the wet, slipper roads. Or better yet, be prepared with mild, safe medicated treats. If prescribed correctly, they will not turn your dog into a four-legged zombie. Certified veterinarians Know what they are doing.

BONUS: Ah, now you can relax, you have solved your dog’s problem by implementing one of the above four ideas.  So pour yourself a lemonade with lots of ice, and consider writing in your diary or journal how you solved this problem. Enjoy a laugh about the whole situation. If you have any emotional pain left you could even write about traumatized dog to get the pain out.

Does that suggestion sound farfetched? Like I said, I have been there, and here’s a poem that I wrote for Picture Poetry on Parade! Yes, it contains bathroom humor, but it also contains a subtle message: if your dog has this problem, it’s time to do something about it. And please don’t punish your dog for misbehaving. He’s not a “bad dog.”

THUNDER & LIGHTNING

CRASH! CRACK! CRASH!

RIPPLE, RIPPLE, CRASH!

BOOM! BOOM! CRASH!

  PITTER! PITTER CRASH!                                 

My dog who is afraid of nothing

is afraid of thunder & lightning.                                     

He hates BOOM! BOOM!

CRASH! CRACK! CRASH!

He hides under the table,

 shaking in terrible fear, 

refusing to do his “business” outside

 on the dark, wet lawn.                 

BOOM! BOOM! CRASH!

Poor Roscoe, hunched under the table… 

BOOM! BOOM! CRASH!

SLASH! SPLASH! PLOP!

 PLOP! Oh, no!

That’s mom’s new rug!  

She’s going to call you “BAD DOG! 

But you just hate thunder & lightning.
“I love you, Roscoe.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       but I don’t like cleaning up.






0 Comments on Does Your Dog Go Suffer With Panic Anxiety Because of Loud Noises? Here's the Cure! as of 8/30/2014 3:03:00 AM
Add a Comment
11. Examining the Wonderful World of Steampunk: Maritime Terrorists, Time Travelers, and Mad Science

We have been writing Steampunk since 2009; and even after five years, we still face the question of the ages: What is steampunk? Perhaps a lazy, shallow way to look at the genre is to simply call it “Victorian Science Fiction” and that be the end of it. Truth be told, this is merely your first step.

While history looks at the 19th Century as the Industrial Age and the late-20th century as the Computer Age, the concept of computing devices were realized by mathematician, inventor, and engineer Charles Babbage as early as 1812. His mechanical computation devices at the time were considered more of a curiosity rather than innovation, but Babbage’s theories served as inspiration for The Difference Engine by William Gibson and Bruce Sterling. Best known for their offerings in cyberpunk, Gibson and Sterling created an alternative Industrial Revolution where Babbage’s inventions were the norm, creating a struggle between the working class Luddites (who fear technology) and an “enhanced” elite that wanted as much integration with these technological wonders as possible.

(What is the definition of “New adult”? That, and many more definitions explained.)

 

pip-ballantine-tee-morris      dawns-early-light-novel-cover

Column by Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris, who have been writing professionally
for over a decade, but The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences series is their first
collaboration as writers. Their first title in the series, Phoenix Rising, won the
2011 Airship Award for Best in Steampunk Literature, while both Phoenix Rising
and The Janus Affair were finalists in Goodreads Best in Science Fiction of 2011
and 2012. In 2013, they released Ministry Protocol, an original anthology of
short stories set in the Ministry universe. The collection won the Best Fiction
category in Steampunk Chronicle’s 2014 Readers Choice Award. Following a
Parsec win for their companion podcast, Tales from the Archives, Tee and Pip
celebrate the arrival of their third novel, Dawn’s Early Light, released by Ace
Books and Tantor Audio.

 

 

Here’s where Steampunk becomes far more than just “Victorian Science Fiction.” Steampunk envisions an Industrial Age that brought to fruition theoretical designs like Babbage’s analytical engines, flying machines, and advanced electrical engineering. How would society react? What would be the impact on a global scale? What would happen not only on a sociological level, but on a political one as well?

Early realizations of Steampunk, pre-dating author K. W. Jeter’s coining of the term, can be found on film. Walt Disney’s lush, lavish, and epic 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea serves as a warning of technological achievements potentially turning on society. Jules Verne was not a stranger in using science fiction as a vehicle for cautionary tales, but Disney’s 20,000 Leagues adaptation fulfills Verne’s intentions while remaining true to the luxuries and indulgences of the 19th Century. Another memorable motion picture encapsulating the definition of Steampunk is Nicholas Meyer’s Time After Time. In this film, H.G. Wells invents a time machine, intending to witness the futuristic Utopia he has speculated will occur. Instead, his best friend, Dr. John Leslie Stevenson (revealed as Jack the Ripper) uses Wells’ creation to escape capture by Scotland Yard. Here, the underlying theme of this adventure across centuries is responsibility and atonement, something Victorians rarely took in account in the pursuit of science or innovation. The question Wells faces is not “Can I build a machine that can travel through time?” but “Should I have invented a machine that can travel through time? Are we responsible enough to wield such technology?” Quickly, he discovers that some inventions, regardless of the intentions behind them, can affect not only societies of the present, but societies that have yet to happen.

Screen Shot 2014-08-29 at 10.39.18 AMWhether it is The Wild, Wild West or the “Castle” episode “Punked”, the works of K.W. Jeter (Morlock Night) or Gail Carriger (The Parasol Protectorate), or the podcasts, role playing game, and novels from our Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences, Steampunk offers you a variety of historical watersheds to choose from, now integrated with technology that can either be new, familiar, or exploited by your work’s protagonists and antagonists.

But where exactly does the “punk” comes into play in Steampunk?

Beyond romantic Victoriana, goggles, airships, and brass fixtures, the “punk” in Steampunk comes from going against convention, not necessarily in undermining establishment but through creativity and declaration of one’s individuality. That individuality can come across through style, gadgets, or attitude. In our own work, the “punk” is embodied in Eliza D. Braun, an agent from the farthest reaches of the Empire where women have the right to vote, where “natives” co-exist with “colonials,” and where everyone speaks their mind frankly and honestly. Eliza goes against the standard norms at the home office in London, England. She is everything her partner, Wellington Thornhill Books, Esquire—a man to the manor born now serving at the Queen’s pleasure—is not; and it is their chemistry and unorthodox approach to peculiar occurrences that make them unique within a society striving for conformity.

(What are the best practices for using social-media to sell books?)

We’ve been a gateway for many people into Steampunk, but that doesn’t mean we have stopped learning, or even changed a few opinions, about the genre. Steampunk is a voyage into science, ambition, imagination, and adventure; and all we can hope for is that in the years to come, people will still want to undertake this journey with us into the Past That Never Was. It’s been a fantastic ride since 2009, and now with seven awards, two of them Reader’s Choice Awards from The Steampunk Chronicle, we believe we must be doing something right.

Why not see how far we can go together in this journey? Make yourself at home in the Archives. I’ll put the kettle on.

 

What could be better than one guide on crafting
fiction from wise agent Donald Maass? Two books!
We bundle them together at a discount in our shop.

 

Other writing/publishing articles & links for you:

 

Want to build your visibility and sell more books?
Create Your Writer Platform shows you how to
promote yourself and your books through social
media, public speaking, article writing, branding,
and more.
Order the book from WD at a discount.

 

 

 

Add a Comment
12. not yet!

Trying out new things on vacation!






0 Comments on not yet! as of 8/29/2014 7:29:00 AM
Add a Comment
13. Find Me Online

Books & SuchI blog every Wednesday at our agency site, Books & Such. To read my posts and participate in the comments, click HERE.

I have an agent page on Facebook. You can follow me on Twitter. Check out my Pinterest boards. Or connect with me on LinkedIn.

Scroll down for the latest posts here at my blog.

 

 

The post Find Me Online appeared first on Rachelle Gardner.

0 Comments on Find Me Online as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
14. WELCOME HUMPHREY!: BK Launch!

We at CAT agency are so happy to help Launch the wonderfully friendly new series about the Hamster Humphrey and his Tiny Tales from Penguin Putnam!  See his first two books here, and a little video about how he is created by our artist PRISCILLA BURRIS         https://vimeo.com/104481200

Humphrey1 (3)

Humphrey2 (3)


1 Comments on WELCOME HUMPHREY!: BK Launch!, last added: 8/28/2014
Display Comments Add a Comment
15. What?? No blog post today??



Sorry readers, I'm on vacation.
I'll be back next week.

0 Comments on What?? No blog post today?? as of 8/28/2014 8:53:00 AM
Add a Comment
16. Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 277

How appropriate that today’s post took a while to get on the site. I had already planned on providing an update on the 2014 April PAD Challenge results. They’re coming, and I hope to have a final list in the next 10-14 days. Fingers crossed.

For today’s prompt, write a malfunction poem. Yes, I changed today’s originally planned prompt to fit today’s circumstances. Sometimes you just gotta have that kind of flexibility. However, not everyone handles malfunction the same: some roll with the punches, some throw punches, some throw fits, some quit, some try again, and so on. Plus, there’s any number of malfunctions out there: wardrobe malfunctions, mechanical malfunctions, and heck, I think many of my poems suffer a malfunction or three. Let’s get at it.

*****

2015 Poet's Market

2015 Poet’s Market

Publish Your Poetry!

Learn how to get your poetry published with the latest (and greatest) edition of Poet’s Market. The 2015 Poet’s Market is filled with articles on the craft, business, and promotion of poetry, in addition to poet interviews and original poetry by contemporary poets.

Plus, the book is filled with hundreds of listings for poetry book publishers, chapbook publishers, magazines, journals, contests, grants, conferences, and more!

Click to continue.

*****

Here’s my attempt at a Malfunction Poem:

“My Robot Brain”

“It’s not fair,” he says as he tosses
one more toy away. “None of them work.”

And I can’t help but quip, “Toys don’t work;
they play,” to which he merely tosses

an angry look my way. He tosses
another down and frowns, “Make it work.”

So I pick it up, say, “I can’t work;
I play.” My robot brain, he tosses.

*****

roberttwitterimageRobert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of the poetry collection, Solving the World’s Problems (Press 53). He edits Poet’s Market, Writer’s Market, and Guide to Self-Publishing, in addition to writing a free weekly WritersMarket.com newsletter and poetry column for Writer’s Digest magazine.

A former Poet Laureate of the Blogosphere, Robert has been a featured poet at events across the country and is married to poet Tammy Foster Brewer, who helps him keep track of their five little poets. He’s written and shared more than 600 original poems on this blog over the years.

Follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer.

*****

Find more poetic goodies here:

 

Add a Comment
17. Query Question: Sequels



At LonCon last week I had a conversation with a published author about sequels. Now, if you were to believe the internet, when unpublished, you shouldn't really write sequels and should instead work on making the first book a stand alone. According to the internet, it's pointless working on sequels because the first book might not sell well, meaning you'll be left with a backlog of books that no one wants.

But during my discussion, I heard of two book contracts where these particular authors were given deadlines to hand in the sequel to their first book...before the first book had even gone on sale.
Now I know the demand for a second book would probably happen with two stand alone books, but both authors expressed a little bit of angst at having to produce something that would have - to some degree - been finished had they just written the sequels in the first place.

So what's the truth? Is it better to finish that trilogy before pitching? Or is it better to just plan the hell out of the second book and move on? Or are these simply isolated cases? And are most debut authors asked to produce a second book regardless of the sales of the first? 


You're missing a key piece of information here: what does the contract say?  Most first time authors that I represent get deals with a contract asking for two or three books.  Not stand alones at all. SERIES.

So yes, it's good to have that second book well underway when you get a deal.

Here's what I think you've heard and misinterpreted: don't say you have a series in a query letter.

What that means is you focus on querying the book you have in hand. Don't mention it's the first of N more books, because if I don't like this one, I don't care how many more you have.

Most publishers want books (at least in the categories I rep) that can be built into series. They want this cause once they've invested in you, they want readers to come back for more, and More means More of the Same stuff we loved in Book One.

Focus on writing the very best book you can. Query that book. While you're waiting for us to get off our slacker asses  read our queries, you work on Book Two.

0 Comments on Query Question: Sequels as of 8/27/2014 7:19:00 AM
Add a Comment
18. How to Map Out Your Hero’s Adventure in Your Manuscript

How do the most successful authors of our time construct their stories? If you read them, and if you also read some ancient myths, you will begin to see parallels. You will feel smacked upside the head with parallels. You’ll realize that the top authors of today use storytelling techniques that writers used back when plans were being drawn up for the pyramids.

An excellent book about ancient myths is The Hero With a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell. The title says it all. Across cultures and generations, some variation of a hero figures into every beloved story. And the typical story is about an individual who goes on a quest or a journey. By the end, the individual becomes a hero. This is called the Hero’s Adventure.

*********************************************************************************************************************************
elizabeth-simsyouve-got-a-book-in-youThis guest post is by bestselling author and writing authority Elizabeth Sims. She’s the author of seven popular novels in two series, includingThe Rita Farmer Mysteries and TheLillian Byrd Crime series. She’s also the author of the excellent resource for writers, You’ve Got a Book in You: A Stress-Free Guide to Writing the Book of Your Dreams, published by Writer’s Digest Books. Click here to order now.
*********************************************************************************************************************************

The Hero’s Adventure is the most archetypal story of all because it’s the basis for more novels than any other kind of story. Novels of all different genres, from romances to thrillers to sci-fi, are based on the Hero’s Adventure.

So what is the Hero’s Adventure? You know it already, and you may even have elements of it in the story you’re working on. But I suspect you haven’t yet methodically and thoroughly appropriated it for yourself.

[Learn important writing lessons from these first-time novelists.]

The Hero’s Adventure Basic Recipe

Here is a basic recipe to demonstrate how the Hero’s Adventure plays out. This is a template you can apply to your own work-in-progress—you might be surprised by how closely it matches elements you already have in play.

  • A messenger comes. The messenger might be human, or a message might come from an experience—like a brush with death or a dream. At any rate, something has gone wrong; the natural order of the world has been disturbed.
  • A problem is presented. Perhaps something has been taken away from the tribe, or some misfortune or malfeasance has occurred.
  • Someone is marked out as the person to solve this problem. She is chosen according to some past deed of her parents or by her own reputation or happenstance. This person, of course, emerges as the hero at the end.
  • A challenge takes shape. The challenge may be refused, at first. “No way, I’m not going to risk my neck for that!”
  • A refusal, often. But eventually the hero decides to accept the challenge. She might even be forced to accept it by circumstances.
  • The challenge is accepted. The adventure begins.
  • The hero leaves the familiar world. And she sets off into another world. It’s dangerous. The hero could use some help, and very often …
  • Helpers materialize. A helper might have special skills the hero doesn’t have, or he might have special insights or wisdom, in which case he takes the form of a mentor.
  • Setbacks occur. The hero is tested, she makes gains, she endures setbacks, she fights for what is right, she resists evil. The going’s tough!
  • The hero regroups and gains some ground again. Maybe she needs another visit to a mentor, or maybe she makes a personal breakthrough and overcomes a great inner obstacle, perhaps her own fear.
  • The foe is vanquished or the elixir is seized. Eventually she defeats the foe or comes into possession of something that will restore the natural order—a cure, or new knowledge that will bring justice or the return of prosperity.
  • The hero returns to the familiar world. And the problem is fixed, or justice is done. The natural order is restored.

The person who accepts the challenge and prevails is elevated to a special position, somewhere above human, somewhere below god. She is the hero.

[Here's a great article on how to structure a killer novel ending.]

The Hero’s Adventure at Work

Famous stories from King Arthur and Excalibur to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz to The Little Engine That Could to Harry Potter are based on the Hero’s Adventure. Let’s look at a concrete example from a well-known source: the Sherlock Holmes story “The Adventure of the Speckled Band” by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

  • A messenger comes. Holmes and Watson are hanging out in the familiar world of 221B Baker St. when a young lady comes calling.
  • A problem is presented. The young lady tells Holmes that her sister has died under strange circumstances, and she now fears for her own life.
  • Someone is marked out as the person to solve this problem. Knowing of Holmes’ reputation, the young lady asks him for help.
  • A challenge takes shape. Holmes asks many questions, and perceives the seriousness of the situation.
  • A refusal, often. Holmes rarely refuses a challenge, though he has been known to be reluctant at times. In this case, Holmes senses great urgency, so he doesn’t waffle.
  • The challenge is accepted. The adventure begins.
  • The hero leaves the familiar world. Holmes sets off from 221B Baker St. and enters the busy, raucous streets of London, thence to a creepy old mansion in the country. It’s dangerous. The hero could use some assistance.
  • Helpers materialize. And guess what? He’s got Watson at his side! Much investigation occurs, with progress, and then …
  • Setbacks occur. Things go wrong, problems turn out to be more difficult than anticipated.
  • The hero regroups and gains some ground again. After a nail-biting, death-defying climax, Holmes prevails, discovering a deadly plot and a bizarre method of murder. The perpetrator is killed by the very method he had used to kill another.
  • The foe is vanquished or the elixir is seized. Holmes and Watson wrap up the case for the local police and return to their flat in London.
  • the Hero returns to the familiar world. And we feel secure because we know justice has been done; the killer cannot kill again. The natural order
    is restored.

Read practically any good, successful dramatic novel and you will find similar story bones. This is not by accident. Good authors have an instinct for such things. We can sharpen our instincts by studying, as you’re doing right now, and by writing, which you’ve been doing all along.

[Do you underline book titles? Underline them? Put book titles in quotes? Find out here.]

You might be thinking, Must my Hero’s Adventure begin and end in exactly the same place, like the Sherlock Holmes stories?

It can if you want, but no, it doesn’t have to. Many terrific stories end with the natural order being restored but not necessarily in the same physical or psychological location as the beginning. A Hero’s Adventure can begin in Chicago and end up in Los Angeles.

The Hero’s Adventure is a fail-safe model for storytelling. However, it is not the be-all and end-all. As you can see, it’s simply a way of planning, organizing and/or linking your scenes for maximum effect. It was good enough for the ancients, it was good enough for the most memorable authors of recent centuries, and it’s good enough for us.

Best of all, it’s flexible. You can follow it quite literally, or you can use it as a general guide. The template I’ve presented here is simple and stress free. You can use it to make your novel reach deep into your readers’ minds and hearts.

The more I think about it, the more I bet that the story you’ve been working on, however much of it you have, contains elements of the Hero’s Adventure already. Have you been yelling that to me through the time/space continuum?

Yes!

Good.

Thanks for visiting The Writer’s Dig blog. For more great writing advice, click here.

*********************************************************************************************************************************

brian-klems-2013Brian A. Klems is the online editor of Writer’s Digest and author of the popular gift book Oh Boy, You’re Having a Girl: A Dad’s Survival Guide to Raising Daughters.

Follow Brian on Twitter: @BrianKlems
Sign up for Brian’s free Writer’s Digest eNewsletter: WD Newsletter

Add a Comment
19. WriteGirl Get Inspired Fundraiser – How You Can Help Support This Great Cause

If you’re a writer and looking to support a good cause that’s focused on giving others (namely teens) the opportunity to learn and become better writers, you’ll want to check out WriteGirl’s Get Inspired Fundraiser.

Launched nearly 13 years ago, WriteGirl is a foundation that focuses on teenage girls who do not have access to creative writing or mentoring programs. The group brings the energy and skill set of professional female writers to these young writers in an attempt to give them all the help they can in achieving their goals of becoming better writers (and getting them in to college).

By donating to the Get Inspired campaign, you’ll receive writing prompts and award-winning anthologies from the teen girls at WriteGirl. Plus, you’ll be supporting a great cause.

For more information, visit WriteGirl.org. The fundraiser ends September 4, 2014.

Add a Comment
20. A List of Upcoming Online Courses From Writer’s Digest University

WDUInterested in improving your writing skills? Your blogging skills? Want to become a copywriter master to make a good living on the side (to support your creative writing)? It’s time you checked out Writer’s Digest University slate of online courses, designed to help you improve your technique and reach your writing goals.

You’ll get weekly assignments to motivate you to keep your writing on track and you’ll get specific advice from our professional writing instructors, guiding you and making sure you’re making strides in becoming a better writer.

Here’s a list of upcoming courses. Click on the course titles below to sign up for any and all that interest you.

Thanks for visiting The Writer’s Dig blog. For more great writing advice, click here.

*********************************************************************************************************************************

brian-klems-2013Brian A. Klems is the online editor of Writer’s Digest and author of the popular gift book Oh Boy, You’re Having a Girl: A Dad’s Survival Guide to Raising Daughters.

Follow Brian on Twitter: @BrianKlems
Sign up for Brian’s free Writer’s Digest eNewsletter: WD Newsletter

Add a Comment
21. Why is my Dummy still a Dummy?!

Writers and artists work so hard at conceiving, then executing wonderful stories and images for potential picture books, only to be left holding rejection letters and wondering “WHY NOT?”

I wish I had answers…it would make an agent’s job much easier!  But I do have some possible reasons to share with you today.  Number one, your manuscript (ms) and your images (dummy) need to be as ready for publication as possible.  Not just a ‘good idea.’  Those are everywhere.  Not just a few sketches, but a well thought out flow of visual story telling.  OK, now you are ready to be ‘snapped up.’

There are good market reasons that even the BEST stories might get missed or rejected by well meaning houses.  First of all keep in mind that picture books are VERY expensive to print!  When the economy is down or slow (!) it’s likely that houses might not do as many.  When the dollar is weak, as it is now, it’s more expensive to print even in China! Fewer books means more care in selection.

PREFERANCES also vary yearly and are very cyclical. “Spunky” over “quiet” etc.  What was ‘hot’ last year, might not be this year.  Your story might have been perfect for last year, but not this.  But remember it might be perfect 3 years from now again! This past year or two, more novels have been published than picture books.  They are all the rage, and without pictures, much cheaper to print. Yet picture book sales have held their own, proving that they ARE worth the expense in the long run.

Speaking of the long run, the Back List effects what they take on new.  Editors need to bring in books to ADD to the bottom line, and which promise to ADD to the strong Back List for the house.  Often they ‘borrow’ from that back list and redo books that are strong. This all means they won’t be able to publish all the new stories they might want to. I’ve noticed that this seems to be a trend these days (which is nice for illustrators!). They are constantly ‘balancing’ their lists as well as adding to the imprints list balance.  A Publisher may have 2-4 lists a year.  Each tries to add balance and income, minimize risk and loss.  The “P & L” (profit and loss) is ALL important these days! They project several years in advance! Your book might not pass that test. They want to add new writers and illustrators, but will they ‘last?’  Will they produce on-going to add value to the imprint? And of course, the bottom line: will they sell well?

Another trend I see is ‘in house’ ideas being developed, particularly for series ideas.  They go through the same scrutiny as other proposals, but that might make it harder for ‘outside’ ideas to be considered.  Often writers worry as well that their ‘ideas’ will be ‘borrowed.’  That is possible of course, but I find it rarely a problem in this honest, supportive industry. That does bring us to another LEGAL point that might mean they do NOT take on your dummy.  Many houses will not accept unsolicited  manuscripts.  One legal reason is that they might find themselves turning down an idea that is actually being developed in-house currently!  This can LOOK like a ‘stealing of ideas’, when it is pure coincidence.  If you look at new lists in stores, you will see how often this does happen even between houses!  Two ‘bird’ books, or three ‘princess’ books etc. that are too close in feel.  Trends happen and it’s like a wave at times!  So houses protect themselves by not taking on ‘outside’ ideas at all.  Therefore, your ‘perfect dummy’ won’t even be looked at by these publishers.

It’s a tight market these days, and the stakes are high. Do your best, understand it’s NOT personal, and keep trying! A good story, well done, will find a publisher at the right time.

and I had to share this ‘artist’s block’ image of my 21 month old granddaughter, Billie….. we all know the feeling! (thanks Christy!)

artist block


0 Comments on Why is my Dummy still a Dummy?! as of 8/25/2014 10:11:00 PM
Add a Comment
22. Query Question: How the hell can you know this?



What is this magic future-seer gizmo agents have and where can I get one?
or...
I have the test results and they say "yes".

I have attended a few writing conferences this year and another one is coming up rather quickly in a few weeks 'round my parts of the sea. I always shell out the extra money to have a pitch session/practice with the agents brave enough to sit all day with eager writers. I've swam through the chum, followed The Shark (tm) query letter guidelines for over a year now and practiced, practiced, practiced my pitch along the way. Feeling confident-enough, I sent my letter out to agents. The responses are all over.


I have some replies that tell me "... I'm not sure how these types of books are doing with all the success of the xxx and xxx series out now. It sounds super interesting and I hope you hit on an agent that knows this market well," or , "The concept grabbed me, and you deserve an enthusiastic agent who can champion your work..."

I am not writing anything YA, distopian, Twilight-y at all. I am writing for another, younger, age group that I have at least 3 years of weekly hands-on experience with that equates market research for my book. I have adults in my critique group that try to pry the next scene from my carpel tunnel hands before the next group meeting because they cannot wait.


I'm sorry, but most of these agents I meet in person or have queried cannot possibly have had any interaction with a group of children like this since they were children themselves. Most are fresh off the college circuit (which is completely fine), travel frequently, etc. How do they know what my age group wants if they have no/ limited experience with the end user? Are agents just following trends? I know a variety of books are selling, but many would be selling anyway because that is all that is out there. How is a writer to know which seashell is a good sell down by the seashore?


Signed,
Snarly Seahorse

Dear SnarlyOne,

You can't conflate the agents who attend writing conferences with the agents who are reading your queries/manuscripts. A lot of us aren't on the conference circuit. And guess who REALLY isn't on the conference circuit: agents with kids.

The other thing you're missing is that agents don't work in a bubble.  We hear from readers via our authors, and we see the feedback from school visits, and we watch what librarians are interested in like hawks. Librarians and teachers make the buying decisions for a lot of middle grade books (which is what I assume you're writing)

In other words, its our job to pay attention to what sells, and we do.



Also you don't have test results.  You have friends and people you know telling you they like the book.  A book they didn't have to pay to read I might add.  There's a world of difference between "did you like my book" and "hey, will you pay me $15 to read this?"

I've recommended the Society of Children's Books Writers and Illustrators before.  You should join and hear from the people who are in the field you're writing in.

0 Comments on Query Question: How the hell can you know this? as of 8/26/2014 8:45:00 AM
Add a Comment
23. How I Got My Literary Agent: Stephanie Wahlstrom

“How I Got My Agent” is a recurring feature on the Guide to Literary Agents Blog, with this installment featuring Stephanie Wahlstrom, author of THE ACCIDENTAL SOCIALITE. These columns are great ways for you to learn how to find a literary agent. Some tales are of long roads and many setbacks, while others are of good luck and quick signings. If you have a literary agent and would be interested in writing a short guest column for this GLA blog, e-mail me at literaryagent@fwmedia.com and we’ll talk specifics.

(What query letter mistakes will sink your submission chances?)

 

 stephanie-wahlstrom-author-writer       accidental-socialite-cover-wahlstrom

Stephanie Wahlstrom grew up in Edmonton, Canada. A significant amount of her
time was spent making up and acting out stories. She graduated from the University
of Alberta with an English and Sociology degree and I also have a Bachelor of
Motion Picture Arts (that’s a fancy term for Film School) from Red Deer College.
Later, she went back home to write “My Green House,” a factual TV series.
Her debut novel is THE ACCIDENTAL SOCIALITE (Swoon Romance),
humorous women’s fiction. Find her on Twitter.

 

I MADE A RESOLUTION

On January 1st 2013 I made a resolution: I was going to get published by the end of the year. At this point I hadn’t even properly edited The Accidental Socialite, never mind looked into agents or what the publishing process entailed. I polished my ms and started sending it out in February, which was probably too soon as I ended up doing more severe edits after the first round of feedback. I had a few requests, but it was always “I like it, you have a great voice, but I’m not passionate enough to offer representation.” Every. Single. Time.  Then I heard of the PitchMadness contest by Brenda Drake. The request window for agents opened on my birthday and I took it as a sign.

And then I was rejected a further 25 times. It was the end of June when I started to think about self-publishing.  I absolutely could not fail at this goal, and although it wasn’t the way I wanted to go, self-publishing was looking like the only option. I had myself a little cry for my publishing dream that never was, put my big girl pants on and started researching cover designers.

Deep down, I knew I didn’t really want to self publish, so I threw out a Hail Mary at the beginning of July and tried one last contest: PitchMas.

PITCH-MAS

This time the requests weren’t from agents, but from publishers.

I sent the ms out on Thursday night, and by 5am on Friday I had an e-mail with an intent to offer from a publisher. I was supposed to meet my boyfriend in France for a weekend away in six hours, so I quickly let everyone who had the ms know what the deal was. I felt terrible because it didn’t give the publishers who had received the ms the night before any time, but I didn’t know what else to do. The plane landed in Cannes and I totally ignored the “Don’t turn on your phone until you are safely inside the terminal building” (or whatever the equivalent in French was) and turned on my phone to find an offer from publisher two. I’d already told the woman next to me my life story, so I updated her on this development and she very kindly pretended to care and promised to buy the book.

By the end of the day I had two very different offers for multi-book deals from publishers and did not know what to do with myself … so on Monday I went to the Manolo Blahnik sale to celebrate my almost book deal and bought a pair of nude patent Mary Janes for 80% off. I was winning at life that week.

In late 2012 I’d taken a course with Curtis Brown Creative on writing for children taught by agent Stephanie Thwaites and writer Tony Bradman.  I e-mailed Stephanie asking for a cheeky bit of advice because I really felt I needed the help of an agent to choose/negotiate the best deal possible.

(How successful writers are using the Internet and social-media to sell more books.)

SEEKING THE HELP OF AN AGENT

To my surprise, Stephanie actually asked to read The Accidental Socialite, so I sent it to her and in a few days she started talking about what “we” could do. I got stupid excited and awkwardly asked if she was my agent, because it would be really cool if she was, or not, you know, playing it cool over here and not like the girl in the corner at prom who finally got asked to dance, and by the most popular boy at school no less. FYI Stephanie isn’t a boy and there wasn’t dancing involved – or at least not on her part – I spent most of the whole month of July and August doing happy dances. Anyway. She said yes and fund me a co-agent in New York at ICM Partners (was Lyndsay Hemphill, now Tina Wexler).

I was all like, EMERGAHD! I have the same agent as Winnie The Pooh! Not only had my dream come true, I’d hit the jackpot when it came to agents with Stephanie and Tina. I sat down with Stephanie and she talked about my career… implying I was going to have one.  This was real!!!

Stephanie worked her magic and in the end I actually had three offers from publishers. Then it was decision time. The first publisher who had shown interest was super passionate about The Accidental Socialite and seemed to really get it which I think is the most important thing you can find when you work creatively with anyone. I felt really comfortable with Georgia McBride and Stephanie agreed, which is how The Accidental Socialite ended up with Swoon Romance in North America. Happy dance!

 

The 90 Days to Your Novel 2-Pack is an inspiring
kit that will be your push, your deadline, and your
spark to finally, in three short months, nail that
first draft of your novel. The two items are
bundled together in our shop for a discount.

 

Other writing/publishing articles & links for you:

 

Want to build your visibility and sell more books?
Create Your Writer Platform shows you how to
promote yourself and your books through social
media, public speaking, article writing, branding,
and more.
Order the book from WD at a discount.

 

 

Add a Comment
24. The Board of Education

The fight has been raging for three days. The teachers on their end, toting rulers, eraser canons and textbook grenades, and the students on the other, with only school-approved items found in their bookbags. Both sides have suffered casualties and people are wondering, what happened three days ago at Winston Waters High that started this mess? Start your story three days ago.

writing-promptsWant more creative writing prompts?

Pick up a copy of A Year of Writing Prompts: 365 Story Ideas for Honing Your Craft and Eliminating Writer’s Block. There’s a prompt for every day of the year and you can start on any day.

Order now from our shop.

 

 

 

 

 

Add a Comment
25. ‘New box of crayons’ time…..

Oct Bk to Sch blast


0 Comments on ‘New box of crayons’ time….. as of 8/26/2014 3:01:00 PM
Add a Comment

View Next 25 Posts