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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: agents, Most Recent at Top [Help]
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1. Passing a Submission to Another Agent

The other day I read a submission that I thought was really strong and had great potential. However, given my already busy client list I didn't think I was going to be the best agent for the project. This book needed someone who could be truly passionate about it, who had a love for the genre and who had the time and desire to really work with the author on the project. Instead of just passing however, I passed it on to another agent at BookEnds. Someone who fit every one of the criteria I thought the book needed.

When I do something like this I often wonder what the author will think. Does the author later think less of the offer she receives because it isn't the agent she submitted to, although it is the agency? or Does the author think this is a great opportunity because her project definitely landed in the right hands?

As we see when we receive responses to rejections, every author is different. Some will be offended that the agent they first submitted to didn't want it in the first place and others will be elated that the agency as a whole felt so strongly about the book.

Like everyone else, an agent only has a finite number of hours in the day and can only represent so many clients and give them the attention she feels they deserve. When reviewing submissions, we at BookEnds are reviewing for ourselves first and the agency second. We all work very closely together and that doesn't just mean bouncing ideas off each other, it means working hard to get as many great books published as we can, and helping each other build a strong career as an agent.

When we pass a project on to another agent within BookEnds it doesn't mean we didn't think it was great and are tossing our trash onto someone else's pile. In fact, it's the complete opposite, we think the book has some real potential and were excited about its possibilities, but feel it needs to be with the right agent, not any agent.

I'm going to pre-empt some questions here and say that we don't always pass everything on so if you feel there are two agents at BookEnds who might be right for your book feel free to query them both. Never at the same time, but if the first passes there's no reason you can't try the second. Just don't tell anyone else I said that. ;)

--jhf




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2. What Makes a Good Agent?

This series of blog posts details the business expertise and activities you should expect in an agent.

http://nelsonagency.com/category/what-makes-a-good-agent-article-series/

0 Comments on What Makes a Good Agent? as of 7/8/2015 5:32:00 PM
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3. Agent Contracts

Things that should be covered in your agency contract.

http://thewritelife.com/sign-with-a-literary-agent-contract/

0 Comments on Agent Contracts as of 6/29/2015 6:22:00 PM
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4. Top YA Agents

These agents have sold the most young adult books in 2015.

http://www.darcypattison.com/marketing/top-20-ya-agents-2015/

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5. Meeting Agents

What to do if you meet an agent at a conference.

http://jetreidliterary.blogspot.com/2015/05/interacting-with-agents-in-wild.html

0 Comments on Meeting Agents as of 6/19/2015 6:53:00 PM
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6. Agent Negotiations

There are many tactics an agent should be using when negotiating a contract.

http://nelsonagency.com/2015/05/article-4-negotiation-tactics-of-good-agents/

0 Comments on Agent Negotiations as of 6/13/2015 6:33:00 PM
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7. New Literary Agents

There are both pros and cons to working with an agent new to the business.

http://writersinthestorm.wordpress.com/2013/09/11/should-you-pitch-and-sign-with-a-new-literary-agent-the-pros-and-cons/

0 Comments on New Literary Agents as of 2/12/2015 4:49:00 PM
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8. New MB Artists Catalog

Check out my agency's newest catalog, themed "Hobby"!  So many fun illustrations by some great artists!

http://files.flipsnack.com/iframe/embed.html?hash=ftiyvif9r&wmode=window&bgcolor=EEEEEE&t=14226326691422632716

0 Comments on New MB Artists Catalog as of 2/27/2015 8:32:00 PM
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9. Dream Agents

Don't get your heart set on a single "dream" agent.

http://scribblebabble.blogspot.com/2014/12/writing-wednesdays-on-dream-agents.html

0 Comments on Dream Agents as of 2/28/2015 5:03:00 PM
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10. Editor Submission List

Agents work carefully to create a list of where they will send your book.

http://literaticat.blogspot.com/2011/02/crafting-editor-submission-list.html

0 Comments on Editor Submission List as of 3/2/2015 5:42:00 PM
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11. Travel to Idaho this Spring

There is always so much going on in the children's literature world in Utah, which is wonderful and fun. But you might look beyond your borders to see what's going on elsewhere. For example, Idaho. We're just up the road a ways. And we seem to become a fantastic venue for kid lit authors to visit. Just in the last few weeks, we've hosted Markus Zusak, Jennifer Neilsen, and next week will be Sherman Alexie plus Andrew Smith.

I'm most excited, of course, about our Boise SCBWI conference in April, which we co-sponsor with the Boise State University Dept. of Literary, Language, and Culture and the Idaho Chapter of the International Literacy Association (formerly the International Reading Association).

This year we have several amazing speakers, including Matt de la Pena, Suzanne Morgan Williams, Utah's own Kristyn Crow, agent Sean McCarthy, and a fantastic panel of local authors.

Our theme is diversity in children's literature, which is a super hot topic right now, and worthy of our attention and examination. This conference is for all  who are interested in kit lit, whether teachers, librarians, students, parents, and, yes, authors and illustrators.

You can find more information here: http://bit.ly/1ErbbGu

And to register, scroll down that page and click on the link, or here: http://idcclw.com/

Boise in the spring is a magical place, and taking the time to get away from home and focus on your craft is worth every moment.


By Neysa CM Jensen
SCBWI regional advisor for Utah/southern Idaho


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12. Which publishing job best suits you? from Literary Assistant Jackie Lindert

Hey guys! I’m SO excited to share this fun (and super helpful/insightful) quiz from Jackie Lindert, a  literary assistant at New Leaf Literary and Media.

Jackie earned her degree in English in her home state of Wisconsin. After college, she trekked to Colorado to attend the Denver Publishing Institute, eventually landing an internship in NYC with New Leaf Literary & Media. Following the internship, she found a job with the publishing house formerly known as Penguin Group as a Subsidiary Rights assistant. One year later she finds herself back at New Leaf as an assistant handling client care, mailings, and best of all, reading manuscripts.

Follow her on twitter or  pinterest!

Jackie LindertHello fellow book people!

Have you always wanted to work in publishing? Do you already work in publishing, but aren’t sure if you’re in the right place? I’ve answered yes to both of these questions before, and now I want to share how my experiences have brought me to where I am today. If this can help others find their place within this wonderful industry, I’m thrilled to be able to help.

Do you think you’re best suited to work at a large publishing house or a boutique literary agency? If you’re trying to decide between the two, I hope you’ll find an answer by the end of this quiz. Now, in case you’re wondering, Jackie, what makes you such an expert? Let me put your skepticism to rest. I have, in fact, been employed by both.

For one year, I worked in subrights at Penguin Random House, and I currently work at New Leaf Literary & Media Inc. I’m proud to have both jobs on my resume, and I’m hoping that based on my experiences, I can help others find where they fit, too. So take my quiz and see whether you’re suited for a big publisher or a boutique agency! But please note, these answers are based on my personal experiences and in no way reflect any company’s opinions.


Publishing Quiz: Where Should You Work?

1. I like my role at work to be

A. Structured – I like a job with pre-determined guidelines and tasks in my specific department. Everyone has a role to play, and my position is well-defined.

B. Mixed – I like the opportunity to try new and different things that may not have been in the job description and help out in areas other than my own.

2. I like my work environment to feel

A. Corporate, with plenty of coworkers all working for one company.

B. Informal, with fewer employees and a smaller feel.

3. I’d like the content I work on to

A. Stick to the same genres. Having a type of book I’m known for and building a list that has a certain reputation. I like being people’s go-to for “X,Y and Z.”

B. Be varied. I don’t won’t to get burnt out on the types of books I work on, so I like to mix it up with genres and age groups.

4. I tend to prefer working on

A. Projects that are pretty well polished, if not finished, by the time they get to me.

B. Projects that might need my help but have excellent potential.

 5. I like working for a company that

A. Has a recognized brand. People can point out the books my company has worked on quite easily.

B. Does a lot behind-the-scenes work. I don’t mind that my company isn’t widely recognized by general readers.

6. When it comes to authors, I like

A. Working with someone in the middle to mediate for us. They can work more closely with the content creator so I can focus on the product/book itself.

B. Working directly with them to make sure they are productive and happy.

7. When it comes to hierarchy, I prefer

A. Having a corporate ladder. I like the pecking order that exists and always knowing who I directly report to/who directly reports to me.

B. More freedom/fluidity. I like having to answer to myself more than anyone else. I prefer team efforts as opposed to a chain of command.

If you chose mostly A’s:

You’re best suited to work at a publishing house! You prefer structure, set guidelines, and familiar tasks. You dream of working for a particular imprint so you can build a list that complements that publisher’s brand. You like being but one part in a well-oiled machine. It’s so fun to see your company’s logo on the spines at bookstores and it makes you proud to be a part of such awesomeness. You give books and authors a home.

If you chose mostly B’s:

You’re best suited to work at a boutique agency! You like variety at work. You don’t thrive under rules or guidelines and like to have a hand in editorial, publicity, ideation, etc., rather than focusing on just one role. You dream of working directly with authors and being their guide to find the right editor/publishing house. You find books and authors a home.

Again, please note that some answers could potentially fit either a publisher or an agency, depending, but I’m generalizing based on my personal experience. Getting to work for both has been amazing. I wish everyone luck on their publishing path, and I hope you’ve found some of the tips in this quiz helpful. Cheers to all!

 

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13. Top 20 YA Agents: 142 Sales in the Last 12 Months


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What agents are selling young adult (YA) novels? Publishersmarketplace.com does a great job of monitoring the business of selling manuscripts to publishers. If you’re looking for an agent, you’ll want to spend a lot of time there doing research on agents to find the perfect match for you and your stories. Here’s just one way to look at the agents for young adult novels. This list includes information on the agent, links to his/her agency and the number of young adult deals made in the last twelve months. Please note that the agent/agency may have made many other deals in addition to these; these are limited to those self-reported by the agent/agency in the category of middle grade. For more information, go to Publishersmarketplace.com (you must pay to join to see full information).

This is the last of three articles on current agents for children’s books. See also Picture Book Agents and Middle Grade agents lists.

Top-agents-2015-YA


I did a similar report on YA agents in 2013. At that time, I only listed the top 10 YA agents, who represented 72 deals. This time, the top 10 agents report 85 sales. This could be due to a couple reasons: first, Publisher’s Marketplace relies on agents to self-report. This means that the agents are, for the first time, in a sort of competition for rankings. Reporting more sales means they are ranked higher, which gives prestige and possibly brings in more prospective clients. Second, it could mean that sales are up for picture books. We hope the latter is the case, but suspect the first reason has much to do with the increased number of sales.

  1. Sara Crowe (Harvey Klinger), 12 deals. Website
  2. Jim McCarthy (Dystel & Goderich Literary Management), 11 deals. Website
  3. Sarah Davies (Greenhouse Literary Agency), 10 deals. Website
  4. Mollie Glick (Foundry Literary + Media), 10 deals. Website
  5. John Cusick (Greenhouse Literary Agency), 9 deals. Website
  6. Rosemary Stimola (Stimola Literary Studio), 7 deals. Website
  7. Tina Wexler (ICM), 7 deals. Website
  8. Josh Adams (Adams Literary), 7 deals. Website
  9. Victoria Marini (Gelfman Schneider/ICM), 7 deals. Website
  10. Adriann Ranta (Wolf Literary Services), 7 deals. Website
  11. Kerry Sparks (Levine Greenberg Rostan), 7 deals. Website
  12. Jennifer Laughran (Andrea Brown Literary Agency), 6 deals. Website
  13. Kate McKean (Howard Morhaim Literary Agency), 6 deals. Website
  14. Molly Ker Hawn (The Bent Agency), 6 deals. Website
  15. Kevan Lyon (Marsal Lyon Literary Agency), 5 deals. Website
  16. Holly Root (Waxman Leavell Literary Agency), 5 deals. Website
  17. Jill Corcoran (Jill Corcoran Literary Agency), 5 deals. Website
  18. Nicole Resciniti (The Seymour Agency), 5 deals. Website
  19. Kathleen Rushall (Marsal Lyon Literary Agency), 5 deals. Website
  20. Allison Hellegers (Rights People | United Kingdom), 5 deals. Website

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14. How Many Queries

How many queries does it take to land an agent?

http://writersrumpus.com/2015/04/24/how-many-queries-does-it-take-to-get-an-agent/

0 Comments on How Many Queries as of 5/20/2015 2:49:00 PM
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15. don’t go minding my heart

Photo by Vicky Lorencen

Photo by Vicky Lorencen

You’ve had them. Those dreams of days that exist solely in your mind’s eye. You imagine how you’ll feel, what you’ll say or do as soon as the thing you’ve longed for a long time flips from fantasy to reality.

Then, that magical day arrives, and in a blink, you realize your mind’s eye was playing tricks on you.

It was like that for me earlier this month when my dream agent Erin Murphy offered to represent me. I was near tears, but then a surreal calm covered me. Not at all what I expected.  I always assumed I’d hang up the phone and do a squeal/jump/cry combo. (Just picture it!) But I didn’t. I sat alone in my office in stunned silence.  I’ve heard from friends who’ve had a similar experience.

Why? Well, I’ve pondered on that.

My best guess is that when your brain has been standing guard over your dream-holding heart for many years, it takes a bit before it can stand down and let your heart be happy. Your mind cares so much about your safety, it goes deaf to the cries of your heart that’s saying, “This is great news! Let’s celebrate!”

Photo by Vicky Lorencen

Photo by Vicky Lorencen

Thankfully, it only took about 24 hours before my mind unlocked my heart and I was free to be both grateful and giddy (yes, I even skipped down the hall with happiness).

Now, I know there’s still lots of work ahead, no guarantees and more opportunities for rejection, trail and error, and failure. My mind will still be busy watching over my heart, but for now, I’m delighted to enjoy this milestone.

Let me encourage you to celebrate your milestones too–sending out a submission you’ve spent many months (maybe years) preparing, making the shift from beer to champagne rejections (that is a big deal!), selling an article to a magazine you admire, getting that beloved book contract or whatever achievement makes your heart smile and your dear, overworked mind nod in agreement.

Remember to celebrate milestones as you prepare for the road ahead. ~ Nelson Mandela

 

 


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16. The Reason I Love This Business

I decided to pursue publishing after a trying my hand at a couple different career paths after college.  Like most 21-year-olds, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do with my life, and I was learning the hard way that the best jobs don’t come easy. At the end of every day I would drive home from whatever job (teacher’s aide, exec asst for generic company, waitressing, movie theater, B&N) to my apartment (basement of some elderly woman’s home) and turned on the radio (I didn’t have cable or internet). I would cook some mac n’ cheese (store brand) and jump on my computer to retweak my resume and personalize cover letters to mail the next day (printed on fancy resume paper—the most expensive thing I likely owned at the time aside from my cell phone).  Then when the pot and plate were cleaned (no dishwasher), I would pull one of the dozens of books I owned from my shelves, plop down on my futon, and read.  My boyfriend (now husband) was in law school (so he was always deep in the bowels of the law library), and though I had friends, I was tight on funds (Taco Bell and hanging in the park, anyone?).  So a lot of the time it was just me and books. And I knew I would find my path soon enough. I was happy.

Fast forward to Dec 16, 2011. I’ve now found my path (already 5 years into publishing) and I’m at a publishing party.  Like all publishing parties, I know some people and I don’t know many others, but I’m always comforted by the fact that we all have one thing in common: a love of books and reading.  So talking to a new person at these kinds of things is easy enough for me—usually I start with something I’ve read recently that I enjoyed.  That’s exactly what I did when I met Adam Silvera that night.

We hit it off, but at the time I didn’t realize that I had just met one of the most kind, supportive, passionate and die hard book people in the business. He just seemed like a nice guy that worked at a bookstore and since I used to work in a bookstore, I was all “we should hang out sometime.”

Adam Silvera is one of those brilliant people that is infectiously enthusiastic about books, particularly children’s and young adult.  He reads everything he can get his hands on, and then he turns and shares those stories with others.  I can’t tell you how many books this guy has put into into the hands of kids, parents and teachers with a recommendation that makes you want to read it right away. The dude is a book pusher, a literacy advocate and he has a keen eye for the really good stories.  He knows what kids and teens will like.  And he has helped to launch the career of many authors I know. (Does anyone remember Leigh Bardugo’s debut pre-order campaign for Shadow and Bone? Well guess who orchestrated it back before she was a bestseller….)

And all while he’s been doing a kickass job getting books into readers’ hands, Adam was working away quietly on his own story.  I am honored to have read this one very early on (and again recently), and it is truly brilliant.  The book is MORE HAPPY THAN NOT and it publishes today.  I won’t put a review up here, because I no longer review online (and I’m pretty sure we don’t post them on pubcrawl anyway). But I do give this book a very, very enthusiastic recommendation. Aaron (the protagonist) lives in the Bronx (where Adam actually grew up). His story is both beautiful and heartbreaking, and his voice is authentic and raw. This is one of my top reads this year.  Hell, it’s one of my top reads, period.

Here’s the official description:

Part Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, part Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, Adam Silvera’s extraordinary debut confronts race, class, and sexuality during one charged near-future summer in the Bronx.

The Leteo Institute’s revolutionary memory-relief procedure seems too good to be true to Aaron Soto — miracle cure-alls don’t tend to pop up in the Bronx projects. But Aaron can’t forget how he’s grown up poor or how his friends aren’t always there for him. Like after his father committed suicide in their one bedroom apartment. Aaron has the support of his patient girlfriend, if not necessarily his distant brother and overworked mother, but it’s not enough.

Then Thomas shows up. He has a sweet movie-watching setup on his roof, and he doesn’t mind Aaron’s obsession with a popular fantasy series. There are nicknames, inside jokes. Most importantly, Thomas doesn’t mind talking about Aaron’s past. But Aaron’s newfound happiness isn’t welcome on his block. Since he’s can’t stay away from Thomas or suddenly stop being gay, Aaron must turn to Leteo to straighten himself out, even if it means forgetting who he is.

You’re probably wondering what “The Reason I Love This Business” is.  And that’s easy.  It’s the people in it.  The ones like Adam who do it for the love of it, and who share that love with others.  That is the reason I am so very happy that I finally found my path in books.

Now go check out his book already! You won’t regret it.

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17. MB Artists Catalog

Check out the great artwork in my agent's new promotional catalog, themed "Perspective"!

http://files.flipsnack.com/iframe/embed.html?hash=fdp5ypmpg&wmode=window&bgcolor=EEEEEE&t=14295355671433771289

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18. Top Middle-Grade Agents

Which agents made the most deals for middle-grade books?

http://www.darcypattison.com/marketing/top-20-middle-grade-agents-2015/

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19. PR Firm Orchard Strategies Launches Literary Agency

1416714468011Orchard Strategies, a PR firm that reprints clients including Whole Foods, Nest Seekers International and Guggenheim, has launched a literary agency called Orchard Literary.

Lucas Hunt is serving as Director of the new agency. He comes to Orchard from the Philip G. Spitzer Literary Agency where he served as a rights manager and agent at for more than seven years, working with clients including: Michael Connelly, James Lee Burke and Andre Dubus III. Christina E. Daigneault, founder of Orchard Strategies, will also work as an agent for the agency.

Clients for the new literary agency include: Betsy Helmuth, author of Big Design, Small Budget and Dr. Doni Wilson, author of The Stress Remedy. Here is more about how to be represented by the agency:

For fiction, please send a query letter that includes an introduction to the work, a brief synopsis, and author biography. A writing sample from the work may be included in the body of the email. For non-fiction, kindly provide a proposal including all of the above, along with any supplementary information about the project, including the author’s credentials for writing the book. We will respond if interested in the work.

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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20. On Submission

What actually happens when your agent says your manuscript is on submission?

http://katiemccoach.com/taking-feedback-what-to-do-with-your-edit-letter/

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21. the one right way to find an agent

Photo by Vicky Lorencen

Photo by Vicky Lorencen

To date, there are 487 wrong ways to hunt for an agent. There is but one right way. And that, my friends, is the way that

is best for you. If you’re still finding your way to your way, and you don’t mind me meddling a bit, I’d like to pass along a few fibrous tips to help your process go more smoothly. Do not mistake me for an expert. I myself am a hunter, but I have learned a thing or three so far and I’m happy to share. M’kay, here we go . . .

Track yourself. Do identify a way to log your queries. Otherwise, you’ll be asking yourself who you asked. Such silliness that would be.

Me? Well, I have a simple three list system–but you do what works for you.

List 1: I keep a list of agents who are currently considering my query. You may want to compile more detail, but I just include the agent and agency, when I queried and when I can anticipate a response (many agents will indicate this in their submission policies). I don’t just say six weeks; I actually indicate an expiration date. No word by then? NEXT!

List 2: This is comprised of agents who are ready to move up to the first list as soon as I receive a no from an agent (or the query expires). I add to this second list of names as I discover a new possibility via FB or a friend (but only after I have run the agent through the good-fit test). Don’t just make a list of names. Do your homework first.

List 3: Sure, as you’d expect, I have a list of agents who have declined. With this, I indicate if the agent actually declined or was simply a “no response.”

Go public. Hunting for an agent and expecting not to be rejected is like walking onto a used car lot and expecting not to be hounded. Because of this, it’s scary to tell people you’re looking. I know. Trust me, I know. But here’s what I’ve learned–the more people I tell about my search, the more friends I have hunting for me. It’s rare for a week to pass without getting a tip–“Just heard Agent X is looking,” “Saw this on Twitter and thought of you,” “Have you queried Agent XYZ yet? He’d be a great fit for you.” So, don’t keep your hunt hush-hush. You don’t have to blab to the world. Simply sharing your agent pursuit with a circle of trusted comrades will more than double your search party. G’head. Do it. (And be sure to reciprocate!)

Photo by Vicky Lorencen

Photo by Vicky Lorencen

Keep moving. Can’t lie. So far, there have been a couple of rejections that have bruised a bit. But truly, and maybe I’ve developed a kind of literary immunity, but I don’t fuss much over a decline any more. It’s just part of the process. If it does hurt, I give myself a day to feel schlumpy and then I jump back on the hunt. Having that second list of pre-approved agents is the trick. To insure I have about five queries out at all times, I prepare a new query as soon as a rejection arrives. It keeps my momentum humming and prevents me from poor-me-stinating. (Poor-me-stinating is similar to procrastinating, but more pathetic looking–think Sarah McLachlan rescue animal commercial pathetic–I know. So bad.)

Now, what about you? You got any ideas you’d like to share? Please do. And happy hunting!

Beware of adviceeven this. ~ Carl Sandburg


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22. Try, Try Again

So this week I sent out six new agent queries. I'll do more next week; it takes a lot of time to explore agents and pick those who you think will connect with your writing. I feel good about it, even though statistically speaking I likely won't end up with any of them as my agent. I am pretty sure I'm not the only one who gets frustrated by this merry-go-round of submissions and rejections. Why do we keep doing it?

I'll tell you why I keep doing it. I am not interested in self publishing. I have nothing against it, per se. It gains more and more credibility every year as a viable path. But I want to write. I don't want to negotiate contracts, pay for my books to be printed, market all by myself. I just want to write my books. So I keep doing it. (I will say that most of the self-pubbed books I've read have not been of the same caliber as traditionally pubbed books. This isn't to say it's not possible, but traditional publishers have teams of people who work on your book. It's bound to improve the quality of the thing. I should also add that I edit for self-publishing authors, and I think those who hire an editor end up with a much better book.)

I have several friends who were almost at the end of their proverbial ropes when they finally signed with an agent and sold one or more books to traditional publishers. Their stories lift my spirits when I want to give up.

Here are a few of things I've learned over my many long years of writing, submitting, being rejected, and trying again.

1. If the same work keeps getting rejected, maybe it's time to set it aside and work on something new. I know for a fact that each book I write is better than the last. And every time, I think this one is it, until it's not. Each one teaches me something I didn't understand before. So don't put all your eggs in that one basket.

2. I am confident that I am a good writer. Maybe even a great writer. I know this because I go to a lot of workshops, conferences, retreats, and critique groups with professionals, and they tell me this. Also because I've been practicing for a very long time. Also because I read by the ton, and I know what's out there. Also, because I have no ego left, so I can assess my own writing in a fairly unbiased way.

3. It's a good thing that some of the agents and editors I've submitted to have rejected me. As mentioned, I been in this rodeo quite a long time, and I've seen the big stall that can happen to a writer with an agent who isn't right for them. Inevitably, that partnership ends, and one has to start all over. As I have gotten to know some of the agents I once thought would be perfect for me, I cry happy tears that they didn't sign me.

4. Agents are just people. Very fallible people. Very nice people. Professional people. But there is nothing to be afraid of. I have given up the role of sweet little author who needs the help of an agent (if that ever was me), and I have started being completely myself when I query and submit. I tell people straight out what I want, what I'm willing to do, and what my vision for a particular book is. I am too old to tiptoe around, hoping my good behavior will get me in the door. You know that saying about well behaved women rarely making history? That.

5. Even when nothing happens, something is happening. I spent the last year hoping to nail down a particular agent. She asked for fulls of two manuscripts, read them, sent back copious editorial notes. I spent two months revising one manuscript per her notes, resubmitted at her request, and waited. For six months. Nothing. All my writing friends said to move on, which I am doing. But that was a good experience, because it gave me more confidence, revision notes to work with, and some good revisions came out of it.

6. Never, ever sit around and wait for that reply. Be working on new things and revising old things and researching and everything else. It gives me so much energy to be working on the next, new, shiny manuscript that I can forget there is ever one making the rounds out there. It keeps me from obsessing or worrying. It keeps me moving forward and writing better books.

I wish us all the best luck this year in achieving our writing and publishing dreams.




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23. Guest Post: Getting Into Publishing (You Gotta Do It For The Love)

Industry Life

by

Danielle Barthel

Hey guys! I’m so excited to share this guest post with your from Danielle Barthel, a literary assistant from New Leaf Literary. She offers her own personal experience and insight for breaking into the publishing industry–which I’m sure many of you know isn’t the easiest thing to do.

Hello Pub-crawlers!

I’m so happy to be doing a guest post here this week!

I recently read a comment on Alex Bracken’s “You Tell Us: What Do You Want To See” post asking us to talk about hard lessons we’ve learned. For me—and I don’t think I’m alone—one of these lessons was the importance of following my passions. This was most relevant to me when I was trying to find a job in publishing.

RobinHoodDisneyThe truth is, this is not an easy industry to crack, and there were times that I felt like it was never going to happen. What kept me going was the simple fact that I’ve wanted to work with words forever. I remember the first time I finished a full length book all by myself—one of those big hardcover Disney books that were based off the movies. Remember those? I was so proud of myself.

flashlightBooks were just my thing. Growing up, I was the kid who got in trouble for reading at night by the light of my yellow American Girl flashlight-lantern (it looks a little like the one here, but I couldn’t find the exact picture).

When I reached the age that I no longer got into trouble for staying up late reading, and I still wanted to do it even though it was no longer “forbidden fruit” (and this was about as rebellious as my conscience let me get), I knew that my obsession with books wasn’t going away.

BrockportI actively realized that this was more than a passing rebellious phase, but instead a passion for something greater, when I left for college. I went to undergrad at The College at Brockport, State University of New York. It was five hours from home and the biggest leap I had ever taken outside my comfort zone. My fears about homesickness, not making friends, and being unhappy battled with my desire to learn about all things book related. Now loving books was more than just a passion—it was moving me towards a career.

I majored in English and took entire classes dedicated to Shakespeare, American lit, British lit, and young adult lit—I couldn’t believe it was a requirement to read Harry Potter in a real college class!

yorkAnd it turned out that Brockport had one of the best study abroad programs around. I could wax nostalgic about my love of England, and specifically the town of York, for hours, but I’ll spare you. Instead I’ll just say I hope everyone has the opportunity to do something that scares them (like finding your own way in a foreign country without Google Maps) at least once in your life. Because it’ll bring even clearer into focus both who you are, and what you want out of life. Or at least it did for me.

Coming home, I knew with certainty—books, words, and the people who worked on them were inspiring and I wanted to be a part of it. So I went to the University of Denver’s Publishing Institute, where I spent an entire month learning more about publishing. It was eye-opening and informative, and when I returned to New York, I set up a ton of informational interviews with wonderful, willing agents and editors to learn even more, before someone I will be forever grateful to suggested that I look into internships.

Even though it might sound like things happened quickly, they didn’t. I spent a few months doing interviews, both informational and for actual jobs/internships. I had this intense Excel grid of people I had emailed for interviews, what they were for, when I met with them, if they responded…

When I got my first real job rejection (for something I had been feeling so good about), I was pretty devastated. Wasn’t I doing everything right? English degree, Denver Publishing Institute grad, interviewing up a storm. Why was I still jobless?

Something I didn’t understand until after I’d been applying for jobs left and right is not to discount things completely out of my control, like being in the right place at the right time. I applied for an internship at Writers House, one of the biggest agencies in New York, after a recommendation from an informational interview. The Writers House intern coordinator initially called me because I was a Denver grad. I got the internship because of a mix of networking and timing and because I fit what they were looking for. All those factors together jump-started my career.

I’ve now worked in the industry I love, at a company I love, for three years as of this January. And after everything that’s led me to this place, it always goes back to my love of books.

So my lesson is this: follow your passions. Do what you love just because you love it. Don’t let those terrifying “what ifs” control your life. Thrive on challenge. And be open to the fact that you don’t have all the answers. That’s okay too.

Following her completion of the Denver Publishing Institute after graduation, Danielle began interning at Writers House. While there, she realized she wanted to put her English degree and love of the written word to work at a literary agency. She became a full-time assistant and continues to help keep the New Leaf offices running smoothly.

In her downtime, she can be found with a cup of tea, a bar of chocolate, or really good book…sometimes all together. Follow Danielle on Twitter!

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24. On Submission

What actually happens when your agent says your book is "on submission."

http://literaticat.blogspot.com/2014/11/an-epic-post-about-submission-process.html

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25. 10 Editorial Steps From the Agent “Call” to Published Book

I am ever so excited to hand the reins over to the fabulous Martina Boone, author of Compulsion, book 1 in the Heirs of Watson Island trilogy. There’s a few reasons for this. First, if you don’t know Martina, well, she’s brilliant. Not only is she an uber talented author with a head full of writerly advice which she dispenses at her blog, she is also a very compassionate and supportive friend who is always thinking about how to help other succeed. I love that.

Second, having her here gives me a chance to gush about her YA debut, Compulsion. You might remember how Becca recently blogged about her favorite reads of 2014. Well, GUESS what book tops my own 2014 list?  You bet your bananas it’s Martina’s Compulsion. There is SO MUCH I want to say about this book, but I really should zip it for now so Martina can give us a rare window into what happens between signing with an agent and holding the beloved book in your hands.

martina booneThe Ten Editorial Steps From the Agent “Call” to Published Book

Like most writers, I’ve dreamed of “being a writer” most of my life, but it wasn’t until 2010 that I decided to throw everything I had at learning to write and getting an agent and getting published. At that point, I read all the books and blog posts that might help me get “there,” and I found so much material that a friend and I started AdventuresInYAPublishing.com to collate all that information and share it with other writers.

Once I signed with an agent, though, I felt like I’d suddenly plunged into an information void. Even with COMPULSION out in the world and PERSUASION well on its way, I still constantly feel like an idiot pestering busy people with questions, or keeping the questions to myself because I’m too embarrassed to ask them.

When we’re starting out as writers, we rarely look beyond the process of getting an agent. That hurdle on its own seems so huge, but truly, it’s just the beginning of the editorial journey our books will take. No, wait. Don’t groan. That’s a GOOD thing, because once your book is out in the world, readers and reviewers are going to pick apart every choice you made. They’ll love them or they’ll hate them, but in your mind, you’ll need to be able to defend those choices knowing exactly why you made them.

After the agent call, here are ten more editorial steps your book will take:

Revising with Your Agent: Even after you’ve polished your manuscript enough to snag an agent, that agent will probably do a round or two of revision with you before sending your book out to editors on submission.

On Sub: While you’re revising, your agent is making lists of editors and putting together a submission packet that will contain the pitch as well as any supporting information that will help “sell” your book to an editor and acquisition panel. The pitch has its genesis in your query letter, and you may find that big chunks of your query eventually end up on your book jacket. You and your agent will probably work on the pitch together before submitting to the editors most likely to love your book.

The Offer: Before you get an offer, your editor may speak to you and share any editorial vision he or she has for your book or query you about follow-on ideas. Both the dollar amount and the supporting information the editor provides will tell you whether they see the book as a mid-list or lead title and how important it will be for their “list.”

EditorialLetter The Editorial Letter: Usually even before your agent and the publisher’s legal department have finalized the contract and the check for the first third of your advance is in the mail, your editor is busy reading your book and preparing the overview what’s needed to bring it to full potential. An editorial letter can range from a couple pages to many pages addressing the manuscript’s strengths and areas for improvement. You may go through one or several rounds of developmental edits.

edits The Line Edit: Once the structure is in place, your editor will go through the manuscript line by line, looking for ways to strengthen the writing, clarify meaning, make images more specific, eliminate cliches and writing ticks, eliminate wordiness, etc.

The Pass for Press: Your editor will review the line edits once you turn them in and she or he will “accept” the manuscript. That’s the trigger for releasing the second third of your advance payment. At this stage, if not before, the book goes to the production department, which schedules out the production process. The book designer starts developing how the interior pages will look, and the cover designer has probably already been working on the exterior jacket in the meantime.

The Copy Edit: The managing editor will turn the book over to a copyeditor. This may be someone in house, or an outside freelancer. It may occur in track changes in Word, or as physical marks on paper. The copyeditor will correct any grammar issues, check for continuity, clarity, and consistency, and pose any queries on facts, timeline, etc. for you in the margins. When you get the Copy Edited Manuscript (CEM) back to review, it’s usually due to your editor very quickly. As I’ve learned the hard way, you need to make sure that this isn’t the first time you see your manuscript printed out on paper, because it will read very differently than it does on your computer screen. CEMs are not the place to make a ton of changes, but they’re a better place to make changes than any point further in the process.

Galleys/ARCs: Once your manuscript is copyedited, it will be changed from an electronic Word file into a typeset file within the publisher’s design program, where it is printed out into page proofs for further editorial scrutiny and distribution to reviewers, booksellers, and power readers—people who can help spread the word about and build excitement for your book. Depending on the publisher and the timeline, you may get to review the proofs before Advance Reader Copies (ARCs) are printed and bound, or you may see the ARCs first and get a few copies for yourself at the same time that they are prepared to go out for review. Don’t fret either way, ARCs are expected to contain errors.

1st Pass Pages: When you get the proofs of the typeset pages, it’s your first chance to see what your book will really look like, how the fonts look, how the paragraphs flow on the page, and how the pages and chapters lay out. You’ll also review for remaining typos and any inadvertent errors introduced when the file and edits were keyed in. Making changes at this stage is expensive, especially if they change pagination. If you make too many changes, your publisher could charge you for the expense, so you’re looking only for things that *must* be changed or corrected.

2nd Pass Pages: Whatever changes were made in the first pass will be reflected in the second pass, but your publisher may not send 2nd PPs to you. At this stage, your job on the manuscript is essentially done, and it’s a surreal feeling to know that there’s nothing more that you can do.

At this point, all of you—your agent, editor, production team, art department, marketing, sales, and publicity team, everyone at your publisher—have done their best, and it’s time to to turn the book over to your readers.

Getting a book to print is truly a gargantuan effort, and it’s a leap of faith and love on everyone’s part. The process is not for the faint-hearted, and there are times when I wanted to crawl in a hole and weep with the pressure and the stress and the sense that I couldn’t possibly make the book good enough. The first letter I received from a reader reminded me of why we do this though—because it was a letter very much like one I would have liked to have written to my favorite author about a beloved book. And hearing that my characters, world, and words have meant that much to someone is an amazing and energizing feeling.

(We often think that hardest part is writing the book, but this post shows how much more still needs to be done after the yes. And then there’s marketing, promoting…as Martina says, not for the faint-hearted. But the product of ALL that hard work? Right here. Trust me, you NEED this book! ~ A)

CompulsionThree plantations. Two gifts. One ancient curse.

All her life, Barrie Watson has been a virtual prisoner in the house where she lives with her shut-in mother. When her mother dies, Barrie promises to put some mileage on her stiletto heels. But she finds a new kind of prison at her aunt’s South Carolina plantation instead–a prison guarded by an ancient spirit who long ago cursed one of the three founding families of Watson Island and gave the others magical gifts that became compulsions.

Stuck with the ghosts of a generations-old feud and hunted by forces she cannot see, Barrie must find a way to break free of the family legacy. With the help of sun-kissed Eight Beaufort, who somehow seems to know what Barrie wants before she knows herself, the last Watson heir starts to unravel her family’s twisted secrets. What she finds is dangerous: a love she never expected, a river that turns to fire at midnight, a gorgeous cousin who isn’t what she seems, and very real enemies who want both Eight and Barrie dead.

IndieBound | Barnes & Noble | Amazon | Walmart | Target | Book Depository (free worldwide shipping)

The truth? I devoured this book. You ever wish a fictional world was a real place, and its characters living, breathing people that you could sit with and talk to? That’s the effect this book had on me. I loved Barrie and Eight, the push and pull of their personalities, and most of all, the love and loyalty they have for family. Watson Island felt as real and authentic to me as my own backyard. Reading this book was an experience in the truest sense. I loved discovering how magic compulsions, curses and feuds played out between the three families, and the secrets and danger that ties them all together.

A GIVEAWAY? HECK YES!

I feel utterly COMPELLED to make sure others experience this book, so Becca and I will be giving an ebook copy away to one commenter!

Please, do check this book out, and add it to your Goodreads listI can’t recommend it enough. You can find Martina all over the place, so reach out and say hello:

Martina’s Website | Blog | Tumblr | Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram | Twitter

Questions about the Publishing Journey? Fan of Compulsion like me? Tell us all about it in the comments!

 

The post 10 Editorial Steps From the Agent “Call” to Published Book appeared first on WRITERS HELPING WRITERS™.

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