Monday, August 31, 2009

Not All Publicity Is Good Publicity

STATUS: The dog days of August. I handled over a 100 emails and got caught up. I concluded a film deal (won’t be able to announce for a bit so sorry) and did a phone conference about a contract as just a tad bit of what I did today.

What’s playing on the iPod right now? STAY (I MISSED YOU) by Lisa Loeb

I know you’ve heard the saying that all publicity is good publicity. Well, I can certainly think of a few instances where that might not be the case and when I saw this article about an author who made the news because she shot her father in the rear end, I thought to myself that there really couldn’t be a better of example that I could offer of this.

Especially since the author describes her writing as redneck noir. Suitably apt? So maybe the lesson here is think before you shoot?

Friday, August 28, 2009

Friday Funnies

STATUS: Blogging before noon! It’s happy hour someplace, right? Grin.

What’s playing on the iPod right now? DID YE GET HEALED by Van Morrison

It’s no secret that I love reading on my Kindle but I still laughed at Green Apple Books Smackdown on Youtube—Book vs Kindle.

They’ve gone 8 rounds if you want to view them all.

But here’s the latest for Storytime. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

No Free Options

STATUS: I “ignored” email for two days so I could catch up on some royalty statement reviews and contract issues. If the email wasn’t imperative, I waited until the end of the day to start responding. Unfortunately, it’s easy to get behind in a big hurry.

What’s playing on the iPod right now? PRIVATE DANCER by Tina Turner

There’s no such thing as a free lunch, right? I wish Hollywood would understand that there should be no such thing as a free option.

Now in talking to my film co-agents, I do know that Hollywood has also gotten hit hard by the downturn in the economy. That finding money is tougher now than it has been in years. I get that.

But I’m also sensing an interesting trend as of late. I am actually getting more inquiries about the film rights availability for a lot of my client’s projects than I have in years past.

I can’t be the only agent who has gotten a slew of interest lately only to discover when push comes to shove (as in do you have money to option said project), the interested parties say they were hoping for a free option—that they would like to “test the waters” or “shop it around” or “try to get it set up somewhere.”

And then on top of a free option they want an exclusive to boot!

Uh-huh. And I’d like to win the Powerball lotto or inherit the Hope diamond too.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

What Agents Talk About When We Talk about Auctions

STATUS: Finishing up a client manuscript tonight.

What’s playing on the iPod right now? ME AND BOBBY MCGEE by Janis Joplin

Truly a scintillating topic. Kind of like watching golf. Earlier this week, one of my agent friends was conducting an auction so of course that got the whole discussion going about what we preferred—round robin or best bids auctions?

Funny enough, it’s not an either/or question because what is preferred (or what is conducted) always depends on the situation that is unfolding around any given project.

Now what I can say to you for sure is that most editors hate best bid auctions.

Why? Because there is only one round of bidding. That’s it. And if your bid doesn’t come in the ballpark of what other houses are bidding, then you’re knocked out of the running early. I can see why that would be frustrating for editors if they are really keen on a book.

So why do them? It’s a great way to shorten up an auction when the agent has already done a lot of talking to the various editors interested in the work. In other words, a lot of the pre-auction elements are already clear (like the level of excitement, the anticipated advance, what the agent’s expectation is). Then the best bid auction is to simply see all offers at once and then allow the author to choose the best house (and not necessarily a winner based on something like advance alone). Saves a lot of time and energy. Best bids can also work effectively if there is uncertainty on how many houses might participate in the auction. Everyone who attends is supposedly putting best offer forward. Can save a lot of headache if a publisher doesn’t show up to the auction.

Most auctions are probably round robins. This is an auction with subsequent rounds of bidding by multiple publishers until either a clear winner is declared or all houses hit their bid ceiling and only one publisher is still willing to go forward. Round robins work most effectively when there are numerous houses bidding. Not as great a structure if the auction is small—like with only 2 houses bidding. Still, it can be done.

Not to mention round robin auctions can last for days (which is exhausting for everyone involved as nothing else can really be accomplished if an auction is going on). Also, if an author has a clear choice for the editor he/she wants to work with, round robin might knock out the favored house too early in the process. That wouldn’t be good.

Interestingly enough, I have done round robin auctions that then evolved into a final round best bid. Basically when the auction had gone on and on, I let all the editors know that I’m only going to entertain one more round of bids so make it your best and final offer. I think my Grandmother would call that **** or get off the pot bid.

For the most part, I like to negotiate elements of an offer even within an auction and that’s hard to do in a best bid situation so I don’t tend to favor that auction approach. I think a better idea is what I call a two-round best bids. Each house involved in the auction knows it will get 2 rounds of bidding. The first round is for everyone to feel out the field (and it also allows me to say where I think their offer might be lacking). The second round is for everyone to truly get serious about the next offer as this will be the final round of the auction. It feels more effective to me.

And here I’m just touching on the tip of the iceberg but all these different strategies is what we agents talk about when we talk auctions.

Are you still awake? Didn’t think so but if you want to see a group of agents get lively, this is a good topic.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Spread Out The Workshop Love!

STATUS: Another late blogging night. You know what that means, I had a crazy work day.

What’s playing on the iPod right now? YOU CAN’T ALWAYS GET WHAT YOU WANT by Rolling Stones

I’m actually of two minds about tonight’s rant. On one hand, I'm really not complaining because as a general rule, I love giving workshops at conferences. Back in the 90s, I taught college for several years. The classroom, in a lot of respects, feels like coming home to me.

And there’s no doubt that I’m passionate about my various topics in publishing.

But lately, I have to wonder at the scheduling of workshops at some of the conferences I’ve attended.

At RWA this past July in Washington, D.C, I had three presentations scheduled. First off, I was thrilled. All my workshops were accepted! Then I got the schedule. I literally was going to be doing these presentations back-to-back. Starting at 1 p.m. and ending at 5:30 p.m. with only 2, 15-minute breaks between the three workshops.

Well, grin and bear it. I got what I asked for so suck it up. But gee, I can’t help but think that my presentations could have gone better (or perhaps I could have been more energetic) had they been scheduled on separate days.

Just a thought anyway.

And today I got the workshop schedule for another upcoming conference. You guessed it. This time I have three hours of presentations in 2 workshops and sure enough, they are back-to-back, all in one morning. At least this time I get more of a break in between them.

So it’s not really a big deal but how I long for a conference organizer to spread out the love. I can do it all in one morning, no doubt. But I’ll tell you all now, I’ll do it better if the workshops were spread out over 2 days at least. Grin.

Monday, August 24, 2009

What A Difference A Cover Makes?

STATUS: I used to think August was a slow time in publishing. Hum…we seem plenty busy.

What’s playing on the iPod right now? CAN’T HELP FALLING IN LOVE by UB40

Those of you who read my monthly newsletters know that I belong to a book club. (One good reason to be reading outside of my client manuscripts!) I also always get asked the question of whether I have time to read for fun. As of late, not much but that just motivates me more to read what my Book Club has chosen for our next title.

So this evening I was popping online to read a little bit more about the book that we have chosen—which is SWEEPING UP GLASS by Carolyn Wall.

When I first did the search on Amazon, up popped an image that was unfamiliar to me. I had read the Publishers Weekly starred review for this book (which is how it was brought to my attention), but I hadn’t ever seen this cover.

Thank goodness as I don’t think I would have even brought up this title to my Book Club if I had seen this first.

This cover may speak to you but I have to say that it was a real turn off for me. If I had seen this first, I might have passed on recommending this book as a possible read—even with the starred review.

However, I hadn’t seen this cover until I was goofing around online this evening. Here is the cover that I saw for this title.

It’s a redesign done for the trade paperback edition.

So of course I have to ask you folks what you think. Read the description of the novel first and tell me what cover would have made you pick up the book. And I realize that this is all subjective based on individual preference etc. but I find it fascinating all the same.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Wrong Question/Right Question

STATUS: I’m digging into a contract so now you will know what I’ll be doing for the next 2 hours….

What’s playing on the iPod right now? MORE THAN WORDS by Extreme

When I was at RWA, I did a workshop with my client Ally Carter. We were the only workshop at that conference that addressed anything in the Children’s realm. Let me tell you, the session was packed (to my surprise).

Anyway, the point of our workshop was this: people who want to write young adult always ask the wrong questions and we want to point that out and explain what the right question should be.

The best part of the workshop was the PowerPoint slides. We’d put up the wrong question on screen and you could feel the in-drawn breath of the entire audience. They had been thinking exactly that wrong question!

So sure enough, Sara got an email today from an aspiring writer asking one of those exact wrong questions. The person asked what is the right word count/length for his/her middle grade or young adult novel.

Gong. Wrong question.

The right question is this: how important is pacing in my middle grade or young adult novel?

See, it’s not about word count (look at the latter Harry Potter and Twilight books for goodness sake). Those books got some meat on them there bones—and it’s not just because they were hugely successful so therefore the author could use whatever length she wanted. It’s about pacing the novel so well, readers don’t mind length.

This September, I’ve got my first middle grade novel publishing. Helen Stringer’s SPELLBINDER is a whopping 372 pages long. And folks, this isn’t in larger print. It’s a long middle grade novel. But the trick is that it can’t feel like it when reading. The pacing has to be absolutely perfect. If it is, readers and editors will not quibble about the length.
So don’t ask me how many words or pages your project needs to be because I can’t tell you. If you are on the low side (like under 50,000 words for YA or under 40,000 words for MG), you might not have developed your story enough. However, I don’t know that for sure until I read it. Maybe you have written the perfect 30,000 word MG novel. I have no idea.

But what I can reinforce is this: asking about word count or page length is definitely the wrong question.

More Than Words (Acoustic) - Extreme

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

How To Get Money Out Of A Publisher

STATUS: It’s been a really frustrating week. It’s already after 5 and stuff that has to be done, I’m only starting on.

What’s playing on the iPod right now? OLD APARTMENT by Barenaked Ladies

Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to get money from Publishers for promotion—even if you aren’t the lead title or the next big blockbuster book for them.

It’s all in the way that you do it and your expectation. It’s not going to be thousands and thousands of dollars but it may still make a difference for your launch. So how do you go about getting it?

1. Have a clear marketing and promotion plan for the launch for your book. And I’m talking a real plan, not pie in the sky stuff. Things you can actually do, blog tours you already have lined up, speaking events that you will be at. If you haven’t got that in place, you’re not getting any money. When you have that in place, you need to share it with your in-house contact or you’re not going to be able to get money.

2. Choose a promotional element that has the most likelihood of getting funded because you can aptly demonstrate how the publisher will get bang for their buck. In other words, you have clearly outlined goals for the event, how you can make a difference reaching booksellers, or have a workshop or speaking event already lined up if the publisher can just get you there.

3. Have clear expectation of what they a publisher will and will not pay for. For example, let’s say you have some cool media and speaking events already lined up at ALA (American Library Association) as you planned to be there anyway. Then go to your editor and say, hey, look what I’ve got going here. Would the Publisher be willing to pay my way for airfare and hotel? If you can show a reasonable benefit, I find that editors have been pretty open finding some money for you. (Let's say you are doing events close to home, you do the driving and that cost and see if they'll pay for hotel. Make it a partnerhsip.)

4. Here’s another good example. I have one author who does a lot of speaking at various events and sites. These speaking engagements are being paid for by the people hosting the event (publishers love that!). Great. But what about some promo materials to be at those events? We’ve gotten publishers to pay for excerpt booklets, bookmarks, special give-aways, promo posters to have there, etc.

5. Here’s another great way to get money out of the publisher. Show them exactly what you have budgeted from your own money for promotion. Publishers are more likely to give money to authors who are clearly working it from their end. Even if they don’t pony up ths time around, they might be willing to partner on promo expense for the next book. They might even pick up the tab for a book trailer.

6. Show that you are media savvy and can handle whatever is thrown at you. Collect interviews and share them with your editor and in-house contact person. Publishers are more willing to put together a publisher-paid tour for you or maybe even a call-in radio tour (which doesn’t cost them money but does take a lot of time for a publicist to set up), if they know you'll make the most out of those opportunities.

These are just a few things. Tons more out there if you're creative, savvy. Find out what works and what doesn’t.

And don’t assume that these kinds of things are just for the biggest sellers. I’ve gotten many different kinds paid promotion stuff for solidly mid-list authors or even debuts that weren’t lead titles etc.

The last thing you need to remember is this: You can’t get what you don’t ask for.”

What’s the worst they can say? No. You can probably live with that.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Why We Have A Marketing Director

STATUS: Heading out for the night but plan to do some much needed client reading in the next couple of nights. Hubby is out of town. Amazing how much more work gets done when that happens.

What’s playing on the iPod right now? SUNDAY MORNING by Maroon 5

Early this year, I realized I was spending in ordinate amount of time talking with editors and in-house marketing and publicity people about my clients’ upcoming releases.

In fact, I was spending so much time doing that, I started wondering when I would have the time to read new material and take on new clients. After all, I’m an agent, not a marketing coordinator.

And that’s why this past March, I hired Lindsay Mergens to be out Marketing Director here at NLA.

Here’s a link to her bio so you can see what a great background she has for this job. However, being a Marketing Director for an agency is not the same as this corresponding title in a Publishing house. What exactly would she be doing? Would she be duplicating Publisher effort by actually doing marketing and publicity? Nope, that’s not what Lindsay does.

So here’s what she does—think of it more like coordinating.

1. Tracking all upcoming releases and doing a timeline of what is being done in-house and when we need to be following up with the author’s assigned publicist about the marketing plan.

2. She works on the marketing plan with all our authors so they have something to say other than “I don’t know what I’m doing with this.” All authors know more than they think they do. She adds these things to the Publisher’s plan and helps to tweak what will be done.

3. Sometimes she gets money out of the Publishers for an author visit that they might not have done otherwise if we hadn’t simply requested it.

4. She is the liaison for the in-house publicist and marketing person assigned to the author.

5. If the author would like to hire an external PR company as well, Lindsay hooks the author up with the right people. She also reviews any PR proposals that an external company might present.

6. She attends meetings with me in New York when we are meeting with the Publishing marketing and publicity people. As she used to be one, she knows exactly what to ask.

7. When the marketing plan is formed and finalized, Lindsay is the point person to see that all things get implemented and that all the info is disseminated to me, to the author, rights co-agents, etc.

8. She helps authors fill out the client Author Questionnaire (which can be a huge deal as that is often the in-house template that will be worked from).

9. When folks contact us about having one of our authors come and speak, Lindsay handles that and coordinates with the publisher,

10. Book Trailers. Marketing Materials and so forth, Lindsay reviews it all, requests changes if necessary or generally helps guide this whole process.

11. Book tours abroad. Lindsay handles it and coordinates with US publisher.

This list could go on and on. In fact, I’m probably leaving out tons of stuff but this should give you an idea of why I would hire someone to do this for the Agency. As the main agent, I’m cc’d on all communications but honestly, I’m not sure how I did without her for so long. It’s a job in and of itself.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Two And A Half Years Out Of Date

STATUS: You guys know the drill. First day back in the office after being away for a week means I’m just trying to take care of emails. 280 to be exact.

What’s playing on the iPod right now? THRILL ME by Simply Red

Sometimes the behavior of aspiring writers looking for agents is incomprehensible to me.

In January 2007, we moved our office to the historic SH Supply Building on Wazee Street in the heart of Lower Downtown Denver. We are literally 3 blocks from Coors field.

This was two and a half years ago.

Yesterday I received a package that had been forwarded to us from our old address. Not only that, it was a full manuscript (which we don’t accept unless requested and when requested we have it delivered electronically). And it was sent from Korea by certified mail.

What a colossal waste of time, paper, and money is pretty much all I could think.

Actually, it’s amazing we got this package as very little gets forwarded from an address that’s 2 1/2 years old.

But really? You were interested enough in our agency to keep our original info on file but then didn’t take the time to verify that everything was up-to-date by checking out our website (a url that has never changed over the years)?


Friday, August 07, 2009

Friday Funnies

STATUS: I hit the office early today. First up, a UK contract that needs to be reviewed

What’s playing on the iPod right now? ON THE TURNING AWAY by Pink Floyd

Just a heads up that I’m on vacation all of next week and therefore won’t be blogging. If I were smart, I’d do as agent Nathan does and have guest bloggers but I have to admit that I’m not organized enough this week to make that happen. So you’ll just have to live without for a week.

And to kick off the weekend, an excellent funny to share. It’s so juvenile but I laughed and laughed. Couldn’t resist sharing. I don’t know who thinks up these skits but this one is classic.



Thursday, August 06, 2009

Writing as Business (Part 3)

STATUS: I finished up to client full manuscripts this week. I’m finally catching up.

What’s playing on the iPod right now? ICE CREAM by Sarah McLachlan

As promised, here are some of the books that I’ve read over the years. Please note that this isn’t an endorsement of any book. Read at your own risk. Big grin here. I’m simply highlighting some of the books I have read.

This is by no means a complete list. Just what I can remember off the top of my head.

Live It Up Without Outliving Your Money by Paul Merriman (probably the best book I’ve read….so far)

The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas Stanley and William Danko

The New York Times Complete Guide to Personal Investing by Gary Klott

The Motley Fool Investment Guide by David Gardner and Tom Gardner (I actually read a much earlier edition of this book but it’s no longer in print)

Rich Dad Poor Dad By Robert Kiyosaki and Sharon Lechter (not really an investing or money management book but an interesting read).

I also have a subscription to Better Investing Magazine. Good, solid articles that are practical. (Note: I belong to an Investment Club, have so for 4 years, and we follow Better investing guidelines)

I also read Smart Money magazine for a while and Kiplinger’s.

And I bet there are a ton other good reads out there that I wouldn’t mind picking up so feel free to add some recommendations in the comments section.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Writing as Business (Part 2)

STATUS: Bursting at the seams. Got two bits of exciting news for one of my clients and it’s under gag. We’re not allowed to share yet. So I guess I’ll just tease all my blog readers with it instead.

What’s playing on the iPod right now? LET'S STAY TOGETHER by Al Green

This topic obviously resonated with quite a few people. In all honesty, I probably should have one of my clients do a guest blog about the topic of finances as a published author. Hopefully they’ll all just chime in on the comments section.

Okay, if you are a published author, here are some things that I recommend.

1. Find and then pay for a good tax accountant who can give you sound accounting advice for your writing business. You may start as a sole proprietor but as many of my authors have done, when real money starts coming in, it may pay (as in tax advantageous) to be an LLC or an S-corp instead.

When I say “pay for,” I mean it. It’s worth every dime to pay a CPA for his/her expertise. Be sure to ask around to other writers and get recommendations for a good one. Like all people in service industry, levels of expertise vary.

Gee, that’s true of agents as well.

2. When you have your contract, note the dates in your money management software for when you can expect to get paid. Then pad it by two months at least. I say this because things don’t always happen on time. The contract can take 2 to 3 months to negotiate and then it’s always another 6 weeks after signing for you to get paid. Foreign monies take even longer than that. As the agent, I always expect payment 6 months from when I’ve sent off the contract to my client for signing. It can take that long. For one client, the foreign publisher lost the contract and it took us a year to get paid. And that was even with me bugging them every other week for it.

You as the author might run into draft problems and not deliver the manuscript on time and so that d&a payment you were hoping to trigger might not happen until several months later. Trust me, this happens more often than not so keep that in mind.

So a couple of addendums to this:
--If you are a debut and your career is young, don’t start by living off your writing. I think you’ll find yourself in a world of hurt if you do that. Writing money is gravy money. Not factored in as part of the monthly living expenses but it can pay for a great vacation or a down payment on a car or what have you. Personally, I say put all of it into a good interest CD that you can’t access for a year. That way you’re forced to ignore it for a while. But heck, I know that’s not always feasible. I’m just suggesting it.

--Don’t quit you day job until the back end royalties can pay for your daily living expenses without issue. Back end is the royalty money you earn once your advance has earned out. This does not include the advance you might earn for your next book because that’s an advanced that hasn’t earned out yet. And just an FYI, statistically speaking (and this is by no means exact), only about 10% of books actually earn out their advances. The good majority of them don’t. And here’s another interesting tidbit, if a book does earn out the advance, it can take 2 years or more before that happens. One of my authors just earned out (which is hugely exciting) but it took 4 years. Now you know why I emphasize back end royalties that pay your daily living expenses without an issue.

3. When you get your check, pay your taxes right then and there. Now some folks are really great money managers. If you are, then you can ignore this. However, I think the majority of us are not quite that anal and I’ve heard stories time and time again where authors don’t do this and find themselves in a world of hurt. Work with your tax accountant to find out what is the likely percentage that you’ll owe and don’t wait, just mail the dang thing to the IRS and tell yourself, this was never my money anyway. If you don’t have a tax accountant, a good rule of thumb is 20% of whatever the check was and send that in. If you’ve overpaid, you’ll get it refunded.

If you’re disciplined money manager, okay, stick the monies you owe the IRS into a high-interest bearing account and then only draw from that account to pay your quarterly taxes (April 15, June 15, Sept. 15, Jan. 15). Make some money on the interest at the very least. Now if your honest with yourself and know that you’ll fall into the trap of thinking the next advance will pay those taxes, don’t wait. Mail your check to the IRS the minute you get your check from the publisher or agent. I can’t force you to do this but I’m really encouraging it.

4. When you get your check, pay yourself first. What exactly does this mean? That means you put away money for retirement even before you pay your bills. If you’re under the salary cap, open yourself up a ROTH IRA (one of the best investing tools out there because when you retire you won’t be taxed on monies you withdraw from a ROTH because you will have already paid the taxes on it). Damn straight folks. And even if you are not good with numbers and investing, just go to Vanguard’s website and look at the ROTH IRA here. Sign up for an index fund that follows the S&P 500. Usually those are the safest with the least amount of crazy ups and downs.

Max it out. Pay in the full amount you are allowed to legally in any given year.

And folks, I’ve been investing for years but I’m no expert. My suggestion here is not to replace advice from a professional financial advisor but if you don’t know where to begin, maybe this will help you to get started.

I’ll also try and dig up the money management/investing titles of all the books I’ve read over the years. It might be a good reading list for you.

5. Open up a SEP (Simplified Employee Pension Plan). You’re a writer and you’re self-employed. This is a retirement vehicle for the self-employed and it allows you, percentage wise, to put the most money away for retirement than you can in an IRA.

6. If you are living off of your writing, create a budget with all your expenses and only pay yourself X amount a month and stick to that. That way you won’t suddenly run out of money and be really anxious for your next payment (see above—which might get delayed, or yikes a contract canceled, or a manuscript rejected and you have to pay back the advance). All grim scenarios but can be a reality.

7. Buy yourself something nice to remember your first check by. I know. Totally opposite of everything I’ve said above but your first check from your first book advance is special. Celebrate it.

Then do all of the above.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Do You Run Your Writing As A Business?

STATUS: I tackled exactly one thing on my To Do list today and there are something like 20 items that need immediate attention. I’m still wondering how that happens.

What’s playing on the iPod right now? THE LONG AND WINDING ROAD by the Beatles

Today I had a morning meeting with my tax accountant to review my company’s P&L (Profit and Loss Statement) and the Balance Sheet. We wanted to review how we were doing in comparison to last year. We analyzed our current cash flow, upcoming expenditures, quarterly taxes, and generally made certain that we were financially sound and would continue being so.

Just three weeks prior to this meeting, I had connected with my bookkeeper to evaluate the P&L and Balance Sheet to see if anything was out of whack—which, interestingly enough, always happens. Just the nature of accounting.

Years ago, I read in a book (and I wish I could remember the title) that Americans who spent at least 1 to 2 hours a month reviewing their finances, discussing budget (or for heaven’s sake creating a budget), learning about investing, reviewing one’s 401k or Roth IRA, and just generally doing money management ended up 10 times wealthier than their fellow Americans who didn’t. (And it didn’t matter where these money planners started in terms of their income.) This book also highlighted that 90% of Americans spent more time watching TV did they spent on managing their money. I believe it.

So where am I going with all this? If you are a writer, even if you are unpublished, you need to treat this like a business. You need to sit down at the beginning of the year (or the beginning of the quarter) and create a business plan for yourself and your writing. This is how much I’m going to budget for my writing, for paper, for ink cartridges, for getting an agent, for attending a conference to learn the craft, or for joining a site like Backspace, and so on. You need to an excel spreadsheet or quicken or whatever money program you use to track expenses and hopefully, monies earned.

Why? Because even if you are unpublished, it makes good money sense to know exactly how much it costs you a year to pursue your dream. It allows you to plan. It shows you the cost benefit (or not) of pursuing this as a career. It gets you primed and ready for when you are published author and you definitely need to be doing this, budgeting appropriately, paying your taxes, and deciding on when you can write full-time versus when you need to keep that day job.

You might as well start making a good habit of it now. Besides, don’t you want to be one of those people who are 10 times wealthier than their counterparts who never discuss money on a regular basis? I know I do—which is why my tax accountant and I spent 2 hours discussing it this morning and this is just one of many sessions we’ll have throughout the year.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Because Inquiring Minds Want To Know

STATUS: I worked on outstanding issues on two contracts, did a phone conference with an author and my film co-agent, touched base with my marketing director on two outstanding issues from last Friday and answered 118 emails. Maybe tomorrow I can actual tackle my To Do list for the day.

What’s playing on the iPod right now? THE MUMMER’S DANCE by Loreena McKennitt

At the end of each day, I do try and catch up with what is going on in the blog world. I like knowing about what other agents and editors are writing about.

So that was what I was doing when I stumbled upon this entry by Editorial Anonymous. I avidly read the entry and looked at the comments. Only 20 people responded? Unbelievable. I get comments like this every day on my blog and here we have an editor answering some key questions such as:

Q1. Given these recessionary times, are nervous publishers holding back on making decisions to take on a book?

You bet I’m reading that with interest.

Q3. As agents go, do publishers give them a pecking order, and so my agent may be lower in the pecking order?

Inquiring minds what to know!

Q7. Do you think it's a good thing or a bad thing that I've yet to receive a response?

So I obviously need to point out this revealing entry. On submission right now, get ye over there and read Give Me Your Tired, Your Confused, Your Huddled Masses Yearning to Know What the **** Is Going On

And if you’re not at that stage and wondered about these Qs, you’ll also want to check it out.

Q8. From roughly what proportion of partial submissions do you then request the full?

Q9. Of those fulls you request, what proportion of manuscripts would actually be acquired?

Q10. Are you more likely to request a full if you met the author and got on reasonably well with them at a conference or workshop, or would that have no bearing whatsoever on your decision?

Q11. Or if the author had already been published, would that be more persuasive?