Friday, December 09, 2011

December--The Slow Month?

STATUS: If I hear that "I want a hippopotamus for Christmas" song one more time...

What’s playing on the XM or iPod right now? ANOTHER YEAR HAS GONE BY by Celine Dion

Traditionally, December is the month where publishing starts to quiet down as editors get ready to be away for the holidays. Kind of like how August tends to be an unofficial slow down period that then picks up after Labor Day.

If it's true this December, I certainly can't tell yet. We close next week but we are working like there is no holiday around the corner. Sara just wrapped up a deal earlier in the week. I'm announcing on Pub Lunch a deal I closed recently. I'm in the middle of two other negotiations--one of which was out of the blue from a publisher who couldn't offer earlier in the year but now is.

Love that!

And lots of agents are obviously hard at work during this month as some fulls we've requested have gotten offers of representation--literally only days after receiving the actual manuscript.

So I would say it's kind of like business as usual and probably will be right up until we close a week from tomorrow.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Do Agents Buy Books For The Holidays?

STATUS: The agency is only open for another week and two days. I'm a little intimidated on what needs to be done between now and then!

What’s playing on the XM or iPod right now? HOUSE FULL OF LOVE by Michael McDonal

If an agent buys books as gifts for the holidays, do they only buy their client authors?

Good heavens no--although I've certainly bought my share of NLA books to give as gifts. But it would look a bit self-serving if that's all I did!

Not to mention, I often share extra ARCs with family and close friends so a good majority of them have read the NLA book long before it's available to the public. It's one of the things my nieces have LOVED about my being their aunt. *grin* LEGEND by Marie Lu was quite popular with them last March. They laughed when I told them it was releasing this week. For them, it's been out forever.

So this Saturday I popped down to The Tattered Cover to browse and buy a few more items to wrap and put under the tree. I'm also a TC member and I had to buy my books asap to get the "share the love with members" 20% discount.

What caught my attention?

The Sisters by Nancy Jensen

I have not read this one yet but I'm hearing enough great things to take a risk. I'm rather enamored of the cover as well. I wish one of my client books had that cover!

Rin Tin Tin: The Life and Legend by Susan Orlean

I received a complimentary copy from the editor. At first, I was skeptical. I didn't know much about Rin Tin Tin and didn't feel overly like I needed to but I am a dog person. I cracked it open and I got sucked in. It's a really cool book about more than just the dog actor but about Hollywood history etc. My husband got sucked in to.

1Q84 by Haruki Murakami

I just read an article about the making of the cover, which is visually interesting and unique. Publishers are floating around ideas about making book covers a work of art in and of themselves as added value for the physical book.

Unlikely Friendships: 47 Remarkable Stories from The Animal Kingdom by Jennifer Holland

A girlfriend was with me in the store and pointed this book out to me. I took one look and had to buy it immediately.

And I imagine my TC shopping isn't quite finished. Very likely I'll be there again this weekend.

Friday, December 02, 2011

Friday Funnies

STATUS: I love this time of the morning. All tasks on the TO DO list are possible!

What’s playing on the XM or iPod right now? HAVE YOURSELF A MERRY LITTLE CHRISTMAS by Ella Fitzgerald

This one is way too good not to share. Best chuckle error caused by auto-correct that I've seen in a good long time. For context, NLA owns our office unit within a larger building and the management office sent out an email about an upcoming repair. Talk about the importance of proofreading. I share the exact email sent in all its glory!


Hi Kristin,

The door contractor will be on site to fix the other half of the front door on Friday, December 2 or Monday, December 5. Hope this isn’t an incontinence.


Thursday, December 01, 2011

Writing To The Market but Also With The Book Of Your Heart--Guest Blogger Sara Megibow

STATUS: I wish I was working late tonight but I can't....

What’s playing on the XM or iPod right now? O HOLY NIGHT by Josh Groban

Marie Lu is not the only author having an exciting release week! Sara's very first agented author book is hitting shelves today. Hard to believe but yes, it really does take that long from sale to publication for this to be the first.

What better way to celebrate than to guest blog? (Okay, I'm making her toast with champagne, too, but you get the picture.) Huge congrats Sara and Miranda!

What did debut author Miranda Kenneally do that's making her book release so exciting? CATCHING JORDAN hits bookshelves today and the buzz surrounding this book is absolutely incredible (ESPN picked up a review of the book yesterday and the Seventeen Magazine online book club is running a feature on it tomorrow).

Here's the secret - Miranda wrote the book of her heart. She did NOT write to some hot trend.
What's hot in young adult novels right now? Well, one might agree that fantasy and paranormal and dystopian are hot. Contemporary young adult, conversely, might be hot or might not be hot depending on who you ask (I personally am a huge fan, obviously). And, contemporary young adult sports novels? yikes.

CATCHING JORDAN didn't sell right out of the gate. We DID find the perfect editor for it, but we also had a handfull of editors pass saying, "no one is interested in reading about sports." Yes, the heroine of this book is captain and quarterback of her high school football team. Yes, there are some scenes on the playing field in which the teammates are talking football plays and field positions and stats. When I read this book in the slush pile I fell immediately in love with the characters, the voice, the dialogue and the personality. THAT'S what I saw in it which made me jump up and down with glee. And that's what these tremendous reviews seem to be saying too.

If Miranda had ever asked an agent, "should I write about vampires or about football?" it's likely her first book would have turned out differently. But, as a great credit to her and to our art, she didn't ask that question. Instead she wrote a book that takes a chance on a concept that we haven't seen before. And, it's paying off!

So, if you are looking at publishing and are tempted to ask, "do you think XYZ is hot right now?" stop. Take a deep breath. Yes the market is important but so is writing a book you believe in wholeheartedly. Miranda did just that for CATCHING JORDAN. It wasn't in the hot trend but in a sense, she did keep the market in mind because it has a luscious romantic element. Something we've seen in other successful contemporary YA novels recently. Cheers to an author who took a chance and to the readers (and editors) (and reviewers) (and ESPN) who are loving that gamble!