Sunday, July 3, 2011

Industry Cliffsnotes

Just a quick rundown on some recent blogs by agents and authors.  That's right, Cliffsnotes for the writing industry!  Hopefully, you already follow some of these blogs, so you've probably already seen at least one or two of these already. 

On QueryTracker: Publishing Pulse runs through recent publishing news.  Highlights?  Updates on agents, including some closed for summer submissions.  (Updated: Chris Lotts, Janet Reid, Andrea Somberg)   (Kristin Lindstrom: no longer a lit agent. Chris Richman: closed for summer.  Joelle Delbourgo: closed for summer.  Scott Eagan: Closed for summer.)  Also, links on good writer pages, the effect of spoilers on writing, and a press release about JK Rowling's Pottermore.
Also on QueryTracker:  Why you need a Game Plan, an article explaining that writers, like businesspeople, need a game plan.  This is especially true if you're self-publishing, but also true even with traditional publishing.  Danyelle Leafty talks about developing a 5-year game plan.  Mostly, she points out that writers are now considered responsible for a lot of their own self-promotion.  She also points out that the point of social networking isn't to sell - it's to form a network of people to support you, make connections, and so forth.  If it doesn't work for you, don't do it.  Do, however, keep your website up-to-date. And find some way to connect to readers.  If you're self-publishing, you have to make sure you're professional, from your website to your book covers. 

On Eric Blank's Pimp My Novel:
Eric talks about why summer sales slow down.  Major points: Many publishing houses are connected to universities, so of course things slow down in summer.  Your agents will probably take longer to respond, and some agencies close to submissions in the summer. Use the extra time to write.
Also:  Eric talks about why the average advance is shrinking.  You know, that all-important cash advance that writers later have to wait for their royalties to earn out before making money off the royalties?  Yeah, it's getting smaller.  It's a lean market out there, and the original purpose of the advance was for authors to use to market their own books.  With the webculture growing, marketing is getting cheaper.  So publishing houses are shrinking their advances.

On BookEnds:
Jessica Faust points out that if you don't tell people about your facebook/website/blog/twitter accounts, nobody's going to follow you.  (I might be guilty of this one.  >.>   <.<   >.>  Oops.  Guess I'd better fix that!)

On Guide to Literary Agents:
If you don't follow BookEnds, then you might have missed that Lauren Ruth officially joined BookEnds as a new agent now accepting queries.
Also, an article on How to be a Click Magnet - getting higher on the search engine roll and getting more traffic.  Included amongst the 10 suggestions?  Use full names, specific (yes, even to the point of boring) titles, and keep the title under 65 characters (not words!)
Also: An interview with Deirdre Knight.  Always get to know the agents you're querying - if you plan on sending something to her, read the interview.  No cliffsnotes on this one, sorry: the homework doesn't help you if you don't do it yourself.  Well, maybe one note: apparently fanged unicorns win over zombies.

And on the close-to-home side of things (close to my home, anyway,) HCRW's own Virginia Kantra won the RITA award at the annual RWA conference!  Congratulations, Virginia! 
(Decoding the alphabet soup for my new readers: HCRW, is the Heart of Carolina Romance Writers' association, my local chapter of the Romance Writers of America.)

Just a happy little summer update on the industry!  Any news of note that I've missed?


  1. Thanks for the info, very nice blog.

    Not trying to be too much of an English teacher, but you misspelled "encountering" in your lead-in/explainer. If this were my blog I'd want to know, so I'll be the nitpick and point it out.

  2. Whoops! As a former English teacher myself, thank you for pointing that out! I can't believe I've missed it for so long! 0.o

    Glad you found the blog helpful! :)