Another busy week in publishing, so let’s get started.
First off, my wonderful client Jennifer Hubbard and some of her blogging friends are hosting a fundraiser for local libraries! All you have to do is click over to her blog and leave a comment on her blog or one of the other participants, and they’ll donate an extra 25 cents.
Also on Jennifer Hubbard’s blog recently was some of the best first draft advice you’ll ever receive.
And our good friend Conduit/Stuart Neville, author of the forthcoming novel THE TWELVE (UK)/GHOSTS OF BELFAST (US) (can we start calling Conduit/Stuart “Slash” for short?) posted about a common sentiment about embarking upon the all-important second novel. Angst and nervousness sometimes (often) involved.
In the category of “holy crap, why didn’t anyone tell me this blog existed???”, I came across Picador creative director Henry Sene Yee’s blog, which is mainly devoted to talking about how book designers create their jackets, their inspiration and source material, and some of the drafts and false starts along the way. IT. IS. FASCINATING. The most recent post is about the cover for COLUMBINE by Dave Cullen. (hat tip Book Design Review)
Moonrat took a look at a Richard Curtis article from 1986 about the way the conglomeration of the publishing industry has resulted in editorial turnover that leads to less author and book commitment, which is still, shall we say, still relevant. Curtis also created just a partial list of the publishing mergers and acquisitions of the past 20 years, which is eye-popping.
Good news for the indispensable site Writer Beware, a judge dismissed a lawsuit by a supposed literary agent against the site, with prejudice. I’ve always wanted to type that. I just took out the trash WITH PREJUDICE. It has a ring to it. Anyway, as you may recall a literary agent sued the site’s organizers claiming libel, but the judge was having none of that.
The Bookseller recently reported on a reader study (market research?? publishing??) in the UK that concluded that 20m (which I think means 20 million, although it could mean 20 males) readers are currently being left behind by a publishing industry that they think conveys a certain type of society and lifestyle. They also regard reading as an “anti-social activity”. Well, YEAH. And thank goodness, too.
Also in “those wacky Brits” news, the annual award for the Oddest Book Title was announced. This year’s winner: THE 2009-2014 WORLD OUTLOOK FOR 60-MILLIGRAM CONTAINERS OF FROMAGE FRAIS. Sorry, BABOON METAPHYSICS. Not weird enough for first place.
In agent advice news, you may have noticed a recent article in The Beast about how some big short story collections are defying industry conventional wisdom that says collections don’t sell. So agents are probably all over them now, right? Miriam at Dystel & Goderich says not so fast.
Meanwhile, after all this talk about the death of publishing, do you still want to work in the publishing business? Jessica Faust has some advice: pack your bags for Manhattan. Oh. And you might want to brush up on your drink mixology skills for your night job (yes, you may need one).
And in another crucial question answered, Jessica Faust tackles what an author can really do to help sell their books. A must-read.
And finally, take a beloved picture book classic, add Dave Eggars and Spike Jonez, mix in a dash of the Arcade Fire (Mom, that’s a popular band among people my age), and what you have is pure hipster crack. I can tell you from personal experience that Gen Xers and Yers across the nation are currently losing their minds over the trailer for WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE:
Have a great weekend!
Nathan, what do you think of Creative Byline? The site that claims it will get publishers looking at your work.
Kim Kasch says
Just thought you might like to see that you are one of five in ”The Best of the Best for Blogging Agents”
I’m cleaning the cat litter. WITH PREJUDICE.
Wow, Marilyn, thank you!! It’s such fun having you post in character there. 🙂
Vancover Dame, I can also recommend Bird by Bird. I’m reading it now, and really like it.
Nathan – top five, congratulations!
Marilyn Peake says
Congratulations, Nathan, on your blog making the top five in agent sites. Definitely well-deserved!!
Vodka Mom says
great stuff- and I ADORED that trailer……
Laini Taylor says
Thanks for the links, especially the Jessica Faust promotion one — there’s so much pressure to promote, and really so little we can do (without $$) that will have a real impact. It’s nice for someone to say, “Just write good books.” I only wish it truly were that simple!
Vancouver Dame says
Thanks, Mira, re-Bird by Bird. That’s two that like it and one that doesn’t. It’s good to get different opinions, since we all look for different things in writing books.
Jennifer Mann says
From a devoted lurker…thanks for the trailer! It made me cry. And I have a personal policy of never (almost) watching movies based on favorite children’s books. Where does that leave me now?
Writer from Hell says
All the energy and time you obviously put in blogging for the writers is much appreciated. Congrats on being in the top 5..whoopie!!!
Did you know when people say we are amongst the top 5 what they really mean is they are the 5th.
Writer from Hell says
..though for us loyal fans you are no. 1. Others’ blogs are just not there. You are really savage – ya I mean you save the age.
have a good abrupt weekend. I mean abso rapturous..
wow. that trailer is amazing. I’m not surprised people are going nuts for it. Stunning, and great music.
Marilyn, I finally had time to sit down and read your book – I loved it! I had trouble at first, because I was reading for the wrong age group. Once I adjusted the age – 6-12, right – it totally worked. Gorgeous prose, great story. I got goose bumps at the end.
I’m going to review it at Amazon.
You know, I was thinking about this. I have my hands full with my new blog, but maybe for the future – or if someone else wants to…..
A really cool blog would be a place where new and newish authors get together and read each other’s works. They could support each other and help market each other and talk about how to get the word out.
Just a thought. I guess a networking support site? Maybe something like that already exists….
Anyway, I (honestly) loved your book.
In re: Wild Things trailer.
Sorry, but this trailer is nothing but a kid running around with a big, fluffy muppet. How is this so exciting? A sad commentary, I’m afraid, on what’s “new” and “exciting.”
Looks a lot like “Legend.”
What I saw in the trailer was a much deeper story than a boy running around in a costume. I have a feeling the movie will be good.
Did they ever make a movie out of Romona the Pest? My daughter would love that!
Marilyn Peake says
Wow, thank you very, very much! I’m so glad you liked The Fisherman’s Son. I still get nervous when someone reads my work. I’m honored that you read one of my books, and thrilled that you enjoyed it.
I really did. I’m going to order the sequel. Just to make you nervous again. 🙂
Although, you’re a good writer. No idea why you’d be nervous!
Dave Cullen says
I wrote “COLUMBINE” and I love what Henry did with the cover. And I loved reading his blog and learning more about how it came about. (They were great about asking for my approval, including offering to put my name back on the cover if I wanted, but I never saw/heard much of how it came about. I don’t think writers usually get to see that part. I had no idea there were all those drafts for my cover.)
Thanks for mentioning it. I’m glad this post lead me to your blog. (Google alerts–aren’t they great?)
And jumping in early on the writing books, I’m a huge fan of Janet Burroway’s “Writing Fiction: A Guide To Narrative Craft.” I loved it as a student, and as a teacher, teaching undergrads. And they loved it, too.
Wild things! I used to watch the PBS kids show…
Marilyn Peake says
Thank you so much, Mira!
christopher ryan says
great stuff. and i love the bit about the first draft – but what about taking on the second draft? to me that’s almost as daunting, if not more, because the passion of the creative act has sort of passed on to a new stage. the pragmatic, soul-searching, scrutinizing eye of the perfectionist must take over. where to start? how to do it – section by section, from the beginning, from the end to the opening… or simply shove it in a drawer and hope it finishes itself?
the horror, the horror.