This week! Books!
Things are bananas for me at the moment as I gear up for WONDERBAR liftoff, but I did catch a few links this week, and I shall share them with you presently.
First up, Colson Whitehead had a characteristically brilliant and hilarious post on writerly distractions and the Internet. His conclusion: The Internet makes writing less lonely, and it’s not to blame for your unfininished novel. You are.
Publishing industry guru Mike Shatzkin has an interest post on how to figure out the best price for e-books. His conclusion: figuring out the right price is harder than it looks. Publishers aren’t crazy for resisting low prices, but downward price pressure is inevitable.
The latest celebrity to land a book deal is none other than Levi Johnston, who will be published by Touchstone Fireside. Full disclosure: I work at CNET, which is owned by CBS, which owns Simon & Schuster, which is the parent company of Touchstone Fireside. My opinion about Levi Johnston getting a book deal does not necessarily reflect the opinion of CBS. As you were!
Speaking of celebrity book deals, Jennifer Hubbard has an opinion I share: they don’t bother her. People are drawn to names they know and celebrity books sell. Can’t fault the publishers.
And in writing advice news, agent Jenn Laughran has a really great post on author-agency agreements.
This week in the Forums, proof of your writerly nerdiness, how much WIP feedback is too much feedback, whether to change the POV, and, of course, retroactive thievery: what happens when someone already had your idea.
Comment! of! the! Week! goes to Anonymous, who had an unfortunate encounter with a spaghetti agent:
This describes my former agent precisely. She offered to represent me after reading a partial of my manuscript at a conference, even though I told her I was still working on revisions. She assured me it was great, and that she would be able to sell it, and that I would have plenty of time to complete revisions before publication. She had good references, and answered all my questions, so I signed with her.
Soon I noticed that the publishing houses she was submitting to weren’t exactly a right fit for my manuscript. She would, for example, submit to a publisher that worked exclusively in romance, while my ms doesn’t even have romantic elements. Then I discovered from a critique partner who is also represented by this agent that our manuscripts were consistently being submitted to the same publishers at the same time, even though we also don’t write the same genre. It seemed like she just sent an editor every manuscript in her arsenal, whether it would be a fit for them or not, and hoped they might like one.
She did get my ms as far as pub board a couple of times, but eventually I decided to end our working relationship, get my ms in the best shape possible, and try again from square 1.
Sometimes when an offer for representation seems to good to be true…it is!
And finally, it’s the end of the era for those of us who were into the whole social media thing way back in 2003. Friendster as we know it will soon be no more. Here’s a hilarious Onion video to send it off into Internet ancient history:
Have a great weekend!