This week! The books!
First up, thank you to everyone for reviewing ‘Jacob Wonderbar!’ And the winner of the signed copy is… Redd! I’ll e-mail you arrange delivery.
Also this week I was interviewed at Read is the New Black and at Cynsations, wherein I talk my real-life experiences with substitute teachers, the astrophysics class I took in college and completely ignored while writing Wonderbar, and my love for Calvin & Hobbes.
Quiet week in the writing blogosphere this week. How could that be? Well, let’s face it. As Eric from Pimp My Novel so eloquently states: It’s summer.
Lots of talk of self-publishing this week, and in fact they comprise the bulk of the links. So let’s do this in bullet point fashion.
- Agent Rachelle Gardner examines whether self-publishing will hurt your chances at traditional publication.
- Author Anne R. Allen wonders if agents are becoming extinct and looks at some new strategies for agents and authors in the new publishing paradigm.
- Guest posting at Joe Konrath’s blog, author Barry Eisler makes some important distinctions about agents acting as publishers, and argues that agents facilitating an author self-publishing doesn’t have to be a conflict of interest.
- The CEO of e-distributor Smashwords, Mark Coker, argues that agents who facilitate self-publishing are fulfilling an important service.
And in life-of-a-writer news, my former client Natalie Whipple has an awesome post on the pressure that social networking instills, the dark side of the Internet, and how we’re not always proud of our actions online.
This week in the Forums, what should you ask a small press before signing a contract, are you on Goodreads?, some light YA recommendations, and a very important topic: reading like a writer.
Comment! of! the! Week! I really liked Cathy Yardley’s answer about what she wished she had known when she started writing, because it’s something I believe in wholeheartedly:
I wish I’d know that everybody writes alone, but nobody becomes a writing success that way. Not just the critique aspect, but the support. It’s too tough a business to lone wolf.
And finally, I had almost forgotten what a great show Animaniacs was, but my coworker Laura reminded me with this video. It works particularly well in a “Wonderbar” conext:
Have a great weekend!
Matthew MacNish says
Ted Fox says
I'd just like to second your love of Calvin & Hobbes. For me, it doesn't get any better than a good transmogrifier storyline (although I suspect Spaceman Spiff might top your list).
All these agents embracing self-publishing now reminds me of the Alan Jackson song, "She's Gone Country."
Let's try this again.
Did you see this article, Nathan? I thought it was amazing how quickly he jumped to number one. Really shows the power of social networking. And Nerdfighters.
Nathan Bransford says
D.G. Hudson says
Thanks for the links, Nathan.
Today is our Canada Day,
July 1st! We Canadians will celebrate that in various ways, and wish all the USA readers a Happy July 4th on Monday.
(Meanwhile, the young British Royals, William and Kate are trekking across Canada).
Animaniacs were more for adults than kids, methinks. Some of their comments were priceless.
PS – Jakob Wonderbar is difficult to get (from a bookstore) in western Canada, it has to be ordered. I finally went to an indie store to order it, Nathan, since I believe in supporting the indie stores, rather than Amazon.
But really, I'm even having to advise my library to order it, why hasn't more info gone out the librarians in Canada? Seems like an opportunity and a market missed to me. I'll do my own review on my blog, after I get the book.
Have a great long weekend!
The English Teacher says
I'm confused about agents getting involved with self-publishing. Why would an author who chooses to self-publish need an agent? I can see that author hiring an editor or a publicist, but an agent? Why?
Someone with more knowledge than I please elucidate.
The English Teacher says
Oh, and Sidekick, I agree that that is incredible.
Anne R. Allen says
Thanks for the shout-out, Nathan!
Side-kick–what a story! I've just Tweeted and FB'd it. (Although John Green does say FB is his least favorite social medium.)
English Teacher–Most of us would like to have agents because they know more than us. And it's a whole lot easier to negotiate treacherous business waters with somebody on your side. Even Konrath has an agent.
Love the updates! I especially loved Natalie Whipple's blog post. Thanks for the share. 😀
Have a happy Fourth! Independence, FTW!
Sidekick–I'm a nerdfighter who pre-ordered that book! It helped that John promised personal autographs for every single pre-order. Hehe. His writing hand is gonna be poooooped. XD
Marilyn Peake says
Congratulations on all the interviews you’ve had for JACOB WONDERBAR!
I’ve been following the articles on self-publishing you mentioned, have joined in the discussion on most of those sites, and am delighted to find you discussing them here. I’m excited about the new world of self-publishing, very different from what it was a couple of years ago. I started experimenting with self-publishing in March, offering three novels and three short stories for 99 cents each on Kindle. My sales have doubled within two months time and are on par with numbers I’ve heard are good on self-publishing sites. I have an open invitation from a top Hollywood movie agent who only takes on clients by referral to submit all my work to him, my short stories published by an indie publisher are being considered for TV shows in a joint project between my indie publisher and a new media company run by the Executive Producer of THE LORD OF THE RINGS movies. I’m a few months away from completing my final rewrite of a science fiction novel, and I’m suddenly thinking about self-publishing it rather than querying agents. I talked to a web designer about an idea I have for promoting the novel, and am excited about the possibilities for a unique PR campaign. I love innovation. I love new eras of thinking outside the box. Truly great discussions about the new era of publishing here on your blog and on the sites you mentioned.
Nathan, I hope your Cosmic Horizons class didn't require any papers! I can't imagine. It sounds fascinating, but I had a difficult enough time with a paper on the Categorical Imperative in Philosophy.
Kristin Laughtin says
Calvin and Hobbes and Animaniacs in one post? This is awesome like my childhood.
I'm so thankful for Natalie Whipple's post. I think a lot of us have felt that way and been in similar situations before, even if we're not published yet, or we will experience this in the future. In any case, we can read this, know we're not alone, and try to be better in the future.
The English Teacher says
Anne, thanks for answering. So, mostly for moral support, then? Okay. I can handle that.
Neil Larkins says
I more like what "anonymous" right after Cathy Yardley said, alluding to wasted time and effort in not knowing.
Wow, very good links this week, Nathan. It may be quiet in the summertime, but the quality is great.
I'd actually love to take on some of these topics during the week, especially Natalie's blog post, if that interests you. It'd be great to discuss some of these more fully.
So, Natalie's post was vulnerable and honest, and I was very moved reading it. I think she hit on a very real and complicated problem about honesty on internet. Really appreciate her for talking about it! Having the internet mob turn on you – very scary. Look at what happened to a poor 13 year old child who just posted a (weak lyriced but quite catchy pop) song. How many people could write music that catchy? Yet, she may be frozen and scarred for life. Awful.
On the other hand, writers, in particular, have a responsiblity to not allow themselves to be silenced. They must speak truth. That is their duty, their burden, their goal, their reason for existence. I truly believe that with all my heart. Thus, the struggle.
Guess I talked about Natalie's post anyway. 🙂
Anne's blog post was terrific. I was really impressed with all the details and research. Very useful!
Liked reading the other articles about the evolving role of the agent. Should be very interesting seeing how this all works out.
Great comment of the week. Very fun interviews of you, Nathan. 🙂 Fun to be learning more bout you! Sorry your brain got broken in your physics class. Mine would too. There are three things my brain just won't process: physics, real estate and the stock market.
And spelling. Can't forget spelling.
Hope everyone has a great weekend! Happy Independence Day if you're American, Happy Canada Day if you're Canadian, and….um happy weekend to everyone else! Thanks so much for the links, Nathan.
Sorry for the re-post, Nathan. I'm done after this.
I do want to say one more thing about internet honesty.
There is a very key difference between me and Rebecca Black. I'm not 13. I'm an adult.
In the face of danger, do I really hide? Or do I gather my courage and act with integrity? With care, tact and kindness, do I still speak truth?
I often see you doing that, Nathan. That's the road I'd like to take.
@v.n.rieker: Ditto, kiddo. I'm so stoked for his new book. Did you watch the live feed of John reading the first chapter? Just plain awesome.
Ishta Mercurio says
Ooh – good forum links, Nathan! I haven't been able to stop by the Bransforums in a while, but I should make an effort now that it's summer and all my TV shows are on hiatus.
And I'm so glad to see that you love Calvin and Hobbes – although, really, there's no excuse not to love Calvin and Hobbes.
Have a great weekend!
Animaniacs are awesome!
Margo Lerwill says
Self-published authors frequently have agents not for moral support but to negotiate foreign rights and movie rights deals. These can be quite complex, and it's understandable that a self-published author wouldn't want to try to learn the laws and protcols for publishing in numerous countries when an agent is an old hand at these. Many agencies have a staff member who specializes in foreign rights deals.
Anne R. Allen says
Sidekick–thanks a bunch for sharing that link. I found John Green's story fascinating, so I've done some research and posted more about him on my blog.
And Margo–thanks for supporting what I said about the usefulness of agents. People who have years of experience know stuff a newbie doesn't. It's naive to think we can jump in and do everything ourselves and not get taken advantage of. I love the idea of hiring an agent for a flat fee.
Published Author says
Also, in my experience of critiquing unpublished writers, many of their novels open with a childbirth scene in which the newborn is remarkably unusual. Thus I find this scene to be cliched.