This week! Books!
Somewhat of a slow news week but I found some shiny objects out there on the Internet.
Sometimes authors get so wrapped up in a long story arc they can’t imagine their trilogy or seventeen book series happening any other way. They plow forward writing two or three books (or one REALLY long novel) before they try to publish, envisioning a publisher snatching up all three books at once. Here’s why agent Jessica Faust thinks that’s a bad business decision.
Also in agent news, Kristen Nelson has some tips on things prospective clients don’t tend to ask when offered representation, but should!
In writing advice news, Padma Venkatraman has a great post at Cynsations on how to hone your voice.
Sure, automation and artificial intelligence has hit manufacturing and lots of other parts of the economy, but writing is a creative pursuit so we’re safe right? Well… the robots are coming. (Don’t worry, you’re safe. For now.)
An Amazon bookstore is now open in New York City. CNET got an early look.
A new tool is coming that will help publishers and authors optimize their Amazon sales.
This week in the Forums:
Ask me anything!
Are you spending less time on social media?
How have politics affected your writing?
Nominate Your Query for a Critique on the Blog
Nominate Your First Page for a Critique on the Blog
Comment! of! the! week! goes to Caleb, who had some good points in pushing back against some of the anti-agent sentiment that was creeping into the comments section of agent Sarah LaPolla’s interview:
As for diversity, I’m sure the publishing industry could do a number of things to bring people into the fold whose stories aren’t being told because they’re, frankly, too oppressed to create art, but let’s not disregard the minority writers who right now today are publishing. I think the field is pretty diverse. Perhaps, what we need is better promotion, rather than search for some magical “diverse” writers. If you’re willing to look for it, and not simply wait for things to be marketed to you, I think you can find whatever you want to find.
Now, agents making a living wage, isn’t that a good thing? These agents who were doing okay ten years ago with a midlist author clientele were not doing okay because they were bilking or robbing the authors. They were providing a useful service to enough people that they were able to live off the income. Authors with agents get better deals. That’s why people hire agents. Now, how does an author make a living wage? Well, assuming you’re not a blockbuster star, you do it by writing a lot. Not just your favorite kinds of fiction, either. We authors have chosen a creative field in which to work. With creative jobs, the income is not always great. You have to work really hard. Agents are in sales. Sales jobs are different. If you’re a good salesman, your income will be pretty steady. This has nothing to do with cheating or an agent’s immoral greed.
And finally, Ev Williams has helped transform the way the world communicates by co-founding Blogger, Twitter, and Medium. He’s concerned about the direction the Internet is taking, and is pursuing a quixotic path with Medium, going against the grain with a platform for longform thought in a not-particularly-thoughtful cultural moment. This profile is worth a read.
Have a great weekend!
I’m available for manuscript edits, query critiques, and consultations! And if you like this post, check out my guide to writing a novel.
Art: Photo by me. Follow me on Instagram! @nathanbransford
Susan Gourley/Kelley says
For the first time ever, I attended the annual Pennwriters Conference in Pittsburgh and met many writers who had not desire to pitch to an agent. There may even have been pitch spots open. So many writers are interested only in self-publishing. I don't know where it all is going.
JOHN T. SHEA says
Thanks for more always interesting links, Nathan.
Kristin Nelson's piece has a particularly interesting start:-
“In the last two weeks, we at NLA have offered representation to seven authors, most of whom received multiple offers. All agents are aggressively seeking new talent right now!“
Quite a contrast to the doom and gloom so pervasive elsewhere regarding publishing.
And congratulations to Caleb G!