Publishing

Don’t Give Up Your Dream

As we all settle into this new year, many of us are thinking about our resolutions, our goals, our dreams. What will we do this year that brings us closer to what we desire? This year, many of us will move ahead with concrete milestones that show we’re reaching our goals. Many of us will…
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What’s a Slush Pile Anyway?

If you’ve been around publishing for long, you’ve probably heard of the infamous slush pile. Where did that term come from? It generally means the stacks and stacks of manuscripts that come in over the transom. The stacks that editors and agents do their best to read, skim, glance at, or at the very least,…
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New for 2009…

Hey everyone, I’m now on Twitter. Click here to follow me. My Twitter updates will also be on the sidebar of this blog. Because I KNOW y’all want to know what I had for breakfast and when I’m going to scrub my toilet. AND because I just couldn’t figure out what the heck to do…
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It Came In Over the Transom

The following is another re-run. Enjoy! When publishers or agents receive unsolicited manuscripts, we say it “came in over the transom.” Ever given much thought to what that actually means? There’s a varied folklore surrounding the phrase, but here’s what I’ve pieced together. A “transom” is a crosspiece, usually made of wood. The word has…
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Rejection Is Not For Sissies

I’m on vacation… but due to the wonders of modern technology, the blog is NOT on vacation. This is a re-run. “When am I going to stop feeling so bad about rejecting people?” My husband muted the football game. “What?” “When am I going to get a thicker skin? When is it going to get…
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"We’re Out of Christmas Toys!"

Written and typed by Lauren, age 9* “The toys are all gone,” cried the elves. They all ran around looking for Christmas toys. “We can’t be out of everything! We are out of screws so we can’t build dollhouses for girls and Nerf guns for boys. Santa is going to be sad.” Just then Santa…
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The Great and Powerful Oz Has Spoken

So, you know I’m not the Wizard of Oz, right? And I’m not God? Okay, good, just checking. Because sometimes I get these letters from people that seem to imbue me with powers that I just don’t have. Like this one I received in response to a very kind rejection letter I’d sent (this is…
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Responding to the Difficult Economy

I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.Charles Swindoll The biggest news in our world today is the economy, and many are suffering the effects. Last week we were bombarded with news of difficult realities in the publishing industry. What should our response be? I…
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Stats… Industry News… and a Q4U

STATS It’s been awhile since I added up any stats. I didn’t do them for October, so here they are, along with November’s numbers. Total queries received in the two months combined: about 720 Pass letters sent: 358 Request for partials sent: 7 Queries unanswered in my query box: 262 Hard copy queries/proposals sent via…
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Advances Part Two

Yesterday we discussed advances and there were several questions, so today we’ll talk about them some more. First, what is an “advance” anyway? An advance is a “pre-payment” of the royalties the publisher expects you to earn on your book. Let’s say the publisher has agreed to pay you a royalty of 8% on the…
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Ask the Agent: Advances

I’d like to know your perspective on advances. What is the average advance, in CBA versus ABA? How are advances paid out? Is an advance negotiable, and if so, to what degree? It’s impossible to give an “average” advance in either CBA or ABA. They’re wildly all over the map depending on so many factors.…
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Who Takes the Risk?

ANNOUNCEMENT: I will only be blogging FOUR days a week until further notice. I plan to blog Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Wednesdays and weekends are off. Thanks for being here! We’ve had a lot of talk on this blog about publishers and bookstores wanting “more of the same” rather than unique and original books.…
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But Can They Sell It?

Yesterday, Pam sent a question about Tuesday’s post on The Process of Acceptance: Rachelle said: “At Pub Board, the sales and marketing people usually have the final say about whether to accept the book for publication or not. They have to strongly believe they can sell it.” This is the part that confuses me. If…
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Ask the Agent: The Process of Acceptance

Laurie wrote: A publisher requested my manuscript several months ago. I suspect he’s passed it to someone else to read. Does the reader make a report? Is it discussed by a committee? I’m wondering if my “precious” writing is on a shelf somewhere or being used as a convenient footrest under someone’s desk. All I…
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