Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Talented and Fabulous Michelle Zink!

Check this out . . .

"Nancy Conescu at Little, Brown for Young Readers has preempted world rights to The Prophecy of the Sisters, a YA gothic thriller trilogy by debut author Michelle Zink; Steven Malk at Writers House made the six-figure deal. The first book in the trilogy, which blends supernatural elements with romance, is scheduled for spring 2009, with books two and three to follow in spring 2010 and 2011."

I've been sitting on this for like three weeks, but the news is official now!! For those of you who don't know this story, Michelle and I got to be friends about nine months ago when we were both doing revisions for Writers House agents who had not actually offered to rep us yet. (A very rewarding, but utterly nerve-wracking process.) I was luckier on that end--I only worked with Jodi for about three months before I got a contract. Michelle worked on hers for seven months. But she's been luckier (i.e. more talented;)) than me on the other end. Her book sold at pre-empt in four days for a fabulous deal!!

Please join me in wishing her a hearty congratulations!!

Congrats Michelle!!


Friday, August 24, 2007

Dream Agent vs. In-Your-Dreams Agent

I've been reading a lot about people complaining about agents lately. And some of it is justified. Some of it is not. And it hasn't just come from writers. It has come from editors and other agents as well. But for this post I am just going to focus on the author-agent relationship.

Now, I have an agent. And she is an exceptional agent. In general as well as to me personally. She is my dream agent and I know a lot of people who would kill to have her.

However, I also know several people who already have an agent--a dream agent even--and they are still frustrated. Why? Because for some reason, their sense of reality is skewed and they are looking for an In-Your-Dreams Agent.

Let's start on the positive side. Here are a few (just a few) reasons why Jodi is my dream agent.

1. She has a very strong sales record. There are bestsellers as well as mid-listers on her list and she specializes in at least one of the genres in which I write.

2. I have spoken with other client/s and they recommend her whole-heartedly.

3. She works at a reputable house and has for a long time. (I get a little worried about agents, even good ones, who bounce from house to house. Really, why change so much? Are they getting fired or just impossible to please? Either way, I am not impressed.)

4. She had the good sense to sign with me. (Hahahahahaha!!!! Ooh, just sec--let me wipe the tears away. Ah, okay. Let's continue.)

5.She doesn't charge me anything.

6. She returns my e-mails promptly. (I think her record is two days, and she had a reason for that delay.)

7. She reminds me often that her phone is always open to me.

8. She likes my writing and tells me so whenever I am feeling discouraged.

9. She always offers great critiques and really understands my writing.

10. She told me from the beginning that she was in it for the long haul, not just one book.

Things my agent does NOT do and that I should not expect her to do.

1. Talk to me on the phone every day.

2. E-mail me every day.

3. Read my manuscripts or revisions overnight.

4. Answer my e-mails within minutes.

5. Listen (or read) to me whine about things she has no control over.

6. Be available on weekends/holidays/vacations/etc.

7. Sell every book I write for a six-figure advance/pre-empt/auction/etc.

8. Sell every book I write, period.

9. Make me her best friend, tell me all about her personal life, etc.

10. Make me her top priority all the time.

Honestly, if my agent did all of the things on the second list, I would start to worry that not only was I her only client, but also the only person in her entire life. And that would be scary.

Do you know how many clients your agent has? I was curious the other day so I did two things. I logged on to and went to their "Who Reps Who" section. And found every author listed as being repped by Jodi. Then I went to Amazon and searched for her name and found more. (They have a quote from the acknowledgments page.) In less than an hour I found over twenty clients and I am positive there are more that I didn't find. That's a lot of careers to manage!

So whether you are a big fish in a small pool, a small fish in a big pool, or something in between, remember that you are still just one fish. Agents are human. They have lives, just like the rest of us. So if your agent treats you and your writing with courtesy, respect, and enthusiasm and you are still not happy, maybe you need to seriously consider that the problem may not lie with them.


Wednesday, August 22, 2007

A Little Clarification

Okay, I have had several readers mention that they found my blog through Miss Snark's (le sigh, miss her . . .) Crap-o-meter and are confused as to which book is which. And where the heck is that ghost book?! (and no, Stephen, this isn't just for you. You were just the straw on the proverbial camel's back.:)) So here are my books.

Book One: Adult Classic Fantasy entitled, "The Chain and the Sword." This is the book I got my agent with.

Book Two: A YA Contemporary Fantasy entitled, "Autumn Wings." This is the book Jodi and I are currently preparing for submission.

Book Three: A YA Contemporary Fantasy entitled, "Life After Theft." This is the book from Miss Snark. (le sigh) Unfortunately, it's not finished. I signed with Jodi in the middle of writing it so it got lost amid revisions of "The Chain and the Sword." The good news is that it will be my keep-busy-writing-so-I-don't-go-crazy project while "Autumn Wings" is out on submission.

Book Four: The Book-which-must-not-be named. A classic Romance that actually does not have a title--although I joke about calling it "Basking in Basque." (Hehe.) It is my official trunk novel and although I really like the story, it needs a lot (lot, lot, lot) of work. This novel may someday see the sun . . . but I doubt it.:)

So that is what I mean when I refer to "The Books." Hope that helps.:)


Monday, August 20, 2007

Book Two

I turned in my second book to my agent last month and last week she called and told me she loves it and will be representing it as well. Yea!! I tell you what, it is really confidence inspiring to be able to get my agent's approval on a second book--especially an agent from Writers House. It makes me think that maybe the first book wasn't just a fluke.

And that makes me happy.:)

So now I'm working on a few small revisions and Jodi wants to get this one out quickly. I hope that's a good sign.:)

Anyway, not a very thought provoking post, but all of my creative energy is going to my revisions right now. Wish me luck!


Friday, August 17, 2007

Editorial Ass[istant]

Okay. I have found a new blog (without even looking for one--I have enough to read!!!) and after less than one day I have enjoyed it so much that I am putting on my list of favorite over there to the right. Here it is. As the title of this post suggests, it is called Editorial Ass--meaning assistant, kind of like my friend Dan used to call our assistant manager the Ass Man. (Excuse the language, Mom--admit it, it's funny!) She appears to be a former assistant editor (now an acquiring editor) at some publisher who writes extremely irreverent posts, complains way too much about her boss for a public blog, posts some really funny links, and drinks too much.:) From some back-reading I've done today I have read some really funny stuff like this and this. Also this which was interesting.

Anyway, I have laughed out loud (literally) several times today over this blog. So go check it out.

In other news, I am expecting a very important phone call from my agent in a little while.

No, not that important, don't let your imagination run away with you; but quite important.:)


Monday, August 13, 2007

Word of Mouth

I have often heard professionals in the publishing industry say that word of mouth publicity is often worth more than any other kind you could pay for. I used to be skeptical about that because I have a rather small social circle. Plus, in comparison to the number of sales we'd all like to have (*laugh*) the amount of people you could reach by word of mouth seemed pitifully small.

However, the last few weeks have shown me just how powerful word of mouth could potentially be . . . albeit on a very, very small scale.

In my church group we have a class for women above eighteen and as we open the meeting we have the "Good News Minute." Several weeks ago I announced that I had finished the final draft of my new book. I had an older lady (about seventy) come up to me and ask how she could get a hold of my book to read it. I told her that it wasn't anywhere near published, but that she could read my copy if she wanted to. So I brought it to her the next week.

The week after that she told me how much she'd enjoyed the book and that she'd passed it on to one of the other ladies and was that okay? I was fine with that. So then a man in our church group (I have no idea how he found out) told me his wife wanted to read it and could she be on the waiting list? On top of that, the mother of one of my beta readers confessed that she hadn't let her daughter take her copy back until she'd read it too.

Now, bear in mind, I didn't tell anyone what this book was about or anything. After the initial request from the elderly woman, everyone has heard reviews from someone other than me. Four people may not seem like very much, but it has been only in the last few weeks, with people I only see once a week, and with absolutely no effort on my part. If I was actually trying to promote my book, I imagine the results would increase exponentially. And if there was publicity running alongside it, I can see how it really would be very effective.

And, of course, the modern word of mouth is word of blog.:) So I guess I'm doing some of that too.:)


Thursday, August 09, 2007

The Debutante Ball

Are any of you familiar with this grog (group blog)? It's a fun blog featuring six authors whose debut novels all came out this year (except one whose publication date got moved back--:(--so she gets another year on the blog--:)--). I've always thought this was a fun idea and been just a smidge jealous that my book wasn't coming out this year so I could be a "Deb" too. But I did wonder how long it would last. After all, you only get one debut novel. Well, yesterday I got my answer in my e-mail (Yes, I admit, I don't check that e-mail nearly as often as I should). It has been a year since the Debutante Ball started and everyone's book has been published except for Eileen's (who is the author I mentioned above.) So they have brought in a whole new cast! Five new Debs and a return appearance by Eileen. So mosey on over there and have a look. It's a really fun site and there a new entry every day. So if you want to see the process leading up to and just following the release of a debut novel, you will enjoy this one. (Pssst . . . it's over there ---------->)

By the way, this is their official announcement, posted here with permission.

"We'd like to invite you to join the six of us as we take over the fabulous Debutante Ball ( ), starting Monday, August 6. was founded last year by Kristy Kiernan along with five other debut novelists. It was a wonderful chance for those writers to bond with authors at similar points in their careers, and provide an opportunity for readers to become acquainted with other books they might find enjoyable.

Last year's authors, Kristy Kiernan, Mia King, Tish Cohen, Jennifer McMahon, Eileen Cook and Anna David hand over the reins this week, with Eileen Cook being the one carry-over author, as her debut date has been pushed back.

This year's authors, whose books will debut in 2008, are: Danielle Younge-Ullman (FALLING UNDER), Jess Riley (RIDING WITH LARRY RESNICK), Lisa Daily (FIFTEEN MINUTES OF SHAME), Jenny Gardiner (SLEEPING WITH WARD CLEAVER), Gail Konop Baker (CANCER IS A BITCH: Reflections on Midlife, Mortality, Motherhood and Marriage), and Eileen Cook (UNPREDICTABLE).

We hope you'll drop by to visit the Ball ( ), remember to bookmark the site if you like it, and check out the happenings as the year progresses!


Danielle, Jess, Lisa, Jenny, Gail, and Eileen"

Please go visit them!


Thursday, August 02, 2007

Congratulations Patricia Wood!!

It's launch day for Patricia Wood's highly publicized debut, Lottery. I can't help but add to the hype here at Apparently! Please go check out her blog (It's over there --------->) where there are more links and festivities.

Congratulations Pat!!!!