Pub Rants

Daily Digest Reading

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STATUS: Caucus time in Colorado! I’m heading out early to participate in my neighborhood meeting to choose our delegate.

What’s playing on the iPod right now? BAD SNEAKERS by Steely Dan

Two years ago when I was looking for an assistant, I did interviews with something like 13 or 14 candidates for the position. I began each interview with a list of our daily reading on top of all the queries/submissions/full manuscripts that we receive.

I literally had two people withdraw themselves from consideration because it was going to be too much.

Sara was actually the only candidate who said, “Yes, I understand all that but since I read very quickly, I’ll finish in no time so let me tell you how my background can contribute to growing your company.”

Yeah. Pretty obvious why I hired her, isn’t it? She’s one of the few people I have met who actually reads faster than I do.

But here’s why I share the story. You guys want to know the inside scoop about the publishing industry? Than why not read what most agents do every morning? Note: these aren’t necessarily free. Also, it will take a month or two before reading them begins to make sense because you’ll need to get more familiar with the industry, the players, etc. It is quite an education I imagine though.

In case you are interested, here’s the list of my daily digest reads:

Variety Daily News

Publishers Marketplace Pub Lunch
Publishers Marketplace Deal Lunch

Publishers Weekly Daily
Publishers Weekly Children’s Bookshelf

Media Bistro’s Daily Media News Feed

Happy Reading!

12 Responses

  1. Heather Wardell said:

    Very interesting list, thank you. Your link to Variety Daily News has somehow gotten confuddled with your Pub Lunch link, though.

    The PM emails in particular have been very useful in helping me understand more about the industry.


  2. John Arkwright said:

    I have a bit of Steely Dan on my IPod. My favorites are Dr. Wu, Don’t Take Me Alive, Kid Charlamagne, Third World Man and The Royal Scam.

    I can’t pick just one.

  3. Maggie Stiefvater said:

    I’m somewhat of a geek as I love to read industry news, though I don’t think it really affects what I write as a fiction writer.

    I wonder if you prefer your authors to have some industry knowledge though? Or is it all right to be clueless if you catch a good agent?

  4. Tânia said:

    Good Question Maggie! I love to write and I don’t understand anything about this industry. I would love to find a agent who I could trust, and forget about all the rest!

  5. Michele said:

    I am regular reader of your blog. I rarely comment. Just wanted to say THANK YOU for all the very useful posts. I only have time for a few paragraphs a day and you always give me something to go on or think about for days. I am getting quite an education. Your blog is never a waste of my time and I appreciate the thought and effort you put into it.

  6. Maya Reynolds said:

    Thanks for the heads up on Variety. I’m already reading the others.

    One note on Publishers Lunch. It costs $20 a month. Two years ago, I subscribed to it, planning to cancel the subscription after three months. I wanted to refine my list of potential agents for my query search. My plan was to mine their database of agents and the deals made in the industry.

    I found it so useful a subscription that I am still subscribing two years later.

  7. Anonymous said:

    Maggie & Tania – I’d say the existence of this blog means Agent Kristin would rather not have writers clueless. Without some understanding of the the industry, you won’t know the process required to snag a good agent, and worse, may fall prey to a scammer agent.

    I guess there’s the other extreme that might turn off an agent – a writer thinking they know so much that they won’t let the agent do her job.

  8. Maggie Stiefvater said:

    I guess there’s the other extreme that might turn off an agent – a writer thinking they know so much that they won’t let the agent do her job.

    I think this is mostly what I was thinking about — is there such a thing as an obnoxiously informed author.

  9. Getting There With A Passion - Chairborne! said:

    I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being informed. I think it’s our responsibility to get informed, especially when it comes to a publishing world most of us aspiring authors know little to nothing about – being obnoxious is an entirely different ball of wax. . .

    -Rachel Glass

  10. Christine Fletcher said:

    I had the same experience with Publishers Lunch that Maya did. I figured I’d spring for a few months during my agent search. Well, I’ve been with my agent for over 3 years now, my second book is coming out in April, and I’m still subscribing.

    Writers do themselves a disservice by not learning at least the basics of the industry. You can leave a lot to your agent, yes, but in the end, you’re the one making the decisions that affect your career. Your agent will advise you, but he/she can’t make those decisions for you.