Pub Rants

Q&A 2010—Round One

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STATUS: I shouldn’t pat myself on the back when I have to leave next week to go out of town. I so want to enjoy being caught up.

What’s playing on the iPod right now? LEGEND IN YOUR OWN TIME by Carly Simon

Wow. That’s a plethora of Qs. At least I know what I’ll be gabbing about next week—which is good because pre-trip is always a tad hectic.

worstwriterever asked:
1) If you had to choose a different career than literary agent, what would you choose?
I used to teach college back in the day. Unbelievable to me that it has been over 15 years ago now. I think if I weren’t going to be a lit agent, I’d probably teach again. I really enjoyed it.

Of course what I like to be is independently wealthy. Wink.

2) I tweeted your post(s) yesterday because they rocked. If you’re not on Twitter, how come?
Oi! It’s on my list of things to do. Honestly! Anita, our new fab assistant is getting us on Facebook and Twitter very soon so keep an eye out.

MeganRebekah asked:
I don’t know if this outside your power/knowledge, but I’m wondering why Perfect Chemisty isn’t available on Kindle?

In this case did the publisher decide not to go ebook? Or was that decision made on different level? Any insight onto the reasoning?

Walker, Simone, and I all want to be in eBook format. The eBook was supposed to be available by now but the reason it isn’t has a lot to do with the whole Amazon hoopla and publishers changing to the agency commission model etc. I expect it will be available very soon as Simone’s editor keeps assuring me that it’s in the pipeline etc.

Cheryl asked:
Staying with the cover art theme, could you explain the process. I assume the editor gives the art department direction and the writer’s input is slim to nil (unless your name is Stephen King and your publisher contracts an independent illustrator to do your cover art).

And have you ever had to battle a publisher on your client’s behalf because the cover art was just all wrong or looked like it had been slopped together?
The answer to this question really depends on the editor and the publisher involved. I have some editors who keep us in the loop on EVERYTHING regarding the cover—including seeing early sketches from the cover artist. Then other houses just want to present the finished cover to you (which I hate). Now, in general, editors really want their authors to be happy with covers so they often ask for a lot of feedback before the cover process begins such as how a character looks or scenes that could be cool if represented.

No matter what, I always have a new author put together a file of covers they love and why (and grabbing most from their publisher but others are included too). That way the house gets a sense of the author’s taste even if they aren’t going to get a direct say in the art.

And yes, I’ve done many a battle over cover art. Sometimes I’ve won. And sometimes I have not. In the latter case, I always pray that the publisher was right and I was wrong and the cover works in a big way.

More Qs tomorrow.

5 Responses

  1. worstwriterever said:

    Thanks for answering. Fifteen years ago, I was walking up and down a gigantic hill both ways to and from high school, with no boots on, and no socks.

    In those days we didn’t have socks.

  2. Anonymous said:

    What, in you’re opinion, are some of the new fads of writing that are selling well right now? (i.e. angels, vampires, etc)Thanks!

  3. Alli said:

    This is really great. Thank you for the opportunity to ask questions and for the time you will take answering them.

  4. Cheryl said:

    Thanks so much for answering my question, Kristin. I’m glad to hear that some publishers like input from the author. And if they don’t, it’s nice to know they’ll hear about it from you. 😉

    Enjoy your time in Italy.