Pub Rants

Every Topic Under The Sun

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Status: New Macbook at home is messing with the font size on blogger. I’ll keep fiddling.

What’s Playing on the XM or iPod right now? SECRETS by One Republic

I’ve been blogging for four years going on five. Some days, it just feels like I’ve covered every topic there is to talk about in Publishing. Most questions we receive have already been answered once on the blog and can be found in the archives.

Seriously, some days when I’m walking Chutney to work, I’ve gotta dig deep for a blog topic. *grin* But in all my years of agenting, NLA has never given a first pages workshop. Now I’ve done an occasional one at a conference but never through the blog or the agency directly.

Which is why Sara decided to take it on! Remember when I decided to do a Writers Digest Webinar a couple of months ago? We got great feedback and participants said it was valuable.

So given the positive response, Sara decided to give a webinar she has long wanted to entitled START YOUR STORY RIGHT. And the bonus? After the webinar, you get to submit the first 3 pages of your manuscript for a critique to see if your opening pages make the cut.

When we did the query Webinar, we had over 200 participants and we read every query submitted for critique. That took hours.

I think she might be crazy but hey, if you’ve ever wanted feedback on your opening, here’s your chance!

Click here to register for Sara’s Webinar.

28 Responses

  1. onelowerlight said:

    @Suzan — You can actually increase the size of any webpage in your browser by hitting “ctrl” and “+”, and decrease the size by hitting “ctrl” and “-” (at least, it works for a PC on Firefox and Chrome, not sure what the combo is for Macs or IE).

  2. Alyson said:

    You know what they say…Sub sole nihil novi est. =)

    The Webinar sounds fantastic, wish I could enroll, but alas, the nonexistent finances of a student. But congratulations on the new Macbook–it sounds crazy, but if it’s only a few days old, take some time to sniff your keyboard. Apple has this sort of new-computer smell that satisfies like none other.

    Happy blogging!

  3. Anonymous said:

    Sounds pretty sane to me. If 200 people attend at 89.00 per person thats17,800 dollars.

    Think about what you could do with that kind of money every month? Webinars like this could increase your agency revenue by over a million dollars a year.

    Do you expect us to believe you won’t be tempted by that kind of money? Are you really so different from everybody else? Can you honestly say you won’t cross the line…. wait you already did.

  4. magolla said:

    Sorry, but $89??

    Are you serious?

    In the current economy, I can’t afford $89 for 90 minutes. Heck, that’s a dollar a minute. And if you say that if I was serious about my writing I’d fork over the $$, then you are nuts.

    Love you, Kristin, but don’t love you or Sara enough to spend that kind of money. I’ll save my nickels for the next trip to the grocery store. At least I know I can buy enough food to last a few days.

  5. Jen Zeman said:

    Kristin’s webinar was well worth $89 – the information was invaluable. If you can’t afford it, so be it. I appreciate the offering!

  6. Lehcarjt said:

    I get that its tough economically right now and that a lot of people might not be able to afford $90.00. But compared to what other industries charge for their time this is cheap. The exact same thing from a good divorce lawyer would be four to five times the amount.

    And why shouldn’t the agency be making money off of teaching a class? What’s wrong with that? It isn’t a reading fee (although I have no doubt there are some that will sign up with the hope that they get repped out if it – but that is their foolishness, not what is being promised). And I bet that Sara puts in plenty of hours to earn whatever amount she makes (critiquing is not easy or quick).

    Also, if Sara taught a webinar a month at this price for two hundred she’d (a) have to give up regular agenting to keep up with the critiquing and (b) only make $213,00 (which I recognize isn’t really an only) not $1m.

  7. Anonymous said:

    I have a difficult time justifying $89 for a webinar. I’m sure the information will be valuable, but I doubt it would be worth $89. As an agency it would make more sense to offer the webinar for free and then reward anyone who stuck it out to the end with a critique.

    The way I read this is: get your first 3 pages read by a literary agent, only $89!

    Sorry Kristen, you just went down a notch.

  8. Lisa Blandford said:

    Considering (a) the purpose of an agent is to represent authors and help them grow their careers as well as be a liason between an author and a publisher; (b) education is NEVER free; (c) Kristin and Sara are obviously experts in their fields and are more than qualified to teach; and (d) Kristin gives to us EVERY SINGLE DAY with her blog posts, archived information and priceless advise that she does give FOR FREE; that offering an interactive online class, as well as a detailed critique on work is more than fair.

    I wish my WIP was ready for critique. I’d invest in myself and take the webinar. YOU BET!

    Thanks Kristin and Sara. For all you do give us aspiring authors.

  9. Allison B. said:

    I took Kristin’s webinar and it was well worth the $89 for the valuable advice she gave and the time she and Sara spent critiquing everyone’s query paragraph. It helped me in my writing career and made me more confident in the querying process, which in my opinion, is priceless.

    I think $89 isn’t that much for getting a professional’s advice and critique for not just a paragraph, but three pages of your manuscript.

  10. Elise M Stone said:

    My problem with the Webinar isn’t the price; it’s the time. Those of us with day jobs can’t participate on a Thursday morning. (I’m on the west side of the country.)

    Sorry I’ll miss it.

  11. lac582 said:

    Elise – I was in your boat for the last webinar. The purchase price also gives you access to the archive for 1 year, so don’t feel as though you can’t watch it if you can’t watch it live. I’m sure as with last time, they’ll give a window for participants to submit their pages for critique.

  12. Marilynn Byerly said:

    Blogger is very unfriendly to the Mac, particularly the fonts. I have just switched to the newer Blogger text editor, but I’m still having problems.

    If you write your posts on your Mac then paste them, convert them to text before pasting, and that often helps.

  13. lexcade said:


    Is there any way that these webinars will happen…well, ever again? that way some of us (who can’t even afford cable) can save up and be better prepared? If so, that’s awesome. If not, then that’s okay too. Thanks!

  14. Anonymous said:

    On my computer the font looks like it’s an image instead of text. It’s not an image, as I can select, copy and paste the text. But, it looks like one. It’s very strange.

    As to the webinar, I think it’s a good idea. And to the people who think offering critiques for a fee somehow degrades the agency, I say: bah humbug. Agents do this at conferences and other fee-based events all the time. However, this is much better, because Sarah is doing a huge critique. Three pages is a lot, especially if they get 200 participants. So, I applaud Ms. Megibow for doing this.

    Truthfully, I think the main reason to buy the seminar is for the page critique. There are tons of blogs from good agents/editors (Kristin included) that provided general advice and tips along these lines. Sometimes they even provide decent examples. But, nothing is as instructive as having someone look at your work and apply the rules to it. Doing it yourself is hard because you’re too close to the work, but having someone else do it is really good.

  15. Elizabeth Briggs said:

    I took Kristin’s webinar (as well as the one by Mary Kole) and I found that they were both worth the cost, even without the critiques.

    I look forward to Sara’s webinar, and I am very impressed she is willing to read 3 pages for each participant!

  16. Rachel said:

    This is something I would love to do, but for two reasons I cant:
    1. I need to finishone of my WIPs first, 🙂

    and 2. As a deaf person, this sort of thing isnt something I could actually use. If it were more disability accessible, it could be something I would spend money on, but as it is, I’m not willing to pay any amount of money for something thats Audio-based.

    otherwise, fabulous idea, and I hope it goes well!

  17. Miranda Kenneally said:

    As one of Sara’s soon-to-be published clients, I feel I should say that before any venture can pay off, resources must be put into said venture. For instance, if you want to run a marathon, you spend a hell of a lot of money on good shoes, good food, good books and magazines with marathoning tips, MEDICAL BILLS, and lots of other things. Not to mention all the time and practice that goes into running the marathon.

    Same goes for writing. Long before Agent Sara took me on as a client, I paid freelance editors to help me with my craft. I spent money on this. I spent time trying to perfect my writing. I’m still trying to perfect it – everyday.

    In a way, isn’t this the same as college? You pay for a degree so you can move up in life. My degree allowed me to get an interview at a prestigious workplace, mainly because the big boss went to my school. But you know what, I learned something in school, too.

    If you have to pay a bit of money to learn, and to get your foot in the door, and you can afford it, what’s the problem with that?

    Hell, I still use my freelance editor to help with my craft, even though I already have an agent. Why? An impartial perspective is worth it to me.

    If you want your classic 1957 Mustang to win an award at a car show, you’re going to pay for top-shelf wax, right? (Lamest. Metaphor. Ever.)

  18. Anonymous said:

    Agents who promote their own paid editing services = conflict of interest. How is this any different?

  19. Lehcarjt said:

    @ Anon 6:31 –

    NLA doesn’t have a paid editing service so that’s why this is different.

    Teaching a class and offering feedback on the product of what your students have created during the class is not the same thing as an editing service.

    For some reason, it really annoys me that people don’t get this.
    There are SO many scammers out there and I’m all for public awareness. But attacking someone for offering their expertise in a teaching situation isn’t a negative or a scam – especially if that person has an (well earned) impeccable reputation.

    Now if Sara started sending out invitations to the class with her rejection notes, then I’d agree with you. But I haven’t seen anything underhanded here and can’t imagine that I ever would.

  20. Shannon said:

    I’m thrilled to have this opportunity! Sara is a saint for agreeing to read the first 3 pages… and honestly it’s what sold me. (Not just that someone will be reading part of my book — but that someone from NLA!!! I couldn’t ask for more)

    I think the Webinar sounds fantastic, the price is TOTALLY reasonable, and I can’t wait for tomorrow. I feel like Christmas came early.

    Don’t listen to the people who are complaining Sara (or Kristin) They’re just mad they can’t sign up 🙂

    “Page reads” are part of so many conferences, and you ALWAYS have to pay… how is this different ??? (Other then the fact you get a webinar too — this is SUCH a good deal.

    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you —- did I mention Thank you? 🙂

  21. Wm. Luke Everest said:

    Seems I checked pubrants too late for Sara’s webinar. (Lesson learned–“follow” button clicked.)

    I just want to thank you for offering such a useful webinar. Far too much creative writing advice follows the maxim of learning from those who can’t. Real expertise is hard to find, and priceless to those who take their writing seriously.

    On that note, I can’t believe how many people complained about spending $89! Let me tell you a story. I studied an MFA in creative writing (at the same Uni as your client, Sarah Rees Brennan, and it was nice to meet Sarah and learn first-hand that success is something you earn). I was lucky enough to study under Paul McAuley, one of the best sci-fi writers in the universe. Three hour-long meetings with Paul, plus five with the critically acclaimed Scott Bradfield, cost me £5000 in course fees.

    I worked hard to save that £5000, and even harder to spend it wisely. Everyday I take steps towards achieving my dream. I know this because I’ve been shown the way by some truly awesome writers. To receive a shove in the right direction from a world-class agent is not worth $89. It’s priceless.

  22. Elizabeth said:

    I’ve been waiting patiently on the other side of blog land for Sara’s recap from the webinar. Sara is probably too busy to recount the pleasant surprises (hopefully many) and horrible lines of unpleasantness that she soldiered through. But if she survived the experience and has a Steinbeck-sized pearl of wisdom to share, please do so. From a hungry blog reader.