Pub Rants

Category: author camaraderie

Because It’s Cool & Hip: World Book Night 2012

STATUS: I’ve seen the first beta page for our website redesign. I’m so excited!

What’s playing on the XM or iPod right now? MEXICAN RADIO By Wall Of Voodoo
(Just saw the sale for the tell-all by the original MTV VJs. I’m feeling nostalgic!)

Are you an author? Want to be a part of something terrific and spread the love of reading? Then you’ll want to know about World Book Night. NLA has signed up to be a book giver as have some of our authors! We are committed and then some.

Originally started in the UK last year, Carl Lennertz is now taking it on to make April 23 extraordinary in the US.

Find out more about it and how to sign up here. The deadline is Feb. 1, 2012.

Story Of An Underdog

STATUS: Yesterday got away from me so I’m blogging “early” today.

What’s playing on the XM or iPod right now? SUNSET BOULEVARD by Charlie Robison

Hum, I’m wondering if championing an underdog that then goes on to be successful might be the story of my career.

Either that or I simply have strange tastes most of the time (with the occasional hitting the market square on with a project that generates lots of initial excitement from the get-go).

So here’s another tale of an underdog–a novel that I absolutely loved but had trouble selling. And I can tell you that agents often delude themselves; I seriously expected an auction when I went out on submission with it. I was totally flummoxed when that didn’t happen.

But finally, after much work, this genre bending, doesn’t-fit-into-an-easy-category novel sold. I would call it a dark gothic Victorian historical romance with an unusual paranormal twist.

And I’m always telling aspiring writers not to do what I just did with my description above. LOL. Everything but the kitchen sink!

Given the nature of the story, the editor, author, and I all agreed that we needed to give the novel the best chance possible and one facet of doing that is going after established authors for praise blurbs to hopefully start the early buzz.

Now, the blurb process is not an easy one. In general, you’re lucky if maybe you get one or two blurbs out of 10 or 12 blurb read submissions. Established authors are on deadline, they get asked to blurb a million times, the story isn’t their cup of tea. There are a hundred reasons why established authors pass on reading for blurbs so you don’t go in with high expectation of the response. You’ll be happy with anything that comes of it. And a lot of times that means just one blurb.

Well, in this case, every established author we sent the novel to read it, loved it, blurbed it.

I’m still stunned. This never happens.

“If the word FIRELIGHT sounds cozy–think again. Both characters and plot are literally ON FIRE!! Tremendously, engagingly sensual.”

–Diana Gabaldon, bestselling author of the Outlander Series

“Passionate and sizzling, beautifully written and dark. This unique paranormal twist on the beauty and the beast tale rocks!”

—Elizabeth Amber, author of Bastian The Lords of Satyr

“Evocative and deeply romantic, Firelight is a beautiful debut. I was fascinated from the first page.”

—Nalini Singh, New York Times bestselling author of the Guild Hunter Series

“A sizzling paranormal with dark history and explosive magic! Callihan is an impressive new talent.”

— Larissa Ione, New York Times bestselling author of Immortal Rider

“Inventive and adventurous with complex, witty characters and snappy writing. Callihan will make you believe in the power of destiny and true love.”

— Shana Abé, New York Times bestselling author of The Time Weaver

“A sexy, resplendent debut with a deliciously tortured hero, an inventive supernatural mystery, and slow-building heat that simmers on each page. I can’t wait to see what Kristen Callihan comes up with next!”

— Meljean Brook, New York Times bestselling author of The Iron Duke

“A dark, delicious tale of secrets, murder, and love, beautifully shrouded in the shadows of Victorian London.”

— Hannah Howell, New York Times bestselling author of If He’s Dangerous

“A dazzling debut, sexy and thrilling. Callihan now has a place on my to-buy list.”

— Anya Bast, New York Times bestselling author of Dark Enchantment

“Utterly phenomenal! Sword fights, magic, a heroine with secret strengths, a hero with hidden vulnerability, and best of all, a true love that’s hot enough to burn the pages.”

— Courtney Milan, New York Times bestselling author of Unraveled

“Lush and imaginative, Firelight will sweep you away.”

— Zoë Archer, award-winning author of Devil’s Kiss

“A compelling and emotional pageturner that will have readers burning the midnight oil.”

— Anna Campbell, award-winning author of Midnight’s Wild Passion

“A fantastic debut that has everything I’m looking for in a story: compelling conflict, beautiful writing, gripping sexual tension, and strong, intelligent characters.”

— Sherry Thomas, RITA Award-winning author of His At Night

“Combines romance, wit, and suspense in a fabulous retelling of Beauty and the Beast…with a supernatural twist.”

— Colleen Gleason, international bestselling author of The Gardella Vampire Chronicles

Gosh I hope the reading public feels the same! And if you are one of those readers that loves unique romances that don’t fit into neat square boxes, then all I can ask is that you add this one to your To Buy list because it almost didn’t happen. Editors WANT to take chances on unusual stories but it’s a tough argument for them at the editorial board meeting unless they can point to titles that were successful and sold well. That’s the cold, hard truth.

I’ve got high hopes that FIRELIGHT by Kristen Callihan will do just that.





And speaking of authors who like to tackle unusual but powerful stories, if you haven’t had a chance to read a Sherry Thomas romance, well, you are in luck. You can’t try her out in ebook for only $3.99. Random house is doing a special promo.

Amazon

BN

Kobo

Google eBooks

Sony

Bologna Children’s Book Fair Pics (Take 2)

STATUS: Fighting the flu. Kristin—0 Flu—10 I’m getting my you-know-what kicked.

What’s playing on the iPod right now? NOTION by Kings of Leon

As you can imagine, the first week back in the office after being gone for 2 weeks is a bit chaotic. In fact, today I didn’t even make it there thanks to being sick. I really had no desire to pass this lovely illness on to Anita or Sara. If I don’t have a fever tomorrow, maybe I’ll go in but I’m thinking it will be more like Wednesday.

As promised (since blogger is no longer acting up) I can finally share pics from the Bologna Children’s Book Fair so you can get a visual—a little snippet of what it was like to be there. Besides, this is all my brain is capable of doing at the moment.


Here I am sitting at my table in the Agents Center. Behind me is Riley Ellis from 20th Century Fox Studios.


Out to dinner. Author and Agent comraderie! Starting from left: me, clients Sarah Rees Brennan and Ally Carter. Next to Ally is Cassandra Clare’s husband Josh, Cassie Clare, Maureen Johnson and her agent Kate Testerman. Cassie’s agent Barry Goldblatt is taking the picture.


Jamie Ford’s HOTEL ON THE CORNER OF BITTER AND SWEET, an Italian bestseller, in the front window of the main bookstore in Bologna. That was so cool to see in person.

In the Agents Centre. From left: me, Irene Calpe of Versatil Spain. Next to her is Sarah Rees Brennan. Irene is Sarah’s Spanish editor for THE DEMON’S LEXICON. Standing next to her is Consuela, Editorial Director of Versatil.

More pics tomorrow!

Bologna Children’s Book Fair—Day One

STATUS: A rainy start to the day.

What’s playing on the iPod right now? KIM THE WAITRESS by Material Issue

Well, I do foresee a few problems with blogging this week but I will try my best. I will be spending the majority of my time in the Agents Centre and it does not have wifi. Yes, you read that correctly. Nor can I plug my computer in for the internet. It just doesn’t have it.

And the hotel’s definition of “high speed” internet greatly differs from mine. Working on my network is physically painful it’s so slow. I’ve also looked around for an internet café and geographically they are not handy. So we’ll muddle long as best as possible. In good news, the vino rosso is lovely and the formaggio even more so.

So this morning I’ll be heading over to the Fairgrounds around 11 a.m. to visit the Agents Centre and have my table assigned. I spent 2 weeks trying to figure out when they would send me my table number. At London, you get your assignment when you registered. Finally an agent friend took pity on me and mentioned that the table doesn’t get assigned until the fair begins. Aha. Seems a little inconvenient for the people trying to meet with me but when in Bologna….

Today is the SCBWI Bologna Symposium. I’m participating in a first pages agent panel. This is the workshop where the conference volunteer reads the first page of a variety of submissions and the agents then comment on it.

Hey, writers wanting to be gluttons for punishment is international! Grin. Seriously though, just remember that no matter how an agent responds to your pages today, this is not the make or break moment of your career. The greatest thing about writing is that you can grow and mature in your ability.

Since the fair hasn’t actually begun, I have very little to report but I do have two fun pics to share:

From a bookstore on Via dell’Indipendenza, the Italian bestseller, which is currently sitting at #7 on the list, IL GUSTO PROIBITO DELLO ZENZERO:

The Forbidden Taste of Ginger. Look familiar? Yes, it’s the Italian version of Hotel On The Corner Of Bitter And Sweet.

And four ladies take a Venetian Gondola by storm. I must say Antonio looks distinctly unimpressed.


From left, author Sarah Rees Brennan, her friend Natasha, and me. Ally Carter snapped the pic. I have other great shots but guess who forgot to bring the cord for her camera so I could download the pictures off of it….

A Lesson To Be Learned from Popular Books?

STATUS: It’s late and I have lots to do tomorrow. Still, I had a fun evening.

What’s playing on the iPod right now? WHEN YOUR MIND’S MADE UP by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova

Even if you are a successful writer, you can still just be a fan. Tonight I attended the Stephenie Meyer event (hosted by the Tattered Cover) with my assistant Sara, Ally Carter, and Ally’s good friend Beth. All three are huge SM fans and of course were delighted to meet Stephenie (and Elizabeth, if you are reading this, huge thank you for the backstage passes. I owe you the Gallagher Girl book #3 ARC!)

It’s amazing to attend a book signing where the fans scream before the event begins—to be in a crowd where readers are palpably excited about books. That in and of itself made attending the event worthwhile.

But that’s not what I really want to blog about. While at the event, all four of us got to talking and my author Ally Carter had an interesting observation that I thought was worth sharing.

When books are as successful as THE HOST and the TWILIGHT series (or say, for instance, the Harry Potter books), there is often a focus (by aspiring writers) on whether the books live up to their popularity—whether they are worth all the hype. Writers tend to focus on their own opinions about whether they like or dislike the books rather than what they should be paying attention to which is what they can learn from books that have captured such attention.

Books are popular for a reason. Trying to put your finger on that “why” could potentially teach you a lot about your own writing.

Now of course everyone has an opinion and all those opinions are certainly valid but what I’m getting at is this: Even if you dislike a popular book, try and see past that opinion to the “why” behind why devoted fans love it so much. You might just discover something that could take your writing or your next project to the next level. It might not but that “why” is certainly worth contemplating.

Author Camaraderie

STATUS: Finished up a deal negotiation and continued work on the accounting upgrade. I’ll be so happy when that is complete and all the reports are in order for my Tax CPA.

What’s playing on the iPod right now? I STILL DO by The Cranberries

There are some authors in this world who view themselves in competition with other authors for the ever-shrinkingbook buying dollar slice of the pie. And then there are authors who know and understand that this is a unique community, that book buyers will buy a range of authors if they are interested enough, and there is no reason not to support each other.

And let me tell you, it’s the latter authors who I want to work with. And nothing proves that good karma goes around and comes around more than what has happened for debut author Patry Francis.

Here’s the story if you haven’t heard it. Patry is ill with a cancer and knew she would not be able to promote the release of her debut as most authors do.

So what did the writing community decide to do? They decided to pitch in and promote it for her since she was unable to. Over 300 bloggers committed to participating in THE LIAR’S DIARY blog day.

Check this out by clicking on some links. Here’s an article in the Sun-Sentinal about the effort. Here’s some more at Red Room, Lit Park, and Backspace.

Look at all the links on Technorati!

Wow! And of course some of my authors joined the party, but here’s what I want to say. Don’t ever let anyone convince you that publishing is “an every person for him or herself” industry because it’s not. There is a real community of writers and if you haven’t got connected, ask yourself why not?