Pub Rants

Category: bestseller lists

One Picture Really Can Say It All

STATUS: Today is MLK holiday! I’m only in for the morning and then heading out to do a nice hike as the weather is good here.

What’s playing on the XM or iPod right now? VALENTINE by Kina Grannis

Hey readers. Sorry about the blog silence starting on Wednesday. I had to go out of town unexpectedly for a funeral and there really was not time to write. I actually didn’t even open my computer except on the plane ride to and from.

On a MUCH lighter note. Jamie Ford attended the Pulpwood Book Queens 11th Anniversary Girlfriend Weekend Author Extravaganza!

I pretty much think this picture says it all!

Jamie (on right) with Sam Barry of Rock Bottom Remainders

Need more great shots? Click here.

And if that costume wasn’t enough, we just found out on Friday that Hotel On The Corner Of Bitter and Sweet made the USA Today’s Best-selling Books: The top 100 for 2010 list.

Hotel came in at #84. Huge Congrats Jamie!

For that, I’d put on an Alice and Wonderland costume….

What 2 Lit Editors Bought Recently

STATUS: It’s already halfway through October…

What’s playing on the XM or iPod right now? LUKA by Suzanne Vega

When I’m in New York, the info I glean is obviously going to be skewed by which editors I see and what genres they represent. After all, it’s only 5 days. I can only see so many people in that short time frame.

For this trip, I focused on meeting some children’s editors I hadn’t had the pleasure of meeting in person and I also talked with quite a few editors in the adult literary fiction realm. I really really really want a another commercial/literary author for my list. looking for a really good

Part of that is in celebration. It’s official. Jamie Ford’s HOTEL ON THE CORNER OF BITTER AND SWEET has officially been on the regular and/or extended New York Times Bestseller list for 53 consecutive weeks.

One year and some change!

And not only that, this past week, Jamie cracked the top 10 again (currently at #9)—a year after publication of the trade paperback edition. I probably don’t need to tell y’all just how rare that is….

So join me in offering a HUGE CONGRATS to Jamie!

So as I said, I was in NYC at the beginning of October as I wanted to get a sense of what editors had bought recently in this field.

One editor is building a literary list at a house she just recently moved to. She’s only been there a month but in that time, she bought two books. The first a novel from an author whose work she started tracking when she read short pieces in the Paris Review. Interestingly enough, the book is literary but has a paranormal element and is set in the American West.

In a sense, not a surprise when looking at the success of THE PASSAGE. I think lit editors are looking for more of that genre blending for the literary realm. We haven’t seen a ton of that. Heck, I’d be game to see some of that! Her second buy was a narrative nonfiction work based on a true story.

Another literary editor I met up with had also just moved to a new house not exactly known for their literary bent. Obviously she was hired for a reason. (And yes, it was deliberate on my part to meet with two editors who had recently moved to new homes. After all, they are looking to build their new lists.)

For her, she had just recently bought a literary novel where the main story is driven by a murder but this is in no way a mystery. In fact, the contemporary story line alternates with a historical narrative that illuminates the contemporary unfolding of the murder and why it happened.

Kind of cool.

And all I can say is why aren’t I seeing those books? Wink.

NYT Bestseller List Has Been Very Good To Us This Year

STATUS: I’m not sure I believe all this good news but it is, indeed, all true.

What’s playing on the XM or iPod right now? THE MODERNIST by Steve Davis

Yesterday I didn’t get a chance to blog because I did a guest blog over at thelitcoach. All of my blog readers are super savvy on all this query pitch paragraph stuff but maybe some new readers might want to check out the post.

And even if you are an old pro at query letters but generally hate them, this post teaches you the shortcut on how to write a terrific pitch blurb in your query letter. Always worth repeating I think.

But now on to the amazing news of the day!

Back in April, I blogged about hitting an Agency milestone by having 3 authors all on the NYT bestseller list at the same time.

Well, guess what? It’s happened again and even more delightful, it’s the same 3 authors. How wild is that? But very cool.

So huge congrats to Jamie Ford (48 consecutive weeks on the NYT list and at #19 this week), Gail Carriger (coming in for the second time this year at #20), and Simone Elkeles (also coming in for the second time this year at #6).

Color me happy!


,

Only The Good Write Young!

STATUS: So thrilled today.

What’s playing on the XM or iPod right now? THIS IS THE DAY by The The

Actually, I’m not exactly sure what that means except to say that Ally is still young and it sounded like a great title for this blog entry.

All I really want to say is CONGRATS ALLY! On coming in at #6 on the New York Times Series bestseller list and your best out of the gate sales numbers ever!

If any of the reviews on Amazon and BN are to be believed, this is the best Gallagher Girl book to date! We heartily agree.

Another Agency Milestone!

STATUS: I’m having a terrific day with lots of good news!

What’s playing on the XM or iPod right now? GEORGIA ON MY MIND by Willie Nelson

Okay, I know you guys are probably getting sick of these announcements but I have to celebrate when milestones happen and what better way then to announce it on the blog.

This year has been an amazing one for Nelson Literary Agency and the New York Times List. We’ve had two authors debut for the first time on the list (and in the same month to boot!). Jamie Ford’s Hotel On The Corner Of Bitter And Sweet has literally been on the regular NYT list or the extended list for 6 months straight.

I mean, holy cow.

Then today marks a new milestone. Today I have 3 authors on the NYT list at the same time. This has got to stop as the bar is getting raised seriously too high. Still, I’m grinning.

And for those of you who wonder how the NYT list works, the bestseller list is announced the week before it hits publication so today I’m getting the news for the May 9 list.

Huge congrats to:

Simone Elkeles at #3 for a second week in a row.

And to Gail Carriger who is back on the extended list at #33 after having one week off. That’s three weeks on the list.

And to Jamie Ford who is on the extended list at #32 (although for the last two weeks we’ve been really close to breaking the top 20 titles (as you have to be #20 or above for regular list).

Huge Congrats to Simone Elkeles—NYT Bestseller!

STATUS: Just an amazing day

What’s playing on the XM or iPod right now? MY STUPID MOUTH by John Mayer

Squee! Simone Elkeles’s RULES OF ATTRACTION has just hit the NYT bestseller list—coming in at #3 after Hunger Games and Catching Fire.

We are speechless but just thrilled. Simone, you so deserve this. You are one of the hardest working authors I know and you paid your dues for this NYT list hit as Rules is your sixth novel. Even more sweet given the fact that Rules is the sequel to Perfect Chemistry—a novel that we had trouble selling originally.

Oh, and Happy Birthday Simone. Isn’t this the best gift ever?

And this may sound like an odd reaction but I think I might just want to lay my head down on my desk and cry. When I started my agency in 2002, never in a million years did I dream of this kind of success. This the fourth NLA author to appear on the New York Times bestseller list and the seventh novel to hit.

I feel emotional and very very blessed.

Huge Congrats To Gail Carriger—NYT Bestseller!

STATUS: First day in the office but will have to head home soon. My head is starting to ache. I still need time to recover.

What’s playing on the iPod right now? COME ON AND GET HIGHER by Matt Nathanson

Squee!!! Gail Carriger’s CHANGELESS (the second book in the Parasol Protectorate Series) just hit the New York Times bestseller list coming in at #20.

That’s the real list, baby, not even doing the extended list to start. I’m so thrilled for you Gail.

And this is NLA’s third NYT bestseller this year. Much celebrating ensues. Ps. And HOTEL is still on the extended list so that means I have two authors on the NYT list at the same time again. Second time this year. Gotta quit upping the stakes like this…Grin.

A Milestone

STATUS: Some pretty great news today.

What’s playing on the iPod right now? GIRLS JUST WANT TO HAVE FUN by Cyndi Lauper

One of my agent friends is constantly chastising me for not taking a moment to celebrate when really big things happen at my agency.

For example, last week, we did a huge film deal and I barely broke stride. I have to admit, I didn’t even go out to a celebratory dinner or anything. I just kept my nose to the grindstone (in my defense, Bologna Book Fair is rapidly approaching—I have to be ready!)

But today, I really can’t just do that. Besides, I don’t want her to berate me again (and I know she’s reading this and will call me up).

Last week was big—no doubt. This week is a huge milestone for an agent and in truth, it doesn’t happen often so I really need to take a moment and acknowledge it so that’s what I’m going to do.

Today, I have two authors sitting on the New York Times Bestseller list at the same time.

Now, I’ve had one author with two books sitting on the NYT list at the same time but never two authors on at the same time.

Wow.

Great. Now I’ve just raised the bar and I’ll have to do 3 authors on the list at the same time or 2 authors with 2 different books on the list at the same time…. Naw. I’m just going to enjoy this moment.

We Interrupt This Royalty Statement Tutorial

STATUS: It was a great day I have to say.

What’s playing on the iPod right now? WOMAN by John Lennon

To bring you a special squee moment!

Wait, I’m a professional.

I interrupt this royalty statement tutorial to give our client Jamie Ford huge congratulations for hitting the New York Times trade paperback bestseller list coming in at #15 for Hotel On The Corner Of Bitter And Sweet (and after only being on sale for five days).

Yes, that’s more like it!


That makes it NLA’s third NYT bestseller for this year.

Squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!

The Agent Crystal Ball Myth

STATUS: Reviewing royalty statements—of course.

What’s playing on the iPod right now? I LOVE ROCK AND ROLL by Joan Jett

Agents really don’t have a crystal ball to anticipate the market. For example, 2 years ago when Gail came to me with her manuscript SOULLESS, I wasn’t sitting at my desk thinking, “wow, if Jane Austen were to write a Victorian Steampunk fantasy, this vampire/werewolf comedy of manners called SOULLESS would definitely be it and yessiree, this type of parody is the wave of the future.” Heck no. I just sat at my desk thinking, “wow, this is cool and I’ve never seen anything like it before.”

Little did I know two years ago that in 2009, Pride & Prejudice & Zombies would hit a cultural nerve and climb the New York Times bestseller list and something like SOULLESS would be hitting the market at exactly the right time. Now I look like a genius who anticipated potentially the next “hot” trend. Uh…. yeah, that’s it.

SOULLESS is powerhousing out of the gate with thousands of copies sold in its first two weeks on sale. It’s number #21 on Bookscan’s fantasy bestseller list (and may have the potential to climb some—although it’s going to be dang hard to knock Charlaine Harris out of the top 10 slots with her Sookie Stackhouse/HBO’s True Blood series.)

It looks like I’ve had incredible foresight but the truth is that I didn’t know this was going to happen. Any agent that tells you differently is feeding you a load of you know what.

Now we can surmise, guess, analyze what is hot and what is still selling and make some assumptions about what might trend in the future.

But none of us actually know. Which is a good reason to never ask the question at a writers’ conference!

Congrats Gail on a stunning debut!