Pub Rants

Category: Marketing & Promotion

The Slow Build

Status: Winter finally decided to show up in Denver. Eight inches of snow and boy is it cold.


What’s Playing on the XM or iPod right now? 1983 by Neon Trees

One of the things I love the most about repping titles in the children’s world is the very different expectation children’s editors have for a debut author.

In the adult world, sometimes a new writer is treated via the spaghetti test. Let’s throw it out there and see if it sticks. If it doesn’t, time to move on.


In the Children’s realm especially for middle grade, there is an expectation that most successful mg titles will be through a slow build. With this in mind, the publisher expects to support the title for the long run. Now it’s not to say there aren’t successful titles straight out of the gate. There are and trust me, editors are excited and happy about that.

The difference is that they understand that an instant success is the exception to the rule rather than the norm. And this is what makes today’s news so cool.


A year and a half after initial publication, Janice Hardy’s first book in the Healing Wars series is now starting to get recognition.

Finally we can share some big news out of the UK. THE PAIN MERCHANTS (the US title is The Shifter) has been shortlisted for the 2011 Waterstone’s Children’s Book Prize. This is a big deal. We’ve known for 2 months but couldn’t say anything until today.
We also found out that in the U.S., THE SHIFTER is a nominee for the 2011-2012 Truman Readers Award for the state of Missouri.

The coveted state reading lists—landing on one is usually a sign that a title/series is starting to penetrate the reading market—especially for teachers and librarians.

So huge news—and coming quite a bit of time after initial publication. I’m thinking this spaghetti strand is definitely going to stick!

More Neon Trees music on iLike

Oh, That Google Thing

STATUS: I’m blogging before 5 p.m. I’ll call this a great day! I demonstrated restraint as I did not have an eggnog chai today….

What’s playing on the XM or iPod right now? SHEPHERD’S PIPE CAROL by Bryn Terfel

Actually, just one of the many Google things as of late but this one is definitely worth a blog post. Long awaited and much expected, Google announced the launch for Google eBooks (formerly Google Editions).

An eBookstore to rival Amazon and Apple. According to the press release, it is the largest eBook provider offering up to 3 million books for sale and download (many of which are in the public domain). Click here for the article.

According to the president of ABA, this latest game changer can benefit Indie booksellers the most. They now have access to a store platform that will allow them to sell eBooks from their stores (about time!). It’s also the first eBookstore that’s not directly connected to a specific eBook reader. And, according to the release, publishers can sell traditionally or through agency model (see sidebar tag for electronic books for more discussion on that issue.)

Now if we can just get everyone to agree on a specific eBook format… Hey, I can dream, can’t I?

Advertising That Works?

Status: It’s the final sprint into the holidays. Goal? To finish everything. All client reads. All incoming submissions. All Royalty Statements. All end of year deals. And yes, we’ve got a lot going on in that realm.

What’s Playing on the XM or iPod right now? ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS YOU by Mariah Carey

Over a year ago, a friend of mine introduced me to Groupon for Denver, and I’ve been hooked ever since.

I mean, how can you beat deals like a 90-minute massage for $29.00? That’s a steal no matter how you cut it. So I’ve been aware of this company for a while and have happily Grouponed many a great deal. Tonight, I was reading a Newsweek article on how this mode of advertising is really working. After all, it introduces subscribers to local companies that they might not have discovered otherwise and more importantly, if a subscriber buys the deal for the day, that person is committed to visiting that company or using that service in the very near future.

Smart.

But why do I bring this up in relation to publishing? Well, I was down in Santa Fe for the holidays and what pops up on my iPhone? The daily Groupon deal. This time, much to my surprise, it was a deal from Simon & Schuster. $40.00 worth of books for $20.00 from the S&S website.

Game on!

I would love to know how this Groupon worked for them. I’m also assuming that this Groupon hit several major cities—not just Denver. Someone is paying attention over there at S&S. Nicely done (although I imagine some independent booksellers might not be as enthusiastic to hear this).

My response? You can Groupon too! For Tattered Cover, that’s a groupon I would buy in a heartbeat and then send the link to all my Denver friends.

Friday Funnies

STATUS: Sun popped out. Yay. I was worried it was going to rain.

What’s playing on the iPod right now? QUANDO, QUANDO, QUANDO by Michael Buble

This article totally cracked me up. Stop the New York Times Presses. Huge news flash.

New York City agent moves from Manhattan to….

Brooklyn..

And can still do his job as a literary agent!

I’m still chortling.

One City One Book—Broomfield Colorado

STATUS: Going on vaca for about 10 days. Blogging could be a little sporadic.

What’s playing on the XM or iPod right now? PRAIRIE RAIN by Michael Stribling

Just a note to let any Colorado folks know that Jamie is going to be in town next Saturday. HOTEL ON THE CORNER OF BITTER AND SWEET is a One Book pick for the city of Broomfield.

He will be at the Broomfield Auditorium on November 6, 2010. The event starts at 7 p.m.

Jamie is also hosting a writer’s workshop earlier that day. I’m not sure if that seminar is already full but you can call 720.887.2350 to find out or email library@broomfield.org.

There is also a corresponding Bitter and Sweet Art Exhibition.

How cool is that? CU even did a Jazz evening featuring the music of Oscar Holden (who plays such a key role in the novel)

I cannot thank Mayor Pat Quinn enough for this terrific opportunity. If you live in town, we’d love to see you there!

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!


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A First

STATUS: I spent 3 hours on one conference call this morning. Means the rest of my day should have gone uphill, right?

What’s playing on the iPod right now? CRAZY by Gnarls Barkley

This may be a sign that we have officially turned some kind of corner in publishing.

I just literally got an email from my author Kristina Riggle who is out doing bookstore appearances for her second novel THE LIFE YOU’VE IMAGINED.


So she’s at her signing when a twenty-year-old gal approaches her to say that her mother is a huge fan of Kristina’s novels and would Kris sign her mom’s Nook.

How could any author resist? Now I’m sure Kris is not the first author to ever sign an electronic device but I do think it’s a first for an NLA author!

Promo Going Gangbusters

STATUS: Pretty much this week has been taken up by a big auction unfolding. Hasn’t left much time for anything else.

What’s playing on the XM or iPod right now? TRIOLA by Tropfstein

Today’s topic is about cool promo and how it came about.

Since it has gone viral, you might have already seen this wildly popular video by the critically acclaimed web series The Guild. (They rose to fame last year with Do You Wanna Date My Avator). This year is no different as their fun music video has just knocked Katy Perry out of the top spot on iTunes. Check out the article.

So, first you need to watch the video.

Notice the book she’s reading? If you didn’t, go back and play the video from the start. Yep, that would be an NLA author’s book in that opening scene. It’s BEWITCHED AND BETRAYED–the latest release in Lisa Shearin’s Raine Benares series. As many of you probably already know from reading my blog, Felicia has been a long time Lisa fan. So when Felicia knew she’d be reading a book to start the music video, she immediately thought of Lisa and her books.

Well, how cool is that?

But just so you know, even something as fabulous as The Guild can’t just grab a book and use the image without permission in a professional video like this. They knew that too so they came to us right before filming. It was a bit of a mad scramble on short notice, but we were able to get the permission in place within 24 hours (so thank you Ace/Penguin for stepping up to the plate and getting it done!).

Because you can’t buy this type of promotion that gets this kind of internet play and it all begins with an author cultivating and being responsive to the fan base.

RWA—Orlando, Florida (Day After)

STATUS: Well, you can see how well blogging went during the conference!

What’s playing on the XM or iPod right now? LONELY NO MORE by Rob Thomas

I took a ton of notes so I could share with all of you during the conference. I had one hour on Friday to do it but ended up getting sucked into answering emails during that time frame. I know! Blog readers should come first.

So I’ll have lots to share tomorrow but today I want to say a HUGE congrats to Sherry Thomas and Simone Elkeles for winning two RITAs at Saturday night’s awards ceremony. Even with six RITA nominations, a win is always tough. We couldn’t be more thrilled.

Here is Sara Megibow and I with NLA’s RITA winners.