Pub Rants

Category: client books

Kristin Takes Manhattan

STATUS: I’m a ninny. You might laugh but I actually forgot to blog yesterday. I came back to my hotel room late (like close to midnight) and completely forgot about it. Sorry about that.

What’s playing on the iPod right now? THINK I’M IN LOVE by Eddie Money

And I’m a ninny for a whole other reason. I don’t just have 4 authors being showcased at Book Expo. I have five!!!

I’m going to start calling it the Nelson Agency BEA.

I found out on Friday that advanced reading copies (ARCs) have been printed in time and will be made available to booksellers at BEA for Kim Reid’s phenomenal memoir entitled NO PLACE SAFE. This book debuts in October 2007.

With quotes like these, you can see why Kensington would be excited to get this book into the hands of librarians and booksellers as soon as possible:

“Though a child herself, Kim Reid sat on the edge of a front row seat to one of the twentieth century’s most bizarre and baffling murder cases. With No Place Safe she delivers her experience as a compelling story told from a sensitive gut and a formidable intellect. A narrative woven with strands of threatened innocence and Southern gothic gives No Place Safe the texture of a modern, urban To Kill a Mockingbird.”
–Elyse Singleton, author of This Side of the Sky

“Like every great memoir writer, Kim Reid bares her heart and soul in this powerful account of growing up in a world of danger. Her honesty and storytelling skills make every page come alive.”
–Kien Nguyen, author of The Unwanted

“Where racism and sexism often violated their sense of safety and self, there was no safe place in general for black women in their struggle to survive, achieve and succeed. However, in her quest for safety, Kim discovers the bonds of friendship and family as well as an inner strength, courage and sense of purpose. This outstanding offering is sure to safely place Kim Reid in the company of best-selling authors. So don’t blink or you will miss this author’s meteoric rise to the top.”
–Carolyn Quick Tillery, Southern Homecoming Traditions

“A gracefully written, vivid, heartfelt and deeply intimate work. Against the backdrop of Atlanta’s infamous and still controversial child-murder spree, thirteen year old Kim Reid demonstrates uncanny wisdom, grit and confidence as she overcomes the fear and panic gripping Atlanta’s children, to narrate her compelling personal story; all the while bringing to heartbreaking life each of the murdered boys. If we want to understand the hearts of today’s children being inundated with daily stories of slain or kidnapped classmates and the threatening world we say is waiting for them, we would do well to spend some time with Kim Reid.”
–Robert Hooks (Actor/ Producer/ Cultural Activist, Burbank, CA)

So if you are there this weekend, you might want to snag your own copy at the Kensington booth.


In this compelling memoir, Kim Reid hauntingly transports readers to the innocent world of a childhood protected by a loving home, yet threatened by a danger beyond any child’s understanding . .

Thirteen-year-old Kim Reid will never forget the summer of 1979. In those precious free moments when she is not taking care of her little sister while her single mother works as a cop, Kim’s days are filled with thoughts of boys, makeup, and starting high school in the fall. When a heartbreaking discovery along a quiet Atlanta road makes the news, Kim’s mother instructs her girls to be careful. Accustomed to her mother’s warnings, Kim feels she already knows how to stay alert and carry herself as if she’s not scared.

But as the shadow of danger lengthens over Kim’s once-sunny landscape of friends and family, she learns there is no place safe. While her mother becomes preoccupied with her increasingly high-profile job, Kim feels life unraveling. Straddling the worlds of her black neighborhood and her wealthy white school, teetering on the brink between girl and woman, Kim is torn between fitting in and finding her own voice; between becoming strong and clinging to the last traces of her childhood.

In this deeply intimate, powerful narrative, Kim Reid weaves an unforgettable story of growing up and the events that shape us forever…

Featured At Book Expo

STATUS: It’s a rainy day in Denver. Perfect for working on an edit. It was also a quiet email day. Folks are getting ready for the long weekend and then BEA in New York City.

What’s playing on the iPod right now? HOTEL CALIFORNIA by the Eagles

Yep, it’s happening next week. Get ready for publishing to shut down for a couple of days while we all party at the Javits Center. And I do mean party. Parties in the Publisher exhibition booths. Parties at external locations. Invitation only parties. And parties worth crashing.

And I’ll be there—reporting from the floor if I see anything of interest for blog readers.

BEA 2007 is a banner year for the Nelson Agency. I have four authors who are being spotlighted there.

So if you are wandering the convention floor, you might want to pop in and say hello to some of my authors and get an autographed copy of your favorite book.

Marianne Mancusi
Friday, June 1, 2007
12:00-1:00 p.m. Dorchester Booth 3681

Ally Carter
Friday June 1, 2007
Hyperion Booth 3956
3:00-3:30 p.m. Author Autographing Area: table 16
(sorry for the neon green. That’s how blogger uploaded it and I couldn’t fix it. Honestly, the cover is not that weird green.)

Jennifer O’Connell & Vicki King
Saturday, June 2, 2007
1:00 pm Adams Media Booth 3915

Hank Phillippi Ryan
Saturday, June 2, 2007
2-2:45 Harlequin Booth 3874

Jennifer O’Connell
Saturday, June 2, 2007
2:30 p.m. Author Autographing Area

Coveted PW Reviews

STATUS: Having a happy week with some good client news.

What’s playing on the iPod right now? JOKING by Indigo Girls

I love sharing news like this. It can be difficult to land a much coveted Publishers Weekly review. They get every galley for soon-to-be-released books and they only choose 30 or so fiction/nonfiction titles a week to review. And the review window is small so once closed, no PW review.

Well, I have 2 authors reviewed in 2 almost back-to-back issues and yes, I’m thrilled.

First off, Cheryl Sawyer’s THE WINTER PRINCE. It’s her first appearance in PW and this appeared in the Feb. 5, 2007 issue.

Here’s an excerpt:
Hardcore history buffs will appreciate the fly-on-the-turret view of the dramas besieging the British royal court in 1642, when, though the country is rocked by a civil war, there is still time for illicit romance. Sawyer (The Code of Love ;The Chase ) imagines the private moments of historical figures, focusing on 20-year-old beauty Mary Villiers, the adoptive daughter of King Charles I, and Prince Rupert, the king’s beloved and loyal warrior nephew. Though married to James Stuart, duke of Richmond, Mary cannot resist the charms of Rupert le diable once the charismatic, swashbuckling playboy sets his sights on her. Their romance, however, couldn’t come at a worse time: the king is intent on shaking up Parliament, and the outcome could be dire for Rupert and Mary. Fans of the stolen-glance-and-lingering-touch variety of romance will savor the slow-cooking affair.

This week, for the Feb. 26, 2007 issue that’s not out yet, it’s Jennifer O’Connell’s turn for EVERYTHING I NEEDED TO KNOW ABOUT BEING A GIRL I LEARNED FROM JUDY BLUME

Not only that, but PW is featuring the fabulous cover and they only choose one cover per section per issue. Score!

Nobody’s Saint in Three Languages!

STATUS: My auction is still unfolding. Given the time of day, looks like it won’t wrap up until tomorrow.

What’s playing on the iPod right now? THE WEAKNESS IN ME by Joan Armatrading

I just had to share. Just this week, I finally got the foreign editions for my romance author Paula Reed’s latest historical romance entitled NOBODY’S SAINT.

Of course I love ALL my author covers but I have to say there’s a little special place in my heart for this very sexy US version. When looking at it, it just makes me want to pop on a little Julio I. and maybe indulge in some vigorous fanning or a nice mild swoon.

My hubby just laughs.

But truly, I think Paula’s publisher Kensington just nailed this cover (except Paula would say they didn’t have stripped sheets back in the late 1700s). I know. It should bother me but I don’t mind a little historical leeway as long as it isn’t blatant like zippers on blue jeans for a historical Western. Now that would drive me crazy.

So I’m pretty enthralled with the US version but then I got a load of the Dutch edition.

That guy surely doesn’t look like anybody’s saint. You betcha. I think this cover could work in the US without blinking an eye.
So it was doubly interesting to me to see the semi-clinch cover from her Brazilian publisher (and it’s the first of my clients to sell in South America). And I find the “Don-Juan” in the title very fascinating.

Brazilian edition

But what is clear? It’s a fun, sexy read that you should get your hands on if you haven’t already. What other romance in the world has a Spanish Gent, an Irish lass, and Mary and Mary Magdalene as interfering saints? In some respects, I still can’t believe that Kensington let us get away with this book and for that reason alone, it’s worth picking up.

Break the Code!

STATUS: Don’t worry. I’ll probably get back to myth busting tomorrow. I was a little more interested in hitting the beach today than blog writing. What can I say? In fun news though, my software guru is creating a new Nelson Agency web database where writers can upload their sample pages to a safe and secure site starting in January 2007. No more snail mailing sample pages for us to review. Serious. We are going fully electronic baby. It’s coming so be on the look out for the blog announcement but our goal is to launch this new submission format starting on Jan. 3, 2007.

What’s playing on the iPod right now? No little iPod.

Okay, for those of you who are huge Ally Carter fans and have been dying for any sneak peek at the next book, here’s your chance.

The title for the sequel I’D TELL YOU I LOVE YOU BUT THEN I’D HAVE TO KILL YOU has been top secret until now. If you can crack the code, you’ll have the skinny that no one in the world has besides Ally, her publisher, and me—not to mention there are some cool prizes.

So, visit Ally’s blog for contest rules/instructions/prizes and for more details but here’s the code.

Happy breaking all you spies.

From Ally:


By far one of the most frequent questions I’ve gotten lately is “what’s the title of the next Gallagher Girls book going to be?”

Well, here it is for the first time anywhere!

What? You can’t read it?

That’s probably because the good folks at the Gallagher Academy have encrypted it.

Yep. It’s a real code!

Actual spies have used this actual technique to convey actual secrets for years.

So if you’ve ever wanted to be a spy, or if you’re just a puzzle junkie… Or maybe if you are simply dying to know the title, here’s your chance to have some fun and challenge yourself and think like a Gallagher Girl (or guy) for a while.

And I’m throwing a contest (with some pretty cool prizes) for those of you who feel up to the challenge.

A Halloween Treat

STATUS: It’s not even 8 a.m. yet. What do you think my status is? Barely awake.

What’s playing on the iPod right now? WHAT IS LOVE? By Haddaway

Last week Ally Carter got an email and a picture from a fan and I just couldn’t resist.

Since I’D TELL YOU I LOVE YOU BUT THEN I’D HAVE TO KILL YOU is her favorite book in the whole world, this fan is going as a Gallagher Girl for Halloween.

Liz to be exact.

She compares it to being way a head of the curve because come 2007, dressing as a Gallagher Girl is going to be so last year.

With her and her mother’s permission, here she is.

That’s just so darn cute; I need to pinch something!

And as an extra special treat, here are the hubby and I in some pics from Halloween past. (And if that is not enough to frighten you… I don’t know what will).

Happy Halloween!

Leap To Hardcover

STATUS: All this week I’ve been thinking I was being a weenie about my bad head cold. Finally went to the doc and I have a sinus infection and a double ear infection. I had a good reason to feel miserable!

What’s playing on the iPod right now? AFRICA by Toto

Earlier this year I sold an anthology conceived and edited by my fabulous author Jennifer O’Connell to be an original trade paperback and we got the fabulous news this week that Simon & Schuster is going to take it out in Hardcover.

And look as this marvelous cover. I love it so much I have a color copy taped to the wall right next to my computer screen so I can catch fun glimpses of it during the day.

I have to say Judy Blume was hugely instrumental in my own girlhood development. Goodness, I don’t think young girls were allowed entrance into womanhood without reading ARE YOU THERE GOD? IT’S ME MARGARET. Not to mention the thousand giggling conversations in the bathroom around the “naughty” FOREVER. I even had to hold a copy for some girlfriends so their mothers wouldn’t discover them with it (For the record, my own Mother never censored my reading material but I had many an embarrassing conversation where she insisted on going through every detail. So embarrassing then but thanks Mom!)

What your Mom wouldn’t or couldn’t tell you, Judy Blume had no problem sharing.

And the authors included in this collection want to honor her. Judy herself enjoyed every one of the essays included (of course we sent her a copy very early on).

But the purpose of this blog isn’t necessarily to highlight how fabulous this book is (wink) but to talk about why a publisher decides to take a book that was originally slotted to be a trade paperback into hardcover.

The answer is very simple. Overwhelming enthusiasm. In-house, at sales conference from sales reps, from conversations reps had with booksellers, and from the accounts when it was time to schedule the buy-ins.

Overwhelming enthusiasm.

The move to hardcover to break it out bigger!