Pub Rants

Category: NLA Authors

We Love BookList!

STATUS: Oi. Lot of things in crisis today.

What’s playing on the iPod right now? (I LOVE YOU) FOR SENTIMENTAL REASONS by Nat King Cole

Wow. Take a look at this Booklist review. It makes me want to buy it and I represented the book!

This book hits shelves tomorrow, Sept. 29th.

From Booklist

Part mystery thriller, part coming-of-age story, and part civil-rights history, this gripping memoir is set at the time of the horrific Atlanta child murders and told through the eyes of a young African American teen whose mom is a cop on the task force searching for the serial killer. Just after the first two bodies are found in 1979, Kim, 13, enters a white private school in the suburbs, far from her inner-city neighborhood. Over the next two years, a total of 29 black boys are found dead. Is the killer a Klansman type? Could he be a black man? The racism at school is ugly. No one there cares about the murdered inner-city kids. So why does Kim stay in the fancy school? Is she playing white? Is she running for safety? As the climax builds, and her mom brings home more and more details of the murder investigation, Kim’s personal conflicts are as intense for her as the terror outside.
–Rochman, Hazel

How To Snag A Copy Early

STATUS: New York is quiet this week. Even though the holiday is tomorrow, lots of people take vacation time for the long weekend. Speaking of holidays, I won’t be blogging tomorrow. See you on Thursday.

What’s playing on the iPod right now? GLAMOUR PROFESSION by Steely Dan

I cannot tell you the amount of emails or comments posted I’ve received from readers dying to get their hands on SCHEMES OF LOVE by Sherry Thomas since that sale to Bantam last year.

These avid fans don’t want to wait until spring 2008 to read beyond the first chapter sample Sherry has posted on her website.

If you are one of them, I’ve got some good news. If you are going to be at RWA in Dallas next week, your wait is over. Bantam Dell is giving away 100 free ARCs of the novel and Sherry will be on hand to sign it.

So, if this is what you’ve been waiting for, you’ll want to take down this info.

First, Bantam renamed the book. They thought “SCHEMES” sounded too cynical. Now Sherry and I actually really like the new title PRIVATE ARRANGEMENTS. However, we don’t want folks to be confused. The projects are one and the same.

Two. Look at this gorgeous cover. Bantam is even springing for the step-back (almost unheard of for a debut author).

Three. Check out who has read this novel already and loves it.

“A love story of remarkable depth…Entrancing from start to finish.”
—Mary Balogh, New York Times bestselling author

“Exquisite, enchanting…An extraordinary, unputdownable love story.”
—Jane Feather, New York Times bestselling author

Four. Be sure to attend the Bantam signing at the Hyatt Regency Dallas on Saturday, July 14, 2007

2:30-4:00 pm
Marsalis Ballroom, Section B(2)
Hyatt Regency Dallas

Pics from Book Expo

STATUS: TGIF! This probably doesn’t mean much since I plan to work this weekend just to get back on track still I love the idea of it.

What’s playing on the iPod right now? WONDER by Natalie Merchant

Obviously you’ll see there is a theme to my BEA Pictures but what can I say, it’s a lot of fun to see my clients’ books being featured by their Publishers.

Here’s Kim with her poster. I’m thinking nice placement next to Lisa Jackson—even if the books aren’t remotely similar.

This is my favorite picture of Hank (although she’ll probably disagree). She just looks like she’s having a blast in the Harlequin booth and who is that next to her? A Linda Lael Miller sighting!

Hyperion even had their posters lit up for maximum effect at BEA. Here’s Ally’s poster.

There is also a pic of the two of us and the poster but the flash didn’t quite go off. Dark, menacing figures… or maybe we just needed to hide our identities.

Here’s Stacey Ballis and Jennifer O’Connell doing a signing and who do they find standing in their line for an autographed copy? Megan McCafferty! Now that’s a great fan to have.

Just call us the color-coordinated girls (and no, we didn’t plan this. I swear). Mari and Kristin get their red on for this shot at the Dorchester booth.

Who says that Girls just want to have fun? Jennifer O’Connell worked hard at BEA. Here she again but this time with her co-author Vicki King for the Adams Media Divorced Girls’ Society signing. Don’t let this pic fool you. Signing is hard work!

And here’s a great shot with their terrific editor Jennifer Kushnier:

And it’s back to our regular scheduled programming next week (unless I have a couple more shots I can’t resist posting on the blog).

Jana’s Best Promo Tool

STATUS: It’s already 6 p.m. and I’m ready to head home. I did lots of phone conferences today. All good stuff but when you take several hours to do that, it doesn’t let you tackle the piles of paperwork (and if you ask me why our ‘paper-free’ office has piles of paper, I might have to strangle you).

What’s playing on the iPod right now? CLEANING WINDOWS by Van Morrison

So here’s a different tactic. We’ve been talking about public appearance stuff for the last two days and this one puts a different spin on the whole promotion thing.

Jana DeLeon is the author of RUMBLE ON THE BAYOU that came out last year. She says that her best promo tool was a “before release” item.

She sent Dorchester (her publisher) these alligator bottle opener necklaces. Now this makes sense when you see her cover.

The sales force loved them, got excited, asked for more, and then took them on all their sales calls to the buyers.

Their enthusiasm translated to higher book orders for the initial sell-in and Jana ended up with a higher initial print run then what tends to be normal for a debut.

I’d say that’s putting an alligator to good work—and she didn’t even have to speak in public!

Now her next novel is called UNLUCKY. I’m thinking broken compact mirrors aren’t the way to go…

How Would You Describe Your Client From Hell?

STATUS: How is it possible for this many things to pile up after only being out of the office for one week? Truly, my piles of “need attention right now” is astounding.

What’s playing on the iPod right now? I WANT YOU TO WANT ME the remake by Letters From Cleo

One thing I spent two seconds on this morning is updating our entry for the Jeff Herman Guide to Literary Agents (which I’m thinking of just deleting anyway). If you can’t find me via the internet, I’m not sure I want you as a client.

In fact, that’s one of the questions on the entry survey: How would I describe a client from hell.

Well, let me tell you. A client from hell (and I actually don’t have any) would be a person who is not internet or tech savvy and has no intention of becoming so. When I first launched my agency in 2002, I had one client who met this description and I will never do that again. Communicating with the person was just too time consuming. Luckily, this client had a book that was a one-off (meaning it was just a one time thing and doesn’t plan to do more.)

So now let me describe a dream client by giving some examples (and I might do a couple this week because darn it, my clients are savvy and I love them for it). Also, it’s worth sharing some of the stuff they are doing because you blog readers can benefit from it. They are creative and some of their creativity might spark a promo idea for you.

First up, a new client for me: Marianne Mancusi

She and another fellow author Liz Maverick both write for the just launched SHOMI line at Dorchester (WIRED and MOONGAZER). They call themselves The Rebels of Romance (which is a great promo hook by the way) and when they can, they cross-promote their titles together. In fact, they have done such a good job, Dorchester decided to feature them in their booth at Book Expo this year. Here is Mari, in costume, getting ready for the signing.

Being the savvy gals that they are, Liz and Marianne did a youtube piece because they are all about the viral video marketing these days. (Now granted, Mari has a background in this since she is a former TV Producer but anyone can get savvy on this tech; it’s not complicated). The idea was to create a funny video that can spread the word about their new books without being obnoxious self promoters.

Check out their video on youtube here.

But then they didn’t stop there. They got Media Bistro to post it on their blog Galley Cat (and now they want to interview the two Rebels of Romance). In addition to targeting media and other blogs with it, they sent the link to sales/marketing at Dorchester who in turn sent it to all their book buyers. The Borders buyer even wrote Liz and Mari to tell them she loved it (and Borders do include things like that on their e-newsletters that go out to hundreds of thousands of people).

Not a bad return on some photos and a couple of hours of editing.

That is worth getting tech savvy for I think, and it makes Mari one of my dream clients.

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.