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December 2015
A Message from Kristin Nelson

3 Strategies For Your Post NaNoWriMo Project

Kristin Nelson

You pounded out 50,000 words or more in the month of November. You rocked NaNoWriMo. Huge Congrats! But wait, before you press send, here are three things to consider:

Strategy #1: Consider the holidays

Don’t send out your novel in the month of December. Put yourself in an agent’s shoes for two seconds. The holidays are fast approaching. Agents are motivated by closure and wrapping things up so they can take two weeks off. Submissions are going to get read quickly so agents can check them off a to-do list that is always longer than time can accommodate.

So not the mindset you want an agent to be in when they read your novel. We are only human after all.

Strategy #2: Polish, polish, polish before submitting

If I had a dollar for every time a writer re-queried me for a project significantly revised since my rejection, I could live large. Often writers ask if they can resubmit, and 99% of the time, I decline. There simply isn’t enough time in the day for me to read submissions twice. Agents expect you to be ready the first time around. Don’t blow what might be your one chance with a particular agent.

But if I requested the revision, that’s a different story. Trust me, you’ll know if I’ve requested a revision from you.

Strategy #3: Don’t get stuck in the post-holiday crush

Don’t submit during the first few weeks of January. Why? I’ll tell you right now that that on our first day back, we’ll get 600+ queries. Hard to stand out in that influx.

Best time to submit? The last week in January/first week in February.

Agents are back in the swing of things and excited to read. February is usually a slow month for us.

Pub Rants University

Recording only of Royalty Statements Auditing Workshop

Friday, December 01 at 12:00 pm

This is a recording of the Webinar held on July 30, 2015.

Chances are, your agent is not auditing your royalty statements. And chances are, accounting mistakes are being made. So if you’re not auditing your royalty statements, you could be missing out on significant income!

In this Webinar, Nelson Literary Agency’s contracts and royalties manager, Angie Hodapp, will walk you through the basics of royalties reporting and teach you how to read and audit your own royalty statements. Using statements from several big and mid-sized publishers as examples, Angie will explain how various publishers express returns, reserves, royalty-rate escalators, subrights income, bonus income, and more, and illustrate how everything adds up to affect your bottom line.

Finally, Angie will walk you through how to set up an Excel spreadsheet you can use each reporting period to track cumulative units sold and total earnings for each book you’ve had published. This valuable tool will also help you track your payments and find accounting errors!

You can buy access to this Webinar recording until December 1, 2017.





Register Now

eSpecial Price

99¢ November 20, 2015 - January 4, 2016

           
Recent News
Think Like an Agent

#2 Reason I Pass Even if the Writing Is Good

By

Writers tend to assume that good writing trumps all when it comes to getting an offer of representation. Not true. Here is the #2 reason I will pass on a full manuscript even if the writing itself is stellar (for any of you who don’t read my blog, Pub Rants, see the #1 reason here):

Lack of story conflict for the protagonist.

To put this another way, the main character doesn’t have enough at stake to drive the story.

I recently read a full manuscript in which the writing and world building utterly charmed me. I loved spending time in the space the writer had created. But I arrived at the end of the novel and realized that being charmed was all there was to it.

Even if the writing and the world are charming, no stakes means no conflict. Why is that a problem? Because no conflict means no story. Conflict—or what’s at stake for the main character—is the engine writers use to tell a good story.

In this particular case, I did write up a lovely but short revision letter outlining my concern. I shared that with the author, along with an invitation to revise and resubmit. I’ll be delighted to give that one another look.

Still, the novel would have been stronger had the writer nailed this necessary element the first time around. It’s harder for an agent to read with “fresh eyes” the second time.

So remember, writing talent + story conflict = masterful manuscript.

Kristin's Book Club

Only 27 More Audio Hours to Go!

864 page = 29 hours and 14 minutes of audio narration for Eleanor Catton’s THE LUMINARIES.

I’m solidly into hour two. I’ve got a long way to go! But the narrator, Mark Meadows, is extraordinary. A British accent is always easy on the ears. Even his Scottish accent is admirable.

Book club meets in January to discuss but if you are the type of reader who luxuriates in the excellent writing of a good story leisurely told, this Man Booker Prize winner should be moved up on your list. However, if you need a breakneck pace to keep you enthralled, this one probably isn’t for you.

Description: 1866: Walter Moody has come to make his fortune upon the New Zealand goldfields. On arrival, he stumbles across a tense gathering of 12 local men, who have met in secret to discuss a series of unsolved crimes. Moody is soon drawn into the mystery.

New Releases

In Search of Scandal

by Susanne Lord

A daring explorer

All of London is abuzz with the tale of Will Repton. The lone survivor of a massacre in Tibet has returned to England a hero, but the traumatized explorer has no time for glory. Another dangerous expedition awaits. Nothing will deter him from his quest, and no one will unearth his secret—until Will meets Charlotte Baker.

 

Is no match for an adventurous heart…

Vivacious Charlotte also has a mission—to find a man whose bold spirit matches her own. When she meets Will Repton she immediately recognizes him as her soul mate, and she’s naively willing to turn her back on the rules of propriety to ensnare him.

Will is torn between his fascination with Charlotte and his vow to finish his quest. He knows what it is to risk life and limb—but what if his most perilous adventure doesn’t lie across an ocean, but within his own lost heart?

Buy It Here:

       

Golden Girl

by Mari Mancusi

Lexi Miller–aka “Golden Girl”–is Queen of the ‘Cross–snowboard cross, that is. As the most promising student at the elite ski and snowboard school, Mountain Academy, she is a sure lock for the Olympic-level trial team and has the most promise for a future Olympic gold medal the school has ever seen. Until a freak fall during a snowboard-cross competition crushes her dreams and puts her future on hold.

One year after her disastrous fall, Lexi is back at Mountain Academy and attempting a comeback. But everything has changed—her best friend is suddenly friends with her arch-enemy on and off the slopes, and the only person who seems treat her like a normal person is Logan Conrad, a “staff rat” whose mother works at the school. She finds herself drawn into a group of kids who actually snowboard for fun, not sponsors.

But Lexi’s dad–who just happens to be her coach and lead instructor at Mountain Academy–has strong opinions on his daughter’s future.  Can Lexi figure out how to balance her dreams with the dreams of her dad’s–and find out what exactly happened on that mountain a year ago?

Buy It Here:

       

See How They Run

by Ally Carter

SOME SECRETS

ARE BETTER LEFT

LOST.

For the past three years, Grace Blakely has been desperate to find out the truth about her mother’s murder. She thought it would bring her peace. She thought it would lead her to answers. She thought she could put the past to rest.

But the truth has only made her a target.

And the past?

The only way to put the past to rest is for Grace to kill it once and for all.

On Embassy Row, power can make you a victor or a victim; love can turn you into a fool or a fugitive; and family can lead you forward or bury you deep.  Trust is a luxury.  Death is a very real threat. And a girl like Grace must be very careful about which secrets she brings to light.

Buy It Here:

       

All Fall Down

by Ally Carter

Grace Blakely is absolutely certain of three things:

  1. Her mother was murdered.
  2. She is not crazy.
  3. Someday she is going to find the killer and make him pay.

But as certain as Grace is of these facts, nobody else believes her, so there is no one she can trust. Not her grandfather, a powerful ambassador. Not her new friends, who all live on Embassy Row. Not Alexei, the Russian boy next door, who is keeping an eye on Grace for reasons she neither likes nor understands.

Everybody wants Grace to put on pretty dresses and smile pretty smiles, block out all of her unpretty thoughts. But they can’t control Grace – no more than Grace can control what she knows or what she has to do. Her past has come back to haunt her . . . and if she doesn’t stop it, Grace isn’t the only one who is going to get hurt. Because, on Embassy Row, the countries of the world all stand like dominoes, and one wrong move will make them all fall down.

Buy It Here:

       

Scorched

by Mari Mancusi

Although not a new release, we wanted to share with readers this new ebook sale from Dec 4, 2015 to Jan 15, 2016!

Save the Dragon. Destroy the World.

Trinity Foxx is used to her grandfather’s crazy stories, so she doesn’t believe the latest treasure he brought home to their failing West Texas museum is a real dragon’s egg. Not until Connor Jacks, a dragon hunter from the future, tells Trinity that the world is about to be wiped out by a fiery dragon war—unless they find a way to stop it.

Save the Dragon. Save the World

But Connor’s not the only one after the egg. His twin brother Caleb believes dragons have the power to save mankind and must be protected. Caleb has seen too many dragons destroyed in the war-scorched future—he’ll do whatever it takes to save this one.

With a host of enemies hot on her heels, Trinity must decide who to believe. Connor the brave solider? Caleb the cocky rebel? Or the baby dragon that’s starting to whisper to her…saying they are destined? The fate of the world may depend on her choice.

Buy It Here:

   

Manners and Mutiny

by Gail Carriger

If one must flirt…flirt with danger.

 

Lessons in the art of espionage aboard Mademoiselle Geraldine’s floating dirigible have become tedious without Sophronia’s sweet sootie Soap nearby. She would much rather be using her skills to thwart the dastardly Picklemen, yet her concerns about their wicked intentions are ignored, and now she’s not sure whom to trust. What does the brusque werewolf dewan know? On whose side is the ever-stylish vampire Lord Akeldama? Only one thing is certain: a large-scale plot is under way, and when it comes to fruition, Sophronia must be ready to save her friends, her school, and all of London from disaster–in decidedly dramatic fashion, of course.

What will become of our proper young heroine when she puts her years of training to the test? Find out in this highly anticipated and thrilling conclusion to the New York Times bestselling Finishing School series!

Buy It Here:

       
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