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January 2015
A Message from Kristin Nelson

2014 Year-End Stats

Kristin Nelson

It’s that magic time of year when I tally up the numbers and share with everyone Kristin’s Yearly Stats! Last year we reported numbers on the whole agency, but I figured it would be fun to just take a look at my own year in review. Please note that sales figures are approximations rather than exact calculations.



books sold


foreign-rights deals done (down from 128 last year). Twenty-nine were deals made in Asian territories, and the other 70 were for the rest of the world. All 99 foreign-rights deals were done on behalf of 12 of my clients.


new client (I actually wasn’t reading much during 2014 but I’m actively reading in 2015!)


estimated number of queries read and responded to


full manuscripts requested and read (down from 67 last year)


number of sample pages requested and read (down from 972 last year)


number of projects currently on submission


TV and major motion picture deals (I actually did all 6 in November and December!)

3 million+

copies in print/sold for my bestselling long-running series this year

2 million+

copies in print/sold for my bestselling individual title

2.5 million+

copies sold for my bestselling hybrid author

3 million+

ebooks sold for two of my bestselling indie-publishing-only authors.


number of print runs for the longest-selling title


conferences attended (which includes Bologna Book Fair, BEA, and Frankfurt Book Fair)


New York Times bestsellers (up from 31 just last year)


physical holiday cards sent


electronic holiday cards sent

Not telling it’s so embarrassing

number of eggnog chai lattes consumed during November and December


of late nights reading on my living-room chaise with Chutney


great days loving my job!

eSpecial Price


Recent News
Think Like an Agent

Writers Don't Know What They Don't Know


For years, I’ve been friends with the Backspace Co-Founder Extraordinaire Karen Dionne. Over the break, she reached out to me to see if I was open to doing the 2016 Salt Cay Writers Retreat in the Caribbean.

Like I need to think about that. Conference in a warm, tropical setting? Oh, heck yeah, I’m in. But as we were chatting, we started talking about how writers sometimes want an agent so badly, they are willing to sign with an average or even a below-average agent. Trust me, not all agents are equal.

And I said, “Well, writers don’t know what they don’t know.”

In that moment, a lightbulb went off for both of us. Writers don’t know what a good agent does. How could you if 1) a writer has never experienced it and 2) a writer has had one agent and no way to assess just how strong they might be at the job.

Granted, this is solely our own opinions, but having done this for 12+ years, and to good success, I have a very clear view of what makes for an excellent agent—an agent who is advocating for the author in every facet of managing the author’s career.

Karen has been in this biz a good long time as well. Through Backspace, she knows a lot of writers. She’s heard the good, she’s heard the bad, and she’s heard the truly ugly.

So Karen and I decided to do a whole series of articles on what makes a good agent and the articles are going to appear in this newsletter first before they go public on my blog Pub Rants and on the Backspace Website.

And this is our gift to all my loyal newsletter followers, and pass it forward as both of us welcome new followers as well.

For my whole career, I’ve done my best to provide good information and an education for any writer interested in learning about the publishing industry.

Stay tuned, and I hope your 2015 is amazing.

Kristin's Book Club

I always enjoy nonfiction. It feels like a nice change-up from all the fiction stories I read. So I enjoyed DRUNK TANK PINK, but I have to agree with my fellow bookclubbers that a lot of the topics covered where tackled in a lot of the Malcolm Gladwell works we’ve read.

And if we had to choose the writing style we prefer, it’s going to be Gladwell all the way. But I do really like reading about the variety of psych experiments done to chronicle and dissect human behavior. I never get tired of that, so if you are like me in that, go ahead and pick it up. I did learn some new things about crowd-think (for good or for bad).

Next up! Chris Cleave’s GOLD. Mr. Cleave won a lot of recognition for his debut, Little Bee. I’m excited to dip in.

New Releases

All Fall Down: An Embassy Row Novel

by Ally Carter

A new series of global proportions — from master of intrigue, NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Ally Carter.

Grace Blakely is absolutely certain of three things:  1. She is not crazy  2. Her mother was murdered  3. Someday she is going to find the killer and make him pay.

As certain as Grace is about these facts, nobody else believes her — so there’s no one she can completely 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 his eye on Grace for reasons she neither likes nor understands.

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

Buy It Here:


The Dragon Conspiracy: A SPI Files Novel

by Lisa Shearin

After solving The Grendel Affair, the agents have another SPI File to investigate…
We’re Supernatural Protection & Investigations, known as SPI. We battle the real monsters of myth and legend, but this Halloween, we’re searching for diamonds…

A gala opening at the Metropolitan Museum of Art has attracted the upper crust of Manhattan—and thieves. A trio of vile harpies attacks the crowd and steals the stars of the exhibition: a colorful cluster of seven cursed diamonds known as the Dragon Eggs.
In the right mage’s hands, each stone can pack a magical wallop. Together they have the power to “cure” the supernaturals of the tristate area—but for many of those vampires and werewolves, that means turning into dust.

I’m Makenna Fraser, a seer for SPI. With the help of my partner, Ian, and the other agents, I have twenty-four hours to prevent total global panic, find the diamonds, and save the supernatural community. No biggie…

Buy It Here:

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