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This month, Agent Kristin talks obsolete clauses in publishing contracts, Angie offers a look at debut author Shelby Van Pelt’s query letter for Remarkably Bright Creatures, and three NLA authors tell us about their fan-favorite characters.

May 2021

In This Issue Kristin Chats Publishing |  NLA in the News |  Writers in the Know |  Angie Chats Story Craft |  From the Blog  |  Kristin's Book Club  |  New Releases


Kristin Chats Publishing

Hey, The Publisher Might Need It Again. Someday.

Kristin Nelson

Like your grandmother who couldn’t get rid of that semi-broken toaster because she might need it again someday, publishers have a surprising number of obsolete and defunct clauses hanging out in their publishing contracts. Most just elicit a chuckle, but at least one can greatly impact an author’s earnings.

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NLA in the News

Jamie Levine at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt acquired North American rights to Across the Sand, the first full-length novel in five years by Hugh Howey.


Alison Hammer’s Little Pieces of Me named one of the Best New Books of Spring.

Brittney Morris’ The Cost of Knowing named one of the 12 best YA Books of April


Rosaria Munda’s Fireborne named one of the 10 Books to Read After You Watch “Shadow and Bone” by Seventeen Magazine.

Writers in the Know

Fan Favorites and Likeability

This month, we asked three NLA authors about their fan-favorite characters and what makes them so likable.

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Angie Chats Story Craft


From Query Letter to Six-Figure Deal

Angie Hodapp

When writers hear about a debut author who got a six-figure deal, their curiosity gets piqued. How did that author do it? Did they have industry connections? Get a referral? Did they pitch to their agent at a conference? Did their query letter get picked out of the slush pile? This month, with the author’s blessing, we offer you a look at the query letter we received from Shelby Van Pelt for her debut, REMARKABLY BRIGHT CREATURES, which Agent Kristin sold recently in a major deal.

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From the Blog

#NLAquerytip #5
If You Remember One Thing, It Should Be This: Never Sign An Unnegotiated Boilerplate Contract With Any Publisher
One Book or Two? Maybe Three?

Kristin’s Book Club

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By June, all of us in book club will be vaccinated! Then we can gather outdoors, indoors, on a restaurant patio. It’s very exciting to write this. However, as of May 2 (when our last meeting was supposed to happen), that wasn’t the case and we were limited to a backyard gathering. Poured rain, so, alas, no book club. The new date to discuss this lovely book, which is drawing comparisons to the lyrical language of Jane Eyre, is Sunday, June 13.

Meanwhile, many moons ago, book club did get a chance to read Setterfield’s debut novel The Thirteenth Tale. It was a crowd favorite, definitely on our top-30 list of best book club reads. That’s saying a lot given we’ve been together now for 22 years.

New Releases

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