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November 2014
A Message from Kristin Nelson

Tapping Out the Market

Kristin Nelson

Last week, I spent a lovely weekend at St. Pete’s Beach, Florida, for the annual Novelists, Inc. Writers’ Conference. I have to say, I picked up many an interesting tidbit while attending the panels there.

For example, an attending agent highlighted that a St. Martin’s editor was willing to go on record to explain exactly why her house will no longer buy indie authors who have self-published ebooks that have gone on to be wildly successful. St. Martin’s claims their data shows that the ebook sales have already tapped out the market.

This wasn’t a surprise to me; it’s not the first time I’ve heard it. I’ve also heard that even if a publisher buys a successful indie title intending to publish a trade paperback edition, and even if they’re willing to pay bookstore co-op, booksellers are reluctant to grant that title the physical retail space. They are simply turning down the co-op offer.

Without the support of booksellers, it’s going to be difficult for a publisher to make such a buy a success.

Pub Rants University

Agent Reads the Slush Pile Intensive – 2014-11-19

Wednesday, November 19 at 6:00 - 8:30 PM MT

Class Limit: 15

Requirement: Attendees must use a phone for audio to call in and actively participate.

Please note:

  • This Webinar is primarily a workshop and does not constitute a query letter submission for NLA to request sample pages.
  • This Webinar is for works of fiction only. Non-fiction works will not be considered.

Have you ever wondered what an agent is thinking when he or she is reading the slush pile? What makes an agent stop or read on? If you’ve ever wanted an inside look at this process, then this webinar is for you. During this webinar, Kristin Nelson will read a slush pile–sample pages submitted in advance by our fifteen webinar participants–and give honest feedback about why she would or wouldn’t request more pages.

Previous attendees of this workshop have said “Hearing a top agent reading the slush pile in real time gave an interesting perspective that was quite different from having one’s work critiqued by another writer or a beta reader committed to reading a certain amount of our work. Stakes are better defined!”

In this intensive version of Kristin’s popular webinar, every registered particpant’s sample pages will be read.

Registered participants will receive instructions for submitting the first two pages of their novels. Pages should include the work’s title and genre, but not the author’s name (submissions are to remain anonymous). In random order, we will display submissions on screen and read them aloud. If Kristin would have stopped reading, she’ll say so and explain why in an honest but constructive manner. If she makes it all the way to the end of the second page, she’ll highlight why she liked it enough to read on.

Warning: This workshop is not for the faint of heart. Participants need to be sure that they are ready to hear blunt, honest criticism, however nicely it is delivered. The point of this workshop is not to dishearten writers but to give them a clear, inside look at how an agent really reads the slush pile.

Register Now

NLA Digital Title Spotlight

Free at most venues 

           
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Think Like an Agent

Polarization of Authors?

By

NINC is a terrific conference that caters to authors who are already multi-published. After attending last week, it’s clear to me that this conference is leaning more and more toward supporting authors who are exploring the indie-publishing route.

There was a decidedly anti-traditional-publisher sentiment in a lot of the panels that I both participated in and attended. This is not a commentary on the conference, by the way. It’s merely my observation. I think a lot of attendees would probably agree with my assessment.

But this is what worries me. I sense a widening division between authors who traditionally publish and authors who self-publish. And there’s no need for that. This is not an either/or question, nor is there only one right path to publication. (By the way, for what it’s worth, editors from “traditional” publishers much prefer the term “commercial” publisher.)

The conference vibe seemed to rest on a few assumptions:

1) That authors who stay with traditional publishers are stupid for doing so (not necessarily true) and that they can’t make a living/career by solely writing while partnering with a commercial publisher. (Also not necessarily true as plenty of traditionally published authors make high 6 or 7-figure incomes and enjoy the marketing campaigns their publishers invest in them.)

2) That indie publishing is the only route for an author who wants to be in control of his/her career (not necessarily true, as agents negotiate a lot of things in contracts).

3) That indie publishing is the only way to make good money or a living by writing (also not necessarily true, as some indies make really good money and others are not seeing as much financial reward).

It’s a disservice to the industry in general and to the conscious choices an individual author would like to make about his/her career by thinking in these kinds of divisive absolutes. Plenty of good reasons exist to choose one path or the other (or a combo of both).

Writers, in the end, there is only one right path–the path that is actually right for you and your career. And when you gather the data, weigh the pros and cons, and make a conscientious decision about what you’d like to explore, you are actually thinking like an agent. As that is what we do every day for each individual client at our agency.

Kristin's Book Club

Nonfiction Title to End the Year

I actually prefer when we read a nonfiction title. There’s no way to mistake it for work because I don’t rep NF.

So I’m thrilled to be ending the year with DRUNK TANK PINK by Adam Alter. Intriguing title, great cover. According to the description, this work tackles the concept of individuals feeling like we make our own choices and decisions, but in reality, outside forces influence us and the decisions we make. Endlessly fascinating examples are given to prove Alter’s point. *Rubs hands in anticipation!*

For Kate Atkinson’s LIFE AFTER LIFE, Liz, Anita, and I spent an hour discussing why our feelings were so mixed on this one. An amazing premise matched with awe-inspiring great writing. This should be a slam dunk win. But the repetition of events the main protagonist must experience (and which form the story) only made us question the themes the author really wanted to explore about being a woman facing these events during this time period. Readers seem to either love the book or feel mixed. You’ll have to make up your own mind.

New Releases

NOT UNTIL YOU - a special enhanced print edition

by Roni Loren

NEVER BEFORE PUBLISHED * THE COMPLETE NOVEL

Cela knows how to be good. She’s had a lifetime of practice. But on the night of her college graduation, she decides she’s earned one wild night before she has to move back home to her overprotective family. So when the hot neighbor she’s been quietly fantasizing about for a year suggests a game of Never Have I Ever, she’s ready. But what starts out as a simple game takes an unexpected turn. Because Ian Foster doesn’t play games he can’t win.

Foster knows his desires aren’t for the faint of heart, especially not for someone as sweet and innocent as his pretty neighbor. But when Cela shows up at his door with an invitation that surprises him, he can’t resist indulging. Cela has no idea what she’s in for. The secret dark side of this man’s need will both intrigue and terrify her. But Cela has a secret of her own–and a new game to see just how far they’re both willing to go, and how much they’re willing to risk by crossing every boundary of desire.

Buy It Here:

       

THE KING

by Tiffany Reisz

Cunning. Sex. Pure nerve. Only this potent threesome can raise him to his rightful place as ruler of Manhattan’s kink kingdom.

Bouncing from bed to bed on the Upper East Side—handsomely paid in both bills and blackmail fodder—Kingsley Edge is brilliant, beautiful and utterly debauched. No carnal act or chemical compound can relieve his self-destructive apathy—only Søren, the one person he loves without limit or regret. A man he can never have, but in whose hands Kingsley is reborn to attain even greater heights of sin. He plans to open the ultimate BDSM club­: a dungeon playground for New York’s A-list that’ll change the scene forever.

The club becomes Kingsley’s obsession—and he’s enlisted some tough-as-nails help. His new assistant Sam is smart, secretive and totally immune to seduction (by men, at least). She and Kingsley make a wicked team. Still, their combined—and considerable—expertise in domination can’t subdue the man who would kill their dream. The enigmatic Reverend Fuller won’t rest until King’s dream is destroyed. It’s one man’s sacred mission against another’s….

Buy It Here:

       

THE DIRE EARTH

by Jason Hough

Jason M. Hough goes back to the beginning with this eBook exclusive novella, the prequel to the New York Times bestseller The Darwin Elevator. An indispensable introduction to a trilogy wrought with action, imagination, and mystery, The Dire Earth is sure to thrill new readers and diehard fans alike.

In the middle of the twenty-third century, an inexplicable disease engulfs the globe, leaving a trail of madness and savagery in its wake. Dutch air force pilot Skyler Luiken discovers he is immune to the disease when he returns from a mission to find the world in chaos, but he soon realizes that he’s not the only one to have endured the apocalypse. Elsewhere, the roguish Skadz, the cunning Nigel, and the tough-as-nails Samantha each make their way toward the last remaining bastion of sanity: Darwin, Australia, home to a mysterious alien artifact that may hold the key to the survival of the human race.

Buy It Here:

   

WHAT A LADY DEMANDS

by Ashlyn Macnamara

Readers of Julia Quinn, Eloisa James, and Sabrina Jeffries will love Ashlyn Macnamara’s novel about a smoldering new love that is threatened by past betrayals.

Viscount Lindenhurst cannot seem to find a governess who meets his impossible standards—until Cecelia Sanford becomes the first woman to interrupt the widower’s brooding in years. Lind had returned home from the Napoleonic wars, broken in body and soul and longing for his wife’s embrace, only to find her changed. Before they could reconcile, an accident struck their son and claimed her life. Now enter Cecelia, with her soft curves and sharp tongue—a tempting distraction, it is true, but not a welcome one.

Past the usual marrying age and haunted by a scandal of her own, Cecelia soon finds herself caring for both the child and the man. The viscount is brittle and even abrupt at times, yet she cannot deny the attraction that stirs her body in his presence. Moved by the deep sense of abandonment that tortures his soul, Cecelia aches to fully awaken Lind’s heart from its rancorous slumber—if she can just keep their pasts from destroying a second chance at love.

Buy It Here:

   

WHEN WE MET

by Christina Lee, A.L. Jackson, Molly McAdams and Tiffany King

Today’s premier New Adult authors combine their talents to tell four original stories from inside one house.

When four girls decide to live off campus together as juniors at a college in Michigan, they expect it to be their best year yet. Little do they know, it’s a year that will change the rest of their lives.

BENEATH YOUR LAYERS by Christina Lee
In order to ace her fashion internship, Chloe must team up with local college dropout and set builder, Blake—much to her chagrin. But after some “hands-on” experience, Chloe will have to ask herself if Blake factors into her carefully laid plans…

BEHIND HER EYES by A.L. Jackson
Unable to live down her ex-boyfriend’s deception, Misha is determined to avoid betrayal. When, the new guy next door, Darryn starts to get under her skin, her defenses start to crumble. But trusting Darryn seems impossible, especially if he’s not sure he can trust himself.

SAVING ME by Molly McAdams
On the outside, Indy is always ready for a party—but inside she’s breaking. Kier makes a weekly routine of saving the girl next door from herself on Saturday nights… but when will she be ready to remember him on Sunday morning?

FOULING OUT by Tiffany King
Working at a sports bar, Courtney has become a pro at sidestepping propositions from arrogant jocks—which makes her a more elusive catch for campus basketball star Dalton than he expected. But when he falls for the saucy waitress, Dalton will have to rethink his game plan to prove he’s not the jerk Courtney expects.

Buy It Here:

       

Night Shift

by Lisa Shearin, Nalani Singh, Illona Andrews, Milla Vane

Four masters of urban fantasy and paranormal romance plunge readers into the dangerous, captivating world unearthed beyond the dark…

It’s seer Makenna Frazier’s first day on the job at Supernatural Protection and Investigations, and her first assignment is more than she bargained for when bodyguard duty for a leprechaun prince’s bachelor party goes every which way but right in national bestselling author Lisa Shearin’s Lucky Charms.

New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh delivers a smoldering story with Secrets at Midnight, as the scent of Bastien Smith’s elusive lover ignites a possessiveness in him that’s as feral as it is ecstatic. And now that he’s found his mate, he’ll do anything to keep her

In #1 New York Times bestselling author Ilona Andrews’ novella, Magic Steals, when people start going missing, shapeshifting tigress Dali Harimau and jaguar shifter Jim Shrapshire must uncover the truth about the mysterious creatures responsible.

From Milla Vane—a warrior princess must tame The Beast of Blackmoor to earn a place among her people. But she quickly discovers that the beast isn’t a monster, but a barbarian warrior who intends to do some taming himself.

Buy It Here:

     

Waistcoats and Weaponry

by Gail Carriger

Class is back in session…

Sophronia continues her second year at finishing school in style–with a steel-bladed fan secreted in the folds of her ball gown, of course. Such a fashionable choice of weapon comes in handy when Sophronia, her best friend Dimity, sweet sootie Soap, and the charming Lord Felix Mersey stowaway on a train to return their classmate Sidheag to her werewolf pack in Scotland. No one suspected what–or who–they would find aboard that suspiciously empty train. Sophronia uncovers a plot that threatens to throw all of London into chaos and she must decide where her loyalties lie, once and for all.

Gather your poison, steel tipped quill, and the rest of your school supplies and join Mademoiselle Geraldine’s proper young killing machines in the third rousing installment in the New York Times bestselling Finishing School Series by steampunk author, Gail Carriger.

Buy It Here:

     

Misty: The Proud Cloud

by Hugh Howey, Author and Nidhi Chanani, Illustrator

Misty the Cloud lives with her family high above the valley. When her friends play a game where they turn into different shapes, Misty discovers she doesn’t have this ability.

Oh, but she has something else…

Hugh Howey is the author of the award-winning Molly Fyde Saga and the New York Times and USA Today bestselling WOOL series.

Nidhi Chanani’s illustrations have captivated fans around the world. She is currently working on her debut graphic novel, Pashmina, to be published by First Second Books in 2016.

This is their first collaboration. Hopefully it won’t be their last (says Hugh).

Buy It Here:

   
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