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November 2019
A Message from Kristin Nelson

Perfect Time To Be a Content Creator

Kristin Nelson

It seems like yesterday that I launched my agency, but it has actually been seventeen years. I could write a whole article about how much has changed in the last two decades (the rise of ebooks, anyone?). But there has been another tectonic shift in an unexpected arena in the last two years—one that has been consuming an incredible amount of agent hours in the day. Still, authors should be rejoicing. This is THE time to be a content creator, and I’ll explain why. 

I used to be pretty dang proud of the fact that in my first fifteen years of agenting, I did more than thirty film/TV deals. It was hard to land an option, and I was averaging two a year. Stellar numbers! Now I laugh as I write this article. 

Why? Because with the advent of streaming (Netflix, Disney+, Apple, Amazon Prime, and the list goes on), all these platforms want content, content, content. The result? Film/TV options coming from every which way. 

In the last two years, I’ve done fifteen film/TV deals, and I have another two coming down the pike in just a few weeks. That is a stunning number of option deals. So yay for clients! But as an agent, working through film/TV deals right (terms are getting onerous, and Hollywood is trying to make a grab for a lot of rights), any negotiation can take five to eight months to complete—with numerous rounds on potentially deal-killing issues. My fave? When a producer or studio insists on “novelization rights” when they are buying an existing novel on which to base their movie. Yep, you read that correctly. Needless to say, any insistence on that point will kill the option deal outright.

In good news, we almost always manage to find common ground so the deal can happen. But it can take a lot of phone conferences, emails, and conversations to make it so. 

A lot of agenting hours in the day dedicated to something other than selling an actual book to a publisher. 

Recent News

Publishers Weekly names SLAY a 2019 Best Book of the Year

Think Like an Agent

The Waiting Is the Hardest Part

By Joanna MacKenzie

At some point during your publishing journey, it will seem like all you’re going is waiting. There’s a lot of hurry-up-and-wait in publishing, and it’s hard to know what to do when you feel like you have nothing to do. Here are a few suggestions for how to pass the time:

1. Write Something. Ideally, something completely different. The best way to not dwell on the project that’s out with agents or editors is to get busy with new characters. Don’t write the second book in your planned series. Don’t rewrite the manuscript you just queried. Start a new project. Try out that idea that’s been kind of taking shape in the back of your head but that you think is way too off-brand for you. Even if you turn out to be right, every project hones your skills and makes you a better storyteller. You still have a few weeks of NaNoWriMo left!

2. Socialize. These moments of in-between are great opportunities to become the best literary citizen you can be. Part of being a successful author is being connected to your local publishing scene, no matter how small. Get out and network. Hit up a conference, a reading, a lecture series, or a local publishing drinks event. Not only could you have the opportunity to vent about the waiting with other writers, but you might also make some valuable connections for the next steps in the publishing process, such as asking for endorsement quotes.

3. Get Online. Waiting is also a great opportunity to get your social-media house in order. I’m a firm believer that writing should be your first priority, but if you’ve hit “the end” and sent that manuscript out into the world, you now have some time to focus on your professional online presence. Make sure you have the infrastructure set up for your social-media accounts as well as an author website or landing page, and start creating an online community for yourself by following and interacting with other writers.

4.  Read. If you’re someone who can’t read while they write, or if you can’t read within your genre while actively working on a project, then waiting for your agent or editor to get back to you is a great time to catch up on what’s recently been published. In addition to being an entertaining distraction, reading other authors might help you find new comp titles for your work or inspire you to diversify and write in a different genre.

Kristin's Book Club

When I was growing up, my mom was a nurse in cardiac intensive care—she cared for patients recovering from open-heart surgery. She was kind of bad-ass. I personally could never do a job where someone’s life was on the line, but she had nerves of steel. Over dinner, she often regaled us kids with medical stories and cases, which I found wildly riveting (but which did not inspire me to go into a medical career). Blood, guts, and germs never made me squeamish. So our next title for book club, about medical curiosities in history, struck me as kind of fascinating. 

“In The Mystery of the Exploding Teeth, Thomas Morris takes a delightful romp through a myriad of entertaining, arcane and obscure medical anecdotes plucked from 18th- and 19th-century newspapers, journals and textbooks… Using a panoply of colorful examples, the author artfully illustrates the frustrations, uncertainty, poorly founded confidence and frequent futility of medical practice in the prescientific age.” —Wall Street Journal

New Releases

Gwendy's Magic Feather

by Richard Chizmar

Something evil has swept into the small western Maine town of Castle Rock on the heels of the latest winter storm. Sheriff Norris Ridgewick and his team are desperately searching for two missing girls, but time is running out to bring them home alive.

In Washington D.C., thirty-seven-year-old Gwendy Peterson couldn’t be more different from the self-conscious teenaged girl who once spent a summer running up Castle Rock’s Suicide Stairs. That same summer, she was entrustedƒ‚‚”ƒ‚‚€ƒ‚‚”or some might say cursedƒ‚‚”ƒ‚‚€ƒ‚‚”with the extraordinary button box by Richard Farris, the mysterious stranger in the black suit. The seductive and powerful box offered Gwendy small gifts in exchange for its care and feeding until Farris eventually returned, promising Gwendy she’d never see the box again.

One day, though, the button box shows up without warningƒ‚‚”ƒ‚‚€ƒ‚‚”and without Richard Farris to explain why, or what she’s supposed to do with it. The mysterious reappearance of the box, along with the troubling disappearances in Castle Rock, leads Gwendy home again…where she just might be able to help rescue the missing girls and stop a madman before he does something ghastly.

From New York Times bestseller Richard Chizmar comes Gwendy’s Magic Feather, a breathtaking novel that asks whether our lives are controlled by fate or the choices we makeƒ‚‚”ƒ‚‚€ƒ‚‚”and what price we might have to pay for those choices when we reach for the things we most desire. Prepare to return again to Stephen King’s Castle Rock, the sleepy little town built on a bedrock of deep, dark secrets, which is about to awaken from its quiet slumber once more.

Buy It Here:

       

A Constellation of Roses

by Miranda Asebedo

Perfect for fans of Tell Me Three Things and The Astonishing Color of After, A Constellation of Roses is brimming with a magic all its own—lovable and flawed characters, an evocative setting, and friendships to treasure.

Trix McCabe is aimless, rootless, and on the run. At least, that’s what she tells herself.

Ever since her mother walked out, Trix has been determined to make it on her own. And with her near-magical gift for pulling valuables off unsuspecting strangers, Trix is confident she has what it takes to survive.

Until she’s caught and given a choice: jail time, or go live with her long-lost family in the tiny town of Rocksaw, Kansas.

Running away is one of the things Trix does best, and she doesn’t plan to stick around Rocksaw for long. But there’s something special about the McCabe women, something in their unexplainable talents that Trix is drawn to. Her aunt, Mia, bakes pies— Bracing Blueberry, Never- Lonely Lemon, Ardent Apple—that seem to cure all ills. Her cousin, Ember, hand-sews dresses and can tell a person’s deepest secret with the touch of a hand. And Trix’s great-aunt takes one look at Trix’s palm and tells her that if she doesn’t put down roots somewhere, she won’t have a future anywhere.

Before long, Trix feels like she might finally belong with this special group of women in this tiny town in Kansas. But when her past comes back to haunt her, she’ll have to decide whether to take a chance on this new life… or keep running from the one she’s always known.

Buy It Here:

       

Not If I Save You First (Paperback)

by Ally Carter

Maddie thought she and Logan would be friends forever. But when your dad is a Secret Service agent and your best friend is the president’s son, sometimes life has other plans. Before she knows it, Maddie’s dad is dragging her to a cabin in the middle of the Alaskan wilderness.

No phone. No Internet. And not a single word from Logan.

Maddie tells herself it’s okay. After all, she’s the most popular girl for twenty miles in any direction. (She’s also the only girl for twenty miles in any direction.) She has wood to cut and weapons to bedazzle. Her life is full. Until Logan shows up six years later . . . And Maddie wants to kill him.

But before that can happen, an assailant appears out of nowhere, knocking Maddie off a cliff and dragging Logan to some unknown fate. Maddie knows she could turn back- and get help. But the weather is turning and the terrain will only get more treacherous, the animals more deadly.

Maddie still really wants to kill Logan. But she has to save him first.

Buy It Here:

       

Warcross (Box Set)

by Marie Lu

Discover the exhilarating world of Warcross in this stunning hardcover boxed set featuring both books in the dynamite duet from #1 New York Times bestselling author Marie Lu.

Featuring both Warcross and Wildcard in hardcover, this brand-new boxed set will transport readers to the neon-lit streets of Tokyo as teenage hacker Emika Chen races against the clock in this totally immersive sci-fi thriller from #1 New York Times bestselling author Marie Lu.

Teen hacker Emika Chen works as a bounty hunter, tracking down Warcross players who bet on the game illegally. To earn some quick cash, Emika hacks into the game — only to accidentally glitch herself into the action and become an overnight sensation. When Emika gets a call from the game’s creator, the young billionaire Hideo Tanaka, he makes her an offer she can’t refuse, and suddenly, Emika’s whisked off to Tokyo into a world of fame and fortune. But the more time she spends with Hideo, the sooner the lines begin to blur between business and something more, pulling her deep into a sinister plot with major consequences for the entire Warcross empire. 

Buy It Here:

       
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