News You Can Use – Dec. 27, 2011

Independent Bookstores are NOT Doomed – Farhad Manjoo rethinks his position after the reaction to his previous article about the demise of bookstores.

Dr. James Dobson to Write Fiction – You can hear the gnashing of teeth by full-time novelists who already face a crowded field.

Beware of E-Book Scams –  You have a new e-reader and you see a promising “how-to” book for only $1.99 so you buy it. Only to find that all it contains are articles from Wikipedia slapped into an eBook.

Christianity and the Future of the Book –  Alan Jacobs is so smart it makes my head hurt. Read this insightful article and see what you think. If you don’t have the patience, skip to the last three paragraphs.

Highlights of 2011 in Book Publishing – Using numbers to describe events this is a clever overview of the year.

Great Author Interview with Jared Wilson – If you have an hour and fifteen minutes, watch this conversation on the Desiring God site about Jared’s new book Gospel Wakefulness. (Yes, Jared is a client of our agency!) There is a convenient “contents” section that will give an overview of the topics discussed.

 

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Christmas Melodies

The good news for us in Virginia is that we rarely experience a white Christmas. Of course, for snow lovers, that is bad news. No sleigh rides for us.  Not even to a groovy beat. What I love is that winter is cold enough to call for a coat, but usually boots are more of a fashion statement than a necessity.

But here we have plenty of seasonal atmosphere, with an abundance of holly berry scents in candles and sprays, and Christmas music piped in to all the stores. I hope the writers of “Jingle Bell Rock”  and “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree”  retained their copyrights. Surely they must be billionaires by now.

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Before You Say “I Do”

Thirty-two years ago today I said those very words to my darling hubby, Don, in a candlelit service, surrounded by friends and family. Ours was a whirlwind courtship and marriage. From the time we met to the wedding was a total of 8 months—and we were apart for 3 of those months. Yes, we were young. And yes, in many ways, we were incredibly foolish. But now, 32 years later, I can tell you that though our journey has not been smooth or easy, it’s taught us more than I ever thought possible about love, about faith, about obedience, about grace. God has used two imperfect people to forge a strong, lasting bond, and He’s knit our hearts and spirits together as I once thought impossible.

As I thought about all this today, and about all it’s taken for us to not just survive as a couple but to thrive, it confirmed something I’ve heard and experienced: the author/agent relationship is very much like a marriage. There’s the wooing and courting, often on both parts. There’s trying to figure out how to win the heart of the desired. There’s that flush of excitement when you discover your interest is reciprocal. There’s the proposal, and the happy “I do.”

And then there’s the freakin’ hard work of the relationship.

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News You Can Use – Dec. 20, 2011

Don’t Support You Local Bookstore – An outrageous and inciting article from Farhad Manjoo, Slate‘s technology columnist. Great responses from Tim Redmond and Will Doig.

The Rise of the Cowboy Romance Novel – Time magazine article on secular cowboy romance novels.

Pirates are Stealing my Books! – Karen Ranney is justifiably angry. I am surprised her publisher is not doing more to help. Maybe the whole story is not yet being told.

The Self-Aggrandizing Self-Publishing Kings: Extreme Rhetoric, Inflammatory Language and Ulterior Motives – A great response to the constant negativity found on select blog regarding the publishing business.

Ignore Everything but the Writing – Wisdom from Carrie Ryan

Screenwriting 101 – Ever wondered how to write a screenplay? Here are the basics.

The Writing Process as a Board Game – A highly creative post by Margo Berendsen.

11 Frequently Asked Questions About Book Royalties, Advances and Money – Great post by  Chuck Sambuchino.

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Fun Fridays – Dec. 16, 2011

This fun video was put together by the Kuinerrarmiut Elitnaurviat 5th Grade class in Quinhagak, Alaska. They spent 10 hours shooting the video over a weekend. Originally intended only for an audience of the 200 residents of Quinhagak village.

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What Role Do Influencers Play?

One of the services a traditional publisher provides is working with authors in regard to getting publicity about books through word of mouth. This piece of the publicity puzzle is more important for trade books than for mass market books because they fit into an established line and are less author-focused than trade books. Trade books rely more on author identity and brand recognition to be successful. This is why traditional publishers ask writers to provide lists of influencers for their books.

Who Might Be Influencers?

Often after you are contracted, the publisher will ask the author for a list of influencers. In return for spreading the word about your book, many publishers will provide a copy to the influencer free of charge. Already your agent has insisted that you include a list of potential endorsers in your proposal. Chances are good that not all of your potential endorsers were asked for formal endorsements, so begin with the remaining friends who already know you, like your writing, and support you in your career. When asked for a larger list, choose wisely.

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Threads in the Fabric (Part three)

Wednesday again! The days go by so fast this time of year! Well, my office Corgi, Mr. Kirby, and I are happy to welcome you inside once again.

Last week we visited the kitchen. Today, let’s meander into the main office, where, no surprise, you’ll see bookcase after bookcase, all overflowing. Oh, I try to decorate and straighten, but more and more I’m embracing the chaos. I’m persuaded true bibliophiles are seldom organized because there are always more books than shelves! And when you consider that I’ve been in publishing for more than 30 years, you KNOW I’ve got an abundance of books. And what a happy abundance that is!

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News You Can Use – Dec. 13, 2011

Paying Authors More Might be in the Best Interest of Publishers – Mike Shatzkin is a really smart guy and every published writer will want to read every part of this 2,300 word article. Brilliant.

The Twelve Most Dangerous Words for Writers – A provocative title. Worth reading and thinking it through.

The Basic Laws of Human Stupidity – I know I shouldn’t have enjoyed this article but I did!

When You Have to Choose a Pen Name – This author was told by her publisher it was in her best interest.

20 Reasons Why You Should NOT Use Social Media – Clever article by Jeff Bullas

An 8-year-old Teaches Persuasive Writing – Inspired by the movie “Miracle on 34th Street”

Behind the Numbers at Google – Infographic from BusinessMBA.org

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