Tag Archives | agents

Can you trust your gut?

I’ve seen that phrase thrown around lately, and I’m truly wondering – can we trust our gut when making decisions?

With some decisions, I trust my gut all the time. And it’s rarely wrong. For example, when the kids are tucked into their beds all cozy and asleep and a platter of homemade chocolate chip cookies lay on the counter…

Or when a book comes out with an awesome cover and a blurb to die for…

Or when a squirrel is running away with my wicker furniture filling in its mouth and I’m holding a BB gun… (What? Okay, scratch that. I’d never injure a cute little rodent.) (I’d get my husband.) (Okay, this has never happened because red squirrels are way too smart and know to steal when no one is looking.)

You get the point. What about when deciding which agents to query? What about deciding which agent to sign with – if you have options? What about when choosing your publishing path?

It’s so easy to read an agent’s information on Literary Rambles and then see his/her smiling face on the Twitter avatar and just know he/she is the one for you. For some writers this works out and maybe it was their gut. Or not.

Let’s take a closer look at guts. Is the gall bladder, intestinal tracts, and liver somehow connected to the decision making part of your brain?

Or do we convince ourselves of things because of a first impression?

Or is it just a feeling based on something we can’t quite define?

Just opening the floor up. How often do you base decisions on your gut feelings? Do you trust what your body is telling you?

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Vanishing shelf space and self-promotion. (part 3)

I remember in the good old days (6 months ago) when authors on Verla Kay’s blue boards would fret when Borders and Barnes & Nobles didn’t pick up their books.

Why did they worry so much?

Because those major chains not picking up their books meant the slow and terrible death of their first and probably only print run. If a book wasn’t in the major chains, almost no one would see it, almost no one would buy it, which meant no one could read it and love it.

So let’s explore the diminishing shelf space at the bookstores that are left and then figure out what it means for authors and self promotion.

Here’s a quote from Joe Konrath from his post, One more nail in the coffin.

Now, we can debate the health of indie bookstores, and the two remaining chains, B&N and Books-A-Million, but pretty much every account I’ve read says that print sales are down and ebook sales are up. I’m confident the end result is the Big 6 publishing fewer books in print, which means fewer print sales, which is bad for the publisher/bookseller bottom line.

Here’s a quote from Bob Mayer from his post, eBooks as the new mass market paper back and don’t be a Buridan’s ass. (Don’t get caught in indecision.)

The big cloud I’m seeing on the horizon is the growing awareness in NY that they need to revise the way they view the eBook.  It’s not competition for their print sales, it’s part of their overall revenue stream.  I predict we will see a lot more books from the Big 6 priced under $5 in the coming months.  I think there will be more direct to eBook publishing, where the book might never even come out in print.

Kris Rusch in her post, Bookstore Observations comments on her experience at Barnes & Nobles.

To sum up, Kris talks about less books, less authors and less shelf space. I’m sure most of you don’t need to read about her experience to understand what’s happening to bookstores. But go ahead and read it anyway.

And one more by Anne R. Allen in her recent post, What will publishing look like in 2021.

Anne predicts that due to bookstores downsizing their inventory, print will be reduced to gift books, celebrity books, bibles, coffee table books, small children pop-ups, top selling superstar books. (Hopefully this is in the far future!)

I’m adding this link by historical romance author, Courtney Milan. An open letter to agents.

Courtney addresses agents in an open letter. Published authors and unpublished writers alike are talking. We’re looking for answers. Basically, agents need to show how they can make their top selling authors more money than self publishing. No publishing arm. No 15% commission for something we can do ourselves. It’s a must read.

Let’s circle back to the authors who used to worry about their books being in the big chains or not. I think today, authors will be lucky if their books stay in Barnes & Nobles longer than a few months, if it even makes it into the bookstore at all.

So sure, a book appearing in a bookstore would be wonderful – as writers isn’t that our dream? But I don’t think that’s what will make or break a career anymore. I’m not sure the biggest concern should be how to publish. (self pub vs traditional)

  • Writers need focus on producing a book that causes word of mouth grassroots sales, where bookstore sales would just be the icing on the cake.
  • Writers need to seriously think about their plans to market themselves and their books.

What do you think?

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Open mike at Laura’s! Stop on by.

Sigh. I love my followers. They are so gracious and full of wisdom.

That was my last comment on Friday’s post. We’ve been talking about Nathan Bransford’s attempt at self promoting, which did end up with sales. He reminded his readers and some of them responded very positively. #goNathan

You’ve been listening to me ramble on about agents, promotion, and the publishing industry. You’ve offered up your wisdom and opinions in the comments. I love that we all approach publishing from a different angle with different experiences. I love that we will all choose our own path.  #stillfiguringoutmypath

So, it’s your turn. What have you been thinking about? Have you read an awesome book this summer? What are your concerns with where you are at in the publishing journey? What are you doing this summer to grow as a writer? Tell me one thing you learned this last month concerning your writing? #plentyofquestions #answerone #noexcuses  #humorisallowed

Thanks everyone!

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WARNING: Changes in publishing industry may cause whiplash.

I am absolutely fascinated with the changes happening monthly. The contradictory articles and posts written by people within the same industry are extremely informative. And interesting.

Here are just some of the issues causing my head to spin:

  • Agent vs no agent.
  • Traditional publishing vs self or e-publishing.
  • Agents helping their clients self publish. Is it a conflict of interest? Or not?
  • Big publishers not being honest about ebook sales. (Yikes!)
  • Publishers not giving authors a big enough percent on ebook sales.
  • Do the work on your own to epublish or pay someone else?
  • Is traditional publishing dying a slow and painful death? Or not?
  • Write fast vs write slow. Which is it?
  • Should writers be discouraged or encouraged?

No one has all the answers. Each month the industry changes. No one seems to be totally right or totally wrong. And I think it’s awesome.

I have come to one solid truth. Only you can decide what is right for your career. But whatever you decide. DO THE RESEARCH. Know your options.

As a writer, I feel like I’m in the middle of a revolution. The opportunities have never been better. I don’t know my path yet. I’m not fully decided. That’s why I’m doing the research. Every Wednesday, I’m going to provide one of the following: links, a response to a blog post, a thought provoking question, or an Indy book review. Something that pertains to this publishing revolution. And it’s relevant to all writers whether you have an agent or not and whether you are published or not.

Here’s one article to get us started. It’s about self publishing being the new midlist. You might have read it.

Have you been paying attention? What do you think?  *hands out warm compress*

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Let’s talk about no response means no.

More and more agents are hanging out the same shingle:

“No reponse means no.”

So, when you query them, if they are not interested in your work, you will never hear back from them.

For some, that can leave doubt. Did the query get lost in cyber space? Lost to spam? They sit and wonder and it might possibly drive them crazy.

Positive rejections can be nice. But they are still rejections. I guess for some writers, a rejection offers closure. They can move on to the next batch of agents on their list.

Honestly, it doesn’t bother me at all when agents don’t respond(if that’s their policy). I don’t know why. I guess for me, it’s harder to receive the form rejection than not to hear.

How do you feel about the no response means no? Does it bother you?

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