Friday, August 20, 2010

Friday Fun Facts: A Collection of Ramblings Today...

Random facts on this Friday...

1. I finished and submitted my novella for Samhain's Just Romance Springtime Anthology - it's called "La Forma Perfecta" (Spanish for "The Perfect Shape" which, yes, does have significance within the story).

2. I thought this article about a reclusive 104-year old zillionaire heiress was SO interesting. How many stories are wrapped up there?

3. A recap of one agent discussion at RWA (thanks to my writing friend for sending on the link) revealed a yen for more contemporary romance (yay!), less focus on paranormal, and a desire for authors to have some kind of web presence established.

4. My Samhain royalties for July were not nearly as high as for June, but still a nice amount, which means those ebooks are still selling after my One Night in Boston free Kindle push back in May.

5. Speaking of ebooks, I sold my mother-in-law on the Nook. She reads so many books a year, all hard-cover and at $20+ a pop, that the Nook was a natural solution for her :)

6. My goal for the rest of August is to finish another revision of my YA and start querying agents. Because as soon as school starts up again, I'm on the crazy treadmill of super-long days and paper-grading til all hours of the night.

Happy Friday! Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Writers' Wednesday: The Agent Search

"The first step in blogging is not writing them but reading them." ~Jeff Jarvis

OK, I'm not really going to talk ALL about the agent search today. If you're currently looking for an agent, though, you should know that the best thing you can do is lots and lots of research. Make sure the agents you're querying for your project actually rep that kind of work; find out who else they rep; do your best to figure out if that person is a good match for you. Do you (and they) like a hands-on relationship with your writing? Or less so?

There are many good agent blogs to read on a regular basis; these folks give you tons of insight to their world, and you really can learn a lot from them. Two I recommend:

Nathan Bransford
Kristin Nelson

And finally, though I don't read her blog on a regular basis, I found this post on Jenny Bent's to be very interesting. It's actually by one of her interns and talks about why so many queries are rejected (it's not why you think!)

And why all this discussion of agents today? Well, I'm in the final revision stages of my YA novel and am taking some time now to put together the list of agents I want to query for it. I'll keep you posted!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Monday Mentionables: Book Signings in Review

Two appearances last week, both different and both a lot of fun.

The first was my 3rd annual appearance at a local book club. They read my book for a select month each summer and then I come in to discuss it. It's mostly retired-age people, and they (and I) always get a kick out of the whole thing. It's really neat to talk about your book - your characters, your plot choices - with readers. I love their questions and their observations too.

The second was a reading/discussion at a local library. While not very well attended (about 6 people), the ones who were there asked good questions and were mostly writers, so they were interested in my process/the publishing industry as well. Even better, the librarian asked if I'd be interested in coming back to run a half-day writing workshop - and how much I charged! I've said it so many times: you never know how networking and making public appearances will affect you later down the road. Do it! Take advantage of people who want to hear about your books and your writing!

A couple of pics:

With the lovely host librarian

Reading from One Night in Napa