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Posts Tagged ‘Janet Reid’

What Self-Publishing Can Not Accomplish

Literary agent Janet Reid offered some self-publishing advice on her popular blog, urging aspiring writers to take a realistic view of the indie route.

According to her post, self-published writers need to sell “more than 20,000 copies” to get the attention of traditional publishers these days. These are tough numbers for any kind of author, setting daunting odds new writers. What do you think?

Check it out: “This post is not to dissuade you from self-publishing. Have at it with all your might. BUT be realistic about what self-publishing is, and what it can accomplish. And more important what it can NOT accomplish. First among the list for what it can’t is launch a mystery series.  Publishers are not keen on picking up Book #2 if Book #1 sold fewer than a 100 copies. And yes, they look. They look at Bookscan, which is NOT your friend if you self-publish.  But mostly they don’t look. Publishers love debut authors,  cause they’re easier to pitch to retail accounts. It’s easier to launch a career than revitalize one.”

Mediabistro Course

Novel Writing: Editing Your Draft

Novel Writing: Editing Your DraftStarting July 16, workshop your novel in-progress with a published author! Erika Mailman's course will function as a workshop, with the emphasis on sharing your work for review and providing critiques for your peers. By the end of this class you'll have up to 75 pages of you novel workshopped and developed patterns to improve your writing. Register now! 

Batman Pitches Memoir to Literary Agent Janet Reid

batman23.pngEarlier this week, FinePrint Literary Management agent Janet Reid received an audio query from Batman, pitching his unpublished “fiction novel memoir.”

Reid jokingly instituted a new rule after she heard the query: “Heck with email, all queries must now be audio, and sent by Batman.”

We think all aspiring and frustrated authors in the audience can appreciate the quiet desperation underneath Batman’s plea: “If you’re not interested screw you, because I’m the Batman!” It will give you plenty to think about on your next agent query.

Why Agents Reject a Manuscript: By the Numbers

fineprint23.pngMost of the writers in the audience have a few rejection slips buried in their desks–this editor could wallpaper his office with his collected rejections. Today, agent Janet Reid offered her readers the rare chance to see why she rejected 122 different manuscripts.

Since last summer, the agent from Fine Print Literary has asked 124 aspiring writers to send her full manuscripts. Reid kept track of all her responses to this gigantic stack of work, giving us an invaluable peek into The Mind of an Agent. Here are a few examples, complete with tallies:

“Just plain not good enough: 21 (a novel needs to be in the 99th percentile-these were closer to 90%–not bad, but not good enough)

Good premise, but the rest of the novel didn’t hold up: 11
Not compelling or vivid, or focused; no plot/tension: 10
Slow start or the pace was too slow: 9

Sent back for revisions with editorial suggestions and I expect to see them again in 2010: 9

Got offer from me: 2″ (Via Juliet Ulman)

Not Giving Up the Ghost

Aside from making my debut LA Times Book Review column, “Dark Passages”, on ghostwriters going solo, the Arizona Republic’s Kerry Lengel tackled the same subject, interviewing a slew of mystery & suspense staples (like yours truly) as well as Little, Brown publisher Michael Pietsch. But if that isn’t enough, the Women’s National Book Association will host a discussion on the same topic Wednesday evening at the Small Press Center. Join panelists Meg Leder (editor at Perigee Books), ghostwriter-centric agent Madeline Morel, Emily Heckman and Stephanie Gunning as they discuss, as moderator Janet Reid terms it, “the business of ghost writing, co-writing, ‘as told to’ and other forms of ‘invisible writing’ from the authors who write it, an agent who sells it and an editor who acquires it.”