Every so often an established agent will announce that she or he is seeking new clients. Generally, this happens when the agent switches to another agency (which is why you need to read Publishers Weekly
, where these job moves are posted).
Whenever an established agent seeks out new clients, it is a boon for new authors. You get the dual advantage of having someone who will work hard for you, and who has the connections to do so.
Here are two established agents who are actively building their client lists.
As always, read the bios of the agents - and the websites of their agencies - very carefully to see if they are a good fit for your writing.
William Callahan is from Iowa City, Iowa. He went to the University of Iowa and Fordham University and has recently returned to InkWell Management
: “For nonfiction, I am currently most interested in narrative nonfiction and memoir, comedy and pop culture, and American history. For fiction, I represent crime and commercial thrillers, and literary fiction.”Contact
: Please email submissions to william [at] inkwellmanagement.com.
joined Janklow & Nesbit
as a literary agent, five years after selling her half of Fletcher &Parry — which she co-founded in 2004 . Parry was born in England, where she worked closely with VS Naipaul, Germaine Greer and Helen Fielding. She has been writing, developing and editing manuscripts and screenplays. Parry says in the announcement, “I feel very lucky to have found a new professional home alongside so many excellent and inventive colleagues. It’s easy to be evangelical about Janklow & Nesbit – and I hope authors looking for the highest grade help will hear me."Seeking
: "I’m on a scout for serious talent.”Contact
The burgeoning ebook market in Great Britain has found a home on Amazon. Kindle dominates the market, which is not surprising. It also isn't surprising that 61 percent of these books are free - meaning, they are self-published through Amazon's KDP Select program.This is bad news for publishers trying to break into the ebook market. If two-thirds of the ebook reading public expect to read a book for free, how likely is it that they are going to shell out the type of money that publishers charge for ebooks?It is both good and bad news for self-published writers. The good news is that readers are enthusiastically downloading self-published ebooks. The bad news is that they aren't paying for them.
..................................................................................................................................79% of UK Consumers Use Kindle
, September 13, 2013 10:34 AM
By Dianna Dilworth
Seventy percent of UK consumers use Amazon to download eBooks, according to a new report Ofcom and Kantar Media. According to the report, which looked at media consumption in the UK March-May 2013, Kindle dominated as the service used to download or access eBooks in the past three months. Apple held a very distant second place with 9 percent of UK consumers using it to download eBooks. A Google Search and eBooks.com tied for 4th and 5th place at 6 percent of consumers using these channels.
The report also examined the digital versus print downloads and revealed that during the three-month period, 58 percent of all books sold in the UK were print and 42 percent downloaded were eBooks. The study found that 61 percent of eBooks were free and only 39 percent cost money.
Eighty-three percent of these free eBooks were consumed legally and 17 percent were consumed illegally. Here is more from the report: “We estimate that 7 million e-books were consumed illegally online in the past three months – equating to 4% of all books (downloaded, accessed online, or bought in physical format)."
I've never entered a writing contest for the simple reason that I consider writing contests to be scams. The people who run these contests know that unpublished writers will - usually without the active participation of their high faculties - shell out their meager funds for any chance of recognition. In the end, these contests always earn much more money than they award.
But this contest is different. For one thing, it's free. For another, it represents yet another interesting alliance between an amateur writing platform with a huge readership - Wattpad - and a well-known publisher (Harlequin). And for yet another, the prize is publication with the well-known publisher. Finally, the award process is surprisingly democratic, relying on votes from the public.
How did this unusual partnership come about?
Basically, the New Adult genre is terra incognita. It is the publishing world's response to an as yet largely unexploited marketing niche - college students, and those who have recently graduated from college. The themes that publishers imagine this niche will be interested in include "life decisions" and, of course, the mainstay of romance novels, sexual tension. (Hence the active participation of Harlequin.)
If you write for this niche, or think you can write for this niche, start typing. Even if a gazillion other people enter this contest, getting your work up on Wattpad, and getting it widely read, is worth the effort. (Much more rewarding than NANOWRIMO.)
(Plus, have I mentioned this? IT'S FREE!!!)
Here are the details (taken from the Wattpad website)
Wattpad is partnering with Harlequin to present the New Adult category in this year’s So You Think You Can Write (SYTYCW) contest . Writers from Wattpad are invited to write a first chapter (max 5000 words) for a New Adult story, as well as a 100-word description that details your concept, plot, characters, conflict, and setting. If your story is loved by the public voters and picked by contest judges, you could be signing a publishing deal to write for Harlequin!
So, if you think you can write enter the contest today
About New Adult
Stories submitted for this contest must reflect the Harlequin New Adult themes. This genre focuses on characters between the ages of 18 and 25, who are dealing with a time of choice, independence and risk-taking. The characters face significant change: college, new jobs, falling in love, sexuality, military deployment, moving from depending on family to being self-reliant. It is a time of taking risks and discovery
Overall, New Adult stories contain a level of sexual tension between the protagonists, but whether you write love scenes or prefer to fade to black, the choice is up to you and your characters. Romance is the most important emotional element. As well, the hero and heroine should have strong and important connections to secondary characters who add depth to the story. However, as a writer your most important task is to create characters with whom readers will fall in love
To learn more about the New Adult category, visit the So You Think You Can Write blog on Thursday September 19th at 12pm EDT to listen to hear what Harlequin and Wattpad have to say about this exciting new genre
How To Enter
To enter your work in the contest, upload the first chapter of your story to your Wattpad user profile and tag your work with “SYTYCW”. For more details on how to submit your story, please click here.
Please note that stories should be complete or close to completion before entering the contest as you will need to submit the completed work (of 50,000 words) by November 6, 2013 if you are chosen as part of the top 25 entries.
For entries that are already posted on Wattpad and are longer than one chapter in length, please tag only the first chapter. This will be the only chapter that will be read and judged in the first round.
A book cover is not required to enter the contest but is highly recommended.
For more information, please read the full contest rules.
September 23: The contest opens for submissions. Send in your first chapter and 100-word pitch. All entries will be posted on Wattpad for comments and voting.
October 28: The contest closes for submissions. The top 25 ranking chapters will be shortlisted for the editors who will request the full stories from those writers
October 29–November 6: Editors will request the full stories from those writers in the top 25.
October 29–November 26: The editors will read and evaluate all the full stories.
December 4: The four winners will be notified and their names posted on our website.
The contest is open to both published and unpublished writers residing in the UK, the US, Canada (excluding Quebec), Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. We are looking for fresh, original stories that will fit the New Adult Romance line.
Your story should be finished—or close to completion— in order to be considered by the Harlequin & Wattpad editors. We are accepting only one entry per person, and it should be 50,000 words in length.
Nothing is quite so discouraging to an author as a dearth of reviews. After years of working on a novel, months (if not years) of trying to find an agent, and even more time spent waiting for publication, the release date arrives and poof! Nobody appears to be reading your book! It's enough to make you hang up your keyboard.
Even if you self-publish, you will spend months of preparation for a release day that may go out with a whimper, not a bang. In some respects, a lack of reviews is worse if you have self-published, because those who follow that route have to do all their own marketing and promotion, a task which requires direct involvement with readers.Why are reviews important?
Like any other product on the market, people rely on the recommendation of others when they choose a book to read. In traditional publishing, endorsements by well-known authors and public figures are a key element in marketing. In the self-publishing world, success rests on the number of readers on Goodreads, on Amazon, and on blogs who will give your book a 5-star review. Without this kind of public endorsement, it may be nearly impossible to promote your book, especially if you have enrolled in KDP Select.
Amazon KDP Select giveaways are still the reigning book promotion tool. There are dozens of sites
that will post your free days, but nearly all of them require a minimum number of reviews. It's one of those chicken-and-egg dilemmas. You can't promote your book without reviews, but you can't get reviews without promotion.Should you pay for reviews?
If you are a new self-published author, don't pay for reviews.
Traditional publishers have long-standing ties with the media which self-publishers don't. This often drives self-publishers to pay for publicity. In my experience, paid reviews don't have nearly the clout of regular reviews posted on Amazon or Goodreads. For one thing, they have limited shelf life. A paid review may get posted on Blogcritics and then picked up briefly by small publications, or it may simply get sent to you for your own use. Very rarely do these reviews make it into larger media outlets, where they will reach the maximum number of people. Of course, you can always shell out $400 for a Kirkus review, but you take your chances. A good review in Kirkus is like an endorsement from God, but a bad review is the kiss of death.How to get free reviews
Fortunately, there are mechanisms in place for getting reviews without spending a great deal of money. Giving away copies en masse is one route, targeting individual reviewers is another.Librarything
allows authors to give away copies of their books to Librarything members. (Read their policies.) Authors of self-published ebooks can give away up to 100 copies. Reviews are not required of readers, although they are recommended, so don't expect more than a 10% return rate. But even 10 reviews will enable you to post your free days on some of the larger freebie sites if you have enrolled in Amazon KDP Select.Bookblogs
is a great site for finding reviewers and for posting your giveaways. Explore the "groups" section and join the groups that are relevant to your genre. When you give away a book, or are looking for reviews, you can post it on the group site. You also have the option of sending a message to every member of that group.
This is a great resource for book review blogs. It's an alphabetical listing of individual bloggers as well as book reviewer lists. This is your one-stop shopping guide to reviewers.
Book Blogger Directoryhttp://bookbloggerdirectory.wordpress.com/
Over a thousand book blogs, very nicely organized by subject, and alphabetically.
Best of the Webhttp://blogs.botw.org/Arts/Literature/Book_Reviews/0/
Best of the Web book blogs organized alphabetically. Not as easy to navigate as the book blogger directory.
Forbes always prints the most interesting articles about authors who manage to overcome precipitous odds and make a success of their books. The reason Forbes' articles are the best is because they ask the question that is on everybody's lips: How did you do it?In this interview, Mike Michalowiscz tells us how he did it. The information he shares is practical, concrete, and very sound. Do you want to learn how to identify your market, how many books you have to sell to create a loyal fan base, and, most important of all, how to keep your fan base?
Read this article and take Mike's advice. How Mike Michalowicz Went From Unknown, Self-Published Author To Mainstream Publishing Success
By Dorie Clark, Forbes June 4, 2013
Mike Michalowicz thought he had a great idea – a no-nonsense guide to entrepreneurship he called The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur: The Tell-It-Like-It-Is Guide to Cleaning Up in Business, Even if You Are at the End of Your Roll. But mainstream publishers didn’t bite, so in 2008, he self-published it. “I thought I’d sell a million books, and that means you need to have at least 20,000 in stock,” he recalls. “That was my faux pas. I literally had 20,000 books arrive at the warehouse. When I had zero sales the first day, I was like, ‘I better ship them to my house,’ so my basement was flooded with books. It was the most painful but motivational moment: I’ve got to sell these; I’ve got to move them.”Today, Michalowicz only has a handful of those 20,000 copies left; in fact, Penguin was so impressed with his sales performance, they picked up the hardcover rights to The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur and published his second book, The Pumpkin Plan: A Simple Strategy to Grow a Remarkable Business in Any Field, last year. So how did he go from a naïve, newbie author to a bona fide publishing success story? Here are some of the lessons Michalowicz shared in a recent interview.
Read the rest of this enlightening article here.
This fascinating little industry tidbit (below) appeared in Publisher's Weekly a couple of weeks ago. Wattpad
, for those of you who are not familiar with the site, features free chapters of self-published books. It boasts a readership in the millions. (Its Alexa ranking in the US is 2,553, which is very good.) This makes Wattpad an excellent platform for new writers, who generally care more about getting noticed than raking in the cash. (That comes later.)
Given Random/Penguin's recent launching of its various e-imprints, Loveswept among them, I was wondering how it was going to compete with the lure of Amazon's KDP Select, a program that has dominated the self-publishing scene for more than a decade. KDP Select allows writers to give away their books during 5 out of every 90 days in exchange for exclusive distributing rights. As a promotional tool. nothing beats giving something away for free, so Amazon, which has an immense reach, drew writers to it in droves.
Random/Penguin's strategy, apparently, is to give books away for free before
they are released. Chapters will be published on the Wattpad site in serial form, another tried-and-true method for hooking readers.
The progress of Knox's novel, Truly
, is something the industry will no doubt keep a close eye on. If Random/Penguin's strategy works, it will solve the pesky problem of how to build an online readership while undercutting Amazon's most successful marketing scheme.Random House's Loveswept Partners With WattpadPublisher's Weekly
, Aug 19, 2013
Thanks to a deal between Random House's digital-only romance imprint, Loveswept, and Wattpad, author Ruthie Knox will have her new series appear in serialized form on the online writing (and reading) community. Through the deal, Knox's novel Truly, which is the first title in a planned series, will debut on Wattpad as a free story in the fall, before being released as an e-book by Loveswept in August 2014.
Chapters from Truly
will begin appearing on Wattpad on September 3, and continue to appear until the conclusion to the story is posted on November 4. Throughout the process, RH will invite Wattpad readers to take part in choosing the cover for the e-book. The effort, RH said, will also allow a high level of author access to Knox as readers will be able to use Wattpad's platform, which has mobile engagement, to contact her
Allison Dobson, v-p of business development and digital publishing at RH, said that Wattpad offers an "innovative approach to content creation and distribution," noting that the site already draws "millions of voracious readers" from all over the world.