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8 Agent/Publishing Facts

Did you know that signing with an agent doesn't guarantee your book will be sold to a publisher? 8 True and Hard Agent Facts.

1. At the querying level...get ready: 99% of manuscripts are rejected by agents. Through talking with a few agents and assistants I have found that most stuff in the slushpile are novels that have not been polished. Contrary to popular belief, although agents work with clients to get their book ready for submission, they want polished work. Which means getting at least a beta reader or critique partner and an editor in most cases.

2. Of those agents that have signed you as a client, typically they sell three out of five projects which means that only 60% of the signed clients find homes for their book. This means just because you find an agent doesn't mean you find a publisher. Agents sign you for the potential of you MS.

3. An agent sells to editors but editors also have to "sell" the books to their teams which includes the publisher itself, …

Why, Hale, Why?

I read the long Guardian article by Kathleen Hale and posted the short of my opinion to twitter. I thought the topic deserved a blog post, which I am sure there have been plenty of since the guardian article shed light on this blogger/author debacle.


Mrs. Kathleen Hale you earned yourself a nifty twitter hashtag , a few rounds of twitter trending and a lot of press. I don't know whether this is good or bad for a first time author whose book NoOne Else Can Have You came out from HarperTeen in January 7, 2014 but it is a argument we will continue to discuss because of the issues it brings up with social media, privacy, trolling, stalking and bullying.


Some of you might or might not remember Kiera Cass's (author of The Selection series) run-in with her blogger. Cass and her agent got into it with a reviewer from Goodreads because they didn't like her review. In Mrs. Hale's situation, I find myself asking:


1. Why would the Guardian print this? It is awful, one-sid…

Authors - Wondering who will accept you without an agent?

Who will accept your novel without an agent?  Here is my list with links for all you authors out there. Boy, I would have liked this list when I started researching.
NOTES: 1. This list is not a complete list of all the options. 2. I'd advise you to research ALL publishers on http://absolutewrite.com & other sites. Some publishers don't have favorable opinions/experiences recorded from some authors & bloggers on the web so bottom line - DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH.)
Small & Midsize Press Publishers Chronicle Books since 1967 (Ivy & Bean children's series)
Kensington Publishingsince 1974
Saddleback Edu. Publishing since 1982 (Won 2014 Moonbeam)
Algonquin Books since 1983 (Published Water for Elephants) Blushing Books  since 1991 Quirk Books since 2002 (YA author Ransom Riggs)
Skyhorse Publishing since 2006 Lyrical Press (bought by Kensington) since 2007 Spencer Hill Press since 2010 (YA/NA author Jennifer Armentrout) Black Opal Books since October 2010 (Won 2014 Moonbeam) Enta…

Internet Surfing

You click one link after another after another and so on and so forth and before you know it's four hours later and you have conceded that you probably won't accomplish much today. Well I had one of those days but it was very positive experience because I learned a lot. I was researching self-publishing. I came across the authors Brenna Aubrey and HM Ward who turned down traditional publishers to self-publish and of course their success stories intrigued and inspired me. More intriguing was the fact they broke down everything they went through. Their experiences and opinions on the subject prompted me to put together some more CONS about traditional publishing.
Signing with a Traditional Publisher CON list:
Little to no control of rights for 35 years (print, e-book, audio, film, etc.) which means no control over re-print runs, movie/TV casting, scripts, budget, etc. Courtney Milan breaks down costs here.Little to no creative control/freedom (title, cover, edits, marketing and p…

Is Dystopian a Publishing Trend?

Does dystopian have staying power or is it a publishing trend that will soon come an end?First off, I think that vampires, demons/angels (supernatural), super-powered humans, werewolves, witches, aliens and zombies are trending themes in novels and on the screen. Some are "out" right now and some are "in".

On the heels of Twilight we had Vampire Diaries, True Blood and Dracula that were adapted on TV & the big screen. Buffy the Vampire Slayer was quite big too in its hay day too. However Vampire Academy, a popular YA series, bombed in the theaters so did Beautiful Creatures...and a slue of other book adaptions.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Humans with super powers is a reaching trend made famous by comic book adaptions. Comic books have been around for decades and…

Musings - On Self-Publishing (Indie) vs. Traditional Publishing

Do something until you can do something else. What I mean by that is write as a hobby (this is how you build a backlist and improve writing) until you can write for a living. If you really love it that much you will find a way to make it happen. It might be through the traditional route (including digital first) the lucky few take or the self publishing route.


Beverley Kendall has a survey that about self-publishing that is awesome. She says, "The more books you have and the more professional your book is–amongst various other things–the better your chance at for finding success self-publishing." Also self publishing is a decision that is personal like any other big decision, you have to take into account your own talents and situation.


My ultimate goal has always been to find an agent who will find me a publisher. Or find a publisher that accepts unsolicited manuscripts. However as I query I am beginning to look at the other option: indie (small press) or self-publishing. In…

Why YA?

Unequivocally My Favorite Genre                                                                                                         YA is my favorite genre and sometimes when I tell people, I get: "You don't like adult books?" or "Isn't that for teens?" or "You aren't a 'serious' reader". To those people I say, I have always liked this genre and just because I grew up doesn't mean that I'm to old to read young adult or ANYTHING I want for that matter. I enjoy Children's, Middle Grade and Adult categorized books as well but YA is my absolute favorite. Of course I am an adult and not by far the same person I was when I was a teen reader but that doesn't mean that my tastes have to change or reflect my intelligence or growth. I grew up but I still like chocolate chips cookies, The Little Mermaid (I know all the words to Part of Your World), night lights and red vines - do I have to give up these things too because I…

What's Your Magic Number?

Everyone has a magic number because everyone gets rejected. This magic number equates to the number of times an author was rejected before they got someone who believed in them enough to give them a chance.


J.K. Rowling's magic number was 12 for Harry Potter.

Alex Haley's magic number was 200 for Roots.

Madeleine L'Engle's magic number was 26 for A Wrinkle in Time.

Kathryn Stockett's magic number was 61 for The Help.

Stephanie Myers magic number was 14 for Twilight.

Nicholas Sparks's magic number was 24 for The Notebook.

Margaret Mitchell's magic number was 38 for Gone with the Wind.

Jack Canfield's magic number was 140 for Chicken Soup for the Soul.


In addition the Da Vinci Code, The Tale of Peter Rabbit, The Princess Diaries and The Diary of Anne Frankauthors all suffered through years of rejection.


Each author on this list of bestsellers has sold millions of books. Think if any of these authors had allowed rejections and negativity to roll them back d…

Musings - How Do You Come Up With Ideas?

FREE your imagination, give it permission to wander.


Ideas come to me all the time. From small details of the plot, to the characters to the scenery. It's like a really rough dream sequence that has no regard for the time or place of its arrival. I've gotten ideas in the shower, at 3 AM, coming or going places, while running errands, watching a movie, reading a book, drinking, listening to someone talking... the brain never stops creating and imagining. You ask yourself "what if" a lot when you're a writer and you allow yourself to answer, to truly imagine whatever images, people, settings and phrases come to mind. These initial ideas become the building blocks of my stories.


I cannot force ideas and I don't need inspiration to write. What I mean is, I can't sit down and say I'm going to plot out a book...but I can free write in order to build on my original ideas. I also don't need to write at a particular time or feel a certain way to write. Be…

Musings - My Editing Process

Hard work makes things happen.


I have been focusing on editing and revising my books in 2014 since the years before I was focused on merely writing books. I now have 6 books plus a novella. I am happy to say I have given my third book to my editor and will soon give her the novella and the last book for this year. The remaining 2 books are sequels so I am holding off on putting any money into them until I secure publishing deals for the first book in that series.                                                                                      


I have trained myself this year to work as if I am publishing the books myself so I go through a whole process where I edit, revise, re-read (several times) and then hand off to the editor. Then once I get the edit back, I accept and discuss corrections I need clarification on and revise according to the corrections. I send it back again for another edit and again I accept, question and revise and send only changed parts to the editor. Then…

The Benefit of Contests

I have a new found love for entering contests for unpublished authors. I couldn’t believe that there were so many contests available. The reason I would recommend contests are because this can add weight to query letters. You can also  receive valuable feedback that will help you revise and learn to receive critiques in a helpful way. The drawbacks to entering are the fees, rules and if I must say the waiting time to find out who won! Some contests ask that you not shop your novel for a specified amount of time so make sure you read the fine print, and know the benefits and drawbacks to each contest you choose to enter. Here is a great table of contests created by author Stephie Smith. Also another list of contests can be found on the Funds for Writers website along with writing grant opportunities. 


The following list of companies/websites is from my own experience entering their contests (except for the Leap Frog and Amazon):



Romance Writers of America (RWA)has a cool and long list of…