January 29th, 2004

books

Now where's that shovel....

Queries arrived yesterday afternoon from the New York office -- 34 letters and 13 unsolicited packages for a total of only 47. Quiet week. Which, considering how the rest of it has gone, was a boon. I remain puzzled by people who send unsolicited materials when every copy of our guidelines that I can find online or off lists, at most, cover letter plus synopsis with first five pages. They were all read last night. Being able to actually accomplish something and see physical forward progress went a long way towards a more positive outlook on things. I actually believe at this point that I might dig myself out by the end of the week to a reasonable level of backlog. Heh. But if I can't, I'll at least be satisfied with getting all the contracts read and language in negotiation if not en route to the authors for signature. I have *never* had this many arrive all at once before. Price of success I guess.

I want to thank everyone who took a moment out of their own busy lives a couple days ago to answer my question about the upside(s) of agenting. A lot of good points were made. And I was in a place in my own head where most of them sounded like platitudes if I said them, so I needed to hear them from outside. To whit -- got to see the cover for the new Jim Butcher (coming this summer!) yesterday... mmmm... wonderful. Spooky. Evocative. And his name is much bigger (they couldn't fit it on one line) and at the *top* of the cover - above the title. Woot!

Best opening line in a query this week: "Are you a dormant serial killer?" To which mcurry replied (when I read it to him) -- "Dormant?" *g*
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