October 13th, 2005

books

I see a strange and furious face...

Inspired by the generosity of my clients and friends, Cameron McClure, agent extraordinaire, has raised the limit on her goal for this Sunday's ride for MS. There's still time to see her picture of determination personified (it's a 60 mile bike ride!) and contribute. Click here to do so.

In other news, feyandstrange had asked last week:
How do you keep up with the romance genre? If we read all those books, you'd never get any work done (and we authors wouldn't either). But just reading the tip sheets doesn't seem to be enough.

I agree. It's not enough. And no one can read everything, a difficulty that faces many a writer, agent, or editor. This is made even more daunting to me by the fact that I don't solely represent romance. The science fiction and fantasy part of my list is currently the largest, though I'm working on increasing my romance/women's and mystery/thriller portions, as well as whatever else seems both saleable and happens to catch my fancy. So, I just try to take a really wide sampling. This tends to include a couple of best-sellers (I just finished ANANSI BOYS), but mainly I try to look for those novels by authors that have consistently provided high quality and challenging books (luckily ANANSI BOYS also meets this criteria). This makes me a sharper reader overall, and it passes on into my consideration of submissions. It's also important to be a part of a reading community - not just a writing community - and listen to what others say about books, especially if you've found yourself typically agreeing with their opinion. I guess what I'm saying is that you don't have to read everything out there; just the best of everything. Hope that's not too much of an over-simplification.

ETA: Oh, yeah -- one of the other things I try to do is read a lot of new authors. Numbers are so crucial for those first novels -- well, okay, they're always crucial but somehow when a person isn't getting a big Grisham-sized ad-campaign, I feel like my purchases matter more. In any case, first novels have the added lure of being something new editors felt compelled to buy. Based almost entirely on just the story itself, and not on the writer's reputation or backlist. I was reminded of this because I ended up reading the first 40pp or so of MELUSINE by Sarah Monette last night.
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    Belly - Untitled and Unsung
books

More books!

The news that I mentioned in my comment on my own earlier post is now official and I can now report another sale to Luna books for C.E. Murphy. Here's what MizKit herself has to say about it. And with that and the other things that are in the works to the point where contracts are being read and negotiated this week, I will be so close to beating my soon-to-be-former sales record that I can taste it. One more offer ought to do it (unless it's really teensy)! It is so rewarding to be working with such a bunch of talented authors!
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    Susan McKeown - To Fair London Town