December 5th, 2008


auction items might make great gifts for the readers and writers in your life

Earlier this week, I posted about my client Alison Kent, who has organized a fundraiser event: For Jo Leigh, who lost her husband to cancer earlier this year. Like many writers, Jo Leigh and her husband had no health coverage, and so Alison (and others) put a call out to the writing community for contributions to auction so they could help. There are many books, goodies, and author/agent/editor critiques.

I am offering a critique of three chapters (not to exceed 50 pages) and a synopsis (up to 10 pages). You can bid for this at:


letters from the query wars - 2 weeks

week ending 28 November:
# of queries read: 66
# of partials/manuscripts requested: 0

week ending today:
# of queries read: 136
# of partials/manuscripts requested: 0

Dear Authors:

In comments this week, both on this blog and elsewhere, writers have posted - in response to the news that publishers are restructuring and having layoffs, etc. - and wondered whether it would be better to hold off until the economy improves before submitting new work. They wonder whether agents will be more reluctant to take on new clients. Or whether publishers will cut back on acquisitions. And so on and so on.

I will tell you these things: I have not turned down any queries based on the economy (it's been for all my usual reasons), and neither do I plan to. The economy stinks. It will probably take a while for it not to. Most businesses - and households, for that matter - are going to tighten their belts in response. I am still doing my job (which I will essentially define here as - (1) getting books sold for clients*, and (2) looking for new talent so they can become part of the aforementioned (1)). If writing is neither your career nor your calling, by all means spend your time and energy on something that will put bread on the table. But if it is, don't slack off now -- just because the competition may prove somewhat fiercer. It's possible it might take longer to sell something, or mean submitting it more places to get an offer, but I'm not going to be stopping. It's what I do.

*I sold a book today!