Archive for October, 2007

Monday, October 22nd, 2007
Winners Are

The winners are Charli, Bernard, Ann, Cherie, Kim and Tempest. That was easy. Dh is drawing your names to decide who gets what book. I need you all to drop me a private email with your address.

Sunday, October 21st, 2007
Left Overs and Mistakes

I’ve been going through my stuff. (Yes, the joys of getting ready for a move. *g*) Anyhoo, I found four copies of Bad Boys Over Easy shoved in a box. I’ve decided I’d rather give them away than pack them. Snort. I also have a few ‘mistakes’. Let me explain. When Ellora’s Cave printed up my book, Atlantean’s Quest: FALL FROM GRACE (Atlantean’s Quest 3, 4 and Atlantean Heat), they goofed on a few copies and stuck the cover to Joey Hill’s Mirror of my Soul on it. So I have four copies of ATLANTEAN’S QUEST: FALL FROM GRACE with the wrong covers on them. I’ll be giving those away too.

If you’re interested in either book, toss your name in the hat. Dh will pick names until I run out of books. 🙂

Friday, October 19th, 2007
Reading Nights

My dh and I have started what we call reading nights. We pick certain days of the week, and then spend the evening reading. No TV. No distractions. I thought it was a cool idea. What’s really been interesting is how much better I feel after spending the evening reading a book. I mean I’ve always loved to read and goodness knows I have a mountain of a TBR pile waiting on the shelves for me, but designating an evening (or a few a week) to reading has been amazingly relaxing. That’s something I didn’t expect to get out of our reading nights. Relaxation is a lovely biproduct of disconnecting. You all should try it sometime, if you haven’t already.

As an aside, I thought that this site was a great idea.

Wednesday, October 17th, 2007
Five Mistakes Authors Make While Hunting For An Agent

Yesterday, I blogged about five clues that tell you that your agent just isn’t that into you. Some of them happened to me and some of them happened to friends. Today, I’m going to talk about five mistakes writers make, when they’re agent hunting.

1. They don’t research an agent.

2. They don’t know what their expectations are going into a deal with an agency.

3. They pick an agent based on their client list.

4. If they’ve (the writer) left an agency and haven’t immediately found another agent, they become desperate and pounce on the first agent that makes an offer.

5. They don’t interview the agent.

There is more to researching an agent than finding out if they are reputable. You also need to interview the agent’s clients. You’d be amazed how honest authors will be when asked about their representation.

A lot of authors don’t know what to expect from an agent. I think it’s important to really think about what’s important to you, what you’d like from the relationship (ie someone who edits your work, someone who submits immediately, read times, career thoughts, etc.), what kind of relationship you’d like with the agent, etc., BEFORE you agent hunt.

Picking an agent based on their client list isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but you do have to keep something in mind. If you are picking an agent because they seem to represent the ‘kind’ of books you write, then also pay attention to how MANY authors they have writing in that genre. You may end up on the bottom of the pile. It’s better to have an agent who has experience in selling several different genres or doesn’t have a heavy client list.

Giving in to desperation is the BIGGEST mistake a writer can make, when searching for an agent. I cannot repeat that enough times. For the sake of your career, hold strong and find the best agent for you.

I know that when I was starting out I didn’t have a lot of questions for agents. This was a newbie mistake on my part. Interviewing the agent before signing with the agency is one of the smartest things an author can do. Have a list of questions in front of you, when you speak to them on the phone. That way you won’t find yourself stammering. This also goes back to expectations. If you have an idea what you expect from the relationship, it’ll be easier to write out your questions. Never be afraid to walk away from an agent or an agency that does not meet your needs. I know it seems like you’ll never get another offer of representation, but that’s NOT true. It just may take some time. In the interim, you can shop your work yourself. You’d be amazed what a good query and first three chapters will do to get you in a door.

Once again, I’m opening the blog up for questions. Fire away.

Tuesday, October 16th, 2007
Warning Signs That Your Agent is Just Not that Into You

1. Your agent stops returning your phone calls.

2. Your agent takes months to read your submissions.

3. Your agent forgets to submit your work.

4. Your agent stops returning your emails.

5. Your agent sends back all the work you submit to them with a ‘thanks, but no thanks’ note attached.

Not all these things happened to me, but they have happened to friends. I know that to most writers landing an agent is a high point in a career. It falls somewhere behind selling your first book/s. But getting an agent doesn’t solve all your writing biz problems. Sometimes, landing an agent will be the beginning of the end of your career. Just as a good agent can make a career, a bad agent can stall it. And by good and bad, I’m not necessarily talking about disreputable. Disreputable agents have their own special category (and place in hell:). I’m also not talking about needing to change agents with the phases of your career. Sometimes you have to leave a reliable agent, if they can’t take you to the next stage of your career (ie bestseller land). If you’re a newbie writer reading this entry, please don’t freak. It’s just the nature of the beast business.

You can be with the top agent/agency in the country, but if they don’t get your work, then it won’t matter. They will not manage to sell you. Heck, they may not even manage to submit your work to a publisher. Having a bad agent can mean just a bad agent for you and your career. Right about now, you’re probably asking, how can I determine who’s bad and who’s good? The truth is that you can do all the research in the world and it still won’t amount to much. Research can keep you from making a fatal agent mistake, but it can’t prevent you from signing with an agent who is wrong for you. You won’t know how that person truly works until you’ve signed your name on the dotted line. Yeah, I know, it sucks.

Some writers are lucky enough to get a good agent right out of the shoot. Others, like me, take the long route. (wg) I had to go through a few people before finding a good fit. That doesn’t mean that all my old agents were bad agents. They weren’t. I know some writers who are on their fifth agent. :-O I hope that I’m done agent hunting for a while. Stopping and starting over does little to progress one’s career. *g*

I’m now going to open my blog up to questions, but I reserve the right to plead the fifth. 😉 Does anyone have any questions about finding an agent?

Monday, October 15th, 2007
Crazy, Crazy, Crazy

Sorry for being MIA. Things are still insanely busy around casa Summers. I’ve been on the phone with insurance companies, accountants, etc. and have been answering emails from publishers and ex-agents. I just started this. And no, before you ask, I have not made my word count today. I hope to get some work done later, but not sure it’s going to happen. Tomorrow is my niece’s fifth birthday and I haven’t managed a gift or a card. Sigh. I have the Salvation Army coming tomorrow morning to pick up the ton of stuff that we’ve sorted through for the move. I hope whoever is driving has very strong arms. (wg)

On one of the lists that I belong to the authors have been talking about the difference between representing yourself and having an agent. It’s been a pretty interesting discussion. The most interesting thing that’s come out of the talk is how people (ie writers) define the ‘rules’ of publishing.

What do I mean? Well, some people believe that when a publisher or agent says not to send multiple submissions that you should listen. When I say multiple submissions, I’m not talking about sending the same manuscript to different people within the same publishing house/agency. I’m talking about sending out multiple submissions/queries to various publishing houses/agencies. I always figured that ‘rule’ was like parlay in Pirates of the Caribbean…more of a guideline. 😉

I think the bottom line is that as long as you’re acting like a professional when you conduct yourself in this business, then you don’t have to worry so much about the ‘rules’.

Saturday, October 13th, 2007
Out all Day and the Dogs are Barking

Dh and I just got back from a home show. We ran through the convention center, trying to see if there was anything there that would help us with our new home. Surprisingly, there wasn’t much. We saw a few possible window treatments and electricians, but otherwise, not a lot. We then went to a furniture store. We found a couple of chairs that might work as accent pieces in the living room. We’ll see. So much stuff to get, so little Olympic funding. *ggg* I feel like with all this running around I did get my workout in. Lots of walking taking place.

Haven’t managed to get my word count in today, but then again, I just walked into the door. Hopefully I can stay awake long enough to write. Hope everyone is having a super weekend. I’ll catch you guys on Monday.