News You Can Use – July 16, 2013

Yesterday I posted on the issue of “Foreign Rights.” Talk about a clunker of a topic! One quarter of the normal readership thought it worthwhile to click through and read. Fascinating analytics. So let me ask those who read this “News” section, what topics would you like to see addressed in the future?

JK Rowling Snookered a Lot of Editors – She submitted her latest novel under a pen name. This article interviews some of the editors who said, “No thanks.” It goes to show the power of a brand name. And shows that an “okay” manuscript and story won’t break through if you are unknown.

Taglines Hook Your Reader – Mary Connealy writes a great article that every writer needs to read.

Prediction on E-book Sales – Ebooks will outsell paper books in the year 2017. Agree or Disagree. See the data at the link.

53 Years of To Kill a Mockingbird – Enjoy a celebration of a classic.

As Long as Reading Survives, so will Bookshops – Philip Hensher explores an interesting topic.

56 Unique Lorem Ipsum Generators – Completely silly stuff. But very fun if you need to use sample text to test out a graphic design.

10 Responses to News You Can Use – July 16, 2013

  1. Amy Boucher Pye July 16, 2013 at 3:58 am #

    I didn’t think foreign rights stuff was a clunker! Not at all; I was glad to see you addressing it. But I’m biased, as I’m an American living in Britain. Why do you reckon people weren’t interested? Some say Americans can be insular because of the size and wealth of its people and resources. Something to do with that?

    On your list of topics, I’d love to hear more on branding/pen names. I was just talking with an author yesterday about this issue, and how the market expects authors to write with a singular focus and voice. It is a bit sad, though, that authors seem to face this limitation. Do you as an agent see ways around this?

  2. Diana Harkness July 16, 2013 at 4:49 am #

    I don’t have time to read daily blog posts. I rarely have time to read during the summer when I’m busy with work, my vacation rentals, and my husband’s softball league. The lethargy of this sultry summer makes it particularly difficult to stay awake when I am not active. I’m most interested in personal insights and the process, but not every day. Foreign rights are far removed from this unpublished author. I’m happy to get my syntax right when I’m speaking French or Spanish to a native speaker.

  3. Bethany Kaczmarek July 16, 2013 at 6:27 am #

    As Diana said, “Foreign rights are far removed from this unpublished author.” I bet that’s the reason, Steve. Summer schedules are simply different than the rest of the year for many people. For me, I’ve got to prioritize how I’m utilizing my writing/office time, and foreign rights are a distant dream at this point in my career. This wonderful alphabetized series is easy to remember, though, so I’ll know where to find the resource when I do need it. (May that be sooner than later!)

  4. Thomas Allbaugh July 16, 2013 at 7:18 am #

    The only reason I didn’t click and read yesterday was because I was on the road all day traveling home from a writer’s conference in Lake Tahoe. So I didn’t even read email yesterday. I look forward to reading it today, and I love the news feed–all of it! Thank you.

  5. Ane Mulligan July 16, 2013 at 7:18 am #

    Funny you mention To Kill a Mockingbird. I never read it in school – don’t ask me how I got away with not reading it. I read more books than anyone in my school and have the award to prove it. But I missed that one. However, I read it this past year and loved it. Oh, my, how I love it! So I’m delighted to see its celebration!

    Now, I’ve got to go read that link on e-books vs paper. I’ll make a stab at it first, though. I’d say not by 2017. 2027 maybe. :)

  6. Mesu Andrews July 16, 2013 at 11:40 am #

    I think analytics can be a little misleading. I enjoy your posts but only get a chance to click and read a few times a month. Yesterday, I read it and even clicked on the link you embedded in the post. Take THAT, Analytics! Tee-hee. ;)

    P.S. I thought you did a great job explaining foreign rights–a very complex topic that I STILL have a few questions about! ha!

  7. Steve Laube July 16, 2013 at 11:53 am #

    Too funny. So far today we’ve had almost as many readers of the Foreign Rights post as we had all of yesterday. It is definitely the lazy days of Summer!

    Love all your comments!

  8. Erin Taylor Young July 16, 2013 at 12:37 pm #

    I read yesterday’s post too, Steve. Your series has been great. Can’t wait to see what x and z stand for…

    My take on the foreign rights post is simply that you have a huge variety of readers–prepublished through multi-published. Of course you want to write what’s of interest to the majority of readers, but if every post did that, you might neglect some important topics for the different, smaller niches within your audience.

    And hey, you’ve got 18,539 people signed up for this thing. A quarter of that is still kinda a lot…

  9. Peter DeHaan July 16, 2013 at 2:27 pm #

    Thanks for the links — and for the record, I appreciated the post on Foreign Rights.

  10. J.D. Maloy July 16, 2013 at 10:27 pm #

    In my critique group we did an exercise of tagline and loglines. Not only was it fun and brought on spurts of laughter (our brains turned to mush), it proved to extremely helpful to play around with word choice. It was a killer good reminder that every word matters especially when pitching a story. I recommend the exercise!

    As for the Ms. Rowling story, I don’t think the publishers or editors should be red-faced. The story didn’t work for them. Fine. But it would’ve (automatically it sounds like) if she went with her real name? What message does that send to writers? Hmmm…?

    I applaud her reasons for the pseudo name and I admire her desire for unbiased feedback from people in the business and readers. I feel sorry for her in a way. The pressure she must feel to deliver a best-seller with every story must be exhausting and stressful. She said that writing under Robert Galbriath was “a liberating experience.” I wonder if she’ll try it again.

    Topics I enjoy reading are ones that: Challenge me to grow my craft, encourage me to push through the struggles, give honest facts or testimony’s about the writing and publishing process, stories of lessons learned from people (writer’s, agents, editors and publishers), what new developments are occurring in the literary world, and most appreciated are the articles you post about exercises. Being a kinesthetic learner I appreciate those.

    So pretty much everything about the writing world from taglines to online presence to publishing facts. Wow. Could I be more vague?

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