Nathan Bransford, Author


Friday, June 29, 2007

This Week in Publishing 6/29/07

Hello all, it's summertime, which means publishing news is not exactly burning up the telegraph wires. And plus I still have to finish packing up my office for its impending extreme makeover. The office building manager just told me that the interior is going to be either bright yellow or brown. Please please please cross your fingers for me that it's brown. And no, I don't have a choice.

So anyway, rather than summarize the very non-exciting publishing news this week, I thought I would do a quick roundup of some of the great advice that has been offered this week on my favorite publishing blogs.

Over at Bookends LLC, Jessica Faust, in typical helpful fashion, provides a really succinct and effective explanation on why it pays to be classy when you interact with people in the publishing industry. And in a post that should be nominated for a Best Publishing Advice of the Year Award, she provides a breakdown of some warning signs that you might have a bad agent. Such a difficult thing to explain, and yet such a good breakdwon.

One of things authors keep hearing again and again is how important it is to be your own publicist and build your own buzz, etc. etc. Over at MJ Rose's Buzz, Balls & Hype, agent Simon Lipskar provides an interesting and honest counterpoint that suggests that yes, while all those things are important, the burden on making a book a bestseller is still on the publisher.

Kristin Nelson explains why you shouldn't tell an agent you have 10 unpublished novels in your drawer.

Jonathan Lyons is doing a running series of agent-perserverence stories. Keep watching there because you might just see a certain Sacramento Kings fan posting his own tale.

And finally, the Millions just ran down its list of the most anticipated books of the rest of 2007, just in case you wanted to get a head start on your cocktail party banter.

Have a good weekend everyone!






18 comments:

original bran fan said...

So, Jessica Faust was telling us how to say "no," politely, to an agent. I am in that position right now and it's hard. Three agents want me, I can only pick one. I know that they won't take is personally if I'm polite, but really. Help me, Nathan, how do I write a rejection letter to an agent?

Nathan Bransford said...

OBF-

Just be polite and honest -- there's no substitute for that, and they'll appreciate it. And good work finding three candidates!

astairesteps said...

I've been reading your blog for awhile, but this is my first comment. I'm sorry that it's about paint colors!

But I've heard many times that yellow is an agitating color. A yellow room causes a person anxiety and irritation. Might not be a good choice for someone in your line of work...what with all those iritating queries and deadlines already making you anxious enough.

I know you don't get a choice, but here's hoping for brown!

Nathan Bransford said...

astairesteps-

EXACTLY. I mean, even the thought of a yellow room is giving me anxiety.

A Paperback Writer said...

Years ago, one of my classrooms (I've since been moved many times, and this classroom -- thank heaven -- has been improved) had yellow walls with green striped curtains and a brown tile floor. I was agitated about it all year. It was offensive.
Here's wishing you the best. Perhaps they'll make a mistake a paint your office in a nice off-white so you can hang pictures of your choice....
Oh, and I'm so relieved I don't have 10 manuscripts shoved in a drawer. I've only got 5 that will NEVER be sent to any agent. (Whew.)
(I have 2 that I'm working on and will be sent to agents.) But I won't tell anyone about the 5 "learner's permit" ones if you don't.....

astairesteps said...

One other thing. I'm curious. What did YOU think about Stanford asking Dana Gioia to give the commencement address?

Nathan Bransford said...

astairesteps-

Truthfully I didn't even know he was the pick. I'm so out of touch!

astairesteps said...

The pick apparently caused quite a backlash on campus, so much so that Gioia alluded to the complaints in his address!

By the way, good job of answering without answering. I didn't really expect that you'd say anything bad even if you disagreed with the choice. But you do know who he is, right? Most complaints were from people who had never heard of him. They felt he wasn't famous or accomplished enough to be chosen.

Nathan Bransford said...

Well, they picked Condi Rice for my commencement, and let's just say I'll answer again without answering.

Josephine Damian said...

Nathan, correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought Pat Conroy had a new book coming out (a 700 page door stop!).

Thought for sure it would be on the anticipated list.

Glad to see there's a new Ann Patchett - "Bel Canto" was a delight.

Most of the inside of my house is painted (pale) yellow! Perhaps that explains why I'm so nutty! :-)

Josephine

Fluffy said...

A Paperback Writer: I've got five, too! Since I wrote them between the ages of ten and fifteen, d'you think I get a pass on the 'it took you how long to learn to write?' (Disclaimer: I'd not dream of mentioning it in a query letter, out of sheer mortification if anything.)

Heidi the Hick said...

Gahhhhh! My kitchen is BRIGHT YELLOW!

It is a very happy colour though...and I honestly don't spend huge amounts of time in there...

Brown is said to be a very serious and thoughful colour. I hope you get given a nice corduroy jacke to go with your brown room. Maybe a pipe. And a good solid footstool. You don't have to smoke the pipe if you find that distasteful. Just clamp it between your teeth and look serious and thoughtful.

A Paperback Writer said...

Fluffy -- it's nice to have a compatriot here.
Heidi -- nice image you've created there with the brown theme.....

astairesteps said...

heidi the hick,

your descriptions made me picture CS Lewis...how funny.

Bryan D. Catherman said...

Wait a minute! The publishing industry is still using telegraph wires?

I've been going about this all wrong. My next query is going via telegraph, but who will I find to transmit my letter in Morse Code?

Tom Burchfield said...

Thanks for those links, Nathan. I especially found the piece on marketing useful. I've been thinking a lot about that and it's good to know I may not have to worry that much about doing all my own marketing. I still do my blog anyway, because I enjoy essay writing and think I'm halfway decent at it.

As for "Bad Agent," I'm fortunately equipped with a pretty good feces detector. I've had a few of these types sniff around me when i was writing screenplays. There's always the roar of hot air in the back round and the sound of helpless thrashing.

Chumplet said...

Our newspaper building was renovated last year, and every single room is painted bright yellow. Even the door and window trim. The floor tiles are two-tone yellowish.

No wonder everyone's been so grouchy lately!

jason evans said...

Is there a overall theme to the office renovation? I'm out of touch with what is "in" these days (I remember the Colonial blue and pink phase). I guess yellow and brown could be part of an earthy vibe. That could be cool. You could grab yourself some flyfishing pics or something.

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