Nathan Bransford, Author

Friday, October 19, 2007

This Week in Publishing 10/19/07

First, before we get to this week's news and notes, the Sherlock Holmeses of the blogosphere might have noticed that I added labels to all of my previous blog posts, so if you want to, say, see posts about "query letters" or you want to easily see "query critiques" you'll be able to do that. And of course, this blog being what it is, I also included labels for "America's Next Top Model," "Cormac McCarthy," "monkeys" and "The Hills." Which is kind of embarassing, really, especially since I ended up tagging posts with "The Hills", um, 23 times.

Annnnnnnnd speaking of The Hills, Spencer gave an extremely hilarious interview with People where he 1) stated he wants to be a billionaire by 30 (I think should patent his homeboy phone), 2) called Heidi "an angel, and 3) says it's cooler to be him than Orlando Bloom because Orlando is just famous for "being some pirate." Words. They desert me. Speechless.

Meanwhile, in book-related news, Christopher Hitchens wrote an article in Slate in praise of the Nobel Prize committee's choice of Doris Lessing, marking the first time Mr. Hitchens has agreed with something in over 25 years.

And in other huge award news, the Man Booker prize went to dark horse THE GATHERING by Anne Enright, which is described as "exhiliratingly bleak." And haven't you heard?? "Exhiliratingly bleak" is the new "uplifting and inspiring." Hooray for 2007!! We're all going to die.

Via Shelf Awareness, ABC News has a somewhat hilarious article on the most-stolen books at the Frankfurt Book Fair. I guess if your book is stolen it means more people will buy it. Assuming they haven't already stolen it. Wait, I'm confused.

And finally, Jonathan Lyons has some fantastically indispensible advice if you hope to get anywhere in publishing: BE NICE TO ASSISTANTS. Whatever you do, do not be rude to them, do not call them secretaries, and do not make fun of them for being underpaid. Unless you want your manuscript to end up in the special slush pile called the "trash can."

Have a great weekend!


Ello said...

Nathan - you made me dribble diet coke boogers out of my nose! Warning label next time!

And may I state for the record, "Please remember the assistants of today are the agents of tomorrow" so karma can come back to bite you bad if you are not careful.

Have a nice weekend!

Precie said...

"Exhiliratingly bleak" is the new "uplifting and inspiring." Hooray for 2007!! We're all going to die.

Made my day. In a weird sort of existential, absurdist kinda way.

Erik said...

I'm just glad that "exhiliratingly bleak" isn't the new black. Well, it sounds like black, perhaps with happy polka dots.

I miss the old fashioned kind of bleak. When I was a kid, bleak was black and that's the way it was (and we liked it, oooooh).

Calenhíril said...

I'll be the fangirl that laughed out loud at reading Orlando Bloom is only famous for being some pirate.

I love me some books, but who are these people who steal them? I associate 'book fair' with a traveling event that showed up at my elementary school, where I would spend my allowance on many books, and I always felt good about spending the money. I'm surprised, I guess, that others don't...

Josephine Damian said...

Uh.. Nathan? Did somebody around here say "contest?"

Could have sworn it was you. Or perhaps the Evil Albino climed out of the jelly tank and used his home boy phone to hack your blogger accout and get us all in a tizzy over the potential for a little friendly competition.

I for one am already shaking by booty for Conduit to win it (whatever the contest is).

Nathan Bransford said...


Contest next week! Hopefully I'll figure out what the contest is going to be by then!!

Josephine Damian said...

OK. Totally understand if you're still not yet recovered from the last one.

Enjoy the weekend. Bet it's nice and cool there in SF, whereas it's still 90+ here in FL, and no let up from the heat in sight. :-(

Luc2 said...

Nathan, if you don't come up with anything, you can always do a contest about the best idea for a contest.

Danette Haworth said...

I love your new tags! I must search now for all of your "America's Next Top Model" entries!

Melanie Avila said...

Nathan, thanks for making things easier with the tags! But no comments in how many reference monkeys?

Isak said...

"Exhiliratingly bleak" for 2007 is right on the mark!

Who the hell in their right mind is rude to assistants?

ORION said...

My next novel is "tragically comic."
and can be described as "distractingly focused"
It's "amazingly trite" in a "deep yet shallow way"...

I agree.
My FAVORITE PERSON IS ADAM who is UBER assistant for Dorian at WMA!!! He more than ROCKS.

It's also important to bring the wonderful beings in mail rooms macadamia nuts each time you visit NYC.

Kaleb Nation said...

When I was 14 and didn't have an agent or a clue what I was doing, I directly called the assistant to the head editor at Scholastic to pitch my book idea....(I look back and shudder). And I didn't even get to talk to her; I got patched through to security instead. Now I think she's the head at some other big house :) and probably still remembers that strange kid she sent to the security line.

A Paperback Writer said...

I've had many a book lost from my classroom texts and library, but only 3 stolen -- and all by the same author.
The three books were Terry Deary's Horrible Histories. When I went to a signing of his in 2005 and told him his books were the only ones I'd ever had stolen from my classroom, he was actually quite pleased.

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad you don't make more than one blog post a day. I'd never get anything done otherwise.

Kimber An said...

"Exhiliratingly bleak" is the new "uplifting and inspiring." I am so not hooked on that one.

Hey, Mr. Bransford, I'd love it if you blogged more on 'genre hopping.' What exactly is it? Why is it a bad idea? When is it a good idea? Do aspiring authors really need to worry about it since we don't have a name for ourselves yet? Thanks!

Nathan Bransford said...

kimber an-

Good idea! I'll add that to the "future blog" list.

Jennifer L. Griffith said...


Okay I plead ignorance, and will take a wild guess on this.

“The Hills” must be a TV show that does not air on my one fuzzy CBS channel picked up by rabbit ears. I have no clue what you are talking about. But in all likelihood, most of your “frequent fliers” probably don't know that the rabbit ears I am referring to have nothing to do with a rabbit hearing anything. LOL

Anonymous said...

Jennifer Griffith--

The HILLS is a show on MTV where a group of wealthy twenty-somethings live out the daily drama of their personal and professinal lives in sunny LA.

Some of them have jobs at Teen Vogue, but mostly they seem to shop, gossip, look really cute, and kiss people. Oh, and eat out.

One character named "Justin Bobby" often wears combat boots even on the beach and "isn't into commitment and labels and stuff" which routinely breaks the character/girl "Audrina's" heart.

There's also talk of a sex tape involving a cute brunette and someone with strange blond hair named Spencer. Spencer now goes out with someone named Heidi.

I know all this from having watched exactly ONE episode. And I admit I only watched that episode after hearing Nathan talk about it on this very blog.

Oh, the powers of corruption, that Nathan Bransford has. Tsk, tsk...


Jennifer L. Griffith said...

Thanks for clearing that up for me, CC. Now I know why I have never heard of it, until Nathan's blog. LOL

Kim Lionetti said...


Thanks for the Spencer article link. That's a gem!

And "ditto" on the assistants. They're not only the gatekeepers, they're the ones with the paper shredders. :)

Casey said...

Is it ever appropriate to re-submit a query letter?

For example...In the query letter you critiqued the other day, you admitted that the premise sounded interesting, but the lack of a clear plot was a major problem. If that author edited her letter to better explain the plot, might you reconsider? Is there any recourse for an author in this situation?


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