Nathan Bransford, Author

Friday, April 18, 2008

This Week In Publishing 4/18/08

ThIs WeEk In PuBlIsHiNg

As some of you have already discovered, my wonderful and amazing client Rebecca Ramsey has started an equally wonderful and amazing blog! Check it out -- Rebecca's family is the proud owner of a dog who would probably win some sort of national award for craziest-things-eaten-by-a-dog-who-still-survived. She also has some beautiful photographs of her hometown, which basically prompted me to start considering South Carolina as a top vacation destination.

In other client news, one of the requests in the "advice for me" post from last week was more about what I've sold and my tastes and things like that. Happy to oblige! Well, mostly. As I've discussed previously, I'm still trying to find the right blog balance between a) not talking about my work with clients and the way deals happened so that my current and future clients (not to mention the editors I work with) don't have to worry that they will be blog fodder (this is really important to me) and b) giving my future clients a sense of the things I've worked on. I'm happy to publicize books when they come out, not as comfortable to talk about things before then.


This is all a long way of saying that I may have found a solution: have someone else talk about it. Next week I'm going to have a guest blog post from a client of mine who wrote a wonderful debut YA novel that recently sold to Viking (and it all started with a query letter). So stay tuned for that.

And SPEAKING of amazing debut novels, your friend and mine Patricia Wood made the shortlist for the Orange Prize for her novel LOTTERY, and is going to London!! Go Patricia go!!!

Maya Reynolds has continued her indispensable series of posts on the Amazon issue, and the latest is a simultaneous rundown of some of Amazon's past tactics as well as the history of Tim O'Reilly of O'Reilly Media as a past (and possibly current) Amazon contrarian. Really awesome.

And finally, NY Times bestselling author and friend-of-the-blog Lisa McMann recently had an awesome interview with Kelly Spitzer in which she breaks down some of the things she did to help turn her novel WAKE into a breakout success (and these are things you can do too).

Have a great weekend!


Tom Burchfield said...

Thanks for that Kelly Spitzer link, Nathan. Extremely useful. I'm doing a little of that already.

Back to work . . . .

JaxPop said...

Rebecca's blog is great - reading it just makes you chill out & relax. South Carolina is awesome - you should visit (& then swing down here to my home town of St Augustine Florida). Maya's blog is a daily ritual for me & should be for everyone interested in the publishing industry. Have a great weekend.

Anonymous said...

Great interview with Kelly Spitzer, and I'm glad you provided the link. But to be fair, MOST of that stuff (the big stuff) CAN'T be done by authors. Her book was chosen as a "lead title" for the publishing house, so while most authors have 200 galleys printed, she had more than 1000 given away to create buzz. When the publishing house is paying to give away ipods with your book cover on it, that's not something the author can do en masse, the way the house did, and can. Yes, it's about marketing yourself. It's also about the fact that she was chosen to be lead title.

Nathan Bransford said...


Factors outside of her control definitely played a role (as it does for all bestsellers), but what I liked about the interview is how she showed how she put herself in a position to be the one who was chosen to be a lead title. Obviously there are a lot of factors that go into it, but her willingness to market and her efforts up until that point played a role.

There's nothing anyone can do to automatically make a book a bestseller, but it's all about increasing the odds any way you can.

Anonymous said...

a wooden spoon...that's nuthin'! :)

my pit bull ate multiple comforters, a window sill, a few remote controls, many shoes...the worse was when she ate a pack of BC pills and I had to call the animal poison control hotline about that one.

recently, my shepherd ate - literally ate (and thankfully passed) - an empty cat food can. doesn't seem like a pleasant chewing experience to me, but what do i know?

i have to agree with Rebecca that walking the dogs does tend get the mind moving, too!

Anonymous said...

Read the whole blog, Anon. Sounds like that dog could give yours a run for its money. :)

Elyssa Papa said...

Fabulous interview from Kelly... Lisa provided a lot of insight and very helpful advice.

ORION said...

Aloha Nathan and Thanks!
Am thrilled and blown away!
(okay thrilled at least- no wind today- Orion is sitting peacefully next to the dock...)

Anonymous said...

I know this is a little off topic, but what do you think of this website? I, personnally, think it's stupid and a waste of money. It says that it can show you how to edit your novel in less than an hour, which doesn't seem right, and that you can buy plots from them for 50c. Am I right to think that this is a stupid scam for unknowing wannbe authors?

Ryan Field said...

Congrats to P. Wood. It's probably one of my favorite reads in a very long time.

Lisa McMann said...

Rebecca Ramsey, my new myspace friend! *wave* Your blog made me laugh, especially when I got to the post about your son and the Doritos. I have son just like that! (The dog posts were quite something as well.)

PW -- I'm a huge fan of Lottery and I'm so freaking stoked for you and that short list. The Orange Prize is H.U.G.E.

Nathan, thank you so much for sharing the Kelly Spitzer interview with your readers -- Kelly's a real gem. And I'm glad you saw something good in it.

If anybody's at the point where book pub day is looming, I strongly encourage you to check out Bella Stander and her Promotions 101.

She also visits at the Backspace Writers' message board once a month to answer questions.

Thanks again, Nathan! I am a big fan of the blog and have learned so much from you.

terryd said...

Great info, Nathan. Thanks.

Lisa and Kelly rock! It makes me do a little jig to see them getting ink here.

The Bushmills helps, too.

Adaora A. said...

Mr. Lopez? Is that the YA author in which you refer to? If so, excellent! I look forward to it.

I think you're right about how much information you can give out. The internet - and blogs - are a public arena. So many people who don't even post read. As the saying goes (in the computer age), you never know who is 'lurking.'

Congrats Patricia! She's such a sweetie.

Lisa is a blue boarder (Verla Kay), it's great to see her doing so well.

Anonymous said...

My previous comment didn't publish, so writing it again.

Mr Bransford, if you don't like talking about new deals and clients, can you please put cover links or banners (some of which you already have)on your blog? Please?

Anonymous said...

Oh Nathan.
I just finished reading Enduring Love.
It was impossible to put down.
It was impossible not to see how the protagonist loves his wife.
It was gut wrenching and so tense.
it gave me NO relief.

Some novels I put down from chapter to chapter and think, I want this to last forever.

But not this.

I needed to be out of my misery.

Nathan Bransford said...


Wow, what a coincidence, I just finished it a few minutes ago! I had to put it down to read many other things, but was able to finish it today. I agree with you -- so gut wrenching. Joe was the perfect McEwan protagonist -- completely precise, incisive... the contrast between him and Jed was fascinating.

McEwan is just incredible. I'm always in awe when I finish his books.

Lisa McMann said...

Just one more comment...I noticed tonight that JA Konrath has reposted a real winner when it comes to authors who are about to give up...

He's worth bookmarking.

Wanda B. Ontheshelves said...

Re: Enduring Love, The Great Man, and Sex and the City

I finally bought McEwan's Enduring Love (in paperback used online) – at the library they had a whole shelf of McEwan's books, but Enduring Love was not one of them. I started reading 'Atonement' at the library, but had too much of a bee in my bonnet about Enduring Love, after reading the excerpt at Amazon.

Re: The Great Man by Kate Christensen – I thought it was a good book, not a great one – unfortunately, I was only a little ways into it before I thought "this is a geriatric Sex and the City," so I kind of ruined the reading experience for myself, i.e., it seemed more predictable than it probably was.

Then last night on Masterpiece Theatre, Kim Cattrall appeared in "My Boy Jack," about Rudyard Kipling's son who died in WWI. In an interview afterwards, Cattrall talked about WWI, history, the romance of the soldier ("we show the brutal reality," Cattrall said), and how she imagined war fever in the UK was similar to that in the US after 9/11 "if you weren't waving an American flag, you weren't patriotic." Yes, I admit, I'd have loved to hear that out of the mouth of Kim Cattrall's character on Sex and the City.

**end of tangent**

Mickie the Trigger said...

Nathan, staying tuned is making me sleepy. Please correct this. (Either by posting that guest blog or forwarding coffee vouchers.)

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