Nathan Bransford, Author


Friday, June 13, 2008

This Week In Publishing 6/13/08

tHiS wEeK iN pUbLiShInG

First off this Friday, a public service announcement from Curtis Brown agent Ginger Clark: "Hi, everyone. This piece of advice is probably obvious to 99% of the people reading this blog, but I wanted to get it on record, out there on the Interwebs—please, do not send agents or editors statues/ornaments/bobbleheads/dream-catchers/spirit wheels in the mail. It is a waste of your time and money; a waste of packaging; and it makes your work less likely to be taken seriously. Just send the agent whatever they have specified in terms of what they want from a submission (for instance, I want a query letter and an SASE). Sending some kind of toy or doll is unprofessional."

And I would like to add some etiquette refreshers of my own since people out there seem to be slipping a little. First off, please remember that one should not call a prospective agent. And also, think of the children and do not begin your queries with rhetorical questions. Every time someone begins their query with a rhetorical questions a baby cries.

Moonrat is doing a cool series of posts celebrating reading, in which people talk about books that influenced them along the way. I shall be contributing as well. In fact I'm overdue contributing. Soon, Moonrat! Soon!

And finally, in actual publishing news, get ready to rumble, Hachette UK and Amazon are throwing down! Amazon was all, "We want a bigger slice of the pie," and Hachette was like, "This bakery is all out of pie," and Amazon was all, "Fine, we're deactivating your buy buttons and making your promos disappear." So Hachette sent a letter to its authors explaining that they weren't even tripping, and guess what, UK agents have Hachette's back. An explanation in English can be found here.

Have a great weekend!






37 comments:

Wanda B. Ontheshelves said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tarot By Arwen said...

The rendition of Amazon vs Hatchette had me rolling in the aisles. I sent this link out to many friends because I believe humour must be celebrated. :)

Just_Me said...

You mean stalking my favorite agent won't make her love me more???

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Am I special, or does that link to the Hachette/Amazon story take you to one about book trailers?

Kristin Laughtin said...

It took me to an article about book trailers as well, but I liked the summary here well enough. It's all good.

Anonymous said...

Queries that begin with rhetorical questions make babies cry?! Okay, people, stop it. The cutoff for rhetorical question queries is October. That's when I'm due, and I don't need any more baby cries than what I'm already going to get.

Neptoon said...

Aloha Nathan,

ARRRRRGGHHHHHH!!!

Chickens before they hatch...chickens before they hatch.

Somewhere a cigar is stinking up the joint...curse you Red Auerbach...GRRRRRRRR!

Nathan...I know you'll understand...

A good weekend to you too...I'm sharpening my hari-kari knife for Sunday.

Parker Haynes said...

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Am I special, or does that link to the Hachette/Amazon story take you to one about book trailers?

Susan, If you're special, at least you're not alone!

Marilynn Byerly said...

The article on Hachette versus Amazon has vanished, but I've found another one.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/2123221/Amazon-could-face-strike-by-authors-and-publishers.html

Hopefully, this link will not disappear.

This is so timely. I just blogged on Amazon's tactics against publishers. I'm glad to see UK pubs have the courage to fight them. I hope American publishers beyond the small press will do the same.

Amazon is the "Evil Empire" of publishing these days.

Furious D said...

1. So I guess no agent would want the Senior-Partner Voodoo doll I made.

2. And I guess calling to ask a rhetorical question is definitely out.

3. Will you tell Moonrat about reading the book: "100001 Rhetorical Questions for All Occasions by Bennet Cerf" and how that completely ruined the entire field of rhetorical questioning for you?

4. Behavior like Amazon's is indicative of a company in trouble on the upper management level. Only a matter of time before the **** hits the fan.

Anonymous said...

So, submitting my query on a kindle would be a bad thing?

Thanks for the new link, Marilynn. Amazon is evil. I'm regretting all those kindles I bought to bribe agents.

Nathan Bransford said...

Whoops. Link fixed.

Anonymous said...

And so then the publisher DOES sell t-shirts and coffee mugs, really boring stuff that has been done thousands of times, that for instance, William-Sonoma would never carry in their catalog, or Martha Stewart feature on her show, etc.

I think there's two problems with this line of thought. One, that publishers would be selling coffee mugs (unless it's far in the future, I don't see that happening), and two, that Williams Sonoma would ever be interested in an author's promo items (with the exception of extremely rare cases, as in Stephen King had something going). The average author in Williams Sonoma? Are you kidding?!

Anonymous said...

Yah, I think the idea of being in William Sonoma is PRETTY far fetched. For people to start buying mugs/T-shirts/promo items (even if they're exceptionally nice) means you have to be pretty big, or you're going to be selling what - a hundred, two hundred? Do publishers really give a crap about two hundred promo items? No.

exactly WHERE are you supposed to bring up merchandising that you yourself, the author, created / invented /designed?

You don't. No one cares unless your name ends in Clark or your Janet Evanovich. Mention promo items to an agent, and they';re go running. And ask your agent to mention it to a publisher, and they'll just plain laugh, unless your book is a children's book for making bead bracelets.

Nathan Bransford said...

If you want to send merchandise, just ask first. We don't ask for manuscripts up front, nor do we want merchandise up front.

Dave F. said...

I guess that you don't want to know about that VOODOO Doll I just made that looks so much like your picture!

Harumph!

;)

Nikki Duncan said...

Quote: Every time someone begins their query with a rhetorical questions a baby cries.

This explains what's been going on with my littlest one. :) She has been crying way more thanusual lately.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Nathan Bransford said...

deleted anon-

No need to insult anyone.

Marilynn Byerly said...

Some authors and small press use Cafe Press for coffee mugs, tee shirts, etc., with their covers on them. Most are for contest prizes, though.

Some authors with really kicking covers actually have people buying these items.

And, yes, the authors have permission from the publisher and the cover artist to do this.

Deborah Blake said...

Nathan, I gather that you are not a big fan of rhetorical questions at the beginning of query letters (although I can't think what gives me that impression...)

Is it okay to use them later in the letter, during plot summary? (For instance, "Will so and so and whatshis name find love despite the mosquito attacks?") Or do you find them evil in all circumstances, no matter what?

Betty Atkins Dominguez said...

Interesting article. I dislike Amazon.

ORION said...

I want a bobble head!!!! Send them to MEEEE Nathan!!!
I made cool floaty key chains after my book sold and my editor, publicists and agents loved them...of course they are all from New York and have no cars so they thought they were dog toys...

Luc2 said...

With all due respect to publishing, but have you seen THIS WEEK IN FOOTBALL?
The real football, i mean. Not the kind which is played with the hands and there's just one specific guy who knows how to kick the ball.
The Dutch have destroyed France and Italy by a combined 7-1! Now I understand the term "poetry in motion".

Adaora A. said...

Can't believe people are maling in such ridiculous things. It's really very silly isn't it?

Folks are so barbaric! Don't they know those bleeding questions leave children tangled about their bed spreads thanks to nightmares? Honestly!

FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT! In one corner you have Hachett UK, 250 IBS and years of experience behind them. In theo ther you have Amazon weighing in at 255 IBS and ready to fight. Who will be the heavy weight champion? The gloves come off. (Sorry, the early games preceeding the world cup in 2010 are getting me excited.)

moonrat said...

thanks, Nathan. I know you're good for it.

Nathan Bransford said...

The Dutch and Croatia are destroying Europe! Who'd have thought??

Luc2 said...

Even the staunchest Orange supporters admit that they never expected the Dutch team to qualify after the first two games. I so hope they'll keep it up, and that this tournament will be advertisement for creative, attacking football.
Sorry for going off-topic.

Adaora A. said...

The Dutch and Croatia are destroying Europe! Who'd have thought??

I wouldn't have thought it either. They pulled it out of nowhere. Good God we'd better jump into our bomb shelters and wait it out.

Wait until the meet Portugal. It will be damn and tedius for them. Too many amazing footballers on that team. Their amazing.

I'm only going to hope and pray that Nigeria is in this approaching world cup. They've broken my heart these last years with their performance. England is a given ( but I love them), and Portugal (who I also love), is a given too.

Rhetorical question's aren't even 'in' anymore. So really, folks who use them are 'losers,' 'square,' or just plain'out of touch.'

Other Lisa said...

Create your own Bobblehead!

Dr. Dume said...

No added trinkets?

Oh, man, I spent ages making that finger-necklace and the bobble-head Frankenstein out of pre-owned body parts.

What will I do with them now? They're starting to smell...

Anonymous said...

But if I send a jelliquarium in the mail, that's okay, right? Even if there's a bobbleheaded jellyfish inside?

pseudosu said...

H to the A to the hahaha. Amazon v.s. Hatchette, I was (wuz?) all up in that.

Anonymous said...

wanda b.ontheshelves said, "I feel frustrated. You design a whole product line, but then this just makes everyone laugh at your naivete..."

I'm not laughing. Sue Ellen Cooper is...all the way to the bank.

Always be professional, but do what you think is best for your career :)

Wanda B. Ontheshelves said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Natalie said...

No wonder my baby has been crying so much lately. And I thought it was teeth coming in...

Caitlin said...

I love your summary of the Amazon/Hachette smackdown. Hilarious!

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