Nathan Bransford, Author


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

What Blog/Website Features Would You Like to See?

Huh. 956 comments on the contest thread? Waaaaasn't really expecting that. But that's ok! Please enter your paragraph in the main thread before tomorrow at 4PM Pacific, and I'm still on track to have finalists on Friday.

Now that I have your attention, I thought I would solicit your opinion on what could/should be done to improve and possibly expand this site. This community has really grown this year. Which is great! Trust me, I'm not in this for the page loads (look Ma, no advertising!), but it's been great to have more opinions, more participation, more news tips, and more perspectives.

So what now? What should be done, if anything, to expand? New features? Topics? Contests (flinch)?

Oh! And you may have noticed that when you go to http://nathanbransford.com..... it is no longer a bunch of random links! Actually it should lead you right back here. Hello again!

That is because I very recently retrieved my domain from web squatters! So now that I have more than just a blogspot address, it's possible to expand in the non-bloggy realm. (Forums?)

So you tell me: what would you like to see?

Thank you very very much for your feedback, and thanks even more for stopping by and adding your wisdom and taking the time to add to the site. I really really do appreciate it!






160 comments:

Anonymous said...

Maybe open question day?

coll

Erin S. said...

Honestly, I've just started to read the blog, so I'm more than thrilled with what you've already been doing. But I'd love more contests, if that wouldn't drive you to lock yourself up just to get away from the advice seeking madmen!

Michael said...

I kind of want to say that the blog is perfect the way it is. I'm afraid that trying to fix something that aint broke will ruin this, the only blog I read on a daily basis.

Anonymous said...

Open questions is a good idea, if you limit it.. say for instance the first ten questions get answered, otherwise it could get completely out of control.

Captain Hook said...

Nathan,

Just don't kill yourself trying to make us happy. The site is great as is.

The suggestions already posed are good ones, but I lean more toward the more contests idea. Seeing as how I've never won one, I need more to enter :)

Kathleen Peacock said...

The Query-Cam.

Why spend valuable online hours watching pandas when you could be watching Nathan slog through queries.

Did he just quirk and eyebrow? Did he just scratch his chin. WHAT DOES SCRATCHING HIS CHIN MEAN?!?!? OMG WHAT IF THAT WAS MY QUERY!??!

Think of it. Whole blogs and forums could be devoted to decoding your every expression and move.

R.C. said...

I agree with Michael. You manage to post something every day, something informative and funny, that sparks interesting conversations. How do you do it?

Don't change. Unless you can clone yourself and take on more clients.

Crimogenic said...

I like the forum idea. Maybe the readers of the blog can help other each on query writing, the first five pages, and/or share marketing ideas, etc. But, I do also think the blog is great as is.

Renee said...

#1 Thank you so much for the site. Great info, daily read.

Maybe new contests could have a theme. Several months ago I picked up The 3 A.M. Epiphany by Brian Kiteley.. The author's website offers some sample exercises.

I love the clever ideas for quick, 20 minute writing exercises in this book.

Thomas Mason said...

I think searchable forums would be a great addition. It would make it easier for new readers to find the information that you have already passed on in a previous blog posting.

I found this site a few months ago and now I read it several times a day. I love the topics and the comments both.

Of course, don't do anything that is going to stress you out anymore than you probably already are with almost 1,000 entries to your contest!!

BJ said...

One thing you might do is make a bigger deal of your FAQs -- put them up higher, make them flash, etc., so that people will go there first if they have a question. I know you don't mind answering questions, but I also know it can be a pain to answer the same question over and over again.

Also, the forum idea would allow people to help each other... which may or may not mean less work. Running a forum can be work, though. But if you've got over 900 viewers, a forum could be interesting.

But I agree, the blog is great. Just nudge those FAQs up a bit...

Marilyn Peake said...

Nathan,

Wow, that is an amazing offer. An agent asking what we would like to see on his blog/website? I’ve been reading science books about time travel and the possibility that alternate realities may exist within extra dimensions. I must have entered a time travel machine, unbeknownst to myself, and landed in some other incredible dimension. I would pinch myself to see if I’m dreaming, but then I couldn’t type this reply.

Your site is the best site ever...but, still, I’d love to make some suggestions. :) Several things draw me to your website every day: your wit and writing style (I have to be careful not to spit coffee all over my keyboard, laughing at some of your jokes), the solid amount of information about the publishing industry posted in your blog, your accessibility and willingness to interact with writers, and the active conversation that takes place among blog visitors in the comments section. The contests...well, those are beyond amazing. I wouldn’t change too much about your site, as it seems risky to tamper with awesomeness. However, as a writer, I would absolutely love it if you had more contests and other programs in which you critiqued our writing...without causing you to suffer complete exhaustion or down whole bottles of Maker’s Mark, of course. Are those suggestions at all possible?

Elyssa Papa said...

Ohhh, yay to getting your domain name back from web squatters!

I love the blog, otherwise I and others wouldn't be coming back day after day.

I do like the idea of the forum because you could have the links on the left in more detail, and other writers could discuss the ins and outs of writing. But, I don't know if you want to go in that direction.

To me, the big draw to this blog is the fact how you write and respond to comments. I feel informed but not talked down to, and please, anyone who watches The Hills and The Bachelor is awesome. *g* For me, what's been very useful is when you broke down the dos and don'ts of query writing, and when you write about the publishing business in layman's terms. Right now, the one thing that seems to be out of my grasp--no matter how many things I read about to learn to write them--are the synopsis. Why are these so hard?!

I think that whatever you choose to do---whether it's to keep the blog the same or add new features---that we'll be there for the ride.

Anonymous said...

Nathan,

I've followed your blog for a while now and maybe you've touched on this kind of thing before but I was wondering what happens once you take on a new author.

What is the relationship like after he/she signs with you?

What kind of things do you ask them to do or what do they ask you to do? What are your expectations of the author?

In general, what communication do you have with the author and why?

So maybe a monthly blog of the business side of things.

Thanks.

Irene Eng said...

How about a weekly/monthly critic on a winning/losing/randomly picked synopsis, opening of a WIP or even query letter?

A great site as it is and thank you for your effort.

Dara said...

As others have already said, I think the site is great as it is.

If you do more contests or have an open question day, you could limit the amount of questions or entries so you won't be so overwhelmed :)

melissablue13 said...

I second the Query-Cam.

Other than that I have no suggestions. I find this blog very imformative and you're not scared to get in the comments section.

Just_Me said...

Hmmm.... I like the blog as is. If you're expanding to a website I'd love to see the common questions archived there so anyone searching for help on query letters or industry help could find it easily.

I'd love to have an open question day, I have a few about etiquette with querying. Especially what you do when an agent offers to represent you besides scream, "Yes! I love you forever!"

And maybe a little blurb gadget on the side that tracks what's selling. I know great books will eventually have a home, but I like to know what trends agents and publishers are seeing too.

Otherwise, keep up what your doing and make sure more fabulous books hit the shelves!

Julie Weathers said...

I would be afraid to change it too much. It's easy to search for information. There's lots of pertinent information. There's a friendly, helpful atmosphere from not only you, but your followers.

The forum on your website is a good idea and I congratulate you one getting your name back. A web designer friend of mine convinced me to start a site even though I have nothing of interest to add now. It will save the hassle of trying to get my name later.

Justus M. Bowman said...

The additional adverbs in your last paragraph won me over, so I'm giving you my advice.

I think forums and more contests might work; but, whatever you do, don't lose what you already have. This is a great site. A lot of people are happy with it.

At least once I made the mistake of trying to give people more than they wanted or needed (like this advice). The changes hurt more than helped. That's only my experience, but it might be worth considering before you decide to create Nathantube, Nathanspace and Nathanbook. ;)

Cat Moleski said...

I love your blog just as it is and I read it every day. I found reading all the entries in the contest very helpful in shaping mine and in helping me evaluate where I felt I landed in the pile. So, I would enjoy and profit from reading more first pages, synopses, jacket copy, blurbs, etc. But I sure don't want you to have to run more contests than you can handle or to have to critique a gazillion entries. Thanks!

Deborah said...

Very informative site. Personally, as a writer (aren't we all?!) I'd simply like to see more insights into the agent world, updates on publishing, what works for you, what doesn't...basically what I see you're doing.

Thanks for going to this effort. It is much appreciated.

Zac Robinson said...

A forum would be great. It would provide user-generated content and give your readers a chance to communicate with each other. I like Kathleen's query cam idea too, hilarious.

150 said...

I think your blog is great the way it is. For the website, please just make sure it's up-to-date with how to contact you, what you're looking for, and what you've sold, both recently and in the past--with links to buy.

Refined White Sugar said...

Porn. Or cookies.

Yes. Cookies or porn.

Thanks.

Anonymous Gimp said...

Hey nathan,

As for new topics, I would love it if you did a spotlight on some of your authors. Maybe introduce us to some of your more prestigious authors, point us toward their blogs, and even spotlight the books of some of your NEW authors and tell us why YOU fell in love with the manuscripts and what got you excited enough to take them on as a client.

Thanks,

Joshua

Michael said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michael said...

Forums would be great (I'll be happy to set up a phpBB forum and database for you if you request my partial :) ), so would more contests. Another great thing would be pitch critiques...I haven't been following this blog that long so I don't know if you do that, but another agent did a long round of them and I learned more from that than all the "how to" sites on the web.

CapitolClio said...

The blog is great as it is! Don't change a thing.

I'd think long and hard about doing forums. They are really time consuming to run. I fear that you'll end up spending most of your time managing tech problems and fights between posters. There is plenty of dialog that goes on in your comments section already.

Deirdre Mundy said...

I'd like to see a regular "The Query that hooked me!" feature, where you publish the queries that hooked you and other people at your agency.

Because I can ALWAYS use more query help! It's what lured me here in the first place.... =)

Anonymous said...

I'm not here for the contests, or writing exercises. I like to get from you what is hard to find elsewhere: an inside perspective on agenting, with timely comments on the publishing climate. For example, in the weeks/months ahead, following "Black Wednesday," will it be much harder to sell a book? What should writers at all levels -- beginner/unpublished, midcareer etc -- do to weather these changes? What will happen to advances? How does one judge when a project is unmarketable versus just unmarketable in this particular economic climate? What should one expect, regardless of the economy, in terms of agent and editor relations, and specific sales goals? (It drives me to distraction how little editors will say about realistic sales for literary projects.) As electronic readers take off and some chain stores tank, how does this affect the writer? I could go on and on --but these are the things I'd like to keep hearing about. Thanks so much.

DCS said...

Be careful what you ask for, Nathan. I don't know how you find the time to read books, handle your clients, read queries and service your blog. Oh well, I don't understand how Tiger Woods does what he does, either. I'm perfectly content with the blog as presently constituted.

Anonymous said...

Okay, this sounds kind of funny, but I suggest changing your photo. See, when I first glanced at the little thumbnail photo of you, I thought "Wow, this guy looks kind of creepy. Oh well; makes no difference to me-- awesome blog." Then last week I opened up the full size image, and it looks TOTALLY different! Something about the resolution of the thumbnail makes you look weird, but in the full-size picture (which is a great photo) you look like a stud. So, just so people don't think you're weird-looking, you should either fix the thumbnail version, or upload a new photo.

Crystal D said...

The only things I can think to add to the website are a discussion forum and a chat room. Perhaps the forum can have be a place where writers can critique each other's work, queries and brainstorm and stuff like that. And there can be a contest a week, it'll be Nathan's second job! :) Or perhaps there can be an admin to to that part.

Ann Victor said...

The blog is great as it is; highly informative and friendly too.

Although, with contests, it would help a lot if time zone differences for your international readers could be taken into account when setting deadlines. :)

Josephine Damian said...

More contests, more often but with much shorter entry period or limit it to # of entries per contest.

How about genre specific contests? That way you're comparing apples to apples.

More query crits!

Nathan Bransford said...

Question. Lots of people are saying more contests, but wouldn't it kind of make the contests less fun if there were more of them?

Heather Kennedy said...

Leave the blog a blog and if you want to do the community thing, get a Big Tent and make forums. I hate when things get all contesty and interactive on a blog beyond a certain point, but that's just me.

Kristan said...

Ooo, forums sound cool! Although perhaps too tempting a distraction from true writerly pursuits...

To be honest, I wouldn't mind if you DID want to put up some ads, either for specific advertisers or just Google ads (which in theory place things relevant to your posts by "reading" your page). You do a lot for us, there's no reason you shouldn't earn a few pennies off it.

Otherwise, there's probably lots of stuff you COULD do, but I don't think there's a NEED to change much. You've got a clean aesthetic and fabulous content. That's all anyone really needs. ;)

Occasional guest posts are fine, but I would caution against too many. We heart YOU!

Brigita said...

Seriously, how many hours do your days have? When do you find the time to post regularly, answer questions, have contests? And now you want to invest more time into this site? Hmm ... You sure you don't want more clients? *hint*

I love the blog as it is. I wouldn't change anything. :)

Emily Ruth said...

I like everything just how it is, though an open question day would be nice I must say...
But no, I personally don't like forums. I like the homey feel of a blog :) but thats just me.
And I like the spontaneous contests. I agree, too many contests don't make it as special.

Kathleen Peacock said...

Too many contests would take the fun out of it.

I did really like Deirdre Mundy's suggestion about the queries.

7-iron said...

Nathan, yes. Fewer contests... well maybe not fewer, but less frequent? (is that the same?)

and more query stats! love that ennui.

Marilyn Peake said...

Hi, Nathan,

You asked about contests, and if too many would be less fun. I think it would depend on the prize. If the prize is request for a partial or full manuscript and possible contract, then, for writers, no amount of contests is too many. :) However, if you aren’t looking for new clients or would be completely swamped by more frequent contests, maybe a shorter version of a contest would be exciting – maybe a critique by you of one author’s WIP excerpt or one query letter, or maybe you could have a “pitch day” when authors pitch manuscripts to you (although that might be as much work as judging a contest).

7-iron said...

...

i guess that's because I haven't queried anyone yet. Still waiting for that perfect first impression. So i love the stats.

Thanks!

Mim said...

I love this blog and I worry that forums may take away from it being up consistently. The advice is great.

I agree with a lot of previous comments--an open question day would be great but you could carry those first few questions into the next week's blog topics.

And I'd love to see more query letters picked apart.

Thanks for all you do!

keith said...

Why not take in some revenue from advertising? As a reader, I won't mind, so long as it's not overly obnoxious. You should be able to cover some expenses and be paid for all the time you devote to the site. And who knows? If you bring in enough ad revenue, you may be able to hire someone to look after the site/blog.

Liz said...

Hi. I'm one of the recent arrivals, and I love the blog as is. In the interest of your new marriage, I'd shy away from anything that might cause you to spend even more time on a regular basis than you do already on this blog.

Having said that, I would suggest something along the lines of a forum or virtual writers community. You've already sort of done that when you solicit comments from readers on submissions. I like your moderation - you keep the tone professional, upbeat and constructive. I know I learned a lot just from reading the first paragraphs entries. It's like being in a writer's workshop for free with 1000 writers. It's awesome. You have so many talented readers here that you could leverage via the comments section on any number of topics - for instance, I'm currently stumped trying to figure out which genre I should be focusing on for my ms when selecting agents to query. I don't think that Blogger supports any sort of "forum" feature, but more reader participation opportunities might be fun. And a way for you to add more to the blog while working less. Lagniappe.

Parting words - blogger gave me this as the "Blog of Note" today - http://writopialab.blogspot.com/. Their mission: "WritopiaLab is a non-profit organization that seeks to create and sustain a diverse community of young writers who find commonalities in a shared passion for ideas and expression and that offers discounted or waived fees to 50% of workshop participants." Very cool.

Anonymous said...

I know you are a busy person, Nathan, so I wouldn't expect a ton of new stuff all the time. That said, I think you could do a few things to further assist those new to the publishing industry, in particular:
1)links to pages with general information on the publishing industry;
2) information on proper writer-to-agent equiquette;
3) information on proper agent-to-writer etiquette;
4) useful books to read on writing;
5) Your take on how to write queries;
6)formatting submissions;
7)industry standards for contracts, payment and other issues related to writing.

Once written, these wouldn't need but the occasional update.

Or, you could just list all your related posts on the topics.

Captain Hook said...

I don't think more contests would harm anything - except your sanity.

We're writers. Each one of us trolls the web looking for ways to get agents to notice us, and contests are one of those ways.

Kat Harris said...

More random critiques.

I love it when you call for queries to be critiqued.

If you expanded that to different aspects of writing more often, it would be awesome. Pick a writing sample (first paragraph, first line, dialogue) and tell us what works and what doesn't about that piece.

lauren said...

I'd love to see more open threads, or an open question day, as someone else mentioned, but overall I think the blog is great as it is. It's easy and fun to read, dependable (I click over every day just as I'm finishing my lunch, and, voila, new post!), and occasionally shocking (massive contests!).

I'm already addicted to three writing-related forums. I beg you not to make another! My husband may have to stage an intervention to keep me on task, writing-wise. There are tons of places for writers to discuss the craft and business of writing, and to get first-chapter critiques and query critiques... and I've no doubt it's a significant time commitment to run a forum (or recruit volunteers to help run one).

lvcabbie - dale said...

My problem is trying to find out where my posts are! Don't know that it can be done on a blog but on forums you can do a search for your posts or comments.
That would be a great feature.

Ink said...

Free partial requests for daily readers?

Not that I would so callously take advantage of such an opportunity... cough cough. Ahem. No. Certainly not.

My best, as always,
Bryan Russell

Ulysses said...

My gosh. Don't change anything.

I hang around here because this blog is:
1) Frequent: there's something new to read every day.
2) Informal: your relaxed approach to everything makes this an easy and enjoyable read.
3) Entertaining: on those rare occasions when your words don't elicit a grin, the words of someone in the comments will.
4) Informational: there's always something here I want to know before I seek representation. And probably after. And during. And maybe outside of.

Now, I suppose you could dress things up with pictures of Heidi's wedding, or links to Miss Snark's pin-up calendar, but that's up to you. I'm here for the bourbon, and it don't matter to me none if y'all change the glass.

I believe the popularity of this corner of the web is well deserved.

Sandra said...

Your blog is great the way it is, and it is the only one I read on a regular basis.

I think having too many contests would over-do it - your way of having the occassional query submission or first paragraph contest is a wonderful idea, but you would be soooooo bogged down if it were a regular occurence - and the contests might lose their sparkle.

What Anonymous said (Dec 10th at 0851 hrs) is the only other suggestion I would have. Open questions to a max of 10.

Sandra

LawDog said...

I'm a new reader who likes it as it is! Simple is beautiful. Don't change a thing.

Nadine said...

Congrats on the new website address! I think it would be awesome to have more info on your clients. News articles about their books doing well, or upcoming release dates, etc.

Furious D said...

I'm not going to suggest anything because you're going to be too busy wading through all those entries, all your queries, and all the other stuff you have to do.

Sara J. Henry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mlh said...

I have to go with the query-cam, Seeing you shudder, drop a letter to the floor, and chug back the bourbon is just too tempting NOT to see. Can you imagine all the YouTube hits you would rack up?

Otherwise, you could set up a place in the sidebar titled, "Don't Do It!" Then post pictures of the things to not send in with a query letter: birthday cakes, a pack of cigarettes, and the other goodies people mail in as they try to persuade you to take on their manuscripts.

Angie said...

I like the open question day idea, but I wouldn't say "first ten." I'd say whatever ten interest you to answer. If the first ten questions are answered in your FAQ and #32 is the most interesting question you've ever been asked, leave yourself open to answer that one.

Parker Haynes said...

Nathan,

It's hard to imagine how you could improve your blog. I've followed it daily (well, every day you post) for about a year and a half, and seldom is the day I don't learn something.

I can't imagine, even with the publishing business slow as an old VW Microbus in the mountains, how you find the time to do what you do. And with a new wife, too? Ah, the sweet energy of youth.

Not only do you share information, usually with a personal and humorous touch, but you are living (well, blogging) proof that literary agents are real people, just like writers.

Thanks for what you do. I'll happily follow along, occasionally commenting, always learning and appreciating, usually lurking in the background.

MzMannerz said...

You've quickly become a favorite blog for me and are one of the few (including friends!) I check daily. I really like your writing - your posts are informative, funny, and say just enough.

Perhaps I'm too new, but I think your blog is fine as is, with the exception of the open question day suggestion. I admire your attempts to read comments and respond to them in the comments section, so perhaps an official day of just that would be great.

I dunno. You could also add pics of puppies and rainbows and stuff. :)

Lady Glamis said...

I agree with you, Nathan. Don't do more contests. You don't want to create a contest blog, for heaven's sake.

I think a forum would be nice.

Polenth said...

You could have a nice little site with the books by your authors. You wouldn't have the space limit you have on the blog sidebar, so you could have a more comprehensive list. And client blog links.

I think the contests are often enough. Though I liked when we had the contest suggestion thing and people came up with possible ideas.

A forum is lots of work. It's one of those things that sounds nice, but in practise it might detract from the other stuff you do.

Zoe Winters said...

I'm with Refined White Sugar on: Cookies or Porn.

Or kittens. Everybody loves kittens.

You could also have one day a week where you only speak in lolcatz.

Elyssa Papa said...

Question. Lots of people are saying more contests, but wouldn't it kind of make the contests less fun if there were more of them?

Yes. Keep the contests as they are . . . it makes it more fun where they are available.

And my word verification backs this up: nonono

Too funny!

Haste yee back ;-) said...

I suspicion, correct if wrong, this blog if fully funded by Curtis Brown Ltd.

How about the NY agents chime in on a weekly/monthly basis. Ms. Knowlton? Ms. Harding? Do you have blog game? (Gawd! Is that a groan rising from Manhattan)!

Forums... yes. Adult thru Middle Grade. E-books thru paper.

Contests... sure. Make 'em spontaneous and time limited for entry - like one/two hrs. tops

(And finally, since you were raised on a rice farm in CA, (Sacto delta area I assume), I'd like a duck hunting/striped bass update - during season of course, Frank's tract and surroundings).

Haste yee back ;-)

David Russell Mosley said...

I am personally a big fan of contests. I like to compete. I know, however, how taxing they can be on the judges. One thing to improve your health during contests would be to have small contests more frequently and with more specificity. You could do a first paragraph Sci-Fi edition or Romance or Thriller, etc. That way you have "more" contests, but with less participation in each. Just a suggestion.

Wanda B. Ontheshelves said...

Hi MLH:

You wrote: "...set up a place in the sidebar titled, "Don't Do It!" Then post pictures of the things to not send in with a query letter: birthday cakes, a pack of cigarettes, and the other goodies people mail in as they try to persuade you to take on their manuscripts"

Of course, some of us would be delighted to have the free publicity of our "stuff" on NB's blog, and would send in things we wouldn't have otherwise :)

Anonymous said...

Take a blog-reader to work day.


That'd be awesome.

Whirlochre said...

Open question day, if do-able, sounds good to me.

Beyond that, I enjoy reading this blog for the quality of your informed opinion & ability to direct your finger close to the pulse. In these absurdly fractious times, maybe that's the most useful thing you can do — although photos of your good self in a variety of off-the-wall cowboy hats wouldn't go amiss.

Jill Corcoran said...

would love to see interviews with editors and/or guest blog posts by editors.
Thanks for asking Nathan:)

Dimato said...

Hi Nathan The Brave,

Thank you for teaching me so much in the almost 2 months that I've been reading your blog. I don't yet know what can be added to make it better, because I'm rather new to this, but if I have an amazing revelation I'll let you know. Just wanted to say thanks for the great teaching...and for the contest...and for the laughs.

Marilyn Peake said...

Hi, Nathan,

If you decide to add more contests and need to limit total number of entries for some of the contests, maybe you could narrow down the type of entry so that the submissions would involve brand new writing rather than ready-made WIPs. Examples: Write the opening paragraph to a dark fantasy about a sparrow, write the last paragraph in a space opera about drunken pirates, write the final paragraph in a novel about a huge financial crisis without using the word “bailout”. A narrowed topic might narrow down the total number of entries.

Lynn said...

A forum would rock.

Anonymous said...

I think more contests, but genre specific, is a good idea. It would keep the number of submissions down for each, but still allow all of us to learn from the others' entries.

Absolutely love your blog, Nathan!

mlh said...

Wanda B. Ontheshelves,

Shhhhh! X-nay on the stuff-tay! ;)

Sassee B said...

I would suggest forums if you're up for it, but otherwise, site is good as is. :)

pjd said...

My most desired feature request: please make time stop while I'm reading your blog. That way I could spend more time here while spending less time here.

Chris said...

I dig your site the way that it is. Your blogs come off the screen like I've just had a phone conversation with someone I've known for years and I wouldn't want you to lose that flavor. Your info is pertinent, well-organized, and to the point. I suppose I should say thank you.

Anonymous said...

I love reading these first paragraphs, but can't get through even half of them. I love love love the contests, but we need to make them shorter somehow. Shorter entry time or separated by genre or something...

Your blog is fantabulous. The best by far.

TerriRainer said...

I love the fact that you take the time to give us all advice and news from the publishing world.

The only suggestion I would have is about contests (thanks for being so brave, BTW).

Maybe you shouldn't be so generous about the length of time you give for submissions. Then again, you're probably far more organized than I am, and if so....more power to ya buddy!

:) Terri

terryd said...

Congrats on the domain recovery.

I love the blog as it is. I don't want a full, Tower of Babel forum here!

Contests should be rare and special. Something for each solstice, perhaps?

Lydia Sharp said...

I don't feel anything needs to be changed on your site. It's beautiful.

Something I would like to see in the future (although not sure how well it would go over)...
Keep a separate running blog thread detailing a true to life experience of the process from a good query you receive to (hopefully) the press release of the published work, as it happens. I suppose the writer would have to agree to this as well, but what writer wouldn't?
Unless, of course, you publicly humiliate him/her by saying you couldn't possibly continue because the manuscript was a load of...

(Just a thought.)

Michelle Moran said...

Kathleen Peacock: The Query-Cam.

HA! I love it.

Zoe Winters said...

I agree with Haste about severe time limits on contests. I mean it's over 1,000 first paragraphs now. That's practically a novella all by itself. Give peeps a few hours and then close comments.

FIONA said...

I love the website, but the idea of more contests is great.

You may want a smaller entry window next time.

Dan said...

Nathan,

You should remember that EVERYTHING I KNOW ABOUT PUBLISHING, I LEARNED FROM SPORTS warns against listening *too* closely to the fans...

DO NOT MAKE A FORUM.

However, I do enjoy query stats and critiques.

AND

For EVERYONE who has asked about FAQ's and things like that, there is a great Google command you can use to search Nathan's site!

In the search field, type: whateveritisyou'relookingfor site:.nathanbransford.blogspot.com

So if I wanted to find old query stats posts, I'd type:

"query stats" site:.nathanbransford.blogspot.com

VOILA!

Anonymous said...

More query critiques would be nice.Weekly would be even better.

Anonymous said...

For the web site:

How about real-time Amazon ranking #s of all Curtis Brown books, categorized by genre and agent? Or, if not all of CB, then just your books.

How about a "Plug my Book" section where published authors (from any agency or house) can submit a short promotional blurb on their book that stays up for a week or so? (With real-time AMZN ranking # accompanying each one).

How about a Monday Marketing Madness section, where you put up 1new marketing tactic each week, with a forum for discussion.

Optionally, user-generated query critique section where you may or may not be directly involved.

An Authonomy-like electronic slush pile! (Then, after a few months, you could do comparisons to see how the user-generated manuscripts that rose to the top of the slush compare to the ones you picked using traditional methods).

You could of course display booktrailers and web links to all your authors.

Depends on how many pages you have (what ind of hosting plan you have).

Robena Grant said...

I also love the blog as it is. It's an easy format, you provide new insight every day. You give us the market update on Friday. The archives are there to peruse at leisure. We get to comment back and forth if we want. The contests are spaced about right. Any more and the effect would be watered down. This way, they're exciting.

Forums are great but they take a lot of work. I belong to Jenny Crusie's Forums. I think she has between six and eight moderators and the mods pretty much handle the whole thing now. With your huge reader base you'd be opening yourself up to a lot of additional work.

Chris Redding said...

Okay. This blog is one of my faves. I'd hate to see you kill yourself doing more and then not blog at all.

Sarah Jackson said...

Hi Nathan,

First of all, you MUST include more mentions/photos of delicious egg nog. I've learned so much since I found this blog a few week ago. But you didn't make it to my RSS reader until I saw that ridiculously comfy pic. A macbook and a mason jar of eggy, holiday, yum-yum awesomeness...heaven!

As far as any suggestions, I gotta say...kinda love you just the way you are. The blog is really easy to read and it's organized well in the Categories section. I enjoy your posts about new industry-wide stuff, especially now with everything changing so rapidly. (I work in TV, and we're going through a lot of the same restructuring.)

Keep it up and keep drinking egg nog! (Ignore the calories. They're Christmas calories..totally don't count.)

-Sarah

Ben-M said...

My vote is for mostly status-quo; the blog is fantastic as-is, and it would be a shame to see you risk burning out.

If more posts would help, then perhaps with the decent traffic the site generates you might be able to wrangle a few more guest bloggers on occasion - they get the chance to post something, you get more content without quite so much more work - it sounds like win-win to me.

Julie Butcher-Fedynich said...

Nathan,

I think it would be nice, imformative (and not as time consuming as contests) for you to add a chat room to be used monthly, or bi-monthly. There is publishers lunch :) why shouldn't you have Agent's Lunch. The aspiring writers could log in and post their questions, you, or you and another agent friend/guest/collegue could answer the questions for a set amount of time. After the Agents lunch, the q&a could be posted in the archives of the website. The Knight Agency does somthing similar with their Authors. It looks like a fairly simple script to impliment. Jia at TKA seems to be in charge of it. (They are my sister-in-law's agency). I think something live, accessible to everyone, would be great for us. Somtimes there are questions that you just can't find the answers to, no matter how good you are with research. Also, since it would be a scheduled time, it could be arranged to not interfere with your other business responsibilities.

A forum is nice, but requires tons of time to moderate. My brother (NYT Bestseller Jim Butcher) has one and it requires a dozen volunteers to keep up with the masses.

Well, that my 2 cents.

JD Spikes said...

Nathan, I've been lurking on your blog for a while now, and have signed up for the email alert for your new posts. I have to join those voting for no change. While many of the suggestions are good, they seem better suited to a website, not here. You're already well balanced... here on the blog, anyway :oj

BTW, Congrats on your marriage!

Tumblemoose said...

*PLEASE* move from Blogspot.

Get a WP theme and add a forum, get over to Twitter and spend ALL of you extra time there ;-)

Just my - ahem - humble opinion, of course...

George

Nathan Bransford said...

George-

I know, the mistakes of youth, but tough to give up the SEO.

burgy61 said...

Nathan, love the blog and I wouldn't change a thing. Your blog contains so much information for writers it's invaluable.

You allow open discussion on your comments section as I don't see the need for a forum.

If anyone wants to ask you a question they can go here.
http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=53863.
You answer questions there regulaly.

A webcam, I don't know. If you had one I might look once, but I don't have the time to watch you work.

You give so much of your time now I don't think we need anymore. You our just starting out on a new road in life, enjoy it. Please don't chance anything.

Scott said...

I would come here everyday if nothing changed, so it does beg the question what does the blog "need". And my answer would be, "nothing, really".

The idea that we could exchange ideas on a vBulletin type forum is attractive, as is simply a different format that adds a simple "chat" function. But there's something cool about the way the blog is right now.

Mostly, the open question idea seems the best idea. You could survey which seem to be most popular and direct a blog towards it much like you do now, really. Maybe people could submit to you through a separate email account and you could randomly choose each week.

So maybe just give the blog only what it "needs". If we're too many, possibly that calls for a new look and engine.

marye.ulrich said...

Hi Nathan,

There are a zillion blogs for writers. Your blog is unique because: 1. You interact with your readers; 2. You are a real live agent; 3. You give advice in terms the layperson can understand; and 4. You have a casual style and sense of humor.

I think writer wannabees, like myself, want to know what and how the agent gatekeepers think and act.

What if you did a case study in multiple viewpoints?

Nathan: We would look over your shoulder as you open a query and lead us through the entire process through publication. Let us see the inside view....

Wannabee: The new writer could also let us follow what they are thinking and doing....

Bloggers: We would be the cheerleaders, the fans in the stands, the innocent bystanders....

Don't know about others, but that sounds fascinating to me. I think I would learn a lot and it would help demystify the process.

TV analogy: Think Magician with the black mask, share the secrets.

clindsay said...

It seems to me that those of you calling for a forum or more contests are being somewhat selfish and unrealistic about the demands on Mr. Bransford's time. I may be mistaken, but I suspect what Nathan was looking for were suggestions on how to make the blog more user-friendly and accessible to his readers.

Nathan, you have a great blog already and I have always found it very user-friendly and easy to navigate.

Thanks for all your effort at educating writers!

:-)

Anonymous said...

Burgy61 -- I think the webcam idea was a joke. People are kidding.

Anonymous said...

Hi Nathan,
I love you blog, visit it almost every day, and recommend it to my writer friends for the open and comfortable atmosphere and wealth of information you provide on what an agent looks for in submissions.

Hosting a contest is very generous of you. As a writer I've found reading many of the submissions enlightening. Doing a contest occasionally seems to be a good idea; too often and it might lose its freshness and appeal.

Okay, enough sucking up; here's my suggestion: One writers' group I belong to hosts an occasional "the-editors-are-in" pitch session. For a couple of hours, the editors accept pitches for article ideas from group members. The pitches and the editors' responses are exchanged with all group addressees. As a writer, I find this forum helpful because it gives me an opportunity to see which ideas get accepted (or rejected) by the editors. So, I guess what I'm suggesting is that you hold occasional virtual pitch sessions, with a time limit so you're not overwhelmed. During the "agent-is-in" pitch sessions, writers would pitch their ideas for books in xxx words, then you would respond to their pitches--kind of like it's done at conferences, except this would be in an open forum.
Thanks for listening.
DV from Missouri

Adaora A. said...

I think a forum would be brilliant! We could post our questions and you could answer them (whenever you happen to have time), we could converse amongst ourselves as well.

But I can't think of anything else really. I think this blog is great as it is, I love coming here. Going to be chomping at the bit TO read it when I'm in Nigeria for 2 weeks.

Lorelei Armstrong said...

You should add advertising, so we won't have to worry about you running out of eggnog and whisky!

lotusloq said...

I come to your blog everyday. It's generally the first one I check. I wouldn't change anything unless you just feel like you got nothin' but time on your hands. Everything is easy to find and very informative.

A forum would be nice in some ways--you know, so we can talk amongst ourselves. But you don't need more contests. I think it would cheapen the ones there are. Besides, when would you ever sleep?

Of course, there's always more room for a little Tyra. She's been lacking from the banter a bit lately. She's going to start feeling unappreciated.

Anonymous said...

nathan, a question for you: If you are offered to have a short story published in an anthology, should you hunt up an agent if you don't have any novels to shop?

writtenwyrdd said...

Over 1100 posts on the first paragraph contest? I think I want stats on the average length of time you spend per paragraph.

Nathan Bransford said...

anon-

Honestly, unless the agent approaches you, you're going to have a hard time getting an agent to take on a short story collection, let alone just one story.

Nathan Bransford said...

writtenwyrd-

Well, I'm all read up through 1,000, but I didn't keep track of how long it took me to read that far.

that girl said...

i just love your blog. keep it up. i like it just the way it is, i barely have enough time to read your posts, let alone comments or anything else.

thx so much.

Anita Saxena said...

I've been reading for a long time (I'm one of those quite ones that never says much). I can't possibly imagine what else you could do to make this better. You're incredibly generous with your time as is.

One thing you could do since you have such a huge "fan" base is that you could utilize it as a way to promote charitable causes (kind of how moonrat had a raffle for her services to help a friend with cancer). Just a thought. I know we would all contribute to a good cause as a way to possibly win your literary attention.

BarbS. said...

I love this site the way it is. Forums would be nice, though...

Irene Eng said...

Nathan,

What should/could an unpublished writer do when they are offered a contract from a brand-name imprint (new)? The IP lawyer advised No.

Thank you.

Nathan Bransford said...

irene-

Try and find an agent.

Shell I said...

Hi


I love the site the way it is. I am a bit of a lurker at times, reading daily but don't post quite that often.

I love the idea of contests and although I agree with time\number limits don't make them too strict as I am in Australia so don't get a chance to read the blog until some time after it is up.

Love the opportunity to debate within the confines of the posts (not like a forum where it usually runs out of control after a while).

In short, just keep up the great, selfless work!

superwench83 said...

LOL! I love the query cam idea! And the take-a-blog-reader-to-work day. Pick me! Pick me!

Seriously, I can't think of anything else to suggest. Anything that will put a huge workload on you I think would be something to avoid. Bad for your sanity. It might burn you out, and then you might go the way of dear Miss Snark and stop blogging. And then I would be sad. And kittens would cry. And there would be no more springtime. Well okay, I'm being melodramatic. That sometimes happens when I post comments after my bedtime.

word verification: ingasms

Hmm....

Vancouver Dame said...

Nathan, your blog is one of the best around. One of the things which makes reading easier on your blog, as opposed to others, is the lack of advertising. (Glad you mentioned that.) I get annoyed at all the pop-ups and flashing clutter of some sites. I also don't like all the requests for money regardless of the good cause - because everyone is fund-raising these days. I don't think you should change your current blog/site as your uniqueness is what brings all these writers to your site. Another blog that I read states yours is one of her favorites, and as others have said - it's your different approach, your quality information, your humour, and your knowledge. I love the info links on the right side of the page to the FAQs and other postings, so I don't have to search your site. I do like the idea of open question day, on occasion. That would provide fodder for future postings as well. The paragraph contest was a great idea, but a lot of work for you. In summary, only minor tweaks may be needed, but don't redesign a damn good site. You're a good man, Nathan, to provide us with all this info. Must be that fresh west coast air in Frisco.

Diana said...

I found you through a link on BookEnds' blog and have read you every day since then. My feelings wouldn't be hurt if you didn't do a thing. Your blog is fun, informative, and has a great community of writers who participate regularly. You even found us blog-sitters to keep us in line while you were away!

It would be nice to have a place to post or e-mail questions. But seriously, if you did nothing different at all, this would still be one of my favorite blogs.

Jinx said...

Well, you did say this:

3. Spreading word about the contest is strongly encouraged.

=p

I think the blog is fine just the way it is. I've learned quite a bit from reading it over the last--oh, 6 months or so. I don't care much for forums, so it wouldn't benefit me. Your humor is what brings me back every day. =)

Scarlet Page said...

Nathan,

No need to change or add anything. Do what you can for us and I think we all appreciate it. Your posts have all been very helpful and best of all, encouraging and informative (always a good combination). Thank you for devoting what I am sure is a lot of your time to this blog and to all of our entries, etc...

Sophie said...

Along with everyone else not at all surprised at this blog's following. We refer to it frequently amongst our writing group by its first name. Love it, especially your writing advice and TWIP.
In an ideal world I would love a post about creating a strong ending to a novel. No one seems to cover this in the books I've read.

slcard said...

I think this blog has a wonderful balance. My favorites would have to be the humor and the debates, but I'm always satisfied with what I find here. Ah, there you have it... you're like a Snickers Bar.

I miss some of the commentors who used to post here, but you can't change that, so I vote for not changing anything.

And congratulations on your marriage. May you and your wife know every happiness.

Thanks for all your great efforts.

--slc

Martin Willoughby said...

Speaking from the other side of the pond, I like the blog the way it is. A forum would be a good idea, but only if it doesn't detract from what you have already.

There is plenty of information about how to contact agents, writing query letters etc which could go on the (planned) site, but don't change the blog. It's a great resource for writers as it is.

More contests would be pleasant for us unagented writers, but would it detract from your day job and your marriage.

beth said...

I hope this comment doesn't drown in the sea of other good comments!

One thing I'd like to see is your evaulation of writer websites. I'd like to see this for both pubbed writers and unpubbed writers. For example, I put a bit of time into my own blog, bethrevis.blogspot.com, and I'd love to know whether or not an agent such as yourself would consider the endeavor worthwhile, and what your thoughts might be on this. This might be a good grounding for other writers to develop their own webpages/blogs/etc.

the Amateur Book Blogger said...

Possible feature ideas:

1. A "book-in-the-life-of-an-agent" feature as often as appropriate, following the life-cycle of one book from query to publication - pick a manuscript that you like, and without the author's name/ book title, give us an insight into what you do, how/when the author is involved, meetings /decisions made, how it travels along its path to publication. If it does reach publication date, you could then release the name/title - have a contest to win a copy :-)

2.Once a fortnight / month blog feature from a Curtis Brown agent in another country? Differences in opinions on markets/ pitching expectations and etiquette / inside publishing politics would be interesting, especially for non-US based readers, and for everyone who may consider pitching agent/publishers outside our home-based country.

Ditto all said on keep as is, there is great value in what is already here, that I wouldn't want to see lost in changes.

Re: Forum, agree it is time consuming and maintenance heavy. If you proceed with one, suggest you delegate maintenance roles.

WitLiz Today said...

Just a suggestion from the seventh wonder of nowhere currently occupying lotsa airspace inside my head.

How 'bout conducting a lottery on occasion, the winning writer receiving some kinda personalized attention from a terrific, lottorary agent, what goes by the initials, NB.

This way, all writer's, published or no, contest winners or no, have a chance to win and be given much needed encouragement in these rocky times of publishing.

The grand prize would be determined by said lottorary agent, and not known until such time as the winner answers his phone or opens up his email, and a $5,000,000 rubber check pops out at them. (Ok, so maybe you can't bounce a rubber check without legal and/or tax ramifications, but you probably get the idea by now).

The winning writer, upon receipt of notification, will then pogo-stick themselves to seventh heaven and on the way back down, will solemnly swear to pay it forward at some future date, like when they become rich and famous, or famous, but not rich, or even not rich, nor famous, but still successful due to a lottorary agent, what goes by the initials, NB.

In the likely event this suggestion is not practical, nor doable due to kith, kin and/or his job, then said lottorary agent's blog in its present form, is already going beyond the call of service, and as such, is much appreciated by moiself, what goes by the initials, WT.

slcard said...

Commentor: n. 1 someone who posts comments at a blog site, between a commenter and a commentator, depending on the comment. 2 a spelling error

BarbS. said...

Ah, just had an idea: How about a contest for writing comedy, or writing in the Bulwer-Lytton mode? Something fun--and funny. It's so much more challenging than writing serious fiction, and I generally abhor contests LOL

Heh heh, the word verification is "oniono."

BarbS. said...

--and I just noticed the NEXT word verification is "devilyph." Sounds like something that belongs in paranormal.

Louise Kuskovski said...

I have found your examples to be the most helpful...and I'd wager a guess that is what the 'more contests' comment may be getting at as well (sorry to the author if I'm extrapolating too much here )--given the prizes often include receiving very specific feedback from you. After all getting one on one attention from an agent is what its all about...the more it feels like that is what's happening the better...in my humble opinion.

Anonymous said...

There's so much to ponder on here. I feel like it's Christmas...Oh, wait. I guess it is!

I'm guessing that you asked our opinions about the other website so you could see what your readers are wanting. Yes?...

I'd say this. Anything you do will keep people coming here. Everyone wants you to be their "next best friend". How would that be?...(Something else to ponder) I think you should look at how it will benefit yourself as well. It's a thought that I'm sure you have thought of. Everyone will support you in what you put together. I think the more access to helping people understand the processes and links to important info need to be added in a way it's easy to find. (Copyright info., query letter info., examples of good and bad book beginings...ect.) A "Q and A" area. Other than that the skys the limit...

Wanda B. Ontheshelves said...

I like the author's website critique - could just be another option for contest winners.

I also like the lottery idea, for winning a query critique, etc.

I also like "two-fer" book combo suggestions - for instance, a great combo is H.D. (the US poet who lived in London during WWII) and Winston Churchill. Two books about the same subject matter, time period, etc, but taking vastly different approaches - could be any genre, fiction or nonfiction. Ideas could be from both publishing professionals and writers themselves...

Anonymous said...

Hi, Nathan! I love your blog. I read it every day. It's my first stopping place (well, okay, after my friend's blogs...).

Maybe on your website, you could have "Nathan's FAQs" and list all those fabulous questions you've answered on the blog except in one handy place. That way, those of us who want to reference it and use Google Reader (raising hand) can just go to your website directly. Okay, so I'm lazy. What can I say. :)

Forums are cool but who's going to monitor them? Just something to keep in mind if you do go that route.

And whatever you do, I'm sure it'll be great. Glad you got your domain back.

RJM said...

I think you should supplement the online community by creating a physical one. We'll all congregate at a compound in a secret location, probably in the desert or deep woods, and invent passcodes,crazy rules, and make great huge plans. Writing-related, mostly. Also, we'll need robes...but what color?

jnantz said...

Possible Improvement:

A celebratory blog post announcing the twelve-figure deal you and I will be splitting would look really good....

:D

Anonymous said...

Nathan,

I just wanted to say thanks. I'm a British writer and found your site incredibly helpful. I've now received offers of representation from agents, but I know that without help from you and Miss Snark I would still be wondering what the hell to do to find an agent - look under rocks perhaps...

So, really thanks. This blog is clearly a label of love.
x
Londongirl

Anonymous said...

Dear God - when I said 'label of love' I obviously meant labour of love'....

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

Please remember to enter contest entries in the main contest thread.

John said...

oops...wrong place for paragraph contest...duh

Amy K. said...

First off: I cracked up at the idea of a query cam. The idea of sending you a query and watching you until I get response is the height of paranoia which, of course, all us writers suffer.

Honestly though, yours is my favorite blog. You have a nice personal way of speaking to your audience and offer fun and useful advice without coming across with that I'm-better-than-you attitude that (a very few) agents haven't been as fortunate to master.

The only thing I can think of is perhaps a quarterly contest. After seeing over a 1,000 entries for your other I don't see how you could do it more often.

Keep doing what you're doing!

(And thanks as always for the quick query responses which are also appreciated.)

R. Daley said...

Open Query Forum

It could work like this: an author posts a general query, and it is open for comments by the community at large.

Once a query is posted, it would be open for comments or critique by a fellow writer or an agent. It may even have a potential to snag an agent's interest, especially if they can be categorized (thriller, literary fiction, romance) and then an agent could scan through them to see if any spark interest, and if so reach out to the author.

I'm trying to put myself in the agent's shoes, and this seems like it would be an interesting concept to test. I know I would like it as a writer.

RainSplats said...

Doh! Isn't asking for posting ideas the first step towards blogging death? Yikes! Step away from the cliff, Nathan!

You're not running out of things to say! Tell us about your day.....tell us to write for an hour *before* we read your blog. Tell us how you got started in the biz. um um....just don't stop!

Marilyn Peake said...

Nathan,

Yesterday, for some reason, I was thinking about your blog as your main website. Now that you have your domain name back, you could create a brand new website with a link to this blog. On the main website, you could include your Bio and feature your clients’ books with links to their websites. If your clients were interested, you could invite them to post articles and videos, to call attention to their work. You could also have a section on new book deals you make, like The Knight Agency does. If you had the time, you could also include a News section where you talk about industry meetings and conferences you attend. You could also add something unique to set your website apart from other sites, as you’ve done with your blog here.

Nathan Bransford said...

Thanks so much to everyone for the great suggestions! One thing I wanted to respond on is that people want more on the ins and outs of clients, my deals, etc. And I agree it would be fascinating to see a project go from query to published book. But it's just not me.

Trust me, I understand why the information would be helpful and it seems like it would be good publicity for me to advertise my deals and clients more, but I made a very conscious choice when I started this blog to keep everything relating to clients and deals close to the vest.

So when it comes to clients and deals, I'd rather err on the side of too little information. I can always plug a book when publication time comes, but I would rather that editors and clients never have to worry that I might discuss them on the blog in a way that makes them uncomfortable.

Just wanted to explain that, and thanks again for all the suggestions!

Marilyn Peake said...

Hi, Nathan,

I hadn’t thought about the privacy issues involved in book deals, as I see so many book deals announced on the Internet. I admire your approach of keeping things like that close to the vest. It would also be fascinating to see lots of information about your clients’ published books on your main website: book covers, summaries, excerpts, videos, etc.

Zoe Winters said...

I really respect that stance, Nathan.

Lea Schizas - Author/Editor said...

Hi Nathan. To be honest, the first introduction to your site was this week via a friend's site. Spotted the call for last minute entries to your contest and you hooked me in.

What I would love to see more of is any info as to what publishers are seeking at any given time. What genres are they in dire need of? Being an agent, you possibly can pass on some info to help us out so we can bombard you with, "Nathan, I have what they're seeking. Here! Here!"

Anonymous said...

Nathan I'll tell you something I'd like to see. I don't think there are enough contests for students. Not college...I'm talking young writers. School age kids... I have been trying to put somethings together locally for the students in our area and I find that if you can have a student get something published in anyway, colleges are coming looking for them. I'd love to see something in creative writing for them. These kids always have the best imaginations!

Matera the Mad said...

Dude, you don't have time for a forum! ROFL

Only thing that I would really like to see changed is the font. A readable sans-serif instead of Times New Eyestrain would be great. I could, of course , totally change my browser prefs, but since I do web design I like to keep some vague. semblance of normality in my view.

There, done ranting ;-)

Professor Tarr said...

I think the main thing I want is Nathan's comments about what works and doesn't in approaching agents. I find that I enjoy immensely reading the other writers on the comment section - and the contest was a fun diversion - but truly it is what comes from Nathan that I find myself actually thinking about later. That is what will improve my work.

Professor Tarr said...

Oh, and change the comments up so that anonymity is not an option. Let's be honest, people can still be anonymous. My name is not Professor Tarr for example, but there's at least a level of accountability then (not hard to track down from our profiles who we are truly) and gentility in posting. Right now my mind thinks all anonymous posters are the same bitter dude.

danceluvr said...

Nathan,

I LOVE the font you use.

What I'd like to see is a date when you post your comments. In the comments, there's one, but on the website, all I see is the time of day you posted. Is there a way to add the actual date at the top of the posting?

Thanks for all your continued support of us unpublished authors.

GM said...

Hi Nathan, I think you are excessively generous with your time as it is. More contests are probably not a good idea because of the time they would require from you.
However, a forum, one that us Bran Fans could perhaps use for discussion of your posts, might be an idea. Of course it would have to be maintained/moderated by someone other than you. To get an idea of what I am yapping about, you can check out Joel Spolsky's website and the discussion boards he maintains there.

Steppe said...

I was catching up on your blog.
liked this...
Nathan...
Thanks so much to everyone for the great suggestions! One thing I wanted to respond on is that people want more on the ins and outs of clients, my deals, etc. And I agree it would be fascinating to see a project go from query to published book. But it's just not me.

----

That's logical. If you get somebody a deal be it for five thousand or five million
they certainly wouldn't want that information tossed about like a worn out football.

No advertising is good.
The blog is exceptional advertising for
the agency you work for thats enough.

If you had a website you might consider an electronic slush pile. One piece per person. The exact project their primary energies are devoted to getting a deal on. With the proviso that you get to counter offer anything that is detected
by a rival. It would make a small database of aspiring writers so people could read each other's work and privately and silently critique other nubes as their obvious competitors for publishing dollars and non-sense.

PDF's work best.
Missed the contest, must be destiny.

KUTGW

swati Avasthi said...

I am adding my voice to the group who is saying it would be great to get more info on what happens between getting an agent and getting a book out. since you aren't an editor, guest editors would be great.

I'd also love to see more on publicity. it's a black hole in my knowledge (much like getting an agent prior to reading your blogs)

And, since this seems to be the time to say it... i used your blog as a very important reference for how to write the query and how to conduct myself professionally. it's so important for authors to be able to see the industry from the other side. thanks, nathan!

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