Nathan Bransford, Author


Friday, June 5, 2009

This Week in Publishing 6/5/09

This week in publishing: Clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose!

First up, regulars around these parts may know Hannah Moskowitz as a sometimes commenter and very talented author of the soon-to-be-published BREAK, which you may know from its appearance as one of the queries in Be An Agent For a Day. You may (and I think you will) be pleased to know that Hannah just received a starred Booklist review! They gush: "For those with a taste for the macabre and an aversion to the sentimental, it’s hard not to be taken in by the book’s strong central relationships….[Break] is like a one-man Fight Club, and it could find nearly as many ardent followers." Not only that, I'm told Hannah was recently voted prom queen at her high school (seriously). Hannah, you are basically the coolest person ever.

BEA was last weekend! If you need to experience it vicariously you can't do better than Publishers Lunch TV, which has a veritable cornucopia* of videos and interviews. Very cool. (*My college roommate made it a goal to include the words "veritable cornucopia" in every single paper he wrote. He succeeded. Seriously, it was like climbing Everest.)

If you want a glimpse into the author/editor relationship you really couldn't do better than The Elegant Variation's feature of Susan Bell's essay on revising THE GREAT GATSBY. Part I is here. Seriously awesome.

Mark Twain wasn't such a fan of his contemporary James Fenimore Cooper, author of LAST OF THE MOHICANS, and he savaged him with a list of writing tips that Cooper violated. My favorite are: "8. Use the right word, not its second cousin." and "3. The personages in a tale shall be alive, except in the case of corpses, and that always the reader shall be able to tell the corpses from the others." Haha.

In agent advice news, Rachelle Gardner has a great post on how to fire your agent. If you're considering it, it's a must-read. I'll just say: communication, communication, communication. Talk to your agent. Talk to them. Don't let things fester.

Veteran editor Brenda Bowen is the latest veteran editor to become an agent. I wish her luck, but not TOO much luck because I need some clients too you know.

In an apparent GalleyCat Exclusive, they report an upcoming mini-e-reader device. Congrats to GalleyCat on the scoop, but just a word of unsolicited for the creators of the device: you may want to tell more people than just GalleyCat that it will be on sale soon. I'm just sayin'.

Via Maud Newton comes the news that Google is considering selling eBooks. Is your head spinning yet about how quickly the book landscape is changing or did it just go ahead and explode already?

As some have noted in the comments section, beloved author David Eddings passed away this week. Very sad.

The awesome Cynthia Leitich Smith interviewed my awesome colleague Tracy Marhini this week. Awesomeness all around. Or, as the kids say, "Awes." (They probably stopped saying that years ago).

Publishing Dictionary (noun) 1. An awesome post by Jessica Faust demystifying the many confusing terms in the publishing business. 2. Required reading.

My client Jennifer Hubbard has some more really great writing advice: sometimes your character has to be a jerk.

And finally, reader Richard King pointed me to a Washington Post blog post about the reputation the male sort have with reading fiction. As in: men have a reputation for not reading fiction. Come on, gents, can this be true?

Have a great weekend!






69 comments:

Ink said...

But, Nathan, have you read Susan Bell's book? It is more than worth its weight in gold for anyone in the manuscript tinkering business.

My best,
Bryan

Kristi said...

Nathan - congrats on being crowned the QT agent King. It's just like prom - only cooler. Also, congratulations to Hannah - that's amazing!

I did read that Brenda Bowen will rep picture books - for those of you who write for the younger crowd.

Thanks as usual for all the links and Happy Friday to all. :)

Reesha said...

Wow.
You really pulled out a lot of links for us.
Thanks, Nathan.

I once wrote a blog post about annoying bloggers who don't come up with original content and just act like another search engine by posting a ton of links.

But, now I've found that your links are actually HELPFUL, so I'm cool with it. I would never have found those sites on my own.

Thanks for the weekly digest of publishing tidbits.

Rick Daley said...

Congrats Hannah! Prom Queen is a major achievement. Oh, and the book thing is OK too ;-)

I think the majority of guys I know don't read at all, or they don't read fiction. Business books top the list for those that do read.

If this is the case, then I am proud to be a statistical anomaly.

Margaret Yang said...

Mark Twain is sick (That's what the kids say instead of awes). Thanks for the link.

Lisa Katzenberger said...

Nathan, love the link about characters needing to being a jerk sometimes. A good reminder that they have to be just as real, and therefore prone to mistakes, as we are.

Diana said...

My husband's the exception that proves the rule - he loves fiction. Of course, he's Scottish, so I often find he's the exception to a rule....

Reesha said...

Everyone must be on vacation or something. I expected there to be a lot more comments by now and am sitting at work with nothing to do!
Except write, of course, but I read these comments for inspiration and needed breaks!
Where are you people?

Ok, I'll calm down now and get back to writing.

abc said...

I could never be with a man who didn't like the fiction. My man reads a book at least twice a year (his current one is Lolita--huh). Otherwise it's all those liberal blogs. Liberal blogs have taken my man from the fiction. But at least he doesn't say things like "I only enjoy reading non-fiction. Like biographies. Of Ronald Reagan."

Melanie Avila said...

Congratulations Hannah!! She really IS the coolest person ever. :)

WendyCinNYC said...

Yay for Prom Queen Hannah!

hannah said...

Oh my God was I shocked to see my name at the top of this post!

Thanks so much, Nathan, and everyone who congratulated me :) I still can't believe the review. And prom queen was pretty cool too.

Lunatic said...

Funny quotes by Twain. Yet, when I think of my favorite books, I put The Last of the Mohicans above any of Twain's. Just goes to show, story trumps everything.

Fred

ryan field said...

The link about men not reading fiction is interesting.

Libby Martin said...

Wow, Hannah. Prom Queen, Valedictorian, Booklist review AND on Nathan Bransford's blog? Way to go Hannah!

Malanie said...

Hannah, how exciting! Congratulations!

As for men reading non-fiction: My husband is currently reading, The God Delusion. He only reads non-fiction. Although, two weeks ago I did get him enticed by John Grishams, The Chamber, he had it read in five days! There is hope!

Shell said...

My husband reads more (fiction and anything else) than I do. Of course, he also spends three hours on a bus every day going to and from work, and I rarely get three uninterrupted hours to do anything. Still, if he didn't read, I don't think we'd be married. He would be a completely different person, and I like the one I've got.

Nathan, thanks for the links. I like Fridays (for a lot of reasons, but your blog is one of them).

Liz said...

Your recap of weekly events is fantastic. I look forward to the tweet every Friday saying it is ready.

About the men reading non-fiction, I think there's some truth. My Dad has NEVER read a fiction book, as far as I can tell. He is 94 and has done a bit of reading over the years, but I can guarantee none of it was fiction.

My husband reads some fiction but generally has a hard time accepting another reality, especially if he reads sci fi. I'd say over half the books he reads are non-fiction, and the only reason he reads the fiction is because he reads a lot, and needs a huge supply of books.

My teenager just bought a book on a whim for pleasure reading - a biography of Andrew Carnegie!

The men in our family are also very critical of movies - just can't sit back and accept a different reality in the movie. Always saying "that couldn't happen," or "that's not realistic." This seems like a similar trait. I guess it's a guy thing!

Laura Martone said...

Thanks, Nathan, for the newsy links. I especially enjoyed the interview with Tracy Marchini!

Bane of Anubis said...

My father reads more than any person I know (across the spectrum) - though I'm far more lax - but the article about men isn't surprising (curious, what's the ratio of male agents /editors to female agents/editors?).

Congrats, Hannah.

Mira said...

Wow, great links this week. I feel like a kid in a candy store.
Thanks, Nathan.

It's good to have you back from vacation! It's so stressful coming back, though. Whenever I come back from vacation, I'm so swamped that after a day or two....I need another vacation!

Have a good weekend.

Marilyn Peake said...

Congratulations to Hannah Moskowitz!! Yaaaaay, Hannah!!

Mira said...

Oh, and congratulations Hannah. That is truly wonderful. Let's see, prom queen, on the starred booklist while you're in High School - wow. Amazing. Congratulations from the heart!

kristin-briana said...

Hannah, you're my hero. Go rock the world. :)

Haste yee back ;-) said...

If y'all wanna see an EXPRESSO BOOK MACHINE... prints your book in 5 minutes - plus graphics, hi-D-ho to...

http://www.libraryjournal.com/article/CA6662221.html

Max awes -- BOY HOWDY!

Haste yee back ;-)

Laura Martone said...

And, of course, before I flit away for the rest of the day, I must toss my own congrats into the ring... You go get 'em, Hannah! Good luck at Brown... and beyond!

Kristi said...

Oh, as far as men reading, a lot of the husbands of the women in my book club read all of the books we do (they just wouldn't be caught dead getting together to 'discuss.')

I also think there's something about the way men's and women's brains work - with men being typically more right-brained (spatial and action-oriented) and women more left-brained (verbal) - I took a lot of neuropsych classes in grad school. Obviously there are a lot of "left-brain" men out there (and on this blog) that are writers, but I'm convinced this is why my husband is so much better with directions than I am. His "right-brain" allows him to be very creative in a different way (he's a singer/songwriter), but he isn't a huge reader. When I'm not writing, I'm reading, but when he's not writing music, he's listening to it. There are also those rare individuals that are gifted in both areas, and that amazes me.

Cheryl Barker said...

Thanks for the link to Jessica's Publishing Dictionary. What a great resource!

lotusgirl said...

Oops--spell check--Marchini.

Can I just say how much I LOVE Mark Twain? He totally rocks! He's so astute it just slays me.

Dawn Maria said...

Hurray for Hannah! After the pep talk yesterday, I'm thrilled to celebrate someone doing well in this business.

Other Lisa said...

Dang, Hannah! Many, many congratulations!!

It's amazing how contemporary Mark Twain sounds. Especially when compared to JF Cooper, whose "Last of the Mohicans" I do believe is the most boring book I've ever read. Or was that "The Deerslayer"? I can't even remember now. Whichever, it was in close competition with Arthur Conan Doyle's "The White Company." But I digress...

Marissa Miranda said...

Super awesome links this week, Nathan!

And as a teen (18 years old), I can confirm that (at least in the Southeastern US) "awes" is no longer in fashion. In fact, I've never used the term! Sorry to burst your bubble. =P

Bane of Anubis said...

I'm not sure "sick" is the vernacular anymore, either... I've heard "That's Church" recently... and some of my younger friends refer to more aesthetically pleasing lasses as "fit birds" - which seems quite antiquated/European - I'm definitely farther outside of the loop than ever (what, you mean "that's rad" is no longer the going thing, eh?).

Brenda Bowen said...

Thanks for the shout-out, Nathan. And I just discovered your blog -- what a font of information and opinion!

AmandaKMorgan said...

AND Hannah was voted Homecoming queen in the fall AND is valedictorian.

Which brings me to my point....

Hannah rocks face. :)

D. G. Hudson said...

Janet Reid has a new blog location, which I finally located.
http://jetreidliterary2.blogspot.com/
(if someone wants to make it a live link, please do)

I had been searching for it via the old link - seems to be a Blogger problem (per her site).

Someone else on this blog mentioned that the link was down, so I went looking.

Hope it helps. When I searched Google I kept getting her main old link.

If this has already been posted, then sorry about that.

CindaChima said...

When I was in high school we had to do these oral book reports in teams of three. One did the author, one did the book,and one did "critique." Naturally, critique was the dreaded role.
My book was Last of the Mohicans, and I of course, got the "criticism" job. i was so fortunate to run across Mark Twain's rant on JF Cooper. I borrowed liberally for my report and I can safely say that mine was the funniest 11th grade book report ever. They asked me to join the debate club!

Laurel said...

Go, Hannah!

Your life is so much cooler than mine was at your age.

Actually, it sounds a lot cooler than my life at MY age.

All the best!
Laurel

Anonymous said...

There's an age factor with what people read, too.

Up through my mid-30s I read almost exclusively fiction. Now in my 60s I read almost nothing but nonfiction.

I write fiction, but I get many more inspirational ideas from the nonfiction than I do from other people's novels.

ryan.gebhart said...

moskowitz is life.

everything else is just details.

Elaine 'still writing' Smith said...

Coach sent us all scurrying to strive for perfection! Seems we're, mostly, still there.
The writing tips - Twain on Fenimore Cooper - were remarkably pertinent.
Read the links - detailed detail- so my 5 page reports on each member of my class remain unwritten - but, sleeping is cheating anyway.

Elaine 'still writing' Smith said...

Also 'sick' is still the adjective of choice in Greater London.

s.w. vaughn said...

w00t, Hannah! You go, girl!!

Still counting the days 'til August 24 over here. :-)

Roland said...

Mark Twain would have despised all of our beloved contemporary authors (Cormac McCarthy and Junot Diaz would have given him aneurysms).

Elaine 'still writing' Smith said...

Nathan
I think you must have depressed the writing population.
It isn't a 'bank holiday' unless you count National Day of the Slayer - don't think they were meaning Buffy!
Sleep, now, I think!

Anonymous said...

Where is Nathan? Doing all right there, buddy?

Suzanne Young said...

Hooray for Hannah! She and her writing are awesome!

Matthew said...

I wonder at the statistic of men reading less fiction than women. Perhaps (and this is me talking as a teacher's kid) it has something to do with the books we're taught with in English classes?

The classics are great (I adore Mark Twain and Shakespeare), but many of them aren't connected effectively enough to the lives of the students. You can make a reader out of someone easily if you teach them contemporary literature that has a resonant effect with the world around them. And then there's guys like me, who read The Hobbit in junior high and immediately dog-eared my father's copies of Lord of the Rings. Never said I was normal though ;).

Oh! And I'll offer my congratulations to Prom Queen Hannah too.

Word ver: soffel -- a new version of the souffle?

Ink said...

Does anyone else have the feeling that Nathan only pretended to come back from vacation, and that he's really not here? Hmmm... Maybe the Sacramento Kings are having an open tryout? The second coming of Mitch Richmond...

Ah, vacation... I could really use a holographic version of myself to run the store for a few days. Can any of you Sci-fi folk out there hook me up with one of those?

Elaine 'still writing' Smith said...

Poor bloke has to sleep - inconvenient though that maybe!
I'd settle for Hermione Granger's time-turner!

Nathan Bransford said...

bryan-

Oh, I'm here. Coming back from time out of the office is pretty crazy.

Laura Martone said...

Woah, Nathan! Are you working on a Saturday? Say it ain't so...

I thought only freelancers like me did that. :-)

Nathan Bransford said...

laura-

Always.

Ink said...

Nathan,

I'd fill in for you for a few tickets when the Raptors come to town...

(always wanted to see California)

Laura Martone said...

Nathan - I feel for you. I've forgotten what weekends and holidays used to look like.

Bryan - Oh, you should definitely visit California one day. I lived in L.A. for 5 years (I'll never do that again), but the Golden State is definitely worth a look. San Fran's especially awesome! And the redwoods, OMG, they're amazing... wonder how often Nathan gets to see them!

Elaine 'still writing' Smith said...

I thought I was finally going to get to Big Sur this year - but the Minnow's art is dragging me to Fiorenze and my partner is insisting on Cyprus after - apparently we're moving there (heard that kind of thingbefore)!
Then it's the Reading Festival!!

PurpleClover said...

Hey Nathan, (Can I call you Natio with a latin accent? *kids*)

Hope you have a great time wherever you were.

Anyhow, thanks for the links. I will get through them slowly but surely.

PC

Emilia said...

Hellz yeah for Hannah. Dangit, I'm 16 and still have the chance to be prom queen/valedictorian/an author/on Nathan's blog! I CAN DO IT! *stares at hands for a moment, then goes to cry in corner*

The "jerk" post makes a great point.

Chuck H. said...

Had a good laugh at the Twain link. Took the bike out and put over two hundred miles on the odo. Now I'm ready for just about anything including space monkeys and puppies. And if anyone checks out my blogger profile under favorite books they'll find "the fiction ones in English". Enjoy the rest of the weekend. I will.

Lisa said...

Hmm, I wish that the Washington Post blog had given more stats and context beyond just saying 20 percent of fiction readers are men. In any case, my own experience with fiction-reading grandfathers, dad, brother, brothers-in-law, nephews, husband, male friends, and colleagues makes me want to know more about the whole situation outside my (apparently narrow) realm.

Ink said...

only 20% of fiction readers are men? No wonder James Frey called it a "memoir"...

Writer from Hell said...

Publishing dictionary was a very useful link.

Be an agent for a day...How to fire an agent ...how to become an agent? In that order?

Jo said...

As usual, a veritable cornucopia of information, Nathan. Thank you.

Dara said...

Thanks for all the links!

Amazing for Hannah; I'm so happy for her and her new book :)

Scott said...

Men tend to be stimulated from the outside in, I think. We're sight creatures, and with all the techno-gadgetry available to us as a breed, reading habits tend to lean toward the practical. Add to that war, war and more war, and stimulation is at a maximum. I mean, even porn had plots, once upon a time.

I find this sad, to be honest. It's not like men can't be stimulated by their imaginations. Most screenplay writers are men, but that's a highly visual medium they're writing for. And perhaps deep character exploration seems to be less interesting now that we're all electronically connected and all of our secrets are revealed in wise-crack laden, cocktail party chit-chat. With the death of language, so, too, goes the death of fictionalized introspection.

Thanks, Nathan. While not strictly scientific, it's important information for a man who writes fiction that he would like to read. Guess I may have to look at the numbers a little more closely when I'm brewing my next yarn.

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

Um, let's try that again - less controversial.

Scott, women may have trouble breaking into screenwriting.

Also, I don't think it's an issue of gender, but rather one of personality type. Certain personalities (extraverted, sensory oriented) will be drawn less to reading fiction than other types (introverted, intuition oriented.)

(This is the Jungian personality system, I didn't create it.)

On the other hand, Romance novels are read by the handful, and that could skew the numbers toward women readership.

Jennifer said...

I must say I just devastated and surprised to read of the death of David Eddings. I loved his series, and read them voraciously in highschool. Truly sad.

Jennifer said...

I was truly sad and upset to hear of the death of one of my favorite authors, David Eddings. What a loss to the literary world. God bless his soul!

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