After 650+ entries, five finalists, and hundreds of votes: we have a winner.
And what with it being THE SECRET YEAR week and all, how appropriate that the winning teen diary entry is about teenagers with a secret.
CONGRATULATIONS to Jenny!!!
Jenny and finalists, please e-mail me to discuss your prizes.
Thanks again to everyone who entered and participated!
Now then. There was actually some news in publishing this week and over the holidays, so let's get to it.
It was end of the year prediction time before New Year's, and among those chiming in was Bob Miller, publisher of HarperStudio, with a best of times, worst of times roundup. Some of his predictions: publishers will focus on lowering overhead even as they face pressure to consolidate, big publishers focus on fewer titles even as there more self-published books out there, and authors with track records will receive still bigger advances even as the advances for everyone else shrinks. Definitely worth a read.
Agent Janet Reid looked back on the manuscript-reading year that was 2009 and added up all the reasons she ended up passing on manuscripts. And meanwhile, from the other side, Del Rey editorial director Betsy Mitchell posted about the reasons she passed on agented projects. (via FinePrint)
Looking forward to this new year is The Millions, who has a great roundup of the most anticipated books in 2010. (And by the way: are we all agreed we're saying "Twenty-Ten?" Or are some people still saying "Two thousand ten?" Help me out here.)
Also looking forward is Pimp My Novel: twas the season for the holidays and book sales, but now tis the season for returns.
And amid all the doom and gloom you normally read about the publishing industry and how we're all going to disappear and be replaced by Amazon's latest algorithm, you might be surprised to know that, book sales at outlets Bookscan tracks were only down 3% for the year in 2009. Sky: not falling after all!
You need a subscription to see it, but Publishers Lunch has a seriously awesome roundup of the new eReaders that are about to hit the market, including one by Samsung, a "Dualbook" with two facing screens, the Alex (partnering with Borders), and perhaps most intriguing, one called the Skiff that has a large screen and bends. If you don't have a subscription to Publishers Lunch: get one.
The Guardian UK also takes a look ahead at what an e-book future might look like, with ideas ranging from the perennial favorite Netflix-style book renting system to a "playlist" idea for books. Yeah...... don't know. Netflix-style book renting systems have been tried but have a hard time competing with libraries (many of whom already have e-book lending programs), and my "playlist" is comprised of the many books I downloaded on a whim and haven't had time to read yet. (via Neil Vogler in the Forums)
In publishing advice news, Janet Reid has fifteen things you need to know before you query, editor Cheryl Klein has tips on how to write a great query letter, author Adrienne Kress posts about how yes, the odds are long, but that doesn't mean you should be sweating them, and agent Rachelle Gardner reminds you that yes, we do give advice on queries so we can spot your work, but at the end of the day the book is the most important thing.
The winners of the Literary Lab genre wars was announced! Congrats all.
Almost finally, my client Natalie Whipple has a comprehensive post on how she tackles the revision process, which has an incredible list of questions she asks herself as she's revising, and which you will likely find extremely helpful as you
And finally finally, I'd just like to give another heartfelt thanks to everyone for participating in the contest and spreading the word about THE SECRET YEAR! It's been a lot of fun, and I was so impressed by the talent on display in those teen diaries.
Have a great weekend!