First off, thank you once again to everyone who is participating in Be An Agent for a Day, which has been so much fun. The comments on the queries will close Saturday night, and results and stats on Monday!
Now that we have 10,000+ comments I have realized that compiling these stats will not be remotely possible on my own. I am humbly requesting ten volunteers to help me with stat compiling this Sunday. (I’m also happy to barter a query critique for your trouble — first 10 volunteers in the comments section UPDATE: the 10 spots are filled, thanks so much, volunteers)
Now then. Some fantastic news from a familiar name. Terry DeHart (aka terryd), finalist in the Surprisingly Essential First Page Challenge, let me know that he has just received a two-book deal from Orbit for the book he used in the contest!! Congratulations to Terry!
[schadenfreude](Oh. And remember the people who were mad about my choices for the finals of that contest? I sure do!) [/schadenfreude]
In publishing news, NPR recently did a story on the state of the publishing industry and Pub Lunch (subscription) linked to an accompanying article. Per Pub Lunch, Random House Publishing Group spokesperson Carol Schneider explained the current marketplace thusly: “We’re acquiring fewer books… There are no specific numbers or formula involved here–we’re simply being more selective in all categories–literary, commercial, blockbuster.” And…… there you have it.
Meanwhile, there are rumors afoot that Barnes & Noble may enter the e-reader market with a device that could challenge the Sony Reader, Kindle, and (insert device of the future here). Any bets on what B&N will call it? I hope they go with Barnes. As in, “I read your book on my Barnes, chap!” And yes, it would probably force me to call people “chap”.
You may have heard a great deal about a “glitch” dubbed amazonfail, in which erotica and GLBT books, including some classics, were mysteriously delisted from sales rankings. In case you’re curious about it all, The Millions has a very helpful breakdown of what happened and how the news spread. And I can’t wait until we have failfail. “Fail” needs. to. go.
Via Neil Vogler, the Guardian reports that the guy behind PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES just got a monster (get it? get it?) book deal from Grand Central.
Also in the Guardian… our contest!
Grove editor Jofie Ferrari-Adler has added another excellent entry in his series of agent interviews for Poets and Writers. A must read.
Cynthia Leitich Smith announced that Katherine Paterson, author of BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA, Curtis Brown client, and truly wonderful person (seriously she’s so nice), has established a prize for YA and children’s writing at Hunger Mountain, the arts journal of the Vermont College of Fine Arts. Click on over for that.
In writing advice news, thanks to John Ochwat for pointing me to Pat Holt’s blog post on ten mistakes writers often make but don’t often notice. It’s not on the list, but you might not have noticed that the first letter of every paragraph spells a bad word. Just thought you should know.
And finally, someone is going to have to explain this Susan Boyle thing to me. What exactly are we supposed to take from it? That it’s surprising that people from a humble background can be wildly talented? That you have to look like Britney Spears in order sing… better than Britney Spears? 20 million YouTube views later and I’m struggling to understand.
Have a great weekend!