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Remember the cover controversy a few weeks back where the girl on the cover of Justine Larbalestier’s book did not exactly look anything like the actual protagonist? You may be pleased to know that Bloomsbury has changed course and will be using a new cover. Congrats to everyone all around.
And speaking of covers, remember my client Lisa Brackmann’s query for ROCK PAPER TIGER, which ended up selling to Soho? Well, Lisa must have been friends with the God of Awesome Covers in some past life because she got a great one:
ROCK PAPER TIGER, as you may recall, is about an American Iraq war veteran who is down and out in Beijing when she’s suddenly chased by international security contractors and the Chinese authorities and she doesn’t know why. Like all great covers, this one is both visually striking and instantly conveys what the book is about. Very exciting.
Meanwhile, ever wondered when this whole vampire thing will die? (insert joke about vampires being undead and then follow it up with a joke about vampires sucking.) According to a NY Times Op-Ed by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan (who have a vested interest in the subject): NEVER. Bwa ha ha ha ha….
It was Sony Week this week as they had a steady stream of announcements. First up was an announcement of a new line of $199 e-book readers that come in multiple colors (the cases, not the screen). They also will be moving to a semi-open ePub format that will allow Sony e-books to be read on multiple devices. The FinePrint blog took a look at what it all means.
And in other technology news, are e-book readers all hype? The Times UK online takes a look at a Hype Cycle analysis. (via Mary Fitzsimmons).
Ron Hogan at GalleyCat initiated a very interesting /plea for editors to be more brand conscious. If imprints exist (and boy howdy do they), why not get out there and build some brand loyalty among readers, Billy Mays style?
In the latest discussion of Freevangelism and books, The Millions has a really interesting take, riffing off a HuffPo article about how if no one pays for content we’re only going to be hearing from those who can afford to write for free. C. Max Magee also wants to deromanticize the model of the writer building an audience by way of free, noting, “Paying writers nothing is just a way to increase profit margin.”
While I was away we had a great guest post on how to solicit blurbs by Lauren Baratz-Logsted, and over at Murderati there’s a similar guide by Louise Ure about blurb etiquette. As you can probably tell there’s a wide, wide range of opinions about blurbs, so consult your agent during the process.
In agent advice news, Kristin Nelson has a seriously important, essential post on nuts and bolts things you must do once your book sells. Among her suggestions: get a good accountant, keep track of your dates, and pay your taxes.
Rachelle Gardner discussed something that really doesn’t help a query: spending time telling an agent why you love to write. As I’ve said before, I don’t care if you hate writing more than I hate Robert Horry as long as you write good books.
(It’s not overly personal, Robert Horry. But you should know that if I get my hands on a time machine the absolute first thing I’m going back and changing is this).
I somehow missed this one the first time around, but now that Libba Bray’s GOING BOVINE is coming out next month it’s worth revisiting her utterly awesome post about the stages of writing a novel in the form of a love story. (via Lisa Brackmann)
My most excellent colleague Katherine Arathoon passed along a hilarious post about writing: the 7 vices of highly creative people. If you live up to these you’ll probably be dead in under three years. In the immortal words of Mark Twain: “My vices protect me but they would assassinate you!”
And finally, ever wonder what an intern at a book publisher does? Well, the geniuses at Orbit put their intern to work counting the different cover elements in all the fantasy books published by major imprints. The resulting chart is priceless. You’ll be pleased to know that the three most common elements in fantasy covers are swords, glowy magic and a castle/citadel, although I’m sad to tell you that “completely dark cover of meaninglessness” languished in 10th place, just ahead of “staffs” and behind “wolves.” (via @Ginger_Clark)
Have a great weekend!