This Week In Publishing 6/18/10

by | Jun 18, 2010 | Uncategorized | 43 comments

Publishing! In! Week! This!

First up! Please do not forget that there is still time to enter your query to win a critique on the blog on Monday. All you have to do is enter it in this thread in the Forums, and I’ll use a random number generator on Monday to choose the one up for critique.

Second up! Booooooooooooooooooooooooooooo referee booooooooooooooo!!!! Should have been 3-2 USA, but I guess we’ll take the draw.

Oh! Also this week:

The rather decidedly positive reviews are still pouring in for Lisa Brackmann’s ROCK PAPER TIGER, with none other than the Atlantic’s James Fallows calling it “definitely worth reading,” and none other than The Rejectionist saying, “we tore through the fantabulous Rock Paper Tiger with RECKLESS ABANDON AND DELIGHT.” Go Lisa go!

Jeff Abbott passed along a great blog post by Seth Godin about the myth of the magic lottery ticket/fairy godmother in, among other things, the publishing process. Seth’s advice: rather than waiting for someone to give you a winning lottery ticket, best to go the hard work route.

In publishing advice news, Rachelle Gardner has a great post on dealing with contradictory advice, Jessica Faust talks about what it takes to be an agent, and Lynn Viehl has a really nice post about dealing with fatigue, both physical and creative.

Just in time for summer the good people at The Millions spotted a list of the 100 most celebrated travel books of all time.

And there was an interview with my person over at Onomatopoeia Magazine.

This week in the Forums, discussing all things World Cup and Why America Were Robbed, Krista G. has a recurring interview series with agents and this week she has an interview with my agent, a discussion of endings, and the importance of mentors.

Comment! Of! The! Week! goes to Patty Blount, whose response about the most important person in your writing life was incredibly moving.

And finally, part Why I Love the Internet, part How in the World Does Anyone Have This Kind of Time?!, someone did a stop motion animation of the original Super Mario Bros. IN POST-IT NOTES.

Have a great weekend!


  1. Josin L. McQuein

    Ack! Those stop motion things are addictive. Do not click… do not click.. do not… hey, how'd it get to be Wednesday?

  2. Kathryn

    I agree with Josin. Stop motion is something I cannot NOT watch!

  3. Amanda Sablan

    Super Mario!!! That was very amazing, really, it was. But that dang song will be stuck in my head for the rest of the weekend…

    Again, too many awesome things for me to read! I haven't even eaten breakfast over where I'm at. xD

    My heart goes out to Patty Blount, and I wish her all the publishing success there is!

  4. Lucy

    Maybe I'm too cynical, but I question whether those are really Post-It Notes, or a large-pixel graphic overlay, which is what it looks like.


    But hey, it was cute. 🙂

  5. JustineDell

    That video was the coolest thing. Ever.


  6. Travis Erwin

    Those crazy horns probably clouded the ref's mind and rendered his judgment defunct.

  7. D. G. Hudson

    Nathan, great interview at Onomatopoeia Magazine. I always read those to see if you mention anything new.

    BANE, I hear the Lakers have done well. I only glimpsed the article in hubby's newspaper.

    Hope all the Dads out there enjoy Father's Day — this weekend!

  8. swampfox

    It looked like it popped out of a garbage can in a classroom. I'm a teacher. I've seen what kids throw in there!

  9. Amanda Sablan

    Just finished reading your interview at Onomatopoeia Magazine. With all the interviews and blogs I've read in just the past month alone, I have learned from a lot of my silly mistakes! How to query, what makes a scene suspenseful, etc.

    PS I was disappointed to hear that the Lakers won the NBA Championship, as I've never liked them either. I'm from San Antonio, so I was raised to root for the Spurs!

  10. isaiah.campbell

    What other reason IS there to own post-it notes?

  11. jjdebenedictis

    Seth's advice: rather than waiting for someone to give you a winning lottery ticket, best to go the hard work route.

    Reminds me of something a character says in one of Terry Pratchett's books:

    "The difference between doing something the easy way and doing it the hard way is that doing it the hard way works."

  12. Kimberly Kincaid

    Every time I try to get work done on a Friday, something like this crosses my path and before I know it, it's dark outside! Argh!

    I was pleased to realize that I'd actually read or stumbled across many of the things in this post all by myself this week. Wow. I might actually be getting somewhere!

    Either that or I'm spending waaaay too much time on the Internet rather than writing. This is what happens when I'm between manuscripts!

    Okay. I'll start writing right now. BIC. I mean it! (do not click…do not click…) 🙂

  13. Krista V.

    Nathan, thanks for the shout-out!

  14. Bane of Anubis

    Great comeback by the US, notwithstanding the atrocious officiating.

    I've got a friend who does claymation. That stopmotion stuff is incredibly difficult. Amazing what some people can do.

  15. Bane of Anubis

    DG — I was trying not to bring up the Lakers, but then I saw your comment. The best part about the whole thing – Ron Artest's postgame interview.

    Now, if Brasil or the US can take home the WC, the summer will be perfect 😉

  16. Anonymous

    The queries lined up for consideration (per the forum link) are very diverse and it's an interesting sample of what your inbox must look like.

    It's such a bonus for us all to get your comments on them. Can't wait until Monday, and I didn't even enter one. 🙂

  17. Elaine AM Smith

    Football is …
    The Man Utd shirt under the England one didn't work.
    I'm going to have to cheer myself up tearing out toe nails, or writing.

  18. Kristin Laughtin

    I'll admit I haven't gotten around to it yet, but I saw one of my colleagues reading ROCK PAPER TIGER two days ago and we had an excited conversation about it. Because we are library nerds. It is what we do. And it's become much more exciting to see and/or read books after learning about them on the agent's blog.

  19. Ishta Mercurio

    Unbelievably dreadful refereeing. We were robbed!

    And great interview, Nathan. It gave me an idea for a forum topic, too, so I'm headed there.

    Thanks, as always, for the links!

  20. T. Anne

    Yes, USA was robbed. Lakers were not! So happy. Good times here in L.A. Have a great weekend.

  21. Samuel

    Not sure if this has been mentioned in a previous post, but over at Poets & Writers Jofie Ferrari-Adler continues his wonderful series with 'a story about good literary agents and bad literary agents and, more specifically, a story about the tireless, often intangible work that good literary agents perform for their clients during the period after the contract is signed but before the book is published.'

  22. ryan field

    Nice interview. I know the sound of that Wii siren.

  23. D. G. Hudson

    @BANE – I know of Nathan's team preference, but big boys can take it.

    Since we (Canada) are out of it in WC, I'd prefer to see the US win, if that Europe-South America WC flip-flop doesn't happen.

  24. Debbie Maxwell Allen

    Thanks for the Seth Godin link. When I met with my critique partner this morning, I told her, "I've decided that getting published is like winning the lottery . . . without the money."

  25. treeoflife

    In regards to Seth Godin's piece, he certainly can't be more correct.

    Overnight success truly doesn't happen overnight… more like a decade or two.

    I'm 29 now, and write every single day. I'm just focusing on learning the craft now, and hopefully by the time I'm in my 40's, I'll get it right at some point. In the mean time, hey maybe I'll get lucky, but I'm not holding my breath.

    But regardless I'm enjoying every minute of it.

  26. Matthew Rush

    That call was total BS. Luckily after England's draw we're in great shape. Did I mention that Ink picked England to take it all in our bracket pool? Mwah hah hah hah … yeah he's Canadian so what does he know about futbol anyway?

    Anyway Nathan I've been thinking that what the US side needs is a classy nickname. Like the Azzurri, for Italy; or Le Bleu, for France. Not that those are helping them that much but I'm just not quite sure The Yanks is cutting it.

  27. J. T. Shea

    The King of the Universe? You mean Jacob Wonderbar gets to meet James Cameron? Wow!

  28. Claire Dawn

    Well, obviously if you don't get the mushrooms a koopa shell will kill you! lol! Definitely "how do they have that much time?" material. Off to post it on facebook 🙂

  29. Claire Dawn

    I just realised why that look so familiar. That's a Japanese school. Now it all makes sense. Kids must have been at it for weeks. (Japanese people seem to have a higher threshold for keeping at pointless stuff. )

  30. Conor Neill

    As an independent observer with little bias… I agree with your assessment of the disallowed world cup goal. Good to see the US joining us in the world game 😉

  31. Bryan Russell (Ink)


    I fully admit that I picked with my heart and not my head.

    But England can still win it all. You know, as soon as they start listening to me. I'm expecting a call from the English Federation, oh, any minute now.

  32. Chuck H.

    That Was The Week That Was. From the ultimate high of having my work critiqued by Mr. Bransford and his fantastic followers to the devastation of crashing my bike in Decatur, Alabama, it's been worse than riding a glider in thermals. Thanks for all the links and the video (never was much of a gamer but I loves me some stop motion). Have a great weekend all!! I've got to go see if I can straighten a footrest bracket. Anyone have a prybar?

  33. Bryan Russell (Ink)

    Man, Chuck, that's rough. No injuries, I hope? Prybars work better on broken footrest brackets than on broken feet.

    And I never did trust Decatur.

  34. Chuck H.

    @ Ink

    No serious injuries, one cut and my right leg is purple from toes to knee from having 700 pounds of bike fall on it but no broken bones.

    Bike is a little banged up but I rode it about 80 miles yesterday with no probs. And you are right to distrust Decatur. I think they have moveable street signs.

  35. ali

    Love the Friday line-ups as always! Thanks Nathan!

  36. Yamile

    For whatever reason, I'm thrilled that you're watching the World Cup. I must admit that my heart is with Argentina. One, because I was born there, and two, because of Lionel Messi. The reason futbol was invented.
    But I love the USA team too. Everyone's team, like the Univision ad says. I even got emotional when the stadium sang the Star Spangled Banner. The worldcup is so amazing!!!!

  37. Marilyn Peake


    Your interview in Onomatopoeia Magazine was really interesting! I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

    I recently read Lisa Brackmann’s ROCK PAPER TIGER … and, wow, what an amazing book! I loved it! Congratulations to Lisa; and kudos to you, Nathan, for recognizing the potential of this book and signing Lisa.

    Loved the blog post by Seth Godin about the importance of hard work in order to succeed. Excellent post!

    And Super Mario Bros. in Post-it Notes is awesome! Thanks for sharing that.

  38. Patty Blount

    Thanks for the Comment of the Week accolades. My apologies for being the downer of the week, too. I'm coming to grips with it and greatly appreciate the nudge to remembering that.

    That's my goal now. To remember rather than lament. To smile, rather than cry.

  39. Lu

    I'm afraid to forward this to my kids!

  40. Mira

    I know I'm late, but thank you for the links, Nathan! Very interesting.

    I am so sorry for the sports thing, even though I have no idea what that's about. My condolences. Booooooo!

    Love that Lisa's book is taking off! Go, RPT! I have my book being delivered soon – that and Jennifer's book. I'll read both, and report back.

    In terms of Seth's advice, thank goodness it doesn't apply to me. I'm waiting for a genie in a bottle, and he didn't mention that at all.

    I LOVED your interview at Onomatopoeia. You sound so confident there. You've really come into your own the last year, Nathan. You probably hate that I keep saying that to you, so I'll stop. On the other hand, nothing compares with Tahereh's interview, where she asked you about your shoes. NOTHING.

    I read the interview with your agent – she sounds very cool!

    And that is the best video of anything I've ever seen ever. EVER.

    I found the comment by Patti very moving. Patti – my heartfelt wishes for you.


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Hi, I’m Nathan. I’m the author of How to Write a Novel and the Jacob Wonderbar series, which was published by Penguin. I used to be a literary agent at Curtis Brown Ltd. and I’m dedicated to helping authors chase their dreams. Let me help you with your book!

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