Week 15

Emily’s latest book deal, Lauren Allbright’s middle grade novel, How to Be Funny was just announced on Publisher’s Weekly. Each week, book deals are announced in the trade publication, and it is a great way for agents to keep tabs on trends in the industry and also to see if they might have passed on a manuscript  that ended up getting published. It is an honor to have your deal featured in PW, and it’s exciting to kick off the promotion for this new book. 

  How to Be Funny is being published by Aladdin in 2017, and is about a middle school boy who uses the scientific method to learn how to be funny, and make friends. Having read it, I know it’s humorous and fits its target market well. 

  Middle grade novels require specific marketing plans. There is a lot of targeting of middle and high school librarians for press and book talks. Often times middle grade novels are optioned for movie rights. 

I’ve also been concentrating on my capstone paper this week, and I’ve enjoyed the research that has gone along with this project. 

It’s been a great semester, and I’m excited to keep reading for Emily! 

Week 14

I’ve been doing research on the publishing industry for my capstone paper coming up. I read industry publications like Publisher’s Weekly among others. I was happy to learn the young adult publishing market is doing well, especially since that is my favorite genre to read, and what Emily likes to sign as clients. 

In agency news, Fuse recently promoted two junior agents to senior agents. What the title means varies from agency to agency, but at Fuse, this means they can sign their own clients and don’t need a senior agent to sign off on their deals. 

I am also working on a new marketing plan for the Hot Holiday Reads anthology, particularly on social media promotion. I hope to raise as much money for charity as possible.

I’m looking forward to this Thanksgiving break to catch up on the query inbox, and also on some new reads I haven’t had the chance to review yet. 

Until next time!

Week 13

I learned about live pitch competitions this week. At book conventions, authors can sign up to pitch their novel or series in front of agents. A good example is the BookExpo Challenge, which takes place during BEA Week (Book Expo America). During these pitch competitions, authors basically give an in-person query letter, and if an agent likes the idea, agents can request more material and begin the representation process. It is also a good way to tell if an agent and a potential client would be a good personality fit.

Another thing Fuse is doing is the Hot Holiday Reads anthology, which will donate 100% of the profits to refugee relief. They called for submissions ending October 31, and now agents are hard at work editing the submissions and deciding which ones will fit in the romance anthology. All the while continuing their regular agenting work, and keeping on top of the ever expanding query box. Good thing Emily has my help!

Until next time,

Week 12

This week I learned about comp titles.  This is during the query process, when authors “name drop” other books that are comparable to their novel. For example, a dystopian novel might compare to Suzanne Collins’ “The Hunger Games” series or Veronica Roth’s “Divergent” series. This allows an agent to get a better feel for the query to see if it is in the style of something they would like to publish.

It’s coming down to the final weeks of the semester. Some things I want to learn more about are negotiations (how to actually negotiate a better book deal), what to do when a client is no longer compliant (they don’t agree with your suggested edits, for example), and the process of getting a book that was previously self-published a new publishing deal.

Until next time!

Week 11

This week I learned about international rights, in honor of Emily’s trip to Italy. International rights obviously are when publisher sell the rights of a book or series to an international publisher. The reason agents have a role in the international negotiations is because agents advocate for better deals for the authors. This can be done in multiple ways, for example, Fuse Literary actually has partners in other countries at partner literary agencies that do the foreign negotiations because they have better contacts with the publishing houses in those other countries. Or sometimes the agent will travel and negotiate with the foreign houses themselves. Although the American publisher will still hold the main rights to the novel, this allows it to be translated and distributed in other countries.

We are going through the query box and trying to keep on top of it during Emily’s vacation. I am proud to be able to request more material, or flat out reject a query if it’s not something I would read more of. It’s exciting to have such an important gate keeping role.
Until next time,

Week 10

I learned about the phenomenon of preempting and auctions this week. It’s easier to talk about auctions first. Options are obviously went a book deal is in a bidding war. This is when the agent, in this case Emily, has sent out a manuscript to a bunch of different publishing houses, and they are fighting over the book. So what happens in this case is the agent and facilitate an auction, typically over the phone, and the senior editor at each publishing house will phone in their offer. Not just money is being offered in the auction, and sometimes publishers will offer up exclusive world rights or the fact that they will have first or second serial rights. Sometimes publishers will even go out and buy the rights and advance for your book in case it’s turned into a movie or TV show.  Are all things that make one publishing house the most attractive offer an auction. 

Often, in order to prevent an option from happening, which can drive up the cost of a book that editors a publishing houses don’t necessarily want to pay, they will preempt an auction with a super high offer that is basically very attractive to the author and will effectively shut an auction down.

Another fun week in the publishing industry! 

Week 9

It’s been good to catch up on the query inbox this week. I have been reading lots, and enjoying it. Although I have had to send a couple rejections right off the spot. I was lucky that Emily gave me permission to fire off I rejection letter if I know that it something that’s not publishable. This has to do a lot with what’s already on the market, for example the market is truly oversaturated with vampire stories and lots and lots of dystopian novels after “The Hunger Games” and “Divergent” series. I’m under under a nondisclosure agreement so I can’t really say much about what I did end up wanting to publish; but the things that were successful were pieces that told a story in and unique way. Whether that was incorporating illustrations or having to duology format (two narrators, switching off each chapter), I was lucky to find probably three or four pieces that I knew that Emily would want to read. Those are ones I requested more material for. Emily only asks for the first 10 pages on a manuscript, so I write a letter requesting more material when I really like something. This means the actual full manuscript, as well as the exclusive rights to not send it to any more agents for the time being.

While I am really and truly grateful for the opportunity to work in the publishing industry, I’m not sure this is something I want to pursue as a “big girl job”, especially because at that industry is hard to break into and will probably make me use a lot of my own money. Because if you don’t get book deals, you’re dependent on your savings,or even your parents, especially in New York City. I feel like this time has definitely taught me what I do look for and enjoy in writing, and has also taught me that I would love to pursue being an agent as a career after I’ve made my own money out at another career.