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.

Week 8

This week I learned some new publishing vocabulary. First serial rights and second serial rights. This is because a new client had previously self published one of her books to no success. So instead of negotiating for the first serial rights, like normally we do with publishers, we were negotiating for the second rights, which means that they were buying the rights to the reprint. The term serial actually has nothing to do with whether or not a book will be published in a series. It is because books used to be published in newspapers and magazines in small little excerpts, called series. 

I also learned a bunch of the different imprints which are sections of the big five publishers. The Big Five publishers are Hachette, Penguin Random House, HarperCollins, MacMillan, and Simon & Schuster. Within each of these publishing houses they will have different imprints such as William Morrow Publishing or HarperTeen. this allows them to divide their resources up. Sometimes these imprints were smaller publishers that were bought out by one of the Big Five. 

It’s been another interesting week interning for Fuse literary! Till next time

Week 7– midterm review

Emily decided to close her query box because there are just so many queries coming through, so now is a time to buckle down and clear it out once and for all. As I look back upon what I’ve learned this semester, I can definitely see how much I’ve learned about publishing, especially in regards to the submission process

  1. Query letters are like cover letters, they introduce your manuscript. Without a strong query, good luck getting your manuscript past even the intern (aka me…)
  2. Query letters should be brief, but also manage to include the general plot line of your book, the target market, and why it’s publishable.
  3. Having a full manuscript requested does not mean the agent will sign you as an author. Your first ten pages sent in the query could be great, when the rest of the manuscript falls flat.
  4. Once you sign an author, more often than not, you have a lot of edits to do in order to submit to publishers.
  5. Publishers are difficult to hear back from, and sometimes you’ll have to nudge them in order to get a response.
  6. You’ll definitely need to have clients in all phases of the publishing process at any point in time: query, request for a full, contracted clients, revisions, submission, and negotiation with the publishers.
  7. You need more than one book deal per year to be able to survive in New York City, or any city for that matter.

It’s been interesting so far, to say the least.

More to come!