Friday, March 28, 2008

Recent Reads

I'm desperately trying to catch up on partials and written queries, and so my "outside of the office/pleasure" reading has fallen off as a result. Still, I did get a chance to read THIRTEEN by Richard Morgan, which I recommend to anyone, even people who don't typically read science fiction. I also just finished re-reading LONE STAR NATION by W.H. Brands, which is one of the better accounts of the Texas Revolution.

What's beside your bed?

Thursday, March 27, 2008

UK v. US Covers

Here's a link to a great blog entry from Tim Holman, publishing director at Orbit Books, about why their UK covers are sometimes different than their US covers.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Bad Apple Agent Blogs

I thought it might make sense to point out some things about agent blogs.

1) All agents, including blogging agents, are fallible.

2) Some agents are bad agents, including a few that blog.

3) Unless the blogging agent indicates otherwise, assume that their comment only applies to them personally, and not for the industry as a whole.

4) Even if the agent does say that everyone in the industry feels the same way, don't necessarily believe it.

5) Agent blogs will inevitably conflict with each other from time to time. The truth is that there is often no right answer to a question. 

Just like any profession, a few bad apples can damage the reputation of the entire field, and so it seems that a few bad agents and their bad blogs have injured some writers' opinions of agents as a whole. I can only ask that you try to keep the same perspective I do when I read queries. I get a few queries every day from people who clearly spent no time researching either me or the industry. I also am the subject of abuse from aspiring writers all the time because I've reached the personal and subjective decision that I don't want to represent their work. However, I don't let the bad spoil my view of the good. I still read and evaluate every query that is sent to me, and I requested six partials last week, my most this year. 

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Book Sales

Book sales in January rose 7.2% to $745 million, based on sales at 79 publishers as reported to the Association of American Publishers.

Adult hardcovers were up 4.2% ($94.4 million), adult paperbacks rose 37.6% ($135.2 million), and adult mass market increased 17.3% ($65.3 million). Children/YA hardcovers decreased 21.9% ($33.6 million), but paperbacks in the same category were up 28.2% ($34 million).

Monday, March 24, 2008

James Beard Awards

The James Beard Foundation Award Nominees were just announced, and it's my pleasure to announce that my client, Andrew Weissman, has been nominated for a third consecutive year for Best Chef: Southwest.

Here are the nominees for the Book Awards:

ASIAN COOKING
My Bombay Kitchen by Niloufer Ichaporia King
Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook by Fuchsia Dunlop
The Seventh Daughter by Cecilia Chiang with Lisa Weiss

BAKING AND DESSERT
A Baker's Odysseyby Greg Patent
Peter Reinhart's Whole Grain Breads by Peter Reinhart
Pure Dessertby Alice Medrich

COOKING FROM A PROFESSIONAL POINT OF VIEW
Bistro Laurent Tourondel by Laurent Tourondel and Michele Scicolone
The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Cuisine by The French Culinary Institute with Judith Choate
Morimoto by Masaharu Morimoto

ENTERTAINING
Dish Entertains by Trish Magwood
Great Bar Food at Home by Kate Heyhoe
Welcome to Michael's by Michael McCarthy

AMERICANA
The Glory of Southern Cooking by James Villas
A Love Affair with Southern Cooking by Jean Anderson
Rosa's New Mexican Table by Roberto Santibanez

GENERAL
Chez Jacques by Jacques P├ępin
Cooking by James Peterson
How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman

HEALTHY FOCUS
The Eating Well Diet by Jean Harvey-Berino with Joyce Hendley and the Editors of Eating Well Super Natural Cooking by Heidi Swanson
The Wine and Food Lover's Diet by Phillip Tirman

INTERNATIONAL
The Country Cooking of France by Anne Willan
Lidia's Italy by Lidia Matticchio Bastianich and Tanya Bastianich Manuali
Two Meatballs in the Italian Kitchen by Pino Luongo and Mark Strausman

REFERENCE
Food: The History of Taste edited by Paul Freedman
A Geography of Oysters by Rowan Jacobsen
The Story of Tea by Mary Lou Heiss and Robert J. Heiss

SINGLE SUBJECT
Laura Werlin's Cheese Essentials by Laura Werlin
The River Cottage Meat Book by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
Vegetable Harvestby Patricia Wells

WINE AND SPIRITS
The House of Mondavi by Julia Flynn Siler
Imbibe!: From Absinthe Cocktail to Whiskey Smash by David Wondrich
To Cork or Not To Cork by George M. Taber

WRITING ON FOOD
American Food Writing edited by Molly O'Neill
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver
Rethinking Thin by Gina Kolata

PHOTOGRAPHY
The Country Cooking of France/Photographer: France Ruffenach
Crust/Photographer: Jean Cazals
Egg/Photographer: Grant Symon

More Awards

The nominees for the Hugo Award/Best Novel are:
The Yiddish Policeman's Union by Michael Chabon
Brasyl by Ian McDonald
Rollback by Robert J. Sawyer
Halting State by Charles Stross
The Last Colony by John Scalzi

And the nominees for the John W. Campbell Award are:
Jon Abercrombie
Jon Armstrong
David Anthony Durham
Mary Robinette Kowal
Scott Lynch