Friday, May 9, 2008

Friday Musings

The conversation regarding too many writers spoiling the soup continued on Jennifer Jackson's blog this week, here and here.

Jaye Wells just wrote her first official post for League of Reluctant Adults.

Jonathan Bender has started blogging about his LEGO quest.

Sarah at Deepish Thoughts continues to crack me up with her shrewd and entertaining observations. In case you haven't read anything of hers before, I suggesting checking out this one, this one, and this one too.

And finally, Colleen Lindsay had a great post about fan-fic and copyright infringement. I think I can count on my fingers the amount of times I've yelled in the past few years, but one of those instances was in dealing with someone who wrote a sequel to a great American classic that my former agency represented. Still gets me angry now actually. Errr.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

What Kids Are Reading

My client Brian Jay Jones has a great post on what kids are reading.

I've actually been fortunate enough to work at agencies that handled some of these titles, including To Kill a Mockingbird, The Outsiders, Tuck Everlasting, Goodnight Moon, Sarah, Plan and Tall, Island of the Blue Dolphins, The Pearl, and Of Mice and Men.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The Day the Ice Cream Died

Irv Robbins, founder of Baskin-Robbins and co-creater of franchising, passed away yesterday.

A Galley, a Proof, and an ARC Walked Into a Bar

Once a book is completed and edited, proofs, galleys, or advanced reader copies (ARCs) are typically distributed to book buyers, reviewers, book sellers, sales representatives, and magazines to assist in the marketing and sale of the work. Both advanced proofs and galleys will typically include a summary, author biography, and helpful marketing information on the back cover, and they are released three to six months in advance of publication.

Though the terms ARC, proof, and galley are often used interchangeably, at one time there were distinct differences between them. Galleys were only used in the editing process and were typically low quality black and white photocopies. Proofs were typeset copies that may or may not have artwork that were distributed to reviewers and booksellers to promote the book. ARCs were finished copies that were sent out early for promotion purposes.

Today the differences between the three terms are less clear. The term ARC now appears to be used as a synonym for a proof, leaving only galleys distinguishable because they are typically printed in black and white and without any artwork.

There is a thriving market online for galleys and proofs, which frustrates many authors since edits might still occur before the book is released. These edits might be limited to spelling, but there could also be factual errors that are fixed or substantive editorial changes. In addition, authors don't receive any royalties for the sale of the galleys and ARCs.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Expat Harem on The Today Show

Congratulations to Tales From the Expat Harem authors Anastasia Ashman and Jennifer Gokmen, who appeared on The Today Show last Thursday as part of the Where in the World of Matt Lauer? feature.

My Job Description

My duty as a literary agent is to represent my clients to the best of my ability, and by and large this entails selling the rights to their works.

I do not believe that reading queries and providing feedback is part of my job description (and since I'm my own boss, I'm the final arbitrator of this). I've provided query guidance in the past on this blog, but only as a means so that I get better queries, and I read queries for a single purpose- to get clients in order to sell the rights to their works.

But no matter how irritated I might get over the really, really bad ones (see my post from last Tuesday), I will still respond to every query sent to me through my website, and if rejecting will continue to convey my "this is not for me" response. I do this for three reasons: 1) so that writers will continue to be encouraged to query me in the future; 2) in the hope that writers will treat me with the same professionalism that I treat them; and 3) good karma.

I hope this reassures any aspiring writer out there who thought I might release a tirade of abuse upon them when receiving their query.