Friday, May 16, 2008

Running With Crazy

So I read a partial a few days ago. It was advertised as urban fantasy, but "not necessarily dark with excessive violence, rather playfully suspenseful with a tongue-in-cheek, satirical approach."
I thought it was cheesy, but I wrote an extremely kind rejection letter, telling her that it needed to be "darker to be a fit for my tastes." I do think there is a market for playfully suspenseful, but there has to be enough bite to keep readers interested, and I didn't think this partial had it. I went out of my way to emphasize that this was my own opinion.

I received a rude email in response, telling me that I clearly did not read her query letter. Offended, I told the author that this was my subjective opinion and that she should not take it personally. She wrote again, telling me to grow up.

This is the type of crazy that makes agents wary about email queries.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

From the "No Duh" Department

Please don't describe your book as a fictional novel, science fiction novel, or autobiographical memoir. Pretty please.

Children's Cookbooks

According to The New York Times, cookbooks for children are the new rage.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Has GalleyCat Lost It's Meow?

I teach a contracts class for MediaBistro, and so I'm a bit biased when I say that I think they offer wonderful resources for media professionals. Despite this, I still feel compelled to comment on the recent drop in quality in GalleyCat, their daily newsfeed.

Since 2005 GalleyCat has been a staple of my daily reading. If you've never read it before, imagine Publisher's Lunch without the deals, but broader coverage. I was worried that there would be a drop in quality when Sarah Weinman left for greener pastures, but Ron Hogan continued to maintain a high quality.

It's only been in the past few weeks that I've noticed a drop - a smug tone has infiltrated a few of the posts, older stories are being recycled, and the overall writing quality has dropped a bit.

Here's hoping that the ship gets turned around soon.

On Email Queries

As you know, I respond to all properly formatted queries sent to me via my website. I fell behind last few weeks, but I believe I've responded to anyone who wrote me before May 1st.

I've recently had some complaints from authors regarding my submission policy. Specifically, some authors don't understand why I won't respond to an email query that is sent to my regular email address. Here are the reasons.

1) You can't send attachments via my submission form, and so it's much harder for me to get a virus.

2) The form limits the word count, which allows me to read it quickly.

3) It goes into a separate inbox specifically for queries, which allows me to read and respond faster while concurrently keeping my regular inbox relatively uncrowded.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Memoirs Revisited and a Few Other Things.

The Christian Science Monitor has a good piece on memoirs.

A great conversation is going on over at BookEnds about "bad books."

Crown editorial director Kristen Kiser is moving to Hyperion, which I hope will be end of what has been a turbulent few months for the division.

Finally, I just read Ilona Andrews' Magic Bites, and I was very impressed. I suggest checking it out when you have a chance (sadly, I do not represent her).

Monday, May 12, 2008

Harry Bosch's Guide to Los Angeles

Harry Bosch and Zagat team up for BEA. Sounds awesome.