Making Connections: Doing Business At Conventions

Last weekend, I was at Balticon. This coming weekend, I’ll be at ConCarolinas, and then after that, Origins Gaming Fair. From there on in, the summer’s pretty busy: Congregate, Confluence, LibertyCon and then DragonCon, with ContraFlow and Atomacon rounding out the year. I did four cons earlier in the year, and I’m already signing up for and getting confirmed for 2017 conventions.

Conventions are expensive. Most writers pay their own way: travel, hotel, food, vendor table and merchandise. It’s time away from family and from writing, and from sitting by the pool chilling out with a beach drink. So why do we do it? Sure, there’s visibility, meeting readers, promoting the new book. But as I saw at Balticon last weekend, the most valuable part of a convention lies in connections to other writers and the stream of information and possibilities created by good relationships.

What kind of information and […]

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To Agent or Not To Agent? Part Two

Today we’re welcoming back Barb Hendee. Barb is the nationally best-selling co-author of the Noble Dead Saga, along with her husband J.C. She is also the author of the Vampire Memories series and the recently launched Mist-Torn Witches series. If you missed the first part of this great post, please read it here: http://www.magicalwords.net/misty-massey/to-agent-or-not-to-agent/

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Why You Might Need an Agent

1) Negotiating Contracts

Now, here, instead of an agent, you can go with an IP (intellectual property) attorney and just pay a one-time fee. I know a few writers who have done this and had a good experience.

Again, JC and I are with John Silbersack at Trident Media, and our agency is always on the lookout for new “clauses” that are suddenly slipped into contracts. Sometimes even innocuous-sounding clauses can have long-term impact. Trident Media has its own legal department, and we are more comfortable using the combination […]

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The Right Way

I know a man who once decided to submit his manuscript to a famous movie producer. He didn’t know the producer, nor did he have any actual contacts in Hollywood. But he wasn’t going to let that stop him…he packaged up his manuscript in a nice, clean envelope, addressed it to the producer’s office, wrote *Confidential and Personal* on the outside and sent it on its way. Since it said *Confidential and Personal*, the producer’s secretary passed it directly to the man. The producer read it, and while he did not choose to make his next blockbuster movie based on my friend’s manuscript, he was kind enough to offer valuable comments on ways to make the manuscript more saleable.

I was at a publisher’s party some years back, having a conversation with my editor. A self-published writer (at the time, self-pub was almost never done and certainly not with any […]

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Breaking the Rules

I knew someone long ago who had written a novel he believed would be his breakout. It was crazy-long (300K words, I think?) and had been turned down on that basis more than once. Instead of breaking it into three novels or doing a massive edit to trim the word count, my friend decided to try breaking the rules of submissions. He sent his query to Famous Literary Agent, with the words “Personal and confidential” written on the front of the envelope. Mr Agent’s secretary passed the letter on to her boss uninspected, Mr Agent read the query and contacted my friend, because the story intrigued him. Eventually it was another rejection, but it inspired my friend to keep trying.

A few weeks ago, the news was abuzz with the story about a white male poet who’d submitted a poem to eleventy-four literary journals, all of which said ‘No thanks.’ […]

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The Business Side of Bucking Trends

Folks, we once again welcome Laura Anne Gilman, author of Silver on the Road (Book 1 of The Devil’s West), a thrilling adventure set in an American West that isn’t quite ours, ruled by the Devil and watched over by Isobel, his Left Hand. It’s a wonderful start to what I expect will be an exceptional series, and I hope all of you have been able to score your own copy by now. Today Laura Anne presents a little chat about bucking trends.

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Back when I first came up with the idea that would become SILVER ON THE ROAD, I sent it to my then-agent, asking “what do you think?”

Her response was that she loved it, thought it was great…but that it didn’t seem very commercial, and I probably should stick with what we knew was working, the urban fantasy. And because my then-agent was savvy […]

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The Great Agent Hunt

Lucienne Diver talks about the right ways to find an agent. […]

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The Role of Agents in the Modern Publishing Landscape

I was asked to do a talk this past weekend on the role of agents in the modern publishing world, and it seemed like a great blog post topic as well, so I figured that since my notes were already prepared…

In many, many ways, an agent’s role hasn’t changed at all from when I first entered the business over twenty years ago. We’re still authors’ advocates—first, last and always. We’re still business managers and advisors, negotiators and networkers. But to be specific, here are some of the things we do and some of the ways in which are roles have changed and expanded.

Agents still read submissions and fall in love with books we want to champion. We still read synopses, partials and fulls for our authors, providing feedback and critique, sometimes through multiple iterations of the material, whether we’re preparing these works for submission or publication. We guide […]

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