New Literary Agent: Kay Peddle
firstwriter.com – Monday January 4, 2021
Looking for books that spark discussion, that have the potential to change opinions and reveal hidden aspects of a familiar story. Interested in narrative nonfiction; literary memoir; cookery and food writing; travel writing; nature writing; journalism with a social justice angle; politics; current affairs; history and popular science.
Announcing the Winner of the 2020 QueryLetter.com Writing Contest
queryletter.com – Sunday January 3, 2021
We at QueryLetter.com love a good blurb that compels us to read the book. Capturing people’s attention in as few words as possible is the name of the game.
A few months ago, we launched a writing contest that is all about book blurbs. The basis of the competition is simple: Write a blurb about a completely made-up, nonexistent book that would make people want to read the story. The person with the best blurb would win $500.
Zoom Book Tours: 5 Authors on Publishing in a Pandemic
wired.com – Friday January 1, 2021
WRITING A BOOK is a lonely pursuit, one that can take years of solitary work. Selling a book is another story. Authors give talks in cramped storefronts, schmooze at luncheons, and learn to casually discuss their belabored creative project as commercial content. The publicity circuit can be dispiriting, sleazy, and exhausting. It can also be exhilarating, liberating, and fun—a chance for people who spend a lot of time alone with their thoughts to feel like someone’s heard them. This year, releasing a book into the world became another task largely undertaken solo, at home, staring at a screen. The Covid-19 pandemic forced the publishing industry to reimagine its process for convincing people to buy its latest offerings. Even the industry’s fanciest nights, like the National Book Awards gala, took place as digital events, with participants glammed up and sitting at home.
WIRED asked the writers behind five of our favorite 2020 tomes to tell us what it was like to release a book during quarantine. Here’s what they said.
A Mysterious Phishing Scam Is Roiling the Publishing Industry
theattic.jezebel.com – Tuesday December 22, 2020
The publishing industry has become the target of an international phishing scam, according to the New York Times. What usually happens is this: The author of a book will receive an email that appears to have been sent by their agent or editor, requesting the most recent draft of their manuscript. Not suspecting anything out of the ordinary, the authors attach the document, and then...nothing. They later realize that the person to whom they replied was not their agent or editor, but never do they learn what has happened to their manuscript. The manuscripts don’t seem to end up anywhere on the internet, and no one ever gets in touch with the writer or publishing house to demand a ransom or anything of the sort.
Announcing the 2021 National Magazine Awards Categories & Call for Entries
newswire.ca – Tuesday December 22, 2020
TORONTO, Dec. 21, 2020 /CNW/ - The National Media Awards Foundation is thrilled to announce the call for entries and to unveil the lineup of categories for the 44th annual National Magazine Awards. The lineup includes 29 categories and two special, prestigious awards: Magazine Grand Prix and the Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement.
The Foundation is also pleased to introduce an exciting, cross-programming initiative. National Magazine Awards participants are invited to submit their work to a series of seven unique categories, and these entries will compete among those submitted to the Digital Publishing Awards (DPA) and National Magazine Awards: B2B (NMA) programs. A single panel of judges will evaluate all entries, with winners announced across all three programs.
Julie Burchill's publisher cancels book contract over Islam tweets
theguardian.com – Wednesday December 16, 2020
The journalist Julie Burchill has had a book contract cancelled after her publisher said she “crossed a line” with her Islamophobic comments on Twitter.
Burchill’s publisher, the Hachette imprint Little, Brown, said it had decided not to publish Welcome to the Woke Trials because she had used indefensible language when communicating with the journalist Ash Sarkar.
'It’s been a rollercoaster': how indie publishers survived - and thrived - in 2020
theguardian.com – Wednesday December 16, 2020
Six months ago, independent publishers Jacaranda and Knights Of were warning publicly that their income had fallen to almost zero. They weren’t the only small publishers struggling. With bookshops and distributors closing, a survey from the Bookseller at the time found that almost 60% of small publishers feared closure by the autumn. No bookshops meant no knowledgeable, passionate booksellers pressing new books they loved on to customers; no events and no travel meant that crucial avenues for introducing new writers had disappeared.
The stars had been looking very happily aligned for Oneworld in March. The independent publisher had three of its biggest books scheduled for the month – a novel from Women’s prize winner Tayari Jones, Silver Sparrow; a new thriller from the bestselling crime author Will Dean, Black River; and Damien Love’s novel for older children, Monstrous Devices. It had printed point-of-sale materials, invested in marketing, advertising, printing.
Then came the first national lockdown. “Silver Sparrow came out on the Thursday and then on the Monday the bookshops shut,” says Juliet Mabey, the publisher whose impeccable taste saw Oneworld win two Booker prizes in a row with novels from Marlon James and Paul Beatty. “It was incredibly frustrating and stressful.”
Will the PRH–S&S Combination Be Too Big?
publishersweekly.com – Sunday December 13, 2020
It seemed impossible that the acquisition of Simon & Schuster by Penguin Random House the day before Thanksgiving could be overshadowed by a bigger industry event, but that is what happened when book publishing’s long-running trade show and convention, most recently known as BookExpo, was canceled. As the buzz about the end of BookExpo has cooled down, industry members continue to digest the news of PRH’s pending purchase of S&S, the nation’s largest and third-largest trade book publishers, respectively.
When the acquisition was announced, the Authors Guild, the American Booksellers Association, and the Association of American Literary Agents (formerly the AAR) all issued statements that were critical of the deal. While each organization had a particular take, all shared one thing in common: they were concerned about the increasing consolidation within trade publishing.
Sign on the Dotted Line
By G. Miki Hayden
Instructor at Writer's Digest University online and private writing coach
firstwriter.com – Saturday December 12, 2020
I just sign blank contracts for books and whatever strikes me as a good idea is what I write about.
~ Roger Zelazny
Contracts seem daunting because the language they are written in is arcane and the contract terms are ones you’ll have to live with, probably a while beyond the life of the book. In this case, fear is a good thing. We should regard the contract with a certain amount of trepidation and not simply sign because we’re drooling with eagerness to be published.
New Literary Agent Listing: Rosemary Scoular
firstwriter.com – Friday December 11, 2020
Focuses on nonfiction, from food writing to history, popular science, travel and adventure, politics and investigative journalism, the arts and memoir of all kinds.
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