How the literary agent will be affected as post-pandemic publishing tightens its belts
scroll.in – Tuesday June 30, 2020
I run a solo agency practice, Lotus Lane Literary, which I established in 2013. I work from my home-office in New Jersey and employ a part-time intern throughout the year. I do business mostly in the US, the UK, India, and sometimes in other Asian and European countries via book scouts. My roster ranges from debut to well-established writers from all over the world. Lately, I have also started selling film/TV options to production houses in India, UK and the US.
In all these years, my life has been enriched in ways I could not have imagined. The camaraderie with authors and editors is special. It is gratifying to wake up each morning and look forward to reading a new manuscript, or working with an author on an edit, or brainstorming characters and their motivations. My authors often joke that they have graveyards full of characters I have suggested eliminating from their manuscripts. I love being immersed in narrative in any form, as books not only open us up to discovery, wonder and excitement, but also help us make sense of our volatile world.
While the joys of being a literary agent are deeply enmeshed with creativity, it is ultimately a business. In an industry that works at the dichotomous intersection of art and commerce, running a profitable business is always a challenge, especially in times of global pandemics and recessions.
Indie Publishers Cope with Covid
publishersweekly.com – Sunday June 21, 2020
Though many independent publishers interviewed by PW last week reported a drop in sales during the Covid-19 pandemic, several said sales are—surprisingly—up for the year, buoyed by strong interest in backlist titles, direct sales to consumers, and enhanced digital initiatives. Most also said their staffs are working remotely and will continue to do so until at least the end of August. Some are allowing limited staff to go to their offices irregularly to fulfill orders and do necessary administrative tasks.
BBC local radio to boost new comedy writing
chortle.co.uk – Tuesday June 16, 2020
The BBC is showcasing new comedy writing across its network of local radio stations this weekend.
Sketches, stand-up, comedy songs and more will be included in a series of Upload Festival programmes running on 39 stations across the UK.
There will also be a live video stream on the BBC website, which will also be available on iPlayer.
And as part of the event, the BBC is running free online workshops on writing both sketches and comedy in general.
Independent Publishing in a Post-Covid World
publishersweekly.com – Sunday June 14, 2020
The Covid-19 pandemic has already had a big impact on independent publishing. Some changes—working at home, employee furloughs, curbside shopping—were thrust upon the industry suddenly. And though they weren’t part of a concerted effort to change old and inefficient business practices, they may indeed have that effect. Here are several new realities that are likely to survive the disease itself and lead to evolutionary leaps in book publishing.
National Writing Day launches 24-word challenge
entertainment-focus.com – Sunday June 14, 2020
First Story, the charity behind National Writing Day, has launched a 24-word story challenge to mark the annual nationwide celebration of the pleasure and power of writing and words. This year it will take place on 24th June. Together with its National Writing Day partners, a coalition of leading literacy organisations and publishers and a host of the nation’s much loved children’s authors including Children’s Laureate Cressida Cowell, Malorie Blackman and Frank Cottrell Boyce, First Story is challenging everyone – especially young people – to come together to share their experiences.
With a nation in lockdown, and the extreme experiences of the past few months keenly felt, the power of words to give voice to our stories is timely. Many pupils and students are still home-learning; and schools are closed to most of their cohorts.
National Writing Day is leading the charge with a simple writing call to action: a challenge to everyone to write just 24 words, in 7 minutes, starting with the prompt ‘One day…’ and to share their work on social media using the hashtag #247challenge. The challenge involves everyone, and participants can enjoy writing together and take a moment to express themselves.
Fall is now jam-packed for book publishers. That could be a problem.
chicagotribune.com – Sunday June 7, 2020
In March, when parts of the United States began shutting down because of the coronavirus, the best-selling children’s book author Jeff Kinney faced a quandary.
“Rowley Jefferson’s Awesome Friendly Adventure,” part of his popular Wimpy Kid series, was due out in April with a first printing of 3 million copies. His publisher had lined up a 10-city tour.
In a matter of days, those plans crumbled. “The book was about to land in stores that were closed to customers at the height of a pandemic,” Kinney said.
He and his publisher decided to postpone the release until August, in hopes that by then, his tour could be resurrected. Millions of copies are now sitting in warehouses. “It wasn’t an easy decision,” he said. “We knew lots of kids would enjoy the book while in lockdown.”
'Crunch point' is yet to come, say indie publishers
thebookseller.com – Thursday June 4, 2020
Two indie publishers have shared their concerns about the coming autumn, and emphasised the importance of flexible plans moving forward.
Speaking at the IPG Virtual Spring Conference, Sarah Braybrooke, managing director at Scribe UK, and Atlantic Books managing director Will Atkinson aired concerns on the packed line-up of titles expected this autumn because of coronavirus delays.
"I'm concerned about the massive concertina effect that might last into next year," Atkinson said. "I am much more worried now than I was a month ago." He said that approximately 30% of Atlantic's titles due for July had been moved.
How COVID will creep into the literary world
abc.net.au – Wednesday June 3, 2020
Imagine your favourite book; take a moment to picture those characters, their interactions, and the scene they're in.
Now reimagine that same book, but throw in all the coronavirus fears and restrictions we've seen throughout 2020.
Would you still want to read it?
That's the question authors and literary agents across the world are facing right now, as they grapple with this new reality and decide whether they should reflect it in their work.
Langlee leaves Kate Nash to join North Literary Agency
thebookseller.com – Tuesday June 2, 2020
Lina Langlee has left the Kate Nash Literary Agency to join the North Literary Agency.
Langlee, whose authors include Christina Courtenay, Sandy Barker, Stephen O’Rourke and Lucy Saxon, will remain based in Edinburgh.
With a background in publishing, Langlee joined Kate Nash as a junior agent in 2018 before winning a promotion last December and being shortlisted for Agent of the Year at the Romantic Novelists’ Association's Industry Awards.
At North, she joins an agency that was set up in October 2017 by four agents based in the north of England and Scotland: Mark Stanton, Allan Guthrie, Kevin Pocklington and Julie Fergusson.
Three Agents Resign After Red Sofa Literary Owner's Tweet
publishersweekly.com – Monday June 1, 2020
The civil unrest in the Twin Cities continues to take its toll on Minnesota's literary community—sometimes in unexpected ways. Thursday evening, the night before protesters set fire to two adjoining Minneapolis indie bookstores and destroying them both, the reaction to a St. Paul–based literary agent’s tweet ended up gutting the boutique agency she owns.
Three agents affiliated with Red Sofa Literary tweeted this past weekend that they have resigned in response to owner Dawn Frederick’s tweet, leaving one subsidiary rights executive besides Frederick still employed there. Frederick's official Red Sofa account on Twitter has been removed.