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mgreanias asked:

Would the use of a holiday character (i.e. Cupid, the Easter Bunny, or Santa) at the end of a picture book limit the book's marketability? The story is not holiday-centered, but a holiday character does appear near the end. Thanks so much!

Obviously I haven’t read your book, so take this with a grain of salt — MAYBE yours is done in such a way that it won’t matter. But in general, the presence of a holiday character may well make publishers think “holiday book.” Which CAN be fine … I mean, obviously, new “holiday books” do come out every year! But it may limit the market for your book somewhat, as publishers and booksellers MIGHT think “oh, we can only have this on the shelves for a few weeks a year,” which as you can imagine, is problematic. Because of this, a very few holiday books are published by each publisher each year, and those slots are often filled by recognizable characters that are already well-established in “non-holiday” versions. (For example: OLIVIA was already popular by the time she got a Christmas book.) 

Is there a way to make the character into a recognizable thing that is not limited to a certain time of year? (Think: Tooth Fairy, Monster Under Bed?) Don’t change it if it’ll ruin your story, of course — just be aware that Outside the Box Thinking is not always on display from traditional pub acquisitions boards. Good luck!

dionnalm asked:

Said author submits ms to said editor. Said editor requests revision. Author revises. Said editor requests second revision. Author is stumped and cannot revise accordingly. TEN years pass. Said author plugs into her craft, writes something new, and wishes to submit this new manuscript to said editor. But now said editor's house is closed to unagented submissions. Can said author query said editor anyway, without an agent?

You know for a fact that said editor still works there?

I say, send them an email. A nice, friendly, totally professional email about how much you appreciate their long-ago appreciation of their work, and while at the time you didn’t have the wherewithal to do the revision they asked for, you’ve now improved your craft and come up with something you think is even better. Pitch it, quickly. Paste a few first pages underneath. Tell them you’d be happy to send more should they be interested.

What’s the worst that can happen? The very worst that can happen is, they ignore it. That won’t hurt you any, after all, you might say you’ve been ignoring THEM for ten years. :-)

They might say “sorry, you need to query through an agent.” OK, so you tried. No biggie. Or … maybe they’ll request more material. Why not go for it?

NOTE: I don’t suggest doing this to RANDOM editors. Just the one you have a prior relationship with. Meanwhile, you should also be querying agents, so they can go out to all those other closed houses on your behalf.

carriefenn asked:

Question for ya! When I'm all out of agents to query I want to look into ePublishing as my next step. If my sales go well, I'd like to re-query with my selling stats included. My question for you is, at what point do I do that? What sales figures are high enough to turn an agent's head?Thank you for your time!

Ughhh I wrote out this eloquent answer and then I ERASED it and probably I can’t recreate it so sorry in advance. Annnnd I don’t think you’re going to love my answer anyway, so double sorry in advance?

Basically, I don’t think the plan laid out in your ask is an awesome one.

Before anyone jumps down my throat, let me say, I have no problem with the world of self-publishing/indie-publishing/e-book-non-trad-publishing, or whatever you want to call it. It’s a totally valid path, and it’s great to live in a time when authors have more choices than ever.

For some, in fact, it’s not just “a valid path” — but the BEST path. Some books THRIVE as e-only books, and do much better that way than they would in the traditional bricks-and-mortar hardback-paperback world. Some authors have GREAT rapport with their audiences, and can do tremendous things without the help of a publisher, and really WANT to be in charge of everything. For these books, and for these authors, self-pubbing is probably always going to be better than trad-publishing, particularly now that it is so easy and relatively inexpensive to do well.

BUT:

In my opinion, if you are going to choose self-pubbing, you need to go all in. That is to say, pay for editorial, get a great cover, spend time and energy on a marketing plan, devote yourself to doing it WELL. If you don’t, you are likely not going to be great at it. Sorry, real talk. There are probably a few people who threw up unedited p.o.s. first drafts and made a bajillion dollars out of nowhere, but they are few and far between. This shouldn’t be something you do as a fallback for if you fail to get an agent - it should be something you actively decide to do and to succeed at.

Particularly because your reasoning (that you’d get an agent interested after the fact) - is really flawed. To turn an agent from “no” to “yes” on a book they’ve already declined, you’d have to sell MANY TENS OF THOUSANDS of copies. In other words, your book would have to be a major hit. And if it were selling THAT well, you’d probably be making more money than you would have at traditional publishing anyway, soooo… why not just get an agent for the next thing, if you still really want one?

There’s … well. There’s something else, too. The elephant in the tumblr. And here’s the part you REALLY aren’t going to like:

Lots of people DON’T get their first book published, or even their first couple of books. Writing books is something you can only really learn by writing books, after all, and it takes time and practice to get super-great at it. Maybe if you’ve really queried all the agents there are to query, and nobody has taken the bait… maybe, just maybe, your book isn’t good enough yet.

If I were you, and I was set on the traditional publishing path, I’d consider getting a great crit group (preferably with some experienced, traditionally published authors in it) — and really working on craft. Query, but also write another book while you’re querying. Keep writing, keep going, keep improving.

If you get a bunch of rejections of your work, and a lot of them are saying the same sorts of things, REVISE and query more. If you aren’t getting bites on your query at all, your query itself might be the problem, so consider getting that critiqued (the forums at Absolute Write, for example will do a query crit for you that might be useful.)

If at some point you decide to self-publish, great, that’s fine, just make it a conscious choice you are doing for its own sake, not as a “sneaky” way to get agent or publisher attention.

Then if you DO happen to get that attention, great, bonus … but you won’t be disappointed if you don’t. And yay, you’ll have more, even better, projects in the pipeline!

Lin-Manuel Miranda's 'Hamilton' to premiere at Public in 2015 | Broadway.com

popculturebrain:

Tony and Grammy winner Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton will have its world premiere as part of The Public’s 2014-15 season. Directed by his In The Heights collaborator Tony nominee Thomas Kail, the new musical features Miranda playing Alexander Hamilton, one of the Founding Fathers and the first Secretary of the Treasury. The production will begin performances on January 20, 2015 and run through February 22.

After getting the boot a few years ago, Miss J. Alexander will be rejoining Tyra and Kelly Cutrone as the third judge on the panel of the next cycle of America’s Next Top Model.

After getting the boot a few years ago, Miss J.

Hallelujah! I hate the idea of audience participation & while my wife likes her I don’t like Kelly Cutrone, but Miss J. is back? That’s like when Marsellus Wallace sends The Wolf. That’s all you gotta say.

(via mordicaifeed)

FINALLY.

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