Archive for the ‘selling books’ Category
As a writer you know the thrill when something that was once just a figment of imagination becomes real? April 9 – 11 in York, something terribly exciting is happening. It is the Festival of Writing, which will be the UK’s best creative writing event.
The chief idea behind the Festival is to give writers insight into how publishing works so they are better informed and better able to get published, and the opportunity to meet and mingle with literary editors and agents face to face.
I will be there giving a talk and one-to-ones but I’m also keen to meet writers in the bar. If you are coming, please do come and say hello.
The full programme, which is fantastic, is on the Festival website: www.festivalofwriting.com
A good writer does not mince words and so my summary for the Kate Nash Literary Agency’s first year stands. Launching any new business in a recession is difficult but publishing is going through its own particular stormy weather and evolving. In 2009 we said goodbye to Borders UK, we should have said hello to the Amazon Kindle and we got our knickers in a twist about the Google Book Settlement.
I remain concerned about erosions of authors’ rights and underwhelmed by a rosy future belonging only to the ebook. However, I am more optimistic for 2010 as a whole, and will continue to report the journey.
When you’re an author, dealing with rejection can be really hard. This is because it is almost impossible not to take it personally. I think this is because writing is such a personal thing, and you can (and should) put your heart and soul into your work.
What I hadn’t anticipated was how personally awful and down I would feel when my clients’ work is rejected by publishers, especially when a publisher has had a full manuscript for a while and been seriously considering it. Yes, I can keep telling myself ‘this is business’ but my feelings don’t seem to want to listen and obey.
What are your any tips or strategies for dealing with rejection? Are some rejections harder to bear than others?
Having sat down at my table in the IRC (International Rights Centre) and managed to get the wi fi working within 30 seconds I thought I’d blog from the Book Fair. I will try and post a couple of times a day during the Fair.
The Fair officially opens today (in about 5 minutes time according to the tannoy) but yesterday I along with a very international audience of around 100 people attended the pre-Fair Rights Workshop at the Earls Court Conference Centre. There was lots of useful tips, especially I think for those new to selling rights. Additionally, a very interesting opening session from Hugh Jones, Copyright Counsel at The Publishers Association outlined the different types of rights that authors and publishers have.
- Copyright, which in the UK lasts for life + 70 years and is automatic
- Moral rights, which includes the right of paternity (to be identified as the author) and integrity (the right to object to derogatory treatment of material). Moral rights are not automatic, however, and have to be asserted.
- Human rights, for example the right to privacy
- Typographical copyright, which lasts for 25 years
- Database rights, a new right which lasts for 15 years
- Publication rights, granted by the author
- Human rights, for example freedom of expression
The tannoy has just declared the Book Fair open but it is very quiet on the edge of the IRC where I am sitting (not too far from the Champagne bar so perhaps it will get busier later). In my part of the hall there are only about one in ten tables occupied.
This week I have been asked – via email and in person – why have a literary agent?
I think it is a personal decision for a writer to choose whether or not to be represented by an agent. One of the most obvious advantages these days is that many publishers will only accept submissions from agents. But the role of an agent goes further than simply selling work. In my view agents are there to mentor the author in terms of career guidance and on editorial matters (if needed) and help nurture relationships on behalf of the author with publishers and others.
The downside is that an agent will take a percentage, typically 15%, of work sold. But that’s the only thing of all the things we do we get paid for.
Do you agree?
Two exciting things happened today: the first is that the first advance cheque arrived from a publisher for a book sold by the Kate Nash Literary Agency. So it will be a novelty at the bank tomorrow morning actually paying some money in, as so far the Agency has been about paying money out on all the various business expenses.
I will be announcing book sales and my debut client list this week so watch this space.
The second exciting thing was getting an invite to come to Winchester Writers Conference in July. I will be doing some 1-to-1 appointments there on Saturday 4th July. Full details tbc.
Snippets of wisdom from literary agent and script doctor John Jarrold, originally communicated on Saturday 21st February at the Get Writing conference.
- Publishing is not a job, it’s a way of life.
- These days the whole publishing company has to buy into a book. That includes Sales and Marketing as well as Editorial.
- Your editor is your champion within the publishers.
- Two words publishers are looking for in writing: pace and clarity.
- Use a single viewpoint at a time.
- Marketing matters. Half of paperbacks are bought on the cover alone.
I trudged through the snow this afternoon to post off a couple of things and arrived at the Post Office to find the doors locked and a note pinned upon them:
“13:00 Closed due to adverse weather conditions”
In one’s novel, this would be technically known as “external conflict”.
I shall try again tomorrow.
Everyone agrees that book titles are important and impact sales. Your favourite book titles EVER – please share and let’s try and work out which titles really make an impression – and why.