Thank you to all those who submitted questions for our Ask an Agent blog series! Your questions touched on a lot of topics including how to query agents and how agents actually go about choosing manuscripts. Thanks to the literary agents who helped make Ask an Agent possible! You can find links to their blog posts below.
This August, we are launching our Ask an Editor blog series! As you know, editors decide which manuscripts they would like to publish. Editors are involved in virtually every step of the publishing process, from the actual editing to marketing and promotion. Continue reading →
I am a copywriter. This is not to be confused with a copyeditor (who makes sure the gods of grammar are not angered) or a copyrighter (which I don’t think is a real thing, but I assume would be someone who enforces copyright law). I’m the person who writes what’s on the covers of books and retailer websites. Continue reading →
The reviews don’t lie! Ten new highly lauded books in the Book Country community are featured in the Top Rated section of the Read and Review page. Find out why these books are so good and get inspired!
Dan Croutch has been a Book Country member since finding us during NaNoWriMo 2013. Always a helpful and supportive community member, Dan can often be found on the Book Country discussion boards or chatting with us on Twitter.
In April I wrote to all of the Book Country newsletter subscribers that I would read anyone’s book who wanted me to. The only catch was that the member had to have done a significant revision and reuploaded a new draft for me to read. Dan took me up on my feedback offer for his High/Epic Fantasy novel THE KINGS OF CARNIN: Rise of Ari.
THE KINGS OF CARNIN stars a young blacksmith named Ari. The son of the king’s foremost weapons maker, Ari is granted an audience with the king after his father’s death. During this meeting, he’s compelled to fight an emissary named Raden to the death. Unexpectedly defeatiing Raden means that Ari is transformed from a civilian artisan to a commander in the army overnight.
Dan’s prose is varied and flows easily–this was my favorite part about reading THE KINGS OF CARNIN. You can tell he is taking time to begin his sentences in different places, crafting each paragraph so that it avoids repetition and redundancy.
I am appreciative of the straightforwardness of KINGS OF CARNIN. It’s good old-fashioned storytelling that doesn’t confuse or alienate the reader. The linear way he has structured his book is appealing and will be accessible to readers of all ages. Furthermore, I think that fantasy often benefits from a straightforward narrative like this one: It makes the reader’s passage into the fantastical realm much more seamless, and it highlights the innovative details Dan has created as part of the worldbuilding process. Continue reading →
Welcome to Part III of Book Country’s “Ask an Agent” blog series! Literary agent Ryan D. Harbage of The Fischer-Harbage Agency answers your questions about re-querying agents, social media, and what to submit to agents. Read Part I and Part II of “Ask an Agent.”
1. In today’s market authors are very involved with promoting their work via Twitter and Facebook. When looking over a query, do agents look at the author too and evaluate their networks? Does this have any weight?- Danielle Bowers
When it comes to nonfiction, one’s platform is a big deal. Social media is less impressive to me than an established following in traditional media—print, radio, television and/or film. And authority and expertise are even more important, most of the time. Twitter and Facebook followers usually don’t impress publishers unless the writer has a celebrity-level, or near-celebrity-level following. I encourage my clients to spend more time writing than promoting. The work is always the most important thing. Continue reading →
Welcome Rob Emery to the Member Spotlight! Rob has shared 5 books on Book Country including PERMUTATIONS IN THE RIBBON OF TIME, a July Editor’s Pick. I’m truly impressed with Rob’s storytelling skills and the creativity he shows in his writing. Here, Rob shares his favorite genre and what he wants to accomplish as a writer. Connect with Rob on Book Country.
In spring of 2013, I was looking for constructive peer reviews and decided the best place to start was Book Country, Penguin’s writing community. I had only heard good things when it came to reader feedback. I posted my New Adult Romance TRYST to workshop on Book Country. TRYST is a sexy story about the forbidden romance that grows between main characters Skyler and Blake (check out the teaser I created for it below!).
Long story short, TRYST got the attention of a staff member on the site, which eventually led to an editor expressing interest in the story.
Enter girly scream here.
It started with, “Hey, I like your story” (Thanks, Nevena, for all your feedback!), which delighted me to no-end, and that eventually led to, “Oh hey again, your book TRYST has been selected as an Editor’s Pick!” That got me even giddier. This led to, “Would you at all be interested in being part of a Member Spotlight on our blog highlighting the New Adult genre?” The answer to this is rhetorical and I immediately agreed, stoked that I was even getting any attention at all on the site. This is where things get a bit crazy. The next question dropping in my inbox is, “Hi Alex, your book TRYST has caught the eye of an editor at Penguin, do you mind if I pass your info onto her?” *faints* It was one of those messages that you think you made up, or blame on the copious amounts of coffee you devoured that morning, and attribute the vision to caffeinated hallucinations. Continue reading →
We’re excited to share new Waiting to Be Discovered books at Book Country! Reading and reviewing each other’s work are a great way to meet new writers and improve your own writing skills. Visit our Read and Review page to see our selection of Waiting to Be Discovered books as well as other featured titles. Continue reading →
At Girl Friday, we work with all kinds of folks who want to see their words in print. From first-time novelists to writers penning memoirs to companies who want custom materials to promote their brand, we offer clients the services, know-how, and support they need to get their books out there. Authors today face an exciting publishing landscape in constant flux, and we relish the chance to help them jump in with both feet and succeed. In that spirit, here are 5 things you should know about modern publishing:
1. You have lots of options
For decades, your only shot at getting your book into the hands of readers was to snag an agent who would (hopefully) get behind it and send it on to publishers. It was a daunting process with many gatekeepers between you and your readers. But with the advent of e-books and Print-On-Demand, the game has changed. The first step still is to write a great book; after that, there are many ways up the mountain, including small presses and self-publishing. It used to be over when the last house on your list said no. Now, it’s not over until you say it is.
Welcome to Part II of Book Country’s “Ask an Agent” blog series! Literary agent Melissa Sarver White of Folio Literary Management answers your questions about the art of the verbal pitch, the etiquette of querying, and how to query when you’ve already self-published one book. Read “Ask an Agent” Part I.
1. What would an agent want to hear in a five-minute verbal pitch? - kjmiller
The purpose of a verbal pitch or query is simply to entice the agent as you would entice a potential reader (like with cover flap copy). It is not to tell me everything that happens in the book or give a synopsis. It’s a 2-3 sentence logline that should display tone, writing style, main character and major conflict – I should feel interesting, dramatic and full of energy (even if you aren’t writing a dystopian thriller!). Honestly, if you can’t pitch your book in 2-3 sentences, you don’t know well enough what you are writing. Continue reading →