I am still riding high on the fact that Chris F. Holm commented on my last blog post! Seriously? Can’t believe that! I’m so excited! And I just can’t hide it! Literally – I just had to get up and jump up and down (some more) to the tune of that Pointer Sister’s classic tune (I know, I know, I know, I know I want to, I want to – this is my rendition of the words – they’re probably wrong!). I’m going to have to up my game in the blogosphere!
Alrighty – geekspasm over – I wanted to talk about publishing deals. I read the Publisher’s Weekly Book Deals column religiously – well maybe not religiously – but often. You can find it here: Book Deals. I try to see what’s selling and who’s selling it. I’m always looking to see what agents are working in my genre selling books, and which publishers are buying. Although I’m not sure why I’m keeping an eye on publishers. As far as I can tell, not many of them, or NONE of them accept submissions from new authors. If I’m wrong here – please feel free to tell me so! This blog is called “The Writer’s Wrong” for a reason. Think of me as Doctor Stupid from Ren and Stimpy (if you’re old enough to remember that cartoon).
YA is a large genre, and I keep my radar up for any sales of YA fantasy/sci-fi since that’s what I write. Or more specifically, that’s what I’m currently RE-writing (again ad infinitum). Want to see some examples of recent sales (courtesy of Publisher’s Weekly), take a look:
Jean Feiwel and Liz Szabla at Feiwel and Friends have acquired two new YA novels from Marissa Meyer, author of the Lunar Chronicles quartet. The first, Heartless, is a prequel to Alice in Wonderland and will tell the untold story of the Queen of Hearts. Publication forHeartless is set for fall 2015, after the conclusion of the Lunar Chronicles in winter 2015. The second book will publish in fall 2016. Jill Grinberg at Jill Grinberg Literary Agency did the deal for world English rights.
Jean Feiwel at Feiwel and Friends bought North American rights, in a major deal, to Josephine Angelini’s new series, Crucible. Feiwel preempted the series from agent Mollie Glick at Foundry Literary + Media. (In separate deals, U.K. rights and German rights were also preempted.) The series follows a teenage girl who, Glick said, gets caught in an epic struggle between good and evil when she’s transported to a parallel universe where “witches rule and scientists are burned at the stake by an alternate version of herself.” Angelini is the author of the bestselling series Starcrossed (there are currently three books), which is published by Harper Teen.
In a six-figure deal, Gelfman Schneider agent Victoria Marini sold Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton’s YA mystery Dark Pointe to Sarah Landis at HarperTeen, who preempted. The book is the first project from the authors’ new packaging company, CAKE Literary, and Marini said it’s a fast-paced work “in the vein of Pretty Little Liars” that follows three students at a competitive Manhattan ballet academy, all vying for the prima ballerina spot. Landis took world English rights, and the book has also been preempted in Germany.
Lots of good information in these write ups. You get monetary amount (sometimes), like “six-figures,” who the agent is, what the book is about, and who bought the publishing rights. I find the little “about” blurbs to be really helpful. They’re great examples of catch-lines or hooks. I plan to copy them to the best of my ability and somehow work them into my next query letter.
I also keep an eye peeled for new novelists and who represented them. To me, that means that there’s still some hope for a newbie to land an agent. Some examples:
Jessica Almon at Razorbill has bought End Times, a YA series by debut author Anna Schumacher. It tells the story of an oil boom town in Wyoming plagued by mysterious phenomena; the God-fearing locals believe it to be signs of the Rapture, while a newcomer with a checkered past uncovers the unsettling truth. Tina Wexler at ICM did the two-book deal for world rights.
Debut novelist Season Vining sold her new adult novel, Beautiful Addictions, to St. Martin’s Press’s Rose Hilliard in a six-figure, three-book, world-rights deal. Rachel Ekstrom at the Irene Goodman Agency represented Vining. The title, which is set to come out as an e-book in January 2014, and then in print in July 2014, is about a girl named Josie Banks, who grew up in and out of foster homes. After disappearing and waking up with no memory, she is brought back together with Tristan, the man who never forgot her.
Here’s a self-published author deal – keeping the dream alive:
Self-published author Ryan Winfield sold world rights to his novel Jane’s Melody to Sarah Cantin at Atria as part of a three-book deal, with Allison Hunter at InkWell Management representing the author. The book is described as a “sexy but touching” love story in which a grieving mother takes in a young street musician she believes can shed light on her daughter’s death, only to find herself falling for him. Atria released the e-book on October 7, and print publication is slated for spring 2014.
I see a lot of Middle-Grade selling as well. Not sure if any of you out there are Middle Grade writers, but it looks like this might be a good time for you!
Long story (and lots of quotes) short, there’s a lot of nifty info out there that can help fledgling writers. I also find the Book Deals column to be a source of inspiration. Look! First time novelists, self-published authors, YA fantasy – it’s all getting purchased by publishers and it’s all getting picked up by agents! So why not me?