Tuesday, April 24, 2012


I like book publishing contracts. I am very weird. They are a strange animal. Unique to the industry, hard for outsiders to understand. When I was at NYU, I took a course with Jan Constantine (General Counsel at the Authors Guild) and one of my favorite parts was learning about the cases that shaped the book contract as we know it.

I still have my notebook and folder from that class because I am a dork.

Anyway, back to the point. I was asked at a conference if there is a book to learn that sort of thing. And, yes, there are several. Jan used Negotiating the Book Contract by Mark Levine. (Mr. Levine also has a book for self-publishing authors called The Fine Print of Self Publishing which I'd recommend for all of you who DON'T want an agent.)

Sadly, I don't remember who asked me this originally. 

Monday, April 23, 2012

See? I knew I would run out of things to post about. Does anyone have any questions or brilliant ideas?

Today has mostly been about the war of the inbox. There is no hope of winning the war of the inbox. You just have to keep it from strangling you. I think I am through all queries from more than a month ago. I say think because, who knows what is lurking in the folders. I shudder to think of it.

That could be a horror movie. Someone thinks their work email is all up to date only to discover there are things s/he was supposed to be doing all along, s/he just didn't see them. Don't laugh. I find my stress dreams much more frightening than the run-for-your-life dreams.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Comic Con Episode IV

I just saw Comic Con Episode IV: A Fan's Hope. It's a documentary (by Morgan Spurlock) about, duh, Comic Con in San Diego*. The film follows a bunch of fans but I was most interested in the two artists who were trying to break into penciling for comic book companies.

They'd go to portfolio reviews and the reviewers would say the art wasn't right for them. Then the artists would be all sad. And I was sad for them.

... Except that's probably EXACTLY how people who query me feel when I say that their writing isn't for me. It made me feel guilty. I didn't get into this business to crush dreams. I'm not waking up with a goal to make people cry.

But I can't represent everyone, and it's true that some stuff "isn't right for me." Because there were two artists in the documentary, and one got hired and the other didn't. Except I couldn't really see what made one better. Obviously I'm not the world's foremost authority on everything.

*I've never been to SDCC but the New York Comic Con is my sacred weekend. 

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Mystery Agent

This month I was the "mystery agent" (doesn't that make me sound mysterious and cool?) at the Operation Awesome blog. Sometimes it is hard to explain why you are picking one thing and not others. Congratulations to the winners.