Querying In the Digital Age: With Information Comes Power

“It’s not right for us at this time.”

“I didn’t connect with the voice the way I’d hoped.”

“We’re not looking for books in that genre.”

stressThe publishing industry has many rules and guidelines, lots of contradicting advice, and often polarizing opinions. I empathize with you writers. I can see how all this information buzzing about the internet is making things simultaneously more accessible yet more confusing.

  • Whose advice do you take?
  • How can you be sure X website has the most up to date information?
  • What does that rejection really mean?
  • Does the transparency on social media sites really help you query agents?

With more knowledge comes more questions. It was easier five years ago when you could pick up a copy of the Guide to Literary Agents, circle your agent selections, and send out your queries in the mail. Granted, every agent had different guidelines then as we do now, but it was a bit more straightforward. You would get a call if an agent was interested or you’d get your material mailed back to you with a form rejection letter 1-6 months later.

Continue reading Querying In the Digital Age: With Information Comes Power


A New Digital Dialogue for Agent Representation

When having conversations with prospective clients the conversation has changed. It now revolves around asking plans for digital, ebooks, whether the author wants the agent involved editorially or contractually. These questions weren’t an issue 1 to 5 years ago, but are at the forefront of conversations agents are having with writers in 2012.

Questions emerge like:

  • How long are you committed to a traditional publishing deal until you may want to self publish?
  • If you do want to self publish projects do you want/expect an agent to help edit structurally, substantively, and copy edit?
  • What communication style do you prefer? Email, phone, Twitter, text, Facebook?
  • What are your feelings about agents venturing into self-publishing their own authors?
  • Are you comfortable with submitting your projects to digital-only imprints?

Continue reading A New Digital Dialogue for Agent Representation

When and How to Self-Publish: What To Expect, When To Do It, and How to Do It Right Live Webinar

Those of you who are interested in self-publishing an agent friend of mine, Meredith Barnes with Lowenstein Associates, is hosting a webinar tomorrow afternoon for Writer’s Digest.

Here is the information:

Session date: Thursday, November 17, 2011
Starting time: 1:00 pm Eastern
Duration: 90 minutes

Each registration comes with access to the archived version of the program and the materials for 1 year. You do not have to attend the live event to get a recording of the presentation or ask the presenter questions. In all WD webinars, no question goes unanswered. Attendees have the ability to chat with the instructor during the live event and ask questions. You will receive a copy of the webinar presentation in an e-mail that goes out one week after the live event. The answers to questions not covered in the live presentation will be included in this email as well.

All registrants are invited to submit any ONE of these three options for a critique from agent instructor Meredith Barnes: 1) the first three double-spaced pages of their manuscript, 2) their catalogue copy, 3) or their query (300 words or fewer) as part of the event. All submitted materials are guaranteed a critique.

It’s no secret that the publishing industry is changing dramatically in light of digital publishing, but what that means — and how to best profit from the changes — is still confusing and opaque to many. New venues are opening up for authors to showcase their work, but pitfalls appear as well, and digital and legacy publishing have complicated relationships. Because the decision to self-publish is such a big one, and because that decision made without all the information can derail a career, this 90-minute session will cover the basics: all you need to know to get your book in the five major retailers: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Sony, Apple, and Kobo. Continue reading When and How to Self-Publish: What To Expect, When To Do It, and How to Do It Right Live Webinar

Being An Agent in the Age of Digital Publishing: Social Media and Ebooks

Are you following me on Twitter? @carlywatters

Many agents and editors can tell you to start a blog, get a Twitter feed following, and to think about how to publicize yourself in case you don’t get much help from your publishing house. All of this on top of writing a novel, yes.

At P.S. Literary we don’t just talk the talk, we walk the walk. I’ve had a Twitter account since early 2010, an agent blog that gets 1,000 hits a month and we’ve recently redone our website to reflect our dedication to consistent agency and author brands.

We’ve recently begun to explore the option of a freelance publicist, communications intern, and are always open to ideas from our authors on how to better support them in these changing times.

Our clients have done ebook first then print book arrangements as well as follow traditional publication models.

We aren’t going to open a digital publishing arm as there are digital publishers that already do this so well. We will continue to do what we do best: licence rights (whether print or digital), support our authors’ careers and offer guidance, negotiate contracts to best reflect the changing interest of publishers and authors, on behalf of our authors.

For my great tips on social media see this post from earlier in the year. Follow me on Twitter here.