Monday, June 20, 2011
Friday, June 17, 2011
Best Story of the Year Nominee:
The pastor asked if anyone in the congregation would like to express praise for answered prayers. Suzie Smith stood and walked to the podium.
She said, "I have a praise. Two months ago, my husband, Tom, had a terrible bicycle wreck and his scrotum was completely crushed. The pain was excruciating and the doctors didn't know if they could help him."
You could hear a muffled gasp from the men in the congregation as they imagine the pain that poor Tom must have experienced.
"Tom was unable to hold me or the children," she went on, "and every move caused him terrible pain. We prayed as the doctors performed a delicate operation, and it turned out they were able to piece together the crushed remnants of Tom's scrotum, and wrap wire around it to hold it in place."
Again, the men in the congregation cringed and squirmed uncomfortably as they imagined the horrible surgery performed on Tom.
"Now," she announced in a quivering voice, "thank the Lord, Tom is out of the hospital and the doctors say that with time, his scrotum should recover completely."
All the men sighed with unified relief.
The pastor rose and tentatively asked if anyone else had something to say. A man stood up and walked slowly to the podium.
He said, "I'm Tom Smith."
The entire congregation held its breath.
"I just want to tell my wife the word is sternum."
Mused by Sherrill Quinn at 5:44 AM
Wednesday, June 08, 2011
Later this summer, Hachette Book Group, Simon & Schuster, and Penguin Group USA plan to roll out a new virtual bookstore, Bookish.com, where information of all things literary will be provided: suggestions on what books to buy, reviews of books, excerpts of books, and news about authors. And, of course, consumers will also be able to buy books directly from the site, leave recommendations for other readers and write reviews. Other major publishers will also be participating, but it's the three named above who have provided the financing to start up the venture.
The New York Times has an informative article on it here.
I'm very glad to have joined Hachette. What a great opportunity!
Mused by Sherrill Quinn at 5:46 AM
Friday, June 03, 2011
Wednesday, June 01, 2011
I'm constantly amazed at the numbers I see coming from agents--how many queries they get, out of those how many partials or fulls they request, and how many new clients they sign on. It's remarkable, really.
For example, Jennifer Jackson of the Donald Maass Literary Agency received 120 queries last week. Of those, she requested manuscripts on, wait for it... none. Zero. Zilch. And going over her stats back through April, her figures are consistently the same: over 150 queries with zero requests for manuscripts.
Why?!? Why is it so hard to find representation? Well, it's a fair assumption that if you don't follow the agent's guidelines or send her (or him) something the agent doesn't represent, you're going to get nowhere fast. Agents don't want you to send them your rough draft--your manuscript should be so polished you can see your reflection in it. While most agents are willing and able to help you make that thing ready to sell, they don't want to have to correct your grammar, punctuation and spelling.
Also, take rejection gracefully. There are all kinds of reasons why an agent passes up your manuscript--it's not in a genre they represent, they just signed something very similar, the story isn't to their personal liking, etc. They all want something they think they can sell to an editor--if they don't sell books, they don't eat.
That's why doing your homework before you hit the send button is so important. This is a business. Treat it like one.
Mused by Sherrill Quinn at 6:08 AM