May 29, 2010

Just the Facts? Or More?

In the third edition of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Publishing Children's Books, author Harold Underdown gives us the latest in children's non-fiction (now also called informational books).

For example, there are books that present just the facts, biographies, creative non-fiction (books that follow a traditional story arc or facts presented in a fun, unusual format), and how-to books. Check out the sneak peek at this chapter. Sneed Collard, author of numerous non-fiction books, is quoted, "Non-fiction has not even begun to peak as far as creative possibilities." I'd have to agree with Harold and Sneed. In addition, creative non-fiction opens the door to the school market and provides teachers with another avenue of meeting required teaching units. Sounds like school visits are a must!

May 18, 2010

Agent Pet Peeves

The Guide to Literary Agents has a terrific post on agent pet peeves. Quoting numerous agents representing various genres, the post lists everything from cliched phrases ("It was a dark and stormy night" - wow, people actually still write that?) to flowery writing that doesn't move the book forward. Also mentioned: waking from a dream in Chapter One, a run-down list of physical attributes, and characters moving around in the scene, but essentially doing nothing.
Before submitting to your dream agent, check out this article.

May 5, 2010

Why does it take so long to hear about my manuscript?

If you are a writer, you have surely muttered the question, "Why does a publisher take so long?". This is probably asked after the hundreth day of checking the mailbox. Actually, to hear in 100 days isn't bad :) A publicist from Peachtree Publishers, an independent publisher with a terrific list, gives us a peek into the acquisition process. This may not make the wait any easier, but it gives us more clarity. Thanks to the Peachtree folks for this blog. Check it out here.

May 1, 2010

Best Agent Blogs

The website Guide to Literary Agents just posted their top five agents blogs. This is really valuable information folks! Agent blogs are a peek into the publishing market, what agents might be looking for at the particular time, a sense of "is this the agent for me?", books they recently sold, how to write a query letter, etc.. Some agents even sponsor contests that may lead to your manuscript sitting on their desk. The Guide to Literary Agents notes these five blogs (in alphabetical order): Chip MacGregor, Dystel & Goderich Literary Management, KidLit, Nathan Bransford, and Rachelle Gardner. Check out the website for the links to the agents.