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Happy 2013!

So, the Mayans were just yanking our collective chain and we’re still here in frigid, overcast New York City.  Since DGLMers have been out carousing and overindulging for the past week or so and must now dig out from under the candy wrappers and champagne corks to find manuscripts and proposals, not to mention queries, that need responding to, I thought I’d turn this one over to you.

Any questions, suggestions, random commentary you have for us as we look forward to a new year?  What’s on your mind?  What industry issues do you find incomprehensible and need some insight into?  What are you going to be reading this year?  What are you going to be writing?

Let me know and I will answer if I can or make appropriately noncommittal noises if I can’t.

8 Responses to Happy 2013!

  1. EDWARD says:

    Hello, Miriam:

    As Jane rightly notes in her intro, if we submitted stuff exclusively to your agency, we would be waiting forever to get published. On the other hand, as Jane also observes, you don’t want to invest your time in an author who is shopping her novel to a gazillion publishers as she is pleading with you to sign her on. What is a fair balance, in your opinion, where nobody gets cheated? Obviously your opinion is going to be biased, as is mine. But what should we be doing while we wait, if anything, and how can we make our wait time as productive as possible without shortchanging the best efforts of the literary agent?
    Thank you.

    • Writer says:

      Not to butt in, but I have an answer. WRITE SOMETHING BRAND NEW while you’re waiting. It’s the best advice I got and I’ll tell you why. The book on query? Yep, it landed me the interest of an agent, but it was the book I wrote while I was waiting that convinced her to sign me and became my debut novel. The one I was querying with? Still in the proverbial bottom drawer.

    • Miriam says:

      We don’t really have a problem with authors doing multiple submissions as long as they do it in a way that is transparent, respectful and fair. Here are some tips:

      Mention in your query that you’re querying other agents.

      If an agent is interested and asks for an exclusive, let the other agents who are considering the ms. know that you are granting that.

      If someone offers representation, let everyone know that you’ve either taken the offer or need to hear back quickly in order to make a decision.

      Don’t cc everyone you’re querying when you send your initial e-mail.

      Most agents need at least six weeks to read a manuscript. It’s okay to follow up occasionally and find out where you are in the queue and if someone never responds, then you probably should move on to the next name on your list. In the meantime, I think it’s good advice to keep busy with your next manuscript.

  2. Katie says:

    Yay, Miriam, Happy New Year!

    I just want to say thanks to you and the team for your commitment to this blog. I’ve learned, been encouraged and entertained by these weekly entries.

    In 2013, I’m going to read about writing in multiple POV and then I’m going to write my second manuscript (Contemporary fiction with a hint of the supernatural.)

  3. Emily Carter says:

    Happy New Year!

    Here’s a question: why do I keep hearing the book sales overall are increasing and yet the voices of WOE keep bemoning the book publishing industry??

    • Miriam says:

      Ha! The voices of woe are a constant in all industries, I’m afraid, as are the voices of people who want traditional publishing to fail or the ones that want indie publishing to be a passing fad. In reality, it’s been a while since the publishing landscape has been so vibrant and full of possibilities. Sure, there are growing and changing pains but overall, it’s a pretty exciting moment for our business, IMHO.

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