3 S.R. Johannes: Day in LA - Day 2

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Day in LA - Day 2

Today seemed like a longer day.

I think it was because I was not focused on my book so much.

Started out with a coffee meeting with Southern Breeze Region - shout out to Donna and Jo! :)

Met Sherry (Write it out) and Katie for breakfast.

First session was Karen Cushman -

Nuggets of Brilliance:
"I wrote because I couldn't dance."
* To focus on your writing, you need to:
* You have to show up - take time to fantasize, give power to your thoughts. Be present everyday.
* Pay attention - look around, stuff yourselves with sounds, words, images, conversations. Focus on what you love or hate - those bring out the deepest emotions and you get an honest reaction. Read blogs, interviews, books to learn about the market
* You must tell the truth - look for facts, do your research to add believability
make people connect through the realness of your book

Break out with Ari Lewin (Hyperion) - Acquisition process
1) read submissions. Agented only.
2) Take work to Editorial Board - everyone in department. She pitches book. Discuss book. what awards can they potentially get. what is the audience. what is the hook? when is best to put it out - what can we tie book promotion to (dates, events time of year etc).
3) Goes to Acquisitions - includes all publishers, sales, marketing and publicity. They can make or break a sale, especially in this economy. Goes in with flap copy to pitch. At this point, she does not yet call agent b/c she does not want to tip them off to any possible offer. They do not like auction situations. Fill out acquisitions form - what is the sell sentence.
4) Money - how many will sell. advance is based on that. Don't want advance too high so author can earn out advance.
5) Gives offer to agent - negotiates terms
6) sometimes takes right on, sometimes I do a noncontractual agreement which states what I think needs to be done to book for me to acquire it. If author agrees, they work on revisions with hope I will like it in the end.
7)Contract Request Form. Fill in for contract that has been accepted. Fill in subrights, rights, Lewin only gets 1 out of 7 manuscripts for various reason.

Earn out formula- retail price X royalty X # copies

Fyi on top contract clauses:
Look for option clause, high discount royalties, foreign rights, audio rights, Out of print clause.

Blogger buddies here is who I have met so far:
heather Hanson
Amanda Morgan
Cindy Pon
Cynthea Liu
Tammy sauer
LK Madigan
Lisa Shroeder
Shana Silverman
kathleen duey
Bill cochran
Christy Raeke
Jill Corogan
Suzanne Young
jess Jordon (finally :)
Sherry Peterson

Anica Rissci - Simon Pulse/Krista Marino (Delacorte) - Teen trends

*long series going away - buy very view open series; usually focus on trilogy, 2 books, quartets
* teens follow authors today, not series
* teens like reality-based but in fantastical ways (example Hunger Games, Twilight)
* No more Bitch Lit - dropping name brands on book
* teens like dark books right now. Not as much funny stuff.
* advances for large books staying high. advances for their authors - going down.
* saving money by doing digital galleys and digital catalogues
* Galleys cost 3 times more than books to make.

Wendy Loggia - Delacorte - 7 reasons she rejects a book
We have to be mean to be nice.
1) good writing but no story. No plot. heavy on telling.light on action. It is not EZ to reject a great manuscript when you see potential.
2) too similar to other novels on list or has worked on in past. If it is similar - it must be better.
3) unsure of who target audience/reader is? who do I market the book to?
4) If writer seems difficult or negative. Googles to find blogs and see if they are bashing fellow editors, agent friends, any of her books, authors, negative reviews or complaining about process. writers who belabor process. do not share anything about number of rejections online. If I know 20 houses have passed, I wonder why I should not pass.
5) love concept but cannot connect to voice
6) submitting too early - before work has been done
7) will not stand out on list.

I went outside and read with a glass of wine. Talked to Sarah Davies for a while.

Went to Blue Moon Party. Best costume went to an alien octopus (don't ask). Other costumes: blue man group, astronauts, aliens, blue butt


lisa and laura said...

ooh, this almost makes me feel like I'm there. almost...

Kelly Polark said...

What great information!!! Sounds like an amazing weekend so far!

B.J. Anderson said...

Thanks so much for all the awesome notes!!

Kelly H-Y said...

Sounds fantastic ... and how fun to meet blog friends in person! Thanks for sharing some of the content so we can feel like we're there too!!!

Kate said...

Great ideas, thanks for sharing!

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Shelly, I just want you to know how much I appreciate you doing this when I know you are soooo busy and tired. Since I couldn't go this year, I am loving a chance to hear about from you. Thanks.

C.R. Evers said...

~sigh~ sounds magnificent. I wish I were there. Maybe next year.

You go girl!

Kimbra Kasch said...

Love the info here. Thanks.

Christina Farley said...

Soaking this all in! Thanks girl!