>Boxing Day

>It’s the day after Christmas and all through my house, people are stirring….

Hopefully, everyone has had a wonderful Christmas holiday so far. Due to a number of circumstances, some foreseen and other unforeseen, I haven’t had time to pull together a post for today. I need to get ready for the next wave of Christmas guests, present opening and my third major Christmas dinner needs to be cooked. One turkey so far has been completely demolished. One ham has seen its better days — fortunately, there’s enough left for sandwiches. Tonight is the pork loin unless I find enough energy to do the Yorkshire pudding for the roast beast (which ain’t gonna happen).

So, to end the year, let’s throw open the door and give you the floor. You can toss out ideas for upcoming posts. You can ask questions. You can comment on trends in the publishing field you’ve seen. I promise to wander through, probably in a haze of exhaustion, later on to add a few comments of my own.


  1. >Hi. Many years ago I made a plan to get an agent immediately after I received an offer for publication. At some point (let's hypothetically say early 2011, which is certainly possible), I'll need to whip that plan into action. . . and I have no idea which agent/s to ask. I know to look on ASA, but you MGC guys have agent contacts, so is there anyone you'd like to recommend (I write mainly kids' and YA adventure fantasy). Also, do I go ahead and approach agents who are closed to submissions if I have a solid offer from a reputable publisher?Louise Curtis

  2. >The Nook is now unwrapped and in service.It's nice to use, from what I've seen. I seldom use more than a couple of primary features when it comes to tech items so I can't say a great deal about usefulness other than reading.I think that Barnes and Noble is pretty smart on this, at least in some ways. They seem to have decided to solve the conflict between brick and mortar and e-publishing by setting up various incentives to physically bring your Nook into the store for shopping, for freebies and discounts. I don't know what the rules are for accounts and what you can do or not do with the books you "own". Plus I'm fairly certain that you have to have a Nook and not some other e-reader platform to get the benefits, which is probably short-sighted. Someone can correct me if I'm wrong about the proprietary part. This is just a preliminary report anyhow. Our kitten had an accident a few days ago and needed a trip to the vet and a bunch of stitches, which means a vet bill and that we haven't done any e-book purchasing to speak of. So far the inventory of e-books we've got are the ones I've purchased over the last several years from Baen. This is why I have no idea what sorts of limitations will be placed on other book purchases. My friends who have had an older model Nook keep talking about having accounts and sharing accounts. With Baen, of course, we just downloaded the books that I already owned to the device.I just realized that I'd never even considered offering those books to my friends, no matter how many times I've recommended Baen, and I've got no intention to do so. At $5 or $6 a pop they can buy what they like themselves.

  3. >Don't forget to go by Naked Reader for some really good stories, at incredibly low prices. I'm halfway through their new anthology. Very nice. Congratulations, Amanda and all the others involved.Other than that, I'm contemplating the rather obvious answer to the question: Don't I have any better sense than to eat too much three days running? Both boys home for Christmas, and the house feels stuffed with people.

  4. >Clearly I need to avoid letting my thoughts run across each other. Matapam referred to overeating, then mentioned that the house feels stuffed with people… and my immediate thought was that clearly the house should cut back on overeating. And lay off those girls, sugar and spice and everything nice — too many sweets! And just who gives a house a Heimlich — John Bunyan?Burp?

  5. >Louise – I'm probably the least agent-experienced here (and most of it, I might add, hasn't come under the heading of 'pleasant experience' Mike – my present US agent, and Fiona my current Australian agent – rate as better in terms of communication and listening than any of 4 'large' US names I have spoken to. (and broad hint, both could use a little 'once a month is good' reminder)). My own feeling is if you have an offer, contacting them regardless is fair enough.

  6. >And midst the Christmas cheer, the Yorkshire pudding laments the blood-dimmed tide and drowned ceremony of innocence, crying:And what roast beast, its hour come round at last,/Slouches towards Amanda's kitchen to be sliced?

  7. >Thanks Dave. What are the web sites of Fiona and Mike (or, failing that, their last names)? Anyone else want to recommend an agent (I figure I should have more than one option per continent)?Louise Curtis

  8. >Okay, so I wandered through a day later than expected and still exhausted. Sorry, guys. I really did mean to respond yesterday.Louise, I'll let Dave and some of the others answer your question about agents they'd recommend. As for contacting an agent who is closed to submissions, my recommendation is not to — unless, of course, you've already established some sort of relationship with them or you have one of their clients giving you an intro. But that's just me.

  9. >Synova, I'm a kindler, but some of the same rules that apply to the kindle can be applied to the Nook. Once you set up your account with B&N — they want a credit card on account — you'll be able to download samples of ebooks, buy ebooks and download their free offerings. There are several good blogs that keep track of which "store" is offering what freebies at any time (I'm talking non-public domain books). One you might check out is Books on the Knob. One of the selling points for the nook is the ability to "loan" books. This is up to the publishers and is limited to only once, iirc, and for only a couple of weeks — again, going by memory here. The one thing I do remember for sure is that while the book is "loaned", you can't access it.Nook books, like those from Amazon, may or may not have drm attached to them. Basically, if they are from a major publisher, assume DRM. If they come from the B&N PubIt program, there's a good likelihood there is no DRM.Other than that, just play around with it and have fun.

  10. >Pam, thanks for the plug for NRP and for the kind words about the anthology. I'll add a plug here for your Lawyers of Mars. If the rest of you haven't seen the snippets, get thee over to nakedreader.com and check them out. Simply click on e-arcs and snippets on the left hand side menu and it will take you there.As for eating too much, did that, but also did too much cooking and traveling and cooking…oh, I said that already. Now I'm ready to go comatose again.

  11. >Louise -That's Mike Kabongo of Onyxhawke Agency – and I don't think he suits your area, and let's be fair, he's not a big hitter (he could become one, eventually) and Fiona Inglis of Curtis Brown(e?) – and I don't she is taking clients.

  12. >Amanda – and the dishes. I think I've run the machine three times a day, and thanked my husband for telling to stop being silly and replace theold broken one a few montha ago.

  13. >Hi again.Dave, I can't figure out how to email you directly about agent recommendations. My own email is fellissimo @ hotmail dot com. Louise Curtis

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