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An author of no particular popularity

Jay Lake
Date: 2008-06-23 15:37
Subject: [publishing] Online collaboration lands young authors book deal
Security: Public
Tags:books, publishing

Online collaboration lands young authors book deal.

Department of things that make you go hmmm…

(Thanks to tetar.)

Originally published at jlake.com. You can comment here or there.

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calendula_witch: Eagle
User: calendula_witch
Date: 2008-06-23 22:42 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Interesting. One of the things that makes me go hmmm is a part of the story that seems to be missing--right after it talks about how they wrote it so fast is a paragraph that starts "Their agent..." Agent? Yeah, that would help. :-)
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International Bon Vivant and Raconteur
User: nick_kaufmann
Date: 2008-06-23 23:50 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Random House! $30,000 advance! *whistles while tying noose for self*
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2008-06-23 23:54 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I wish the authors well, but methinks there's a piece or two of the story missing.

Much like how Christopher Paolini got the Eragon deal — his parents were longtime publishing industry pros who'd semi-retired, were friends with Karl Hiaassen, showed him the book, he showed it to his agent, etc. Ie, lots of networking which has gotten left out of most iterations of the teen author makes million$ stories.

Or maybe not.

(Note I am not disparaging networking, not in the slightest. Editors and agents have to learn about books somehow.)
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International Bon Vivant and Raconteur
User: nick_kaufmann
Date: 2008-06-24 00:02 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
How come no one has ever paid me $30,000 for all my funny LJ posts?
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Ruthanne Reid
User: ruthannereid
Date: 2008-06-24 00:00 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
"Hmm" is a good resonse. I have to admit "holy shit" was more along the lines of what I said. :D
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Ninjakitten: ninjas like books too!
User: ninjakitten
Date: 2008-06-24 00:17 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:ninjas like books too!
Whoa, I've actually encountered one of them on lj -- ladyjaida writes shoebox_project.

The contract thing is cool, but it's the 18 days thing that keeps making me boggle...
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User: (Anonymous)
Date: 2008-06-24 00:39 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I like the part where the article describes their 30k advance for a first novel as "not huge in terms of dollars and cents." Yeesh.

And as for their networking, on their site one of them has this to say in answer to the question "How does one go about getting an agent?":

Unfortunately I personally have no idea. Our
agent is Tamar Ellman Rydzinski with The Laura
Dail Literary Agency, but we didn't snag her
via the traditional "Grit your teeth, ready
your shields and start querying" method. So,
very sadly, I can impart no wisdom on this front.

That certainly sounds like networking to me.
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Michael Curry: alton
User: mcurry
Date: 2008-06-24 01:27 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
And apparently upgrading to Firefox 3 logged me out of LJ. Thanks for approving my comment, Jay!
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User: jimvanpelt
Date: 2008-06-24 01:53 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Hi, Jay. Thanks for posting that link. I sent an e-mail to all the kids in our "Write a Book in a Year" club. I think they will find it particularly interesting, especially the process of how it was written, and all the real-world stuff about how many manuscripts the publishing houses see.

I also sent a note to both authors:

Congratulations on the sale of the book which I just found out about through the article at http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080623.wbcbook23/CommentStory/Technology/home

You will be an inspiration to my high school students. We just started a "Write a Book in a Year" club for our students who want to tackle bigger projects. You can see the blog we started for it at http://writeabookinayear.edublogs.org/ if you are interested. I sent all the club members the link to the article. Sometimes kids have a hard time seeing that their writerly dreams can come true.
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User: wild_patience
Date: 2008-06-24 02:34 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
My favorite part was "Spectra also publishes one of the young women's heroes, Ellen Kushner, whose award-winning mythical tales of sword-fighting and medieval battles have sold thousands of copies and have been translated into several languages." Okay, the Riverside books have sword-fighting, but medieval battles????
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Gary Emenitove
User: garyomaha
Date: 2008-06-24 04:37 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
a fantasy novel featuring flying metal dragons, magicians and an all-out battle between warring rivals

That's no fantasy; it's the presidential campaign.
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Ruthanne Reid
User: ruthannereid
Date: 2008-06-24 05:31 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Heh. Well, this has nothing to do with this post, but I thought you might like the links:

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Book Universe
User: bookuniverse
Date: 2008-06-24 09:17 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Hey, they've got favorable review comments from Peter Beagle & Ellen Kushner! That's good enough for me to order at least one or two for WesterCon, after which I can re-order if needed for WorldCon.

I'd seen it listed in the Ingram catalog, and marked it as a "maybe"; the fact that it's from Bantam/Spectra instead of some NeverHeardOf'em PoD Press weighed against the description that, quite honestly, makes it sound like the publisher's found an Eragon-clone or a Novik-wannabe and is seeing $$-signs.

Positive quotes from authors I like, though, tilt the balance to favorable despite that first impression.
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J.K.Richárd: ljkick
User: neutronjockey
Date: 2008-06-24 09:20 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Article says it's Anne Groell who took interest in the work... I don't know Anne personally --- but I know of her reputation professionally... if she likes it then I'm definitely curious.
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