Thursday, February 02, 2006

The January Scorecard and Standing Up to a Bully

Well, it’s the start of February, so I guess that means it’s time for the January scorecard.  As readers of this blog know, I’m closed to new queries and submissions right now.  That means, you should not query me until you read otherwise here or on the Submissions page at my website.  And, even when I’m once again open to queries, you should never send more than a query unless requested.

So, what happened in January?  Well, things slowed down, but did not come to a stop, as hoped.  I received fifty-two query letters.  I rejected forty-six of those and set aside a few that looked interesting.  But please don’t let that encourage you to write.  While I won’t reject anything just for showing up, the truth is that I’m not doing anything with those I set aside and probably won’t for months.  I also passed on twenty-eight sample chapters and three proposals that I had requested.  I received one requested manuscript.

I currently have approximately eighty-one submissions to review, including eighteen full manuscripts, of which two are from current clients.  Now, how long would it take you to read eighteen full novels?

Additionally, in 2006, my goal is to go deeper with my current clients, rather than conducting a broad-based search for new clients.  Does this mean I’m not going to take on any new clients?  No, it does not, but I suspect they will be fewer and farther between.

Now, onto other news:

I published an email in this blog a few months ago, demonstrating how one publisher was trying to bully a client of mine into taking a poor deal and even worse contract terms.  Also, I’ve written here that authors have only one real weapon in a negotiation:  the willingness to walk away.  And in this case, my client did just that, while extensively rewriting her book.  We’ll soon be shopping that book to editors again and, I believe, will find her a deal with a publisher willing to give her much better terms.  I have to say, it always shocks me when “major” publishers act like playground bullies and I’m glad my client had the mettle to stand up in this case.

Three new titles that I represent have just been published.  I’m going to blog separately on each one, so please be sure to check back here in the next couple of days.

Z