Publishing’s Paradigm Shift – Effects on Publishers

Perhaps most anxious about all the brouhaha over e-books have been the publishers. Traditional publishers are worried, perhaps even afraid of all the change, while self-publishing companies (including POD, or print on demand companies) have visions of greater revenues. In any case, I see the main effects as follows:

  • The more adaptable traditional publishers will survive and even thrive after a few bumps in the road
  • There will be more specialized publishers aimed at niches
  • There will be more and more self-publishing
  • Cost of entry for future publishers will be minimal
  • Among the big publishing houses, there will be a devolution from complex, centralized management to semi-autonomous editorial units
  • 50% digital royalty rate may be inevitable
  • Despite all the change, the greatest value of traditional publishing will remain–the editorial process–ensuring their survival

In the latest self-publishing development, Barnes & Noble has now launched their own digital self-publishing platform called PubIt to compete with Amazon’s Create Space. (They’re also coming out with a color Nook to try and take down Amazon’s Kindle and compete more evenly with the iPad.)

As an example of the devolution that is beginning in traditional publishing, in early 2011 Simon & Schuster will reorganize into “small teams of editors, publicists, and marketing specialists.”

According to their new head, Jonathan Karp, each team, comprised of 2 editors, 2 publicists, and a marketing specialist, “will propose, develop, and execute their own publicity and marketing plans, from the moment of acquisition through paperback publication…”

“The chief objective is to create the publishing environment most conducive to focused concentration on our authors,” he continued. “Those who are present at the creation are more likely to bring a greater depth of understanding and experience to the publication of these books. Our authors will benefit from having a dedicated team working on their behalf early in the process.”

Such a development can only be good for writers, who, at times, have had to kowtow to unknowns in the large marketing or sales departments in order to get their books even approved, however lauded their work may be by the editors.

These were the main effects I could forecast from all I’ve read. If you foresee any others, please comment.

My next post will deal with the effects on agents.

Originally posted 2010-10-25 14:01:50.

Publishing’s Paradigm Shift – e-Books and e-Readers

Electronic readers, or eReaders, have been around for a while. I remember visiting a good friend six or seven years ago, whose husband was an avid fan. He pulled out two or three different kinds to show me. While I wasn’t that impressed at the time, he wisely predicted the day would soon come that the right platform and right device would eventually come along and tear down the wall that major publishing houses had built around themselves and all their readers.

Enter Amazon (the most popular platform of choice at present) and the Kindle. Soon after the Kindle, we got Barnes & Noble’s Nook, the Sony eReader, and then Apple’s iPad. Here are some statistics I shared at the retreat:

  • There are currently 49 different E-reading devices, including:
  1. –Kindle (Amazon)
  2. –iPad (Apple)
  3. –Nook (Barnes & Noble)
  4. –Kobo (Kobo Books)
  5. –Sony Reader (Sony)
  6. –? (Google)
  • Retailers will sell 6.6 million e-readers this year (3 million iPads have already been sold)
  • By year’s end, 20% of households will have an e-reader.

I put a question mark at #6 above, because a lot of rumors are flying around about Google coming out soon with its own device to hook up with its platform, Google Editions. A recent LA Times article by Carolyn Kellogg played up this point:

“…Google announced it would move forward with its e-bookstore Google Editions, filling it with books whose rights were not under dispute…As if Google Editions weren’t enough, Google has another big question mark looming this season: Will it launch an e-reader? It is well positioned to rival Amazon.com and Apple as a major purveyor of e-books—and if it follows their leads, it will pair content with device and launch its own e-reader. The most recent rumors say that Google will launch a tablet manufactured either by HTC or Motorola, based on either Chrome or Android. Everyone seems to agree that Verizon is the likely wireless partner.” (Carolyn Kellogg, “Fall Preview: Publishing,” LA Times, Sept. 12, 2010)

My friend’s husband was right. Now that we’re coming out with the right platforms and devices, electronic books are here to stay.

At first, regular readers weren’t so sure. The Kindle was priced kind of high when it first came out, but as others joined in the competition, prices began to drop. Here are some more statistics I shared about eReaders:

  • 10 average priced e-books will offset $139 cost of Kindle
  • 12 average priced e-books will offset $149 cost of Nook
  • 39 average priced e-books will offset $499 cost of iPad (which is a good bit more than just an e-reader)
  • $99 can buy you the 5-inch Libre at Borders

Do you have an e-reader? I do, through my iPhone (which has a Kindle app). And we’re not alone. It’s estimated that, by the end of this year, 10.3 million U.S. homes will have an e-reader, according to Forrester Research. Not only that, but book sales are increasing because e-reader owners buy more books. E-reader owners buy an average of 15 e-books per year (and two thirds of e-readers already owned are Kindles). According to a recently released Harris poll, those who have e-Readers do, in fact, read more.

Here’s how it breaks down: Forty percent of Americans read 11+ books a year. Of those, only nineteen percent read 21+ books a year. But among those with e-Readers, 56% read 11-20 books a year with 26% reading over 21 books a year. E-reader users are also more likely to buy books (good news for us authors). And 53% of those with e-Readers say they read more now than they did six months ago. (I know I do.)

So, how are e-books doing over all?

Sales of e-books are up 200% from last year, but still only represent 3-5% of total sales for publishers (I think this statistic has probably changed over the last month). Mike Shatzkin, a publishing consultant, estimates e-books could be 20% to 25% of total unit sales by the end of 2012. Carolyn Reidy, the chief executive of Simon & Schuster, said in an interview that e-books currently made up about 8% of the company’s book revenue. She predicted that it could be as high as 40% within three to five years. Others are predicting it could go even higher–50%–by 2013.

Are e-books a good thing for us, as authors? Definitely. I tend to agree with literary agent Alexandra Machinist:

“At the moment, anything that gets readers to buy more books is a good deal for writers. I’m of the opinion that e-books provide a vast landscape of impulse purchasing and middle-of-the-night, next-in-series buys that don’t exist with traditional paper books.”

Can we make money by making our books available electronically? Definitely, but the amount we make depends on how big our audience, or platform, is.

The late Swedish writer Stieg Larsson was the first writer to sell more than 1 million Kindle books. But his books kind of caught fire and he developed a huge fan base quickly.

Can your e-book outsell your traditionally published book? Yes, given the right buzz.

In its first five days, Laura Lippman’s thriller, “I’d Know You Anywhere,” sold 4,739 e-books and 4,000 physical hardcovers. “This is the first book of ours of any consequence that has sold more e-books than hardcovers in the first week,” said Frank Albanese, a senior vice president at HarperCollins. “What we’re seeing now is that if a book gets a good review, it gets a faster lift on the digital side than it does on the physical side because people who have e-readers can buy and read it immediately.”

Every serious writer today should definitely become familiar with digital publishing. We can’t afford not to.

In my next posting, I’ll be talking about the effects of this shift on Publishers.

Originally posted 2010-10-22 11:36:13.

Publishing’s Paradigm Shift-An Introduction

(Over the next several days, I’m going to share a presentation here on my website that I gave at a recent writers retreat on changes the publishing industry is currently experiencing. I am no expert. Far from it. However, I have done a lot of reading and researching and have pulled together a lot of information useful to writers as we look into the future of a business very much in flux.)

In 1962, Thomas Kuhn wrote The Structure of Scientific Revolution, in which he popularized the concept of “paradigm shift.”

What is a paradigm shift? Kuhn described it as a “series of peaceful interludes punctuated by intellectually violent revolutions,” wherein “one conceptual world view is replaced by another.” It’s usually driven by agents of change. Think of the advent of Agriculture (the plow), the Copernican system (telescope), Newtonian physics (discovery of the law of gravity), the Reformation and Education (printing press)Then think of all that has come into being since the advent of the Internet.

In our own generation, we have witnessed (or are witnessing) three big paradigm shifts in terms of the arts–first with movies, then with records, and now with books.

Hollywood started out with big movie studios like Warner Brothers and Metro Goldwyn Mayer, many of which have devolved into many smaller independent producers, but the really big change for the industry came with TV. At first, they worried that television would mean the end of the movies, but the studios got smart and aligned themselves with TV and cable networks so that, by the time everything went digital, they were still in control, reaping the benefits of TV and producing feature films as well as DVDs of those films. Producers and studios are still in control, but the more movie-making becomes computerized and digitized, the closer movie makers will come to dealing directly with their fans through the Web and bypassing studios altogether. Think YouTube and beyond. Video stores are already no longer necessary. The movie business is undergoing a paradigm shift.

In the recording industry, for years we had records, and artists needed to be signed with major recording labels to get published, so to speak. The cassette tape only provided another way to package those recordings, but the real change came as music became digitized and Napster and then Apple (think iPod and iTunes) made it possible for artists to bypass the big record labels once they had their audience, marketing directly to their fans. There are no more record stores. The music industry has experienced a paradigm shift.

As with film and music, books are being similarly affected. The distance between the creator (i.e., the author) and his/her audience is shrinking through digitization. Bookstores are closing across the country. The publishing industry is undergoing a paradigm shift as we speak and all aspects of the business are being affected.

As Jason Epstein put it in a March 11, 2010 article entitled, “Publishing: The Revolutionary Future,”

“The transition within the book publishing industry from physical inventory stored in a warehouse and trucked to retailers to digital files stored in cyberspace and delivered almost anywhere on earth as quickly and cheaply as e-mail is now underway and irreversible. This historic shift will radically transform worldwide book publishing, the cultures it affects and on which it depends.”

Everyone who reads will be affected, but those whose jobs are most on the line are:

  • Publishers (both traditional and non-traditional) and their employees
  • Agents
  • Booksellers (independents, chains, and online) and their employees
  • Authors (both traditionally published and self-published)

What has proved to be the agent of change for publishing? I would argue that while Amazon.com has been to publishing what TV was to the movies, the real agent of change is the e-book.

More about the e-book and e-readers in my next posting.

Originally posted 2010-10-20 11:16:06.

The Kindest Rejection of All

Having sent out 8 queries so far (most of which I emailed only two days ago), and receiving two kind form rejections and one glorious request for my full manuscript, I am in that most uncomfortable state as a writer: awaiting judgment.

I know, I know…I need to put those thoughts aside and get on with my next WIP. And I will. I simply need a few days to breathe.

In the meantime, I lie awake at nights, my mind grasping for the next big idea (because the one I had now seems too daunting), fiddling around with fantasies of success, and worrying over whether I’ve done everything I could to be prepared for the best…or the worst.

I don’t envy agents and I know they really do want to find treasures among all the queries they receive. I’m convinced of this because they usually lay it all out so plainly for us. They tell us upfront what they’re interested in, and they often bend over backwards to give us clues (in blogs, interviews, appearances at writers conferences, etc.) to the kinds of queries that turn them off and the kinds that catch their attention.

Still, they have to write so many rejection letters that they’ve had to come up with form rejection letters for use in most cases. Even those form rejection letters ooze with remorse. I think they really do feel our pain.

I can’t recall where I came across this some years ago, but I call it the “kindest” rejection letter I’ve ever read. It was supposedly from a Chinese magazine (which makes all kinds of sense, because Asians are more concerned with saving face–either their own or another’s–than being honest):

We have read your manuscript with boundless delight. If we were to publish your paper, it would be impossible for us to publish any work of a lower standard. And as it is unthinkable that, in the next thousand years, we shall see its equal, we are, to our regret, compelled to return your divine composition, and to beg you a thousand times to overlook our shortsightedness and timidity.

Maybe we should all move to China.

Originally posted 2010-07-07 09:57:36.

Our Uphill Battle as Writers, Part Two

Yes, it’s hard to get published. It is particularly hard if you’re trying to go the traditional route (finish your manuscript, find an agent who loves it and takes you on, get a contract with a big publishing house…or even a smaller one, etc.). Does that mean we stop trying to write? No.

Does that mean we think about self-publishing? All the experts used to give an automatic “No” to this, as well. “But the times, they are a-changing.”

Several days ago, I quoted Garrison Keillor at length about how the excellence of publishing as we know it is doomed because of the flood of self-published works hitting the marketplace, thanks to e-reading devices like the Kindle, the Nook, and now the iPad.

Of course, that is one man’s opinion. It is true that more and more people are writing today, given the easing of the process both of writing (thanks to the personal computer, which is not to say that writing is ever easy) and of publishing (thanks to the growth of self-publishing companies and POD companies and, mostly, Amazon).

What is strange is that fewer people are reading, yet more people are writing. That fact, in and of itself, probably lends credence to Keillor’s argument. Anybody can write (or, at least, pretend to write), but you have to be a great reader to be a good writer. But that is a topic for another day.

Today, I wanted to spread some of the good news for those of us struggling for the publishing industry’s seal of approval. Two weeks ago today, Publishers Weekly put out an article by Rachel Deahl, entitled “Agents Weigh the Growth of Alternate Publishing Options.” You can read the entire article here, but I wanted to zero in on some interesting new developments she mentioned toward the end of the piece.

She wrote the piece in response to a recent situation: Midlist crime novelist J.A. Konrath decided self-publishing was the way to go for his latest novel and inked a deal with AmazonEncore to that effect. The big news here is that Amazon is moving from the retail side and becoming a publisher, as well. Barnes & Noble has also announced a new self-publishing unit. What are we going to see next? Costco Publishing?

You might be tempted to overlook these moves, except that some of the industry’s most influential players–the agents who shepherd books to the big publishers–are now beginning to see the writing on the wall. One who wished to remain anonymous said:

It’s not necessarily clear that big corporate publishing is well structured to help low midlist authors with rapidly reducing print runs in an environment in which overall print sales are falling week by week. I think what Joe [Konrath] did is valuable in that he saw there was an opportunity to create low-priced content and bypass the system…what’s new here is the means.

The article notes a couple of other agents who are obviously scrambling to best take advantage of the burgeoning manuscript market.

Scott Waxman of Waxman Literary has created a separate company, Diversion Books, that is similar to AmazonEncore. He describes it as “somewhere in between the big houses and the lonely road of self-publishing.” It doesn’t pay advances, but it also doesn’t take in everyone who comes in with a manuscript. In other words, there is definitely a level of quality control. And while it may not pay you bucks up front as an author, it will give you the kind of publishing support the big houses provide.

Ted Weinstein, of Ted Weinstein Literary Management, is now reviewing the self-publishing option with all of his clients, to make certain they’re getting their books published in the smartest (meaning, the most lucrative) way. He said:

Authors can now be more self-possessed. [They can go with] a major house, an agency, or one of the turnkey services from a major retailer, whether it’s a Lulu, Blurb, Amazon, or now B&N.

In the concluding words of Rachel Deahl:

While Weinstein doesn’t see corporate publishing going away, ever, he does think the business is at “an enormous transition point” and that the outsourcing major publishers have been doing for years–forcing agents to do more editing, going with outside PR, telling authors they need to take hold of their own marketing–will mean that more agencies, and others, will jump into the publishing fray.

Any way you look at it, I believe our uphill battle as writers is leveling out a bit.

Originally posted 2010-06-07 11:10:37.

Response of Mormon Writers to CFI Controversy

Many of you may be unaware of what occurred recently in the smaller world of LDS Publishing, but I was among those appalled by the recent treatment of fellow writers by a particular publisher and so I put my name to a statement on the issue.

The statement reads as follows:

Mormon Writers Ask for Manuscripts to be Treated on Quality of Work not Content of Biography

In response to recent events and attention in local and national media, we authors, who are also members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, feel the need to express our disagreement and disappointment with Cedar Fort in their dealings with David Powers King and Michael Jensen in regards to the manuscript, Woven. We appreciate that Cedar Fort has returned the rights to the work in question and want to note that there are many wonderful people working at Cedar Fort–staff members and authors–who strive to carry out their duties with professionalism and courtesy. Nevertheless we wish to offer our support to our fellow authors and feel compelled to speak out.

As writers, many of whom have published with Cedar Fort, we believe everyone should be treated fairly and with respect, regardless of political or religious affiliation, age, gender, or sexual orientation. We believe that degrading attacks are inappropriate in any business or personal relationship. As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons), we understand our church to teach respect and encourage civility–even when we have differences of opinion.

While publishers have the right to choose what they will and will not publish, we believe books should be accepted or rejected upon the merits of their content, quality, and commercial viability, not on any other factor. If a publisher isn’t comfortable with an author’s personal choices, those concerns should be discussed clearly and respectfully upon signing a contract–not hours before the book goes to press.

We believe that all publishers should be clear and professional in their submission requirements, treat others with dignity and respect, and give all authors the right to be judged on the quality of their work, not the content of their biography.

Signed

Braden Bell
Abel Keogh
Rachelle Christensen
Liz Adair
Frank Cole
Jeff Savage
Daron Fraley
Steve Westover
Marilyn Bunderson
Donna K. Weaver
Ronda Gibb Hinrichsen
Matt Peterson
Heather Justensen
Tanya Parker Mills
Jennifer Shaw Wolf
Loralee Evans
Melanie Jacobson
Marion Jensen
Carole Rummage
Josi S. Kilpack
Sarah M. Eden
Jolene Perry
Michael Young
Carole Thayne Warburton
Chantele Sedgwick
Mette Ivie Harrison

I encourage those of my readers who are in agreement to go to the website where the statement has been originally posted and make a comment.

I also encourage those who also happen to be LDS writers in agreement with this statement to email writer(at)abelkeogh(dot)com and ask to have their names added (and linked to their websites, if so desired).

 

Originally posted 2013-08-23 11:18:19.

“Thriller Thursdays” – French Suspense with Anne Trager

I know I took several weeks off of my regular Thursday column, due to the publication of my book, but I’m back now, focusing again on thrillers and suspense. Before I continue with my reviews of popular thrillers (yes, I finished IN COLD BLOOD and THE DA VINCI CODE . . . reviews forthcoming), I want to expand my scope a bit.

Here in the United States, we tend to forget that other countries have their own bodies of literature. In fact, some of the greatest literature in the world has been produced beyond our borders. With that in mind, let me introduce someone who was determined to bring some of France’s current suspense writers to those whose native tongue is English.

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Anne Trager founded Le French Book to bring France’s best crime fiction, thrillers, novels, short stories, and non-fiction to new readers across the English-speaking world. The company’s motto is: “If we love it, we’ll translate it.”

I’ll be interviewing her here today and then, over the next few weeks, featuring some of her French authors as part of my “Wednesday Writer” series. I hope you’re as excited as I am to hear French writers talk about their processes and approach to their art.

ME:  I understand your goal with Le French Book is to bring English-speaking readers French books that they will love in English, but what made you decide to begin with crime fiction? Is that a genre you personally love, and, if so, why?

ANNE:  I love crime fiction, and to be honest, it is just about the only genre I read for my own pleasure. I love the pace, the suspense, when it grabs me by the throat and makes my heart beat faster. Give me a mystery or a thriller and I’m happy, so yes, that is why we decided to begin with crime fiction. Our motto is “If we love it, we’ll translate it.”

But there are other reasons. One is that very little commercial fiction from France is ever translated into English, and that is a shame because there are a lot of really good reads out there I believe readers will enjoy discovering. And finally, our model is to publish e-books first, and well, crime fiction is a very popular e-book model.

ME:  How do you choose your books, and why did you begin with these three–THE PARIS LAWYER, TREACHERY IN BORDEAUX, and THE 7TH WOMAN–in particular?

ANNE:  First of all, we do a lot of reading and take a lot of recommendations from readers we know. I also attend book fairs, meet authors and discuss with agents and French publishers about their current lists. We choose books we think will appeal to an American audience because of their pace and story.

As it turns out, the first books we chose were also very successful in France. My associate, Fabrice Neuman, was the first to point out THE PARIS LAWYER. We both liked the story structure and the writing. The first page just sucks you into both the main character’s past and present.

TheParisLawyer_cover_F-2-225x300

We chose TREACHERY IN BORDEAUX because the whole story and setting revolve around wine (I love wine) and the main character is a food and wine lover in a very French way. It embodies something very culturally specific but also universal that goes well with our brand Le French Book. Also, it is the first in a long series that is a hit on French television, so there will be more books to come.

Treachery-in-Bordeaux_cover_F_1-225x300

And finally, I chose THE 7TH WOMAN because I couldn’t put it down when I started reading it. It gives you a real edge-of-your-seat rush.

images(I’ve bought all three, but I’m reading this one first!)

ME:  You’ve said that your “goal as a translator is to make sure the read in English gives the same shivers of expectation, longing to read more and pangs of emotions.” How long does it normally take you to translate a novel and how often does it require research? Also, do you get a second opinion on whether you’ve succeeded with the translation or not before publishing?

ANNE:  Every novel is different, so it could take a month or two or three or more depending on how easy it is for me to pick up the author’s style and how much research is involved. I like to meet the authors, as well, when that is possible, since the translation is something like getting in their heads and I like to discuss with them if and when we need to make cultural adaptations.

The books usually require research. For TREACHERY IN BORDEAUX, for example, I spent a lot of time reading about winemaking, to get all the vocabulary right, and the city of Bordeaux, for the sense of place, which is one of the novel’s strong points. For THE 7TH WOMAN, I spent time talking with gendarme friends to make sure I understood French police procedure well enough to give an accurate equivalent, and roaming the streets of Paris for atmosphere. And for THE PARIS LAWYER, I talked to lawyers and became rather expert in French legal procedure.

Once completed, all the translations get a second opinion from someone who has read the original in French, and they are all edited by a professional English-language editor to make sure it’s a smooth read. Then they go to beta readers.

(I wouldn’t mind being one of those.)

ME:  When did you first fall in love with France, why, and how long have you been living there now? (Please provide some pictures.)

ANNE:  I first fell in love with France when I was a teenager and was reading Gourmet magazine. To be honest, I was attracted by the good food, which I later found is more than just food, it’s a way of life. I then studied French and went to France as soon as I could. That was in 1985. I never left.

IMG_0858IMG_0901ImageImage 5Image 7

(These pictures bring back memories of my own visit to Paris while on study abroad.)

ME:  Where were you born and raised, and what, if anything, in your childhood or adolescence pointed you toward languages, writing, and publishing?

ANNE:  Both of my parents were linguists (Aha!) and everyone in the family has a thing for language and culture, so learning another language was just natural for me. Then, once I was in France, translation was an obvious step because of my grasp of the language. From there, in order to be a good translator, you need to hone writing skills, and . . . well, that led ultimately to editing a publishing, as well.

ME:  Now I know you plan to publish more than crime fiction. In fact, you are putting out a collection of 52 SERIAL SHORTS. Why don’t you tell us about it?

ANNE:  This is a collection of short stories that don’t quite fit into any one genre. Seven of France’s top writers (the crème de la crème) got together to play a collaborative writing game first developed by the French Surrealists in the 1920s. The idea is that one writer starts a story and then hands it off to the next, who continues it, and so on until all seven writers have contributed to the one story.

The resulting stories are really fun to read, as you follow the authors setting traps for each other and having fun resolving them. They are a real study in creative talent. The stories were published in France in the form of a daily calendar. As we translate the whole collection, Le French Book is giving them away free. Readers can choose to receive a daily installment or a weekly story.

(How fun! I may just have to get together with a group of my writer friends and give this a go.)

ME:  What other genres do you foresee publishing going forward?

ANNE:  We will continue with the crime fiction and we have two spy thrillers in the works right now, along with a health and well-being book.

ME:  How would you compare the role of a translator of fiction with that of an author? Aren’t you, in a sense, also a writer with a writer’s sensibilities?

ANNE:  A translator is a kind of impersonator, who is also a writer with writer’s sensibilities. As anyone who has used an automatic online translation program knows, word for word translations are clunky at best, and well, just plain nonsense a lot of the time. Translating fiction requires understanding the author’s language, intention, plot, story structure, literary techniques, idioms, subtleties, and all the rest, and then writing a linguistic and cultural equivalent for this whole that, as you quote above, recreates for the reader the same or similar emotion and thrill that happens reading the original. You can only do this with a certain ability to write in your mother tongue.

ME:  I would love it if you would describe your own writer’s (or translator’s) space. (And please provide a picture)

ANNE:  My desk sits right smack in the middle of my office. Seven open-backed dark wooden bookshelves going halfway up the wall line the room, the rest of the wall space being reserved to large pictures I never seem to have had time to print and frame. So, when I sit at my desk, beyond my big screen I see that empty wall space in front of me, and to the right is a large picture window that looks out at my own terrace, which becomes my second office in summer.

I see a large evergreen, a walnut tree and a wisteria that is incredibly invasive come the warm weather. Behind me hang drawings done by my daughter, and a large white board I got to help me get organized and that does not actually serve much purpose. The floor space, however, does, and is duly piled up with papers, books, and other miscellanea.

IMG_0369(We didn’t get an interior shot, but she provided this picture of Pibrac, France where she lives . . . this appears to be a church, but if this is her actual home, I’m officially jealous.)

ME:  Finally, what are you currently translating and when can we expect to see it published in English?

ANNE:  I’m finishing up the 52 SERIAL SHORTS. I am also working with our editor on the adaptation of DARING TO DESIRE, which is the health and wellness book I mentioned earlier, and we are proofreading a new thriller translated by another translator, which we will be announcing soon. In addition, I have started translating the sequel to THE 7TH WOMAN. We are looking to bring some of these new books out as early as spring.

(Good! That gives me a few months to get THE 7TH WOMAN read, not to mention the others.)

Again, you can find out a lot more about Le French Book by checking out their website. And next Wednesday, I’ll be interviewing Sylvie Granotier, screenwriter, actor, and author of THE PARIS LAWYER.

SylvieGranotier3-225x300

 

Originally posted 2013-01-17 06:00:00.

Cover Reveal!

Amy Orton at Walnut Springs has bent over backward and I’m now pleased to announce my cover for “A Night on Moon Hill”:

What do you think?

I’m happy and excited, and to celebrate I’m going to announce a special contest beginning on “Moleskine Monday” in which many of the prizes are…you guessed it…Moleskine products! (Any of my writer friends who would like to donate copies of their own books for the contest are also more than welcome!)

I was supposed to blog about networking this past Monday, but I just didn’t get around to it because I was so stressed about the cover. So this next Monday, I’m launching this contest to test the powers of social networking in spreading the word about my book.

Check back Monday for more details about the book and all the prizes.

Originally posted 2012-08-16 17:20:12.

Reading, Reading, and More Reading

Present word count of WIP:  54,620

Sorry for slacking off here. I know I missed posting last Friday and this past Monday, but I was in the middle of a terrific writer’s conference (LDS Storymakers)…and then I was still recovering from it.

(A ten-hour drive in one day is not easy, despite M&Ms and other caffeinated products, particularly after you’re coming off of five nights of only 3-5 hours of sleep on average. But an audio book leant to me by my writing/conference buddy, Liz Adair, certainly helped!)

Anyway, it was a great conference. The best thing was that I had another excuse to see my daughter. I won’t have too many more opportunities like that before she leaves on her mission. And she even came to the Whitney Awards Banquet with me (that’s become a custom…I’ll definitely miss her next year).

Liz and I were roommates again and we also kept each other company during the massive book signing (and I got to pick up a lot of tips on how to do a signing by watching our neighbor, Janette Rallison, respond to the lines and lines of fans queued up for her signature or picture).

Liz and I at the Book Signing

Me with Janette Rallison and Rachelle Christensen

I took part in one of the critique sessions held during the Publication Primer the day before the conference and met some terrific writers there, including David King, Rebekah Wells, and Becky Tueller and her sister, Cheryl. Our group was led by Natalie Hickman, almost due to have her baby and just out of the hospital that morning. Talk about dedication to your craft!

Me with David and Rebekah

I pitched my WIP to Holly Root of the Waxman Literary Agency and she wants to see the first three chapters when it’s ready. YAY!!! She also said she’d have no problem taking on a client that wanted to write both Women’s Fiction and Middle Grade…all under my own name. Hmmm. Maybe I won’t need a pen name after all.

Also, I met with my editor, Linda Mullineaux, and they’re now looking at sending my book (which will be called something other than Laps) to press in August! I gave them a new suggestion for the title and I think they may go with it. But I’m not announcing it here until it’s finally approved. Anyway, I’m firmly a part of the Walnut Springs Press family, as shown by this picture of several of their authors taken after the Whitney Awards Banquet.

Walnut Springs Authors (Me, Angie Lofthouse, Liz Adair, Jenni James, Betsy Love, Theresa Sneed, and the injured Tristi Pinkston)

Besides the fact that I desperately need a makeover, I learned lots of great things at the LDS Storymakers Conference, as usual (particularly loved Jennifer Nielsen’s class on Middle Grade Fiction and Jeff Savage’s on Podcasts), though I didn’t get to attend nearly as many workshops or classes. That was because:

1) My body crashed after my Friday afternoon pitch . . . it’s a little too old now for these midnight film premieres (but “The Avengers” was terrific!)

and . . .

2) I volunteered to help do timekeeping for pitch sessions on Saturday morning. I can’t tell you how nice it was to be the one watching the clock rather than the one racing through my pitch over and over in my mind while waiting for the signal to go in and face the agent.

While I didn’t spend much in the bookstore, I came away with two more books to review this month. I was already set to review Jolene Perry’s Night Sky on May 14th (I just finished reading it today and have the review all written), but now I’m due to read Heather Moore’s Daughters of Jared and Tristi Pinkston’s Women of Strength, as well, before the end of the month.

Not to mention all the Whitney Award finalists and winners I’ve got downloaded. As I put in my title, it looks like all I’ll be doing the rest of this month is reading, reading, and more reading!

Originally posted 2012-05-11 13:23:28.

“Breaking Beautiful” by Jennifer Shaw Wolf Debuts on Tuesday!

Present word count of WIP:  52, 346

A good friend and fellow writer (and ANWA sister), Jennifer Shaw Wolf, has her first novel launching nationally next Tuesday, April 24th, and I believe I’ll make the drive over to the other side of  Washington for the event. Here’s the trailer for her book, just to whet your appetite:

Even though I haven’t yet read it, I won’t be surprised at all if this is a Whitney Finalist next year! In any case, I promise a review as soon as possible. Check out her website for more details on both the book and the author.

Originally posted 2012-04-18 09:17:47.