Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Two Book Birthdays

Two new books OUT TODAY! Woooo!
AMPLIFIED by Tara Kelly

Short description: Jasmine lies her way into a band, then has to prove herself. Hot story, hot guy, hot music - LOVE IT.

Long description: When privileged 17-year-old Jasmine gets kicked out of her house, she takes what is left of her savings and flees to Santa Cruz to pursue her dream of becoming a musician. Jasmine finds the ideal room in an oceanfront house, but she needs to convince the three guys living there that she's the perfect roommate and lead guitarist for their band, C-Side. Too bad she has major stage fright and the cute bassist doesn't think a spoiled girl from over the hill can hack it. . . . In this fresh new novel by critically acclaimed author Tara Kelly, Jasmine finds out what happens when her life gets "Amplified."

"Kelly's background in music is evident in her electric descriptions of Jasmine's evolution as a performer." --Publishers Weekly

This book is great for: 
* Music lovers - especially girls who rock!
*Those who like smexy guys 
* Fans of fun-to-read contemp YA

Buy the book at your local store or on Powells.com BN Amazon 

BETWEEN THE SEA AND SKY by Jaclyn Dolamore

Short description:
 Mermaid + Winged Dude = Problematic Relationship. If Jane Austen wrote mermaid books... charming and swoony!

Long description: For as long as Esmerine can remember, she has longed to join her older sister, Dosinia, as a siren--the highest calling a mermaid can have. When Dosinia runs away to the mainland, Esmerine is sent to retrieve her. Using magic to transform her tail into legs, she makes her way unsteadily to the capital city. There she comes upon a friend she hasn't seen since childhood--a dashing young man named Alandare, who belongs to a winged race of people (and is a MAGICAL WINGED BOOKSELLER!!!). As Esmerine and Alandare band together to search for Dosinia, they rekindle a friendship . . . and ignite the emotions for a love so great, it cannot be bound by sea, land, or air.

This book is great for:
* Upper middle grade and young YA fantasy enthusiasts
* Fans of adorable fantasy, such as might be found in Miyazaki / Studio Ghibli films 

Buy the book at your local store or at Powells.com BN Amazon


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Book Birthday: OVER AND UNDER THE SNOW by Kate Messner & Christopher Silas Neal

In the northern forests, there is a space that develops between the ground and the winter snowpack.  This, the Subnivian zone, is occupied by a fascinating assortment of animals whose stories remain invisible to all but the most careful of observers.   As a girl and her father spend the day on skis, gliding over the snow and through the hushed white woods towards a good meal and cozy beds, they see evidence of this secret animal kingdom beneath the ice. Deer graze and voles scurry, bears sleep and beavers build. And father and daughter (and reader!) watch.

Written in a spare poetic style, and with glorious illustrations by Christopher Silas Neal, OVER AND UNDER THE SNOW is not just a picture book about animals, but about how things are not always what they seem, about a child truly experiencing nature, and about a father and daughter and the magic they share when they stop -- and listen.

I love this book a lot and I hope you will too. But don't take MY word for it. Here's what the Wall Street Journal had to say. This is the starred review from Publishers Weekly. Let the Eric Carle Museum tell you about it. Then buy the book yourself and see what everyone is talking about.

Finally, here's a fascinating interview with Christopher Silas Neal on Kate's blog -- check out the evolution of the AMAZING artwork for this book!

*** If you would like SIGNED COPIES of Over and Under the Snow, and you'd like to help support the rebuilding of the Adirondack libraries that were devastated in Hurricane/TS Irene, consider ordering copies from The Bookstore Plus in Lake Placid. More info about their great fundraiser, and how to order even if you are far away, is up on Kate's blog. ***

Monday, October 17, 2011

No from one, No from all... REALLY?

 Q: I know that some agencies are a "no from one is a no from all", but... what if I want to query more than one of the agents anyway? I mean, different people like different things, you're always saying this business is subjective, why not? And who ever got successful without bending a few rules, anyway, particularly dumb and arbitrary ones?
I feel like I have probably answered this before, but what the heck. Forgive me, loyal readers, if you've read this info before.

My agency is a "no from one means no from all" agency. We provide lots of info about each agent on our website so that hopefully you can target your submissions. We really do share material.

One of the biggest agency-wide peeves is when people query multiple of us at the same time, or "shotgun query" us one after the other. We really do share work with each other - both the good and the bad - and while simply sending to one of us is not a guarantee that your work will get passed around... if it is memorable, it will. And then, yanno... WE'LL REMEMBER IT. Because it is MEMORABLE.

If you query an agent and she is into your work, and she brings it into a meeting to share, then she realizes that one or more of her colleagues is also looking, she'll likely be irritated. I know I would be. We all have pretty full client rosters as it is, and if we love something, we want to be able to offer on it unimpeded. You are making the relationship fraught and weird from the outset, and you've proved from the outset that you don't follow the simplest of directions. Not a good start. We aren't going to fight with each other over you, so we'll probably all end up rejecting you. You've wasted all of our time, and your opportunity with the agency.

If you got a full request and you got notes and the agent really put time into it, she will likely be irritated if you then turn around and approach another agent at the agency. Anyway, I know I would be. She is already invested in you to an extent. At the very least, give her the opportunity to look at your next ms, or a revised version of this one if you used her notes to revise. She doesn't have to say yes -- but it is courteous to ask. Something like "I edited this extensively using your insightful feedback as a springboard for the revision. I truly feel this is a better, stronger manuscript for the work. Would you be open to taking another look, and if not, may I query one of your colleagues perhaps?"  She'll probably say yes, or give you leave to query somebody else at the agency. She might even pass the ms to that person herself.

If, however, you got rejected (and especially if it was a "no response") at the query stage, and you think your query might not have even gotten a second glance, and you want to query another agent at the agency too, there is a way:

* WAIT several months after the rejection, or after the "no response" time-frame is up (3-6 months would be appropriate)

* REVISE both your query and your work during that time

* BE HONEST in your next query. "I queried Jenn Laughran with an earlier version of this manuscript back in the spring and got no response. Since then I have revised significantly and I feel it is a much stronger work..."

It's like Stop, Drop and Roll... but hopefully less flammable. Remember it.

Good luck!