Friday, September 27, 2013

2 Established Literary Agents Looking for New Clients

Updated 6/2/24

Every so often an established agent will announce that she or he is seeking new clients. Generally, this happens when the agent switches to another agency (which is why you need to read Publishers Weekly, where these job moves are posted).

Whenever an established agent seeks out new clients, it is a boon for new authors. You get the dual advantage of having someone who will work hard for you, and who has the connections to get you published.

Here are two established agents who are actively building their client lists. William Callahan is seeking a wide range of fiction and nonfiction. Emmy Parry is looking for "serious talent" in fiction and nonfiction.

As always, read the bios of the agents - and the websites of their agencies - very carefully to see if they are a good fit for your writing. Submission requirements can change, so make sure you check their submission page before submitting.

For a comprehensive list of dozens of agents looking for writers see: Agents Seeking Clients


WILLIAM CALLAHAN of InkWell Management.

William Callahan is from Iowa City, Iowa. He went to the University of Iowa and Fordham University and has recently returned to InkWell Management.

Seeking: “For nonfiction, I am currently most interested in narrative nonfiction and memoir, comedy and pop culture, and American history. For fiction, I represent crime and commercial thrillers, and literary fiction.”

How to submit: Queries should be emailed to: Along with your query letter and a short writing sample (1-2 chapters). Emails with attachments will be deleted.


EMMA PARRY of Janklow & Nesbit

Emma Parry joined Janklow & Nesbit as a literary agent, five years after selling her half of Fletcher & Parry — which she co-founded in 2004 . Parry was born in England, where she worked closely with VS Naipaul, Germaine Greer and Helen Fielding. She has been writing, developing and editing manuscripts and screenplays. She has helped launch the career of many prize winning and bestselling authors, including Rutger Bregman, Tara Isabella Burton, Bernadine Evaristo, Rebecca Godfrey, Tricia Hersey, Hannah Fry, Claire Keegan, Hari Kunzru, and Andrew Smith. She has also represented the work of great established talents including Harlan Ellison, Germaine Greer; Alan Hollinghurst, David Kennedy, Marian Keyes, Paul McCartney, Maggie O’Farrell, the late VS Naipaul, and Kamila Shamsie.

Seeking: "I love memoir, reportage, history, science, and narrative - all non-fiction with the power to surprise and gratify. I love novels with irresistible plots, distinctive voices, fresh perspectives, big characters, historical insights, heart and wit."

How to submit: For fiction submissions, send an informative cover letter, a brief synopsis and the first ten pages. If you are sending an email submission, please include the sample pages in the body of the email below your query.

For non-fiction submissions, send an informative cover letter, a full outline, and the first ten pages of the manuscript. If you are sending an email submission, please include the sample pages in the body of the email below your query.

Send submissions to to

Monday, September 23, 2013

In Britain, 61% of Downloaded Ebooks are Free, Kindle Dominates

The burgeoning ebook market in Great Britain has found a home on Amazon. Kindle dominates the market, which is not surprising. It also isn't surprising that 61 percent of these books are free - meaning, they are self-published through Amazon's KDP Select program.

This is bad news for publishers trying to break into the ebook market. If two-thirds of the ebook reading public expect to read a book for free, how likely is it that they are going to shell out the type of money that publishers charge for ebooks?

It is both good and bad news for self-published writers. The good news is that readers are enthusiastically downloading self-published ebooks. The bad news is that they aren't paying for them.
79% of UK Consumers Use Kindle
Source: MediaBistro, September 13, 2013 10:34 AM
By Dianna Dilworth

Seventy percent of UK consumers use Amazon to download eBooks, according to a new report Ofcom and Kantar Media. According to the report, which looked at media consumption in the UK March-May 2013, Kindle dominated as the service used to download or access eBooks in the past three months. Apple held a very distant second place with 9 percent of UK consumers using it to download eBooks. A Google Search and tied for 4th and 5th place at 6 percent of consumers using these channels.

The report also examined the digital versus print downloads and revealed that during the three-month period, 58 percent of all books sold in the UK were print and 42 percent downloaded were eBooks. The study found that 61 percent of eBooks were free and only 39 percent cost money.

Eighty-three percent of these free eBooks were consumed legally and 17 percent were consumed illegally. Here is more from the report: “We estimate that 7 million e-books were consumed illegally online in the past three months – equating to 4% of all books (downloaded, accessed online, or bought in physical format).”

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Start Typing: Harlequin and Wattpad Host 'New Adult' Writing Contest - And It's FREE

I've never entered a writing contest for the simple reason that I consider writing contests to be scams. The people who run these contests know that unpublished writers will - usually without the active participation of their high faculties - shell out their meager funds for any chance of recognition. In the end, these contests always earn much more money than they award.

But this contest is different. For one thing, it's free. For another, it represents yet another interesting alliance between an amateur writing platform with a huge readership - Wattpad - and a well-known publisher (Harlequin). And for yet another, the prize is publication with the well-known publisher. Finally, the award process is surprisingly democratic, relying on votes from the public.

How did this unusual partnership come about?

Basically, the New Adult genre is terra incognita. It is the publishing world's response to an as yet largely unexploited marketing niche - college students, and those who have recently graduated from college. The themes that publishers imagine this niche will be interested in include "life decisions" and, of course, the mainstay of romance novels, sexual tension. (Hence the active participation of Harlequin.)

If you write for this niche, or think you can write for this niche, start typing. Even if a gazillion other people enter this contest, getting your work up on Wattpad, and getting it widely read, is worth the effort. (Much more rewarding than NANOWRIMO.)

(Plus, have I mentioned this? IT'S FREE!!!)

Here are the details (taken from the Wattpad website)
Wattpad is partnering with Harlequin to present the New Adult category in this year’s So You Think You Can Write (SYTYCW) contest . Writers from Wattpad are invited to write a first chapter (max 5000 words) for a New Adult story, as well as a 100-word description that details your concept, plot, characters, conflict, and setting. If your story is loved by the public voters and picked by contest judges, you could be signing a publishing deal to write for Harlequin!

So, if you think you can write enter the contest today

About New Adult

Stories submitted for this contest must reflect the Harlequin New Adult themes. This genre focuses on characters between the ages of 18 and 25, who are dealing with a time of choice, independence and risk-taking. The characters face significant change: college, new jobs, falling in love, sexuality, military deployment, moving from depending on family to being self-reliant. It is a time of taking risks and discovery

Overall, New Adult stories contain a level of sexual tension between the protagonists, but whether you write love scenes or prefer to fade to black, the choice is up to you and your characters. Romance is the most important emotional element. As well, the hero and heroine should have strong and important connections to secondary characters who add depth to the story. However, as a writer your most important task is to create characters with whom readers will fall in love

To learn more about the New Adult category, visit the So You Think You Can Write blog on Thursday September 19th at 12pm EDT to listen to hear what Harlequin and Wattpad have to say about this exciting new genre

How To Enter

To enter your work in the contest, upload the first chapter of your story to your Wattpad user profile and tag your work with “SYTYCW”. For more details on how to submit your story, please click here.

Please note that stories should be complete or close to completion before entering the contest as you will need to submit the completed work (of 50,000 words) by November 6, 2013 if you are chosen as part of the top 25 entries.

For entries that are already posted on Wattpad and are longer than one chapter in length, please tag only the first chapter. This will be the only chapter that will be read and judged in the first round.

A book cover is not required to enter the contest but is highly recommended.

For more information, please read the full contest rules.

Key Dates

September 23: The contest opens for submissions. Send in your first chapter and 100-word pitch. All entries will be posted on Wattpad for comments and voting.
October 28: The contest closes for submissions. The top 25 ranking chapters will be shortlisted for the editors who will request the full stories from those writers
October 29–November 6: Editors will request the full stories from those writers in the top 25.
October 29–November 26: The editors will read and evaluate all the full stories.
December 4: The four winners will be notified and their names posted on our website.

Contest Guidelines

The contest is open to both published and unpublished writers residing in the UK, the US, Canada (excluding Quebec), Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. We are looking for fresh, original stories that will fit the New Adult Romance line.

Your story should be finished—or close to completion— in order to be considered by the Harlequin & Wattpad editors. We are accepting only one entry per person, and it should be 50,000 words in length.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Top 20 Sites for Finding Book Reviewers

Updated  5/11/24

Nothing is quite so discouraging to an author as a dearth of reviews. After years of working on a novel, months (if not years) of trying to find an agent, and even more time spent waiting for publication, the release date arrives and poof! Nobody appears to be reading your book! It's enough to make you hang up your keyboard.

Even if you self-publish, you will spend months of preparation for a release day that may go out with a whimper, not a bang. In some respects, a lack of reviews is worse if you have self-published, because those who follow that route have to do all their own marketing and promotion, a task which requires direct involvement with readers.

Why are reviews important?

Like any other product on the market, people rely on the recommendations of others when they choose a book to read. In traditional publishing, endorsements by well-known authors and public figures are a key element in marketing. In the self-publishing world, success rests on the number of readers on Goodreads, on Amazon, and on blogs who will give your book a 5-star review. 

Should you pay for reviews?

If you are a new self-published author, don't pay for reviews.

Traditional publishers have long-standing ties with the media, which self-publishers don't. This often drives self-publishers to pay for publicity. In my experience, paid reviews don't have nearly the clout of regular reviews posted on Amazon or Goodreads. For one thing, they have limited shelf life. A paid review may get posted on Blogcritics and then picked up briefly by small publications, or it may simply get sent to you for your own use. Very rarely do these reviews make it into larger media outlets, where they will reach the maximum number of people. Of course, you can always shell out $400 for a Kirkus review, but you take your chances. A good review in Kirkus is like an endorsement from God, but a bad review is the kiss of death.

Where to get free reviews


Librarything allows authors to give away copies of their books to Librarything members. (Read their policies.) Authors of self-published ebooks can give away up to 100 copies. Reviews are not required of readers, although they are recommended, so don't expect more than a 10% return rate. But even 10 reviews will enable you to post your free days on some of the larger freebie sites if you have enrolled in Amazon KDP Select.

Book Review Directory
Over 150 book review blogs sorted by genre. Each blog has a nice description. They also accept guest posts.

Best of the Web
Best of the Web book blogs organized alphabetically. Not as easy to navigate as the other lists on this page.

Book Blogger List
The Book Review Directory provides a comprehensive list of book bloggers.

The Indie View
Reviewers are listed on a convenient table that provides links to their websites, submission guidelines, and where they post reviews. Because so many reviewers list their sites here, your chances of finding a substantial number of reviewers for your genre are high. All reviews are free of charge. If you've written an ebook, this site will prove very useful.

Book Reviewers on the Web!
This is a one-size-fits-all list that requires a lot of work. Don't bother with the first few sections, just scroll down to the last part: "Web directories of book review sites." That's where you will find gold.

YA Book Blog Directory
The YA Book Blog Directory is a reference site for YA book blogs.There are numerous book blogs, all with unique styles and preferences. HUGE list - organized alphabetically.

The Midwest Book Review!
The MBR, which, by the way, does a GREAT job of reviewing books (although they charge for ebooks), has a very long list of reviewers. The list is alphabetical, so it's a chore to work through. But, the list is extensive enough to warrant a bit of work.

Book Bloggers on Pinterest
72 book bloggers. "These folks know about books"

Kate Tilton’s Book Bloggers
Smaller list maintained by Kate Tilton - all provide reviews. (Note: list is no longer being updated)

Book Reviewer Yellow Pages
An enormous list of book reviewers arranged alphabetically.

Book Viral
This site allows you to submit a book to be featured as a spotlight before "thousands of readers." The turnaround time for a free review is 16 weeks. Although the site is very professional, the claims that they make best-sellers are vastly overstated. The majority of the books featured on this site have Amazon rankings well into the hundred thousands and often in the millions. If you decide to go with this service, don't pay for a fast track review.

Indie Scifi Reviewers
The list includes all speculative fiction (It is alphabetized.)

The Kindle Book Review
Nice list organized by genre.

For those who are looking for reviewers with serious clout ...

The Complete Review
The Complete Review is just that - a complete source for book reviews of all sorts, paid, print, online, free, and in many languages. If you have just published an ebook on Amazon, this should not be your first stop for finding reviewers. But, if you are on your second or third book, this site will prove useful. You can also find general literary sites, literary blogs, and publishers here.

The 13 Best Review Sites
This article is a rundown of the top places you can get your book reviewed. The New York Times, of course, is first on the list. This is the list big publishers hoping to make a splash send ARCs to. While it's not useful for most Indie writers, it's always a good idea to become familiar with how the book review world works.

Words Into Print
Words Into Print is an extremely useful resource if you are considering a print publication. Not only do they give you a list of all the places to send ARCs, they tell you when. This site also provides useful information about other facets of self-publishing, writing query letters, creating a press release, scheduling readings, and so on.

Search accounts for "book reviewers" plus your genre. Make a Twitter list for reviewers!

And, if you have the money ...

Kirkus. If you are serious about having libraries order your book, and want the stamp of a prestigious review source you can always submit your book - in print or digital format - to Kirkus. It's expensive - $425 for a standard review. Kirkus is a high-stakes gamble. A good review will get you far, but a bad one is the kiss of death.

NetGalley - Most serious online reviewers get ARCs through NetGalley. They charge a set-up fee plus a monthly cost. 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

From Zero to Hero, Mike Michalowicz Talks About How He Achieved Publishing Success

Forbes always prints the most interesting articles about authors who manage to overcome precipitous odds and make a success of their books. The reason Forbes' articles are the best is because they ask the question that is on everybody's lips: How did you do it?

In this interview, Mike Michalowiscz tells us how he did it. The information he shares is practical, concrete, and very sound. Do you want to learn how to identify your market, how many books you have to sell to create a loyal fan base, and, most important of all, how to keep your fan base?

Read this article and take Mike's advice. 

How Mike Michalowicz Went From Unknown, Self-Published Author To Mainstream Publishing Success

By Dorie Clark, Forbes June 4, 2013

Mike Michalowicz thought he had a great idea – a no-nonsense guide to entrepreneurship he called The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur: The Tell-It-Like-It-Is Guide to Cleaning Up in Business, Even if You Are at the End of Your Roll. But mainstream publishers didn’t bite, so in 2008, he self-published it. “I thought I’d sell a million books, and that means you need to have at least 20,000 in stock,” he recalls. “That was my faux pas. I literally had 20,000 books arrive at the warehouse. When I had zero sales the first day, I was like, ‘I better ship them to my house,’ so my basement was flooded with books. It was the most painful but motivational moment: I’ve got to sell these; I’ve got to move them.”

Today, Michalowicz only has a handful of those 20,000 copies left; in fact, Penguin was so impressed with his sales performance, they picked up the hardcover rights to The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur and published his second book, The Pumpkin Plan: A Simple Strategy to Grow a Remarkable Business in Any Field, last year. So how did he go from a na├»ve, newbie author to a bona fide publishing success story? Here are some of the lessons Michalowicz shared in a recent interview.

Understand Your Target Audience. When he first started writing, Michalowicz assumed he was writing for entrepreneurs much like himself (or a slightly younger version): male college students or recent graduates. That’s not a bad initial thesis. “When you don’t know who your reader is,” he says, “write down your demographic history, where you were at different stages of your life, what your mindset was. Then find those people. The easiest one to go after is your current demographic and psychographic; just look for people like you, with the same interests. If you can’t find them there, go back in time. I went back to my college days and when I was starting a business, and I called all the entrepreneurship clubs [for speaking engagements].” But your initial hunch about your readership may be slightly off. “The person it may resonate with is usually only five degrees to the left or the right of your demographic. College entrepreneurs – startup entrepreneurs - were my target, but it was resonating with startup women.” Once Michalowicz realized that, he began speaking to women’s groups and sales skyrocketed.

Create 40 Raving Fans. So if TV doesn’t generate sales, and bulk sales don’t generate passion, is there anything that can create both? The answer is a devoted grassroots fan base. Internet eminence grise Kevin Kelly popularized the notion of “1000 true fans,” who could theoretically provide a viable stream of support for artists and writers. Michalowicz agrees, but suspects you may be able to jumpstart the process with even fewer passionate adherents. “This is simply my hypothesis,” he says, “but I believe the magic number is 1000 individual sales – that’s when the momentum happens. Of all the books you sell to individuals, you’ll get only about 20% of those people to actually crack the book open and read past the first chapter, so out of 1000, that’s 200 people. And I’d say only 20% complete the book in its entirety, so now it’s only 40 people. But if you sell 1000 books, that means you have the potential for 40 raving fans. That’s pretty scary, but those 40 people can sell 25 books apiece [through word-of-mouth], and that recharges the next 1000 and converts 40 more fans.” The trick, says Michalowicz, is you have to write a book that’s exceptional enough to become one of only a handful that the individual fan recommends, over and over (some of his go-to recommendations are The E-Myth by Michael Gerber and Purple Cow by Seth Godin, which he “tells everyone” to read).

Nurture Your Fan Base. Once you’ve developed this incipient fan community, says Michalowicz, it’s your responsibility to nurture them. With his new book, The Pumpkin Plan, “I leveraged the fact that the publisher can print almost unlimited books on the cheap, and they’re happy to supply books to me and to mail out books. But the goal isn’t to mail them out to the big media houses – that’s what everyone does. I ID’d my most loyal fans, the people who love TPE the most, and gave them [review copies]. They won’t sell 100 or 1000 copies, but they might sell 10 copies [via word-of-mouth]. I sold 2000 copies on the first day because I had a loyal fan base, vs. zero on the first day with my first book.”

Read the rest of this article here.

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Friday, September 6, 2013

Random House Still Trying to Outrun Amazon

This fascinating little industry tidbit (below) appeared in Publisher's Weekly a couple of weeks ago. Wattpad, for those of you who are not familiar with the site, features free chapters of self-published books. It boasts a readership in the millions. (Its Alexa ranking in the US is 2,553, which is very good.) This makes Wattpad an excellent platform for new writers, who generally care more about getting noticed than raking in the cash. (That comes later.)

Given Random/Penguin's recent launching of its various e-imprints, Loveswept among them, I was wondering how it was going to compete with the lure of Amazon's KDP Select, a program that has dominated the self-publishing scene for more than a decade. KDP Select allows writers to give away their books during 5 out of every 90 days in exchange for exclusive distributing rights. As a promotional tool. nothing beats giving something away for free, so Amazon, which has an immense reach, drew writers to it in droves.

Random/Penguin's strategy, apparently, is to give books away for free before they are released. Chapters will be published on the Wattpad site in serial form, another tried-and-true method for hooking readers.

The progress of Knox's novel, Truly, is something the industry will no doubt keep a close eye on. If Random/Penguin's strategy works, it will solve the pesky problem of how to build an online readership while undercutting Amazon's most successful marketing scheme.

Random House's Loveswept Partners With Wattpad

Publisher's Weekly, Aug 19, 2013

Thanks to a deal between Random House's digital-only romance imprint, Loveswept, and Wattpad, author Ruthie Knox will have her new series appear in serialized form on the online writing (and reading) community. Through the deal, Knox's novel Truly, which is the first title in a planned series, will debut on Wattpad as a free story in the fall, before being released as an e-book by Loveswept in August 2014.

Chapters from Truly will begin appearing on Wattpad on September 3, and continue to appear until the conclusion to the story is posted on November 4. Throughout the process, RH will invite Wattpad readers to take part in choosing the cover for the e-book. The effort, RH said, will also allow a high level of author access to Knox as readers will be able to use Wattpad's platform, which has mobile engagement, to contact her

Allison Dobson, v-p of business development and digital publishing at RH, said that Wattpad offers an "innovative approach to content creation and distribution," noting that the site already draws "millions of voracious readers" from all over the world.
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