janet reid

James Franco on Broadway; Janet Reid on Self-publishing; Almost Gay Bishop in UK

James Franco on Broadway

In addition to a long list of film credits, an impressive academic career, and a list of published writing credits, James Franco is now heading to Broadway.

Leighton Meester has signed on to join James Franco and Chris O’Dowd in the upcoming Broadway revival of “Of Mice and Men” this spring.
 
Meester, the “Gossip Girl” star whose film credits include “Country Strong,” will make her Main Stem debut in the production, as will Franco and O’Dowd. She’ll play the role of Curley’s wife, the woman who figures into the tragic ending of the well-known John Steinbeck tale.

You can read more here. You have to wonder how Franco does so much and switches gears so fast. I work on deadlines all the time. I only need about three or four hours of sleep each night and I work at least six days a week. Franco seems to have found that extra day in the week I’ve been looking for all my life.

Janet Reid on Self-publishing

Literary agent Janet Reid recently posted about self-publishing and made a few strong remarks. No comment from me. You’ll have to figure this one out alone. (This is one of my shortest posts in years.)

You can read (not Reid) more here.

Whatever you do, if you’re planning on querying Reid, spell her freaking name right and don’t send anything to her from that new-fangled place called Amazon. You’ll be sorry if you don’t get these things right, you evil young e-book reading whipper-snapper.

Almost Gay Bishop in UK

Among so many negative news items these days about anything LGBTI, I found this one so uplifting I had to post about it and share.

The Church of England was one vote away from appointing its first gay bishop.

The openly gay Dean of St Albans Dr Jeffrey John was one vote away from becoming the newest Bishop of Exter, according to The Times, replacing the Right Rev Michael Langrish.

You can read more here. And my comment now is that I’ve been telling Tony we need to get to the UK. I’m serious about that. I have friends there, I love my UK readers, and I hear so many excellent things I’m curious now. I may have mentioned this in the past, but when I was in college my university, Fairleigh Dickinson in Madison, New Jersey, had a campus in Wroxton, England. As an English major I could have gone but opted not to go at the time. It’s one of my few regrets in life. I think I would have loved every minute of it.

This is part of the article is interesting, too.

The Church’s evolving attitudes also include the possible appointment of female bishops by the end of 2014, after an overwhelming majority of the Church’s governing body voted in favor of dropping the 20-year ban.

 

Janet Reid’s Interesting Post about Self-Publishing

I found a link on twitter today that led me to an interesting post on literary agent Janet Reid’s blog about self-publishing. I used to follow her blog but stopped for a variety of reasons. And those who follow this blog know that I’m not a vigilante when it comes to self-publishing as opposed to legacy publishing. I think there is good and bad in both and I’ve remained on the fence about it. But I think writers, especially new writers, need to know facts from all angles.

In the post Reid talks about what authors who are thinking of self-publishing should expect if they have ambitions of ever getting published with large publishers.

If you’re thinking of doing this, here’s what to consider:

1. To get noticed, you have to sell a lot of books. By a lot I mean more than 20,000.

If this number doesn’t daunt you, ask yourself this question: have you ever sold 20,000 units of anything?

This is very true. No complaints. But the main reason why writers move into self-publishing is because large publishers aren’t taking on as many new authors anymore, they aren’t paying out the advances they used to pay, and from what I hear they aren’t selling as many books as they used to sell. I doubt most of their new books sell 20,000 print copies. So it stands to reason that large publishers want to jump at the chance to get authors who sold more than 20,000 books. But, if you could sell more than 20,000 copies you’re doing something right and why would you even need a large publisher at that point?

But there are varying opinions on this topic. Another reason authors self-publish is because larger publishers haven’t been paying attention to what’s been happening with digital books and the digital market. Or paying attention to readers for that matter. In this article, the biggest readers in the US are an interesting crowd.

The most likely book readers in the United States are high-school students, college-age adults and people in their 30s, with e-book use highest among 30-somethings, a survey released on Tuesday showed.

Then the article says this:

Among Americans who read e-books, those under 30 are more likely to read them on a cell phone, at 41 percent, or on a computer (55 percent) than on an e-book reader (23 percent) or tablet (16 percent).

Forty-seven percent of younger Americans read long-form e-content such as books, magazines or newspapers. But the highest e-book use was among people 30 to 39, at one quarter.


I only read digital books now, no more print. I read most on my phone. I read “Fifty Shades of Grey” before it went mainstream in digital format. Newsweek Magazine recently announced it’s going completely digital in January. So where have the large publishers been, and how can anyone blame authors for being curious about e-publishing and self-publishing?

Reid then says this in her post:

If you self publish you are no longer just the author, you’re the salesperson for your book. Do you have any experience selling? Did you love selling Girl Scout cookies? Do you like calling people and asking for money (as in fund raising?) Do you gladly spearhead the fundraising drive at your school, synagogue, church?]

First, all publishers, large and small, now expect authors to promote, market, and sell their books. Publishers don’t do that work for you unless your name is J.K. Rowling. So I don’t see how that’s any different from self-published authors marketing and promoting their books. And some are quite good at it, far better than a lot of authors I’ve seen with large publishers. They are far better at it than I am. These self-published authors can work the web better than our politicians.

Be realistic. 20,000 units is a huge number of books. It’s a hard number to reach even if you’re published by a big publisher, with an accomplished sales force and established avenues to the retail market.

This brings me back to the article to which I linked above about the biggest group of readers. Unless Reid is talking about the digital online retail market, I don’t get that statement. I’m not giving up my e-readers, my tablet, or my iphone to go back to print books. Most of my own book sales come exclusively from digital sales, not print sales and I have over 100 published works out there. I have no control over how people read. I don’t care how people read my books. But the numbers prove one thing: people are reading more digital books now than ever before and most of the marketing and promotion authors do is now online and it doesn’t cost them a cent.

This post is not to dissuade you from self-publishing. Have at it with all your might. BUT be realistic about what self-publishing is, and what it can accomplish. And more important what it can NOT accomplish.

Well, if I had read this post not knowing what I know now it certainly would dissuade me from self-publishing. But it is important to be realistic about self-publishing and it is important to understand that you’re not only an author when you self-publish, but also a businessperson. It’s not as simple as it looks. I know that from experience. I still prefer working with publishers over self-publishing, but I found that in order to continue to write I had to start self-publishing. And I have no regrets about it. As a side note, even if you have a publisher, you’re going it alone. Because once that book is pubbed it all points back to you, not the publisher.

I’d also like to mention that even though Reid makes some interesting points in her post for authors who have the ultimate goal of getting published with large publishers (if that is their only goal), she fails to mention that many of her colleagues have started e-publishing services, in house, so their own clients can self-publish their own books. The AAR supports them. These other literary agents are helping move their clients forward and I doubt the majority of them are selling 20,000 copies. And these clients who are using literary agent e-publishing services are, indeed, considered self-published.

So while Reid’s post is not inaccurate by any means, and I do understand where she’s coming from because a lot don’t fully understand self-publishing, there are about 50 shades of “Lovely Lolly” that aren’t being mentioned and those who are thinking about self-publishing aren’t getting all the facts. I’m not giving you all the facts here in this post because that would take far too long. But I am suggesting that you read as much as you can about self-publishing, you do what you think is best for you, and you remain realistic. There are still many things changing in the publishing industry and no one knows where things are going at this point. But if all these literary agents are starting e-publishing services in order to self-publish their clients (which I think is wonderful; authors need good, smart agents like this), I don’t think self-publishing is going to disappear any time soon, nor do I think self-published authors will be required to sell 20,000 books in order to be taken seriously.

About This Casting Blame Regarding the Shooting Spree in Arizona

As I’ve stated many times, I’m not political. I write fun, trashy romantic fiction and don’t have to be political. But I do have opinions when it comes to certain things, and I feel very strongly about the way people have been reacting to this horrendous tragedy in Arizona.

I’ve been wanting to write a decent blog post about it. But I kept falling short. So when I stumbled upon a blog post written by Lit Agent Janet Reid, I decided to pay it forward, so to speak, and link to it here.

In this case, Janet says it much better than I could. And I couldn’t agree with her more. It’s time to stop.

This is for Everyone Who has Ever Written…

I know that a lot of people who read my blog are aspiring writers. People of all ages. I get e-mails all the time with questions about publishing and how to get an agent. So this post is for everyone who stops by here and has written something. It’s from Janet Reid’s agent blog, and I think it’s one of the best blog posts, for all writers, I’ve ever read.

If you’ve ever been frustrated about writing or getting published, please take the time to read this. I guarantee it will make you feel better.

http://jetreidliterary.blogspot.com/2009/10/less-than-zero.html