lit agents

American Apparel Supports Gay Marriage: Lena Dunham Does the Same; This Literary Agent is Full

In a follow up to a post I did yesterday about gay marriage in France, here’s something interesting that American Apparel is doing in support. And the other links are things I found interesting,..though not totally related to gay marriage…I’m posting about because tomorrow’s going to be one of those busy deadline days and I’m not sure I’ll have time to post anything.

American Apparel T-Shirt Giveaway

American Apparel plans to give away 10,000 “Legalize Gay” t-shirts in its stores and on the streets of Paris in support of France’s marriage equality bill.

For those who haven’t heard of them, here’s a facebook fan page. You can follow them there to find out more.

From The Seattle Lesbian on gay marriage in France:

Despite support from French President Francois Hollande, progress towards the full legalization of gay marriage has faced tough opposition from religious and political groups. Recently, conservative organizations have sponsored petitions against gay marriage and proposed various exemptions in an effort to undermine potential bills. Though polls currently show that a majority supports the passing of gay marriage laws, these numbers have declined in light of strenuous campaigning from opposing groups.

Lena Dunham Won’t Marry Until Gays Can

I’ve posted about Lena Dunham before with regard to her TV show, “Girls.” It’s kind of what I’d call a smart, real version of “Sex in the City,” without the frustrating gay stereotypes. They do it well with “Girls,” at least so far. (In all fairness to SitC, they did their best at the time, too) I personally love the show and DVR when I can’t see it. One of the reasons I like it so much is that it’s promoting the concept of New Adult, a fiction genre I’ve been loving and hope to get into very soon. And now Dunham states she won’t marry anyone until gays can legally marry.

A note to all of Lena Dunham’s current and future suitors: Don’t propose until same-sex marriage is legal everywhere in the U.S.

Despite wearing a diamond on her ring finger at the Golden Globe Awards Sunday, the “Girls” creator confirmed that she is not engaged to her boyfriend, Fun. guitarist Jack Antonoff.

According to the Daily Mail, Dunham said backstage, “I don’t want to get married until all gay people can get married.

Wouldn’t it be interesting if everyone who supported gay marriage did this? Why the wedding industry alone would turn sideways and you’d see more people carrying “Let Those Gays Marry NOW” protest signs in front of the White House in numbers that would outreach anything we could have imagined. And what if single straight guys decided to protest marriage altogether until gay marriage became legal? Can you picture all those single straight women out there carrying their signs? I can dream.

Literary Agent careful about who she “takes on”

I’ve been following Kristin Nelson’s blog for a long time. Not as often lately as I used to for lack of time. But it’s really one of the few remaining lit agent blogs out there that offers viable advice to new writers looking to get pubbed. One of the things I’ve always liked about it is that it’s straight forward and no nonsense. In other words, it’s not a sideshow and she’s not one of those trying-too-hard-to-be-funny bloggers. You get what you expect, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

She recently posted an interesting list of things she’s turned down. I thought this one was important:

Author soon to be published by one of the Big 6 publishers and looking for new rep. Thought the writing was lovely but this particular story didn’t engage me. I have a fairly full client list so I’m very conscious about who I would take on. I’d have to be in the place of “I’ll die if I don’t rep this.”

It’s interesting in the sense that I’ve been hearing this for twenty years from lit agents. It’s even more interesting that this potential client will be pubbed by one of the big six soon, and still Nelson turned him/her down. It comes down to one factor. If the book doesn’t resonate with the agent there’s nothing you can do about it.

And this doesn’t seem to be changing any time soon. In order for an agent to take on a client the agent must love the work or it’s not going to be a good experience for anyone. I’m posting this because I see so many misconceptions about what literary agents actually do lately. I might even write a future post about agents and what they do because it seems there’s so much confusion. All I’d really have to do is provide a long list of links to a lot of the older blogs I used to read because most of them are still up and the information is still there.

However, this one statement by Nelson rings loudly and clearly. Now that writers have more choices, they need to explore all these choices instead of just querying agents and hoping for the best. If E.L. James had queried Nelson she most likely would have been rejected with a form letter. Nelson talked about her strong feelings for “Fifty Shades of Grey” in previous blog posts very candidly. And that’s when it comes down to subjectivity…and luck.

But the good news is there’s never been a better time for new writers, at least not that I can recall.


Lit Agents Appeal to DOJ Settlement; Joe Konrath Responds to Lit Agents

For those who haven’t been following what’s going on with the Department of Justice (DOJ) and publishers, here’s a link to learn more about it. Basically, it has to do with alleged collusion, allegedly keeping e-book prices higher, and interesting things like that.

The AAR, (Association of Author’s Representatives), isn’t pleased with a proposed settlement between the DOJ and publishers. And they banned together and wrote a long letter. Evidently there’s this *thing* called The Tunney Act. And people can write in and voice their opinions about any settlement with the government in any civil case. You can read more about it here, at the Dystel & Goderich site, a blog written by literary agents who seem to be less than thrilled with the settlement.

They even say this in the post, hoping to rally authors and readers to join them in this quest to save bookstores and publishing as we all know and love it:

If you are in agreement that the terms of the settlement are onerous for publishing and bookstores, you need to write a letter and send it to:

Although I’m not offering any comments in this post, I decided to pass on writing to the DOJ. I don’t see the point.

Now, in a post titled “AAR Fail,” bestselling self-published author, Joe Konrath, who isn’t shy about anything, responded to the AAR and to the Literary Agents who wrote the letter to the DOJ. He even published a copy of the letter, and responded to each paragraph with his own opinions. So far, I haven’t seen this letter anywhere else. It’s interesting to read the way it’s worded.

In any event, Konrath raises more than a few interesting points and if you are an author I would recommend reading his post in full. As I said, I have no comment. But I don’t think that Amazon…or anyone…is putting bookstores out of business. Bookstores were going out of business long before e-books became popular. I remember this happening to a number of bookstores in New Hope during the ten years I owned my art gallery in the 1990’s. They would come and go; someone with a poor business plan always lost a nest egg or a mid-life divorce settlement. At the time, the culprits that put small bookstores out of business weren’t web sites like Amazon. The big culprits back then were large chain bookstores like Borders. And we all know what happened to THEM.

Konrath makes an interesting point here:

Personally, I want my agents to be smart and to look out for my best interests. I want them to recognize they work for me, not the Big 6 or bookstores. And if I were repped by one of the 13 agents who signed their name to this, I’d be a lot angrier than I am right now.

The bigger picture for me with all this has nothing to do with the DOJ settlement or how people “feel” about it. My concern is who is going to help all the new authors who are doing things differently nowadays. I don’t see anyone looking out for their best interests.