February 2016
A Message from Kristin Nelson

Sending A Rejection Email Is Sometimes The Worst Thing Ever

Kristin Nelson

Last week, I just had to share on Facebook and Twitter an article I saw in Publishers Weekly called “Trying To Find A Literary Agent Is the Worst Thing Ever.”

I had a sneaking suspicion that it would ring true for a lot of aspiring writers. With over 7,000 people viewing the post on FB, I guess I was right!

But here is a little tidbit I bet most writers don’t know. Sometimes being a literary agent is the worst thing ever. Agents are in this biz because we love books, admire writers, and want to make dreams come true. Sending out a rejection is none of the above. I really don’t want to be in the business of crushing dreams.

Crushing dreams truly sounds like the worst job ever.

When I sell a debut author, a first-time writer finally realizing his or her dream, that is the biggest high. I’ll be giddy for weeks after because I just helped fulfill someone’s long-held dream. How awesome is that?

In 2015, I had the pleasure of selling two debut authors. Not only that, but each project sold at auction for an amount that could reasonably entice the debut author to quit his or her day job. Writing as your full time job—talk about ultimate wish fulfillment!

But trust me when I say that sometimes being a literary agent is the worst thing ever. The majority of us don’t sit in our office chuckling maniacally with glee at every rejection we send. The truth is that I hate sending rejection letters. And two of my former assistants ultimately moved on to different jobs because they, too, hated having to say no.

Some days it’s truly the worst thing ever. I see many a worthy project that I simply can’t take on. Every new client is a big-time investment because agenting—an agenting well—is a huge commitment.

I don’t expect a lot of sympathy from writers. But do know that I, for one, don’t take pleasure in hitting the send button for a rejection.

Pub Rants University

Recording only of Royalty Statements Auditing Workshop

Thursday, December 01 at 12:00 pm

This is a recording of the Webinar held on July 30, 2015.

Chances are, your agent is not auditing your royalty statements. And chances are, accounting mistakes are being made. So if you’re not auditing your royalty statements, you could be missing out on significant income!

In this Webinar, Nelson Literary Agency’s contracts and royalties manager, Angie Hodapp, will walk you through the basics of royalties reporting and teach you how to read and audit your own royalty statements. Using statements from several big and mid-sized publishers as examples, Angie will explain how various publishers express returns, reserves, royalty-rate escalators, subrights income, bonus income, and more, and illustrate how everything adds up to affect your bottom line.

Finally, Angie will walk you through how to set up an Excel spreadsheet you can use each reporting period to track cumulative units sold and total earnings for each book you’ve had published. This valuable tool will also help you track your payments and find accounting errors!

You can buy access to this Webinar recording until December 1, 2016.





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eSpecial Price

99¢ Until February 22, 2016

           

NLA Digital Title Spotlight

Free  Until February 19, 2016

           
Recent News

Laurence MacNaughton's debut urban fantasy IT HAPPENED ONE DOOMSDAY, about an inexperienced crystal sorceress who scrambles to stop the end of the world without falling for a muscle-car driving mechanic who is fated to become one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, to Rene Sears at Pyr, in a nice two-book deal.

Lisa Shearin's A DRAGON CONSPIRACY is a 2015 RT Book Reviewer’s Choice Award Nominee for Urban Fantasy.

Susanne Lord's IN SEARCH OF SCANDAL is a 2015 RT Book Reviewer’s Choice Award Nominee for Best First Historical Romance.

John Joseph Adams at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt acquires the print versions of Hugh Howey’s SHIFT, DUST, and BEACON 23. In February 2016 the three titles will be published simultaneously as hardcovers and trade paperbacks. Howey will continue to publish the ebook editions.

Emily Easton at Crown Books for Young Readers has won, at auction for mid-six figure deal, Scott Reintgen’s debut science fiction young adult trilogy beginning with THE BLACK HOLE OF BROKEN THINGS. Publication in 2017.

Think Like an Agent by Kristin Nelson

Your Writing Should Not Be Your Main Source of Validation For Who You Are as a Person

I think this can be the most debilitating mistakes an aspiring writer can make. There be dragons if you start down this mental path.

I recently gave a talk to Regis University’s MFA in Creative Writing students. In the fifteen-minute Q&A, one participant asked why it was so hard to get a literary agent to even look at her project. I could hear the frustration in her voice. I didn’t have a ready reply because the truth is that there is no good answer.

Writing is personal business. And any response and/or rejection can definitely feel like a commentary on your talent and who you are as a person.

But here is the reason you need to start thinking like an agent and less like a writer when it comes to submitting your material. If someone passes on your work, that rejection is not a commentary on your qualities as a human being. In a lot of instances, it’s not even a commentary on your ability or talent as a writer!

Let me repeat that: A rejection is often not a commentary on your writing talent.

I can cite a bundle of different reasons why an agent or publisher may pass on your work, reasons that have absolutely nothing to do with your writing ability. Don’t believe me? Here are a few (and in no particular order):

  • The agent/publisher has seen two-dozen concepts just like that one in the last four weeks.
  • That concept trend was hot, so now the Publisher has bought too many similar projects for their list and will not be acquiring any more.
  • The agent has an aversion to that type of story. I know a well-respected literary agent who personally cannot handle any story in which a child is in danger, and so will pass on any submission containing such scenes.
  • The editor could not get support in-house from the sales/marketing team to acquire the novel.
  • An agent read the story and thought the writer was talented, but for whatever reason, just didn’t connect with it enough to offer representation.
  • Bad timing. The agent was on vacation or at a conference, or just back to the office, and is simply swamped. It’s hard to be excited about taking on someone new if you are buried in work that can’t be accomplished in a 40-hour work week. And, LOL, no good agent works only 40 hours. It’s more like 60+ a week.
  • There’s talent on the page, but the editor or agent might think a significant revision is necessary, and taking the hour to write up an editorial letter isn’t going to happen.
  • The novel just has an element the agent is never enthusiastic about. For example, some agents are never going to take on a fairy-tale retelling or superhero story. It’s just not his or her thing.

I could go on. There are so many reasons that when I spoke at Regis, the best advice I could offer is this: Do not use writing as a means of validating who you are as a person.

No matter what an industry person’s response is to your written work, your writing is only one facet of who you are as a human being. Don’t make it everything, or you may lose your joy of writing and find the whole business very depressing indeed.

Kristin's Book Club

29 Hours of Audio - I Should Win A Medal

864 page = 29 hours and 14 minutes of audio narration for Eleanor Catton’s THE LUMINARIES.

I feel like I should win some big achievement award for most committed audiobook listener in 2016. I listened to that bad boy all the way to the grand finale. Mainly because the narrator, Mark Meadows, was so good, I listened just to hear him switch accents—up to four times in some scenes! Dang, that is talent.

At long last, our book club is finally meeting to discuss this book next Sunday.

In the meantime, get a jump start on our next book, which is thankfully a nonfiction title by Glenn Greenwald called NO PLACE TO HIDE: Edward Snowden, NSA, and the U.S. Surveillance State.

In May 2013, Greenwald set out for Hong Kong to meet an anonymous source who claimed to have astonishing evidence of pervasive government spying and insisted on communicating only through heavily encrypted channels. That source turned out to be the twenty-nine-year-old NSA contractor Edward Snowden, and his revelations about the agency’s widespread, systemic overreach proved to be some of the most explosive and consequential news in recent history. Now Greenwald fits all the pieces together on the NSA’s unprecedented abuse of power with documents from the Snowden archive. 

New Releases

Kingdom of Ashes

by Rhiannon Thomas

The kiss was just the beginning . . . The second book in Rhiannon Thomas’s epic retelling of Sleeping Beauty combines adventure, magic, and romance for a sweeping fantasy about one girl’s journey to fulfill her destiny.

Aurora was supposed to be her kingdom’s savior. But when she was forced to decide between being loyal to the crown and loyal to her country, she set events in motion that branded her a traitor.

Now, hunted by the king’s soldiers, Aurora’s only chance of freeing her kingdom from the king’s tyrannical rule is by learning to control her magic. But Aurora’s powers come at a price—one that forces her to leave the only home she’s ever known, one that demands she choose between the man she loves and the people she seeks to protect, and one that will cause her to unravel the mysteries surrounding the curse that was placed on her over a century before . . . and uncover the truth about her destiny.

Buy It Here:

       

Soulless (limited special edition)

by Gail Carriger

Limited: 750 signed numbered copies
Lettered: 26 signed leatherbound copies, housed in a custom traycase

Alexia Tarabotti is a proper English miss—so long as you don’t count her spinsterhood, half-Italian heritage, or weaponized parasol against her. Oh, and there’s that little matter of her lacking a soul. But, honestly, isn’t being soulless and thus able to nullify the powers of vampires and werewolves and other supernatural beings a good thing in a London chockful of them?

Her soulless state seems particularly handy when Alexia is accosted alone in a library by a vampire intent on her neck. She dispatches him with the help of her preternatural powers…and handy parasol. But not only has the fanged ruffian ruined her treacle tart, his untimely demise brings to the scene Lord Conall Maccon, werewolf Alpha and investigator for the Bureau of Unnatural Registry (and as handsome as he is vexing). The incident is followed by a veritable plague of unexplained new vampires and old ones suddenly disappearing across London society. And, unfortunately, Alexia herself becomes the chief suspect.

Out February 29, 2016, order here.

Buy It Here:

What’s New With

New SilverHart Publishing titles available

Now available from SilverHart Publishing, two titles:

Promise and Protect by Lori Ryan
Dog Collar Knockoff by Adrienne Giordano

And coming launching Feb. 23, 2016, Marquita Valentine’s Hard Target.

New Digital Releases

Wedding Bells, Magic Spells

by Lisa Shearin

Happy Valentine’s Day, Lisa Shearin fans. Lisa’s latest novel in her Raine Benares Series is now available!

Name: Raine Benares
Race: Elf
Job: Seeker, bride, peace talks referee
Problem: Back-stabbing diplomats, bride-hating mother-in-law

I’ve successfully destroyed the Saghred (AKA, a legendary soul-sucking rock). I’ve sent an evil goblin demigod to the Lower Hells. I’m coming to terms with my burgeoning new powers. I’m marrying super sexy paladin Mychael Eiliesor. You’d think I could handle a wedding and meeting my soon-to-be mother-in-law without another calamity brewing. You’d be wrong!

The new, thankfully non-psychotic, Goblin King is willing to come to the table to discuss a peace treaty. The Isle of Mid is the site of these delicate negotiations, meaning all hands on deck for Mychael and his Conclave Guardians. When the head of elven intelligence (and my wedding guest) Duke Markus Sevelien is nearly assassinated upon his arrival, I suspect my mother-in-law will be the least of my concerns. Sabotaging the peace talks is the first salvo in a treacherous and deadly new apocalyptic plot.

Mychael and I might not make it to the altar after all!

Wedding Bells, Magic Spells is also available at Ingram and at library systems served by 3M Cloud Library and OverDrive. Also look for print on demand editions from CreateSpace and Ingram/Lightning Source.

       

Alpha One Security: Harris

by Jasinda Wilder

New from Jasinda Wilder, a spinoff title related to the Alpha Series, Alpha One Security: Harris.

Nicholas Harris is a professional badass. Ex-Army Ranger, former personal security for the one and only Valentine Roth, mercenary, assassin, pilot, and my lover. After Roth and Kyrie holed up in their island fortress estate in the Caribbean, Nick started a private security contracting company: Alpha One Security. He hired the best of the best, the scariest, nastiest, toughest—and sexiest—security experts in the business.

And now he has the mission of a lifetime: the three year old daughter of two A-list celebrities has been kidnapped and is being held for ransom. The twist? The mercenary and Russian mafioso who snatched the sweet, innocent little girl is a vicious, evil, sadistic thug with a grudge against Nick.

And the fallout from this mission will be jet fuel on the flames of that grudge, pulling everyone around Nick into the vortex of violence and vengeance. Good thing we have the seven deadliest and most badass men on the planet on our team…

And oh yeah, there’s little ol’ me:

Layla Campari, mercenary-in-training.

Available at the retailers below,  and from NLA Digital at All Romance, Google, Ingram, and library systems served by 3M Cloud Library and OverDrive.

           

Players Club Series

by Erika Wilde

We are thrilled to welcome New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Erika Wilde  to NLA Digital.

Now available at All Romance, Ingram and libraries served by 3M Cloud Library and OverDrive, Erika’s Players Club Series: Playing with Temptation, Playing with Pleasure, and Playing with Seduction.

From Playing with Temptation:

When Raina Beck is given an invitation to The Players Club, all she wants is a night of decadence with a gorgeous, sexy stranger. The seductive, mysterious man she meets fulfills her deepest desires and most erotic fantasies, giving her a night she’ll never forget. But forgetting him isn’t quite so easy. Logan Cruz prefers his women submissive and compliant in the bedroom…everything the independent Raina is not. Yet from the first moment he lays eyes on her, he’s determined to make Raina his. Despite her resistance.

When Logan is assigned to protect Raina from a stalker, everything between them changes. Sex becomes more than just physical, and emotions run deep. Falling in love was never on Raina’s agenda, but can she let go of the past and surrender the one thing he wants the most…her heart?

           

Runes Series

by Ednah Walters

NLA Digital is also proud to welcome USA Today bestselling author Ednah Walters as a new guest author.

Ednah’s entire YA Paranormal Romance Runes Series, a Readers’ Favorite Awards winner, is available through NLA Digital at Ingram and library systems served by 3M Cloud Library and OverDrive.

Titles in the Runes Series:
Runes
Immortals
Grimnirs
Seeress
Souls
Witches
Demons (a companion novel)

————————

Ednah also writes Contemporary Romance as E.B. Walters.

You can find her Infinitus Billionaires titles Impulse and Indulge through NLA Digital at Ingram and library systems served by 3M Cloud Library and OverDrive now, too.

         

Beyond Ruin

by Kit Rocha

Coming February 23, 2016, the latest release from Kit Rocha in the popular gritty dystopian Beyond Series, Beyond Ruin.

Adrian Maddox fled his royal life—and tragic past—in Sector One, choosing instead to join up with the O’Kanes. For years, he’s lived by one rule: love fast, love hard, and always be willing to walk away. He’s managed to guard his heart, keep it whole and untouched—until now.

They couldn’t be more different—Dylan, the brilliant, burned-out doctor from Eden who drowns his pain with drugs and self-destruction. Scarlet, the sensuous, sexy rocker from Three, a woman unafraid to embrace the world. And Jade, the whore turned spy from Sector Two, who battled addiction and came out stronger than anyone he’s ever met.

Separately, they make Mad long to open his heart, to tumble head-first into a sea of possibilities and wild love. Together, they make him burn, inside and out, with lust and unbearable, unimaginable pleasure.

hen one fateful moment shakes their world to its foundations—and leaves the sectors on the verge of all-out war with Eden. It’s the biggest fight the O’Kanes have ever faced, and Mad and his lovers are at the dead center of it. They could end up with everything they never knew they wanted—or lose it all. Including their lives.

 

         

Delta: Revenge

by Cristin Harber

Coming April 26, 2016, Cristin Harber’s next title in the Delta Series, Delta: Revenge.

A Tortured Hero with a Heart of Gold
Growing up on the streets of Rio de Janeiro, Javier Almeida has only his older sister to protect him. When she’s sold to a human-trafficker, he vows to hunt down those responsible.

Meets Sweet and Sassy
Jilted at the altar, Sophia Cole turns the reception into a one-woman party. She’s intent on devouring all the cake and champagne, so she can bask in the calories she’s been avoiding. In the midst of the revelry, he walks in, the one man she can never ignore.

Javier is her older brother’s black ops teammate—an automatic Do Not Go There. But if there’s one thing better than fondant and a buzz to ease the wounds of a cheating fiancé, it might be a one-night stand with a South American military man.

Game Changer
Javier didn’t expect to see Sophia again. He never thought he would even want to see her again. He shouldn’t have touched her, but his mind won’t stay away from her.

Now, Sophia Cole is thousands of miles away from the safety of her parents’ lavish estate and working alongside him in hell. She’s a staffer at an Embassy, and he’s there to keep them alive. There are bombs and bullets and blood-hungry enemies. And then she’s taken. Gone. Just like his sister. But so much worse.

       
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