Monday Mashup

Happy Monday, everyone! I actually had so many things to share they had to be whittled down a bit. Yikes.

If you’re writing YA/MG, author and agent Mandy Hubbard has discovered some trends you might want to know about. If you’re writing a picture book in the sweet “I love Mommy” spectrum, you’ll have a tough time selling it. What consumers want is something like GO THE F**K TO SLEEP. Already in Amazon’s top 10 before it’s even published.

If you’re writing for older YA, find out how much sex is too much. YA Fantasy Guide says, “Here are the big questions: What is the moral responsibility of the writer? Should we be politically correct, rely on our own religious beliefs, or are we to stay current? ”

But how long should your book be? Literaticat has the answer. “I am on the record as saying I don’t really care about word counts unless they are so off-the wall out of bounds that it is absurd. And it is true. But there are generally accepted norms for this sort of thing that you should be aware of. ”

Bucking trends, publisher Candlemark & Gleam said in a Twitter post this week that they’re looking for alternate history stories.

Writing is hard. Rejection’s even harder. So here’s a pick-me-up from author Salima Alikhan, “Every writer I know has an uncommon tenacity and the ability to simultaneously feel the horrid blows of rejection, all while putting on the blinders that allow us to barrel forward, slogging through self-doubt (and occasionally the doubt of our families, acquaintances and coworkers.)”

Still searching for an agent? This is how many queries you’ll have to send before you find one. Kudos to whomever sent out 361! That’s stamina.

But if you haven’t heard back on your query, here’s how to “nudge” an agent. The sort answer: never. The slightly less-short answer: it depends.

If you have a book deal and can’t make head nor tail of your contract, look here. Watch out for inflation says The Passive Voice blog, “For any sort of minimum dollar payments, however, particularly over a long period of time (the life of a copyright, for example), what was a meaningful sum when the contract was signed could be pocket change when it is paid many years later.”

Still thinking about self-publishing? The numbers are in your favor, but don’t count out traditional books yet. According to Publisher’s Weekly, “Despite the belief in many quarters that the growth of e-books will mean the death of the printed book, the number of books produced by traditional publishers rose 5% in 2010, to a projected 316,480, according to preliminary figures released Wednesday morning from R. R. Bowker.”

And over at Amazon, ebooks out-sold tree books last month. “Since April 1, for every 100 print books Amazon.com has sold, it has sold 105 Kindle books.”

Before you upload your ebook to Amazon, beware of pirates. According to The Telegraph “older” women tend to pirate ebooks. Didn’t know being over 35 qualified me as “older.” Ouch.

And think being published is simple? Author George R.R. Martin (of A GAME OF THRONES) found out what happens when you promise to write something, but don’t. The fans got um, rabid. “An entire community of apostates—a shadow fandom—is now devoted to taunting Martin, his associates, and readers who insist that he has been hard at work on the series and has the right to take as much time as he needs. Even [Neil] Gaiman got dragged into the feud when he responded, on his own blog, to an inquiry about Martin’s tardiness by issuing this reproof: “George R. R. Martin is not your bitch.””

If you like book blogs, this is a list of the best ones.

And finally, Two Angry Teachers and a Microphone rap about standardized testing. Hot.

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