January 2010

Many agents, editors, bloggers, and books recommend researching agents before querying and even keeping track of what books are published where, etc. I understand putting effort into finding an agent that fits, especially if you are looking one for your career and not just one project. Publishing seems like a large and small business all at once, with imprints and job changes, how are you keeping track?

I have a simple Excel spreadsheet where I’ll add an agent I’ve read about and think would fit or needs additional research. There is also a Books tab with a list of my favorite titles, year of publication, publisher, editor (if I can find it), etc. Does anyone else have a system they’d like to share?


It’s another snowy Wednesday in Iowa (is winter over yet?) and time for this week’s Linkfest. Enjoy!

Fantastically insightful guest post on Market My Words as author Michelle Zink shares the information she learned on her book tour about what teens really look for in books.

Frenetic Reader had a list of The Best YA Books You’ve Never Read. Confession: I’ve read none of the three (yet), but have heard of one 🙂

Via Teenreads, HarperCollins has launched Inkpop, a social media meets fan fiction site where writers can post anything from poems to full-length novels. The catch: postings are not only read by other writers but HC editors as well. Not sure if any book deals have come out of this, but it will be an interesting experiment. Anyone have experience with this kind of site?

Need a quick reference poster for common spelling and word use mistakes? Check out this one from The Oatmeal (via BookEnds). Guilty of the “definitely” one, and “effect” vs. “affect” usually takes me a minute to think about.

Finally, if you need a laugh for your day, and who doesn’t, check out the 11 Most Painfully Obvious Newspaper Articles Ever (via Chip MacGregor).

The rest of 2010 is going to have a lot to live up to, because my reading so far this year has been Percy Jackson and The Olympians books 2 through 5 by Rick Riordin and The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. (If you are thinking “It’s about time,” you’re right!)

First, let’s talk Percy Jackson. I read the first book, The Lightning Thief, around Thanksgiving last year and received the set for Christmas. The last two books were devoured in one day through a series of airline delays, and book one has already been passed along to my sister. Obviously, these books are crazy awesome. Bonus: The Lightning Thief movie comes out on my birthday next month! Anyone want to come geek out with me?

I may be the last person in the world to read The Hunger Games, and now I must buy Catching Fire and pre-order book three! I haven’t decided if I’m Team Gale or Team Peeta; maybe book two will clarify things for me (yeah right). Any preferences out there?

Both of these series’, or at least the first book in each, are being made into movies. I think The Hunger Games will be harder to translate on screen, just because of more internal emotion. But I’m sure looking forward to both! Which are you more excited about?

Just one link for this week, but it’s the big one. The ALA winners are here! The ALA winners are here! Congratulations to all the very deserving recipients. I have some very serious reading to do. Am especially excited when any book with a cow on the cover wins an award 🙂  (Going Bovine by Libba Bray)

While watching the History channel recently, my husband pointed out a speaker listed as “chariot expert.” I would definitely print up business cards that said that!

What business card would you like to carry around? I’ve seen posts elsewhere debating “writer” versus “author.” Which do you use?

Why do the holidays go super fast while Christmas stocking candy sticks around taunting me? Anyone else have this problem?

Since The Writing Cave has been on an extended holiday, the first Linkfest of 2010 (twenty-ten? Two thousand ten?) is overflowing:

Congrats to uber-author Katherine Paterson on being named the national ambassador for young people’s literature. My favorite quote, when asked why she doesn’t write for adults: “My books have gone on and on, and my readers, if they love the book, they will read it and reread it. I have the best readers in the world.” Read the New York Times article.

Cybil finalists announced (via Becky).

The 17 Reasons Manuscripts are Rejected, via Cynsations.

A timely post for me, 8 Tips for Writing Comedy (also via Cynsations).

For all of you wondering how to find comp titles, as recommended by Steve Meltzer at fall conference, check out this post from Jill Corcoran.

In a follow up to one of my favorite posts of 2009, The Intern expands on the Electric Kool-Aid Conflict Test.

Finally, an excellent post from author Janice Hardy about her basic plot structure, including how to get through the devious middle section.

Happy New Year everyone!