Friday, August 19, 2011

Write On Con Roundup: Conference Quotes

Write on Con is all done and man, was it great. I got my queries and pages critiqued and listened in on some wonderful (and funny) agent and editor chats.

Here's my round-up of agent and editor quotes from this week:

Natalie Fischer: Even if it doesn't sell now doesn't mean it won't later. Things are cyclical in publishing. Just write what YOU write best because that will BE your best work.

Kathleen Ortiz: Many stories have similar's about execution and making it your own.

Annette Pollert: I love working on novels with male protagonists (reality based or paranormal). But also want there to be girl-appeal in that POV.

Barbara Poelle: All I know is that when I start to read it, it is like I am sitting in a vat of pudding, eating red velvet cake, drinking a chocolate martini, it is like wayyy too much and yet never enough and then by the end I am standing up, in rage and fury that someone else might get to it before me so I have to throw my chair out of the living room window just to release the anxiety.

Joanna Volpe: if you self-pubbed, JUST to eventually get traditionally pubbed, you risk shooting yourself in the foot

Jim McCarthy: As competitive as the market is, new voices sell literally every day. We just go to bat for what we believe in and make a case for why we think it will sell (often by comparing it to those tried and true authors). My biggest deal ever was for a first time author with no track record. People do take chances. It's hard to be heard above the noise, but it happens!

Jen Rofe: What absolutely catches my eye with first pages is a clear, distinct voice and control over language. As for queries, I'm looking for the standard query format because this informs me that the person querying has attended conferences and/or is invested in learning the industry.

Joanna Volpe: I speak with the author first, correspond with them a bit through email, talk about what else they're working on (and sometimes read some of that, too). It's not just about one project for me. When I offer, I'm thinking long term, and it's important to feel confident that we could work well together...for the long haul.

Holly Root: The last two things I signed are Third, Glorious Third person. It felt like a relief from too much close-perspective reading. Not to say I don't like first--but I think people underestimate how hard it is to really do well. Again, no shortcuts.

Annette Pollert: When it's done well, it's great to read. But I also want there to be a reason why I am reading a manuscript with alternating perspectives. There needs to be a purpose. (Read: no party tricks.)

Barbara Poelle: Remember when you went and saw Honey I Shrunk the Kids and you had a crush on the dude that played the older brother? I want all of my YAs to make me feel like that. Like there is a world where I can have an adventure and kiss the cute boy and yet still wake up safe and sound in my jammies the next morning.

Jen Rofe: Here's what I'll say: I'm surprised at the number of blogs and posts I read about self-pubbing that don't mention the tremendous amount of work done by editors, copy editors, designers, etc. it takes a village to make one book.

Holly Root: My paranormal bar is pretty high, it's getting tough to stand out unless your idea is very very fresh, but that usually means some savvy person is about to go blow the whole thing up and reinvigorate it. If that's know where to find me.

Michelle Andelman:NOT ALL CLICHES SHOULD BE AVOIDED! THEY CAN PROVIDE A RELATABLE SHORTHAND FOR HUMAN EXPERIENCE. CLICHES ARE FAMILIAR AND OH SO COMFORTING FOR A REASON! I guess this is my last word. On cliches. If you can spoonfeed me a cliche and then turn it on its head and subvert all my expectations without me feeling cheated, you're gold.

Annette Pollert: There are lots of kinds of readers, and I think it's important that there are lots of different books for them to read. And I think that teens come to books in a lot of different ways--physical bookshelves/virtual bookshelves (electronic, etc.) We just have to keep everyone reading!

Ammi-Joan Paquette: I think quieter novels are a harder sell, but there is certainly a market for them. Literary novels are often "quiet." The key for me is that you can have quiet elements but still make them memorable and stand-out in their delivery and execution. You can have a "quiet" plot but have characters that leap off the page, an unforgettable voice, and a really sharp, vivid setting.

Michael Bourret: With the changes going on, I don't think publishers are necessarily acquiring less. They're acquiring a bit differently, I think, though it's hard to express exactly how. I want to say they're being more selective, but that would imply less, which again, I don't think is true. The changes with Borders affect print runs and advances much more than the decision whether or not to acquire.

Barbara Poelle: I like a little stank in my YA...edge, content, etc. And THEN, I know that is what I am looking for.




Unknown said...

Christina this was amazing! Though I didn't join WriteOnCon (because I write chick lit - adult) this is such great advice to live by!

Seeing as I'm a week and a half away from querying the nerves are high. I'm looking for those full requests and these words were fabulous!

Happy Weekend!!

Three copies of Putting Makeup on Dead People to giveaway at Unedited!

Sarah said...

Thanks for the round-up, Christina!

Laura Pauling said...

Love your quotes! I still have a couple live chats left to view!

storyqueen said...

Oh, these are great sound-bites. I missed a couple and now want to go back and re-read.


Theresa Milstein said...

Thanks for all of these excellent quotes. I enjoyed the conference this year. It was good to know that MG and YA are still selling as good as ever and that POV doesn't always have to be first person.

Sarah Tokeley said...

There's some great advice among these quotes, thanks for pulling them together.

Angela Ackerman said...

Great quotes. Kudos to all the WOC organizers and presenters who gave their time to help us all grow. :)

Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

Meredith said...

What great quotes! Thanks for sharing these. And like Barbara Poelle, I had a total crush on the older brother from Honey i Shrunk the Kids. I forgot about that guy!

Liz Mays said...

Good point on the self-pubbing, and I had to laugh at how you ended it.

Lourie said...

These are all fabulous! And probably barely scratches the surface of what you enjoyed. Thanks so much for sharing. :)

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Good quotes! I was overwhelmed in a good way by all the amazing information and fun that was WriteOnCon. What an incredible event to grow out of a few bloggers talking about what if we held an online conference. I bow to them.

Matthew MacNish said...

Great summary, thanks, C!

Carol Riggs said...

Thanks for the cool roundup of agenty wisdom! Great to read these. I was wondering myself how the Borders fall would affect acquisitions, for instance. WriteOnCon is super!

Casey McCormick said...

Fantastic quotes from the conference, Christina!

K. M. Walton said...

I randomly popped around the conference, so I really like your comprehensive quote list! Cool of you to gather them and share them like that!!

Andrea Mack said...

Thanks for the great list of quotes!