More today on the Crested Butte Writer’s Conference, when a panel of editors and agents met with writers and readers to discuss today’s market. The panel consisted of Ginger Clark, Literary Agent at Curtis Brown Ltd.; Joanna Stampfel-Volpe, Literary Agent with Nancy Coffey Literary & Media Representation; Christine Pride, Editor at Broadway Books (div. of Random House, Inc.) And Anne Bensson, Assistant Editor at Thomas Dunn Books.
CHRISTINE PRIDE pointed to the economic downturn as one of the biggest reasons for the business down-sizing. With as much as a 10 to 15% decrease in staffing, it has become even more competitive. “The pressure is on to have every book become a best-seller.” Publishers are taking less chances They want the big sell, and we as writers need to find a way to make our stories as good as they can be, and in our queries, as attractive as they can be. Christine has a friend who’s active in social media, and her friend will occasionally point out an active blogger or tweeter, for example, and she’ll check out those writers. When asked whether it’s better to query editors directly or get an agent, Christine recommended getting an agent. On the topic of classifying your own book’s genre, she said to not worry about that. When they read your query and pages, they will know where it fits. Don’t limit yourself.
ANNE BENSSON enjoys working with authors to make their stories better. She acknowledges that, with a beginning author, there is less of a promotional budget, and that the author must do a lot of that in the beginning of his or her career. During an open discussion about the challenge of distribution when self-publishing, Anne spoke of the publisher’s connections, established and nurtured over the years, that help them get their books in the stores.
Did you attend the Crested Butte conference? If so, are there other gems you discovered about these agents and editors? Are one of these ladies your agent or editor? I invite you to add your comments, and I wish you the best of luck and success with your writing.