Posts Tagged ‘knight agency’

Some really fun new released today, some great deals and other book news!

First, I’m excited to congratulation Genevieve Cogman, who just won the Silver in Der Leserpreis’s Book Awards in the Fantasy and Science Fiction category for the German edition of THE INVISIBLE LIBRARY (DIE UNSICHTBARE BIBLIOTHEK)!

Second, there are still a few hours left in Audible.com’s CyberMonday sale, which includes deals on a lot of great books, including some by Knight Agency authors, N.K. Jemisin, Gena Showalter, Faith Hunter, Chloe Neill and R.S. Belcher.

Third, the new Knight Agency newsletter came out last week, so in case you missed it in the Thanksgiving madness, here’s a link!

And now, without further ado, I’m excited to post about this week’s new releases: TRIALS, an anthology set in Faith Hunter’s acclaimed Rogue Mage world, and THE BLACKLIST: THE BEEKEEPER No. 159 by Steven Piziks! More below.

rma1_trials-ebook-cover TRIALS ed. by Spike Y Jones and Faith Hunter (B&N, Amazon)

21 Vignettes and Short Stories set in Faith Hunter’s World of Thorn St. Croix.

The Rogue Mage world began long ago, when the epic battle between the High Host and the Darkness was won and lost. TRIALS takes fans of Thorn St. Croix into the past, before the opening pages of BLOODRING. These stories, set in Faith Hunter’s Rogue Mage world, are adventures with new characters and old, facing dangers unimaginable. And they must save the world all over again.

If you ever wondered what happened between seraphs, kylen, second-unforeseen, mages, seraph-touched, spawn, humans, dragons, and their creatures before the series, now is your chance to delve deeper and wider. TRIALS features new short stories from nine authors—including Faith Hunter—and vignettes from the Rogue Mage role playing game.

TRIALS will be followed soon by TRIBULATIONS, and then by the omnibus TRIUMPHANT.

TRIALS Authors: Faith Hunter, Misty Massey, Lou J Berger, Ken Schrader, Spike Y Jones, Diana Pharaoh Francis, Christina Stiles, Tamsin Silver, Melissa McArthur.

TRIBULATIONS Authors: Faith Hunter, Jean Rabe, Spike Y Jones, Christina Stiles, and Lucienne Diver.

blacklist THE BLACKLIST: THE BEEKEEPER No. 159 by Steven Piziks (B&N, Amazon, Indiebound)

A brand-new original The Blacklist novel. Raymond Reddington brings Elizabeth Keen a new Blacklister: the Bodysnatcher, an unnamed, unknown man who has turned kidnapping into an art form. But when Lizzie and the team move to intercept the Bodysnatcher, they discover that he is not their real target. Their real target is much more sinister and it will take all their strength and dedication to resist him – and to discover what Reddington is really after.

Some very exciting book news!  First, happy book birthday to Dixie Lyle for the first in the Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot mystery series.  If you like the weird and wonderful, the dangerous and deadly, dogs and cats and ghostly gators, oh my!  This might be the book for you (more below).

In other news, the book that started off Lynn Flewelling’s award-winning and long-running Nightrunner series of spies, thieves, skullduggery and intrigue, LUCK IN THE SHADOWS, is just $.99 for a limited time for Nook and Kindle, so you might want to grab that while it’s hot!

And last, but not least, the new Knight Agency newsletter is out.  Those of you following along at home can view it here.

Taste fur murder A TASTE FUR MURDER by Dixie Lyle

Introducing an animal-loving Gal Friday with a telepathic cat, a shapeshifting dog, and a ghost of a chance of solving supernatural crime…

Meet Deirdre “Foxtrot” Lancaster. Trusted employee of eccentric zillionairess Zelda Zoransky, Foxtrot manages a mansion, a private zoo, and anything else that strikes her boss’s fancy. Her job title is Administrative Assistant, but chaos handler would be more accurate. Especially after she glimpses a giant ghost-beast in Zelda’s pet cemetery. For some strange reason, Foxtrot is seeing animal spirits. And, ready or not, in this mystery from Dixie Lyle, the fur’s about to hit the fan…

Still reeling, Foxtrot comes home to find her cat Tango—her dead cat Tango—alive and well and communicating telepathically. But that’s not all: There’s an ectoplasmic dog named Tiny who changes breeds with a shake of his tail…and can sniff out a clue like nobody’s business. So when a coworker drops dead while organizing closets, Tiny is on the case. Can Foxtrot and her new companions ferret out the killer among a menagerie of suspects—human and otherwise—before death takes another bite?

First, huge congratulations to Amy Christine Parker, whose debut young adult thriller GATED is up for a YA Books Central Choice Award for Best Teen Horror/Thriller of 2013!  To vote or to find new books to love, check out the Choice Awards here!  (And if you want to check out GATED for yourself, there’s a free sampler available from Random House Children’s!)

Also, a quick reminder that I’m doing a GoodReads chat today from 1:30-3:30 pm ET. Even if you’re busy at the time, you can leave questions now and come back for the answers later or tune in any time to see what questions were asked and answered.  If you’re here on my blog, you probably already know my relevant deets, but just in case, here’s a handy dandy bio:

Lucienne Diver joined The Knight Agency in 2008, after spending fifteen years with Spectrum Literary Agency in New York. Over the course of her dynamic career she has sold over seven hundred titles to every major publisher, and has built a client list of more than forty authors spanning the commercial fiction genres, primarily in the areas of fantasy, science fiction, romance, mystery, and young adult fiction. Her authors have been honored with the RITA, National Readers’ Choice, Golden Heart, Romantic Times and Colorado Book Awards, and have appeared on the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists.  Clients include such bestsellers as Rachel Caine, Chloe Neill, Faith Hunter, Rob Thurman, Susan Krinard, Kalayna Price and many others.

She’s also an author in her own right with her Vamped young adult series for Flux Books (VAMPED, REVAMPED, FANGTASTIC and FANGTABULOUS) and the Latter-Day Olympians urban fantasy series for Samhain (BAD BLOOD, CRAZY IN THE BLOOD and RISE OF THE BLOOD), which Long and Short Reviews calls, “delightful Urban Fantasy, a clever mix of Janet Evanovich and Rick Riordan.”  In addition, she’s written short stories and essays that have appeared in the Strip-Mauled and Fangs for the Mammaries anthologies edited by Esther Friesner (Baen Books), in Dear Bully: 70 Authors Tell Their Stories (HarperTeen) and the anthology Kicking It edited by Faith Hunter and Kalayna Price (Roc Books). Further information is available on The Knight Agency website and her author site.

Whew, I’ve been busy!

First, Ramez Naam’s CRUX, the even more amazing (if that’s possible) sequel to NEXUS releases today in the US (Sept. 5th in the UK)

Crux-144dpi CRUX by Ramez Naam

Six months have passed since the release of Nexus 5. The world is a different, more dangerous place.

In the USA, the freedom fighters of the Post-Human Liberation Front use Nexus to turn men and women into human time bombs aimed at the President and his allies.

The first blows in the war between human and posthuman have been struck.

Praise and Reviews:

“Potent like Naam’s vividly imagined nano-drug Nexus, Crux is a heady cocktail of ideas and page-turning prose. It left my brain buzzing for days afterwards.” – Hannu Rajaniemi, author of The Quantum Thief and The Fractal Prince

“A blisteringly paced technothriller that dives deeper and even better into the chunky questions raised by Nexus. This is a fabulous book, and it ends in a way that promises at least one more. Count me in.” – Cory Doctorow, author of Little Brother

“Smart, thoughtful, and hard to drop, this richly nuanced sequel outshines its predecessor with a wide cast of characters and some complicated, uneasy questions about power, responsibility, and the future of humanity.” – Publishers Weekly

“Crux is an outstanding speculative fiction adventure … in the same league as Michael Crichton and Daniel Suarez. Put it at the top of your summer reading list!” – Scientific American

“Sublime. This book is speculative fiction at its finest.. Mr. Naam masterfully mobilizes the zeitgeist of contemporary political and tech culture.. Tempts readers with equal parts dread and optimism. This is not a book to be missed.” – Page of Reviews

“Readers of Ramez Naam‘s techno-thriller NEXUS will not want to miss the awesome sequel, CRUX.” – Kurzweil AI

“Crux does the work of great science fiction. It makes the reader look closely and critically at what kind of world we’re building here and now.” – Kent Peterson

“Naam’s writing is always strong, fluid and sure. With gripping, heart-pounding action scenes and muscle-binding tension normally reserved for horror stories, Crux is a book you don’t want to miss.” – Allways Unmended

thor official A quick review of the Tampa Bay ComicCon.  GET YOUR GAME ON!  I enjoyed myself, don’t get me wrong, but this didn’t qualify for the name ComicCon, which implies a lot more than a few celebrity guests, great hall costumes and a dealer’s room.  Where were the movie trailers or anime rooms?  Where the gaming?  Where the other programming tracks?  You have so much talent to draw from in Tampa Bay or an hour away in Orlando or many, many other locales here.  And I know the attendees surprised the heck out of you by our numbers, but you called it “ComicCon”!  That alone says huge and as difficult to wield as Thor’s hammer.  We got in early, so we missed the three hour lines circling blocks.  We didn’t miss the broken escalators et al.  I would love to have a really amazing ComicCon so close, but I think the organizers might want to tap into the runners of other local cons, like Necronomicon, which is coming in October, for ideas and inspiration.

In other news, The Knight Agency newsletter is out, including an interview with Amanda Sun, an author tip of the month, agency news and advice, etc.  Unfortunately, my piece of advice about adult authors wanting to write for the YA market got left out.  You know how it is when you give a piece of your mind and it’s just left hanging.  Then you start looking and feeling like someone from the Walking Dead (sorry, ComicCon brain).  So, here are my two cents:

I’d say that if you’ve got an idea that calls to you and insists on being written, then you should absolutely go for it, but I’d never suggest jumping on a bandwagon just for the sake of riding along a trend.  You want something that leads the pack.  When writing for young adults, remember that you can’t keep them safe, and that pulling punches won’t work any better for YA than adult fiction.  You’ve got to throw your characters into their challenges and give them the wherewithal or the growth to face them.  Sometimes triumph, sometimes simply survive, but under their own steam.

While I’m at it, here’s some of the best and quickest writing advice you will ever read:  Authors write their advice on their hands.

Enjoy, all!  The blog may be a bit quiet for the rest of the week.  I’m away Thursday through Monday at DragonCon, but I will be back with lots of amazing pics, so stay tuned next week.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

1-      Agent Cartel: Top: Carolyn Grayson (Ashley Grayson Literary Agency), me, Elaine Spencer and Nephele Tempest (The Knight Agency); Bottom: Natasha Kern (Natasha Kern Literary Agency), Pamela Hopkins (Hopkins Literary Associates), Michelle Grajkowski (3 Seas Literary Agency)

2-      Knight Agency company dinner: L to R: Melissa Jeglinski, Deidre Knight, Nephele Tempest, Jia Gayles, Pamela Harty, Elaine Spencer

3-      The great gals at my Literacy Signing table: L to R: Robin LeFevers, Terri Clark, Marlene Perez, Jordan Dane and Marissa Doyle

4-      Crystal Perkins and me at the Literacy Signing. Love that shirt!

5-      Deb Mullins, looking fabulous and flashing her National Reader’s Choice Award-nominated book TOO WICKED TO LOVE at the Literacy Signing

6-      Kira Sinclair and Rhonda Nelson at the Literacy Signing

7-      Me & Kira Sinclair after she won her National Reader’s Choice Awards for WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN and CAUGHT OFF GUARD

8-      National Reader’s Choice Awards: L to R: Knight Agency authors Robin Owens, Kira Sinclair, Debra Mullins and Vicky Dreiling

9-      Lynn Flewelling, the Bubba Gump Shrimp Guy and me.  I was about to say that Lynn, who’s now a Californian, is one of my oldest clients, but I didn’t think that would come out right.  Let’s say long-standingest and leave it at that.

10-   Tammy Kaehler (mystery writer, author of DEAD MAN’S SWITCH) and me at PF Chang’s with a suspiciously Heroes-like speed walker in the background.

11-   Me & Vicky Dreiling all dolled up for the RITA Awards, waiting anxiously to hear the fate of HOW TO MARRY A DUKE and HOW TO SEDUCE A SCOUNDREL.

12-   Vicky Dreiling, Elizabeth Hoyt and her editor Amy Pierpont from Grand Central Publishing

13-   Nephele Tempest and Nalini Singh, also dolled up and looking fine, there to celebrate the nominations of ARCHANGEL’S BLADE, LORD OF THE ABYSS and “Angel’s Wolf.”

Today I’m reposting an article I did for the Summer 2011 issue of the SFWA Bulletin on self-promotion and mandated extroversion.  For another post on this subject, check out my article in the March Knight Agency newsletter.  In the meantime, I present to you….

MANDATED EXTROVERSION

Usually I start with whatever lyrics the demented little DJ in my head has seen fit to provide or a colorful anecdote about the crazy people with whom I’m sharing a train car, but today as I frantically try to finish all of my work in time for my overseas trip, I’m stuck in my office with my puppy jailer guarding the door and no further inspiration than the voices in my head, one of whom actually has her own blog…which is exactly the sort of thing I want to talk to you about today.

It’s truer every year that authors need to invest themselves in self-promotion.  Relevant clauses have even begun creeping into contractual language, committing authors to maintaining websites, blogs, a perhaps certain presence in social media sites.  But for a lot of authors, this is very nerve-wracking stuff.  It takes time and energy away from other writing and for many it doesn’t come naturally.  What’s an introverted author to do?

I’ve had a lot of these conversations lately, and I’d like to offer up some suggestions.  Let’s start with website development.  It’s a great idea if your website has enough content to keep readers around for awhile and doesn’t immediately redirect them elsewhere, like to buy links.  Some authors include free fiction, secret dossiers, widgets, book trailers, wallpaper and other value added content in addition to a listing of their books and where they can be bought.  They give something back even while they promote.  Now, all of this extra content can take a lot of time and energy.  My two cents: it’s worth it.  At a bare minimum, though, your website should always be up-to-date, easily readable across browsers and quick to load.  This might mean that you loose one of your bells or tone down your whistle, but a clean, sleek, modern and easily navigable site is a must.  It’s also very important (sometimes even contractually mandated) that you link to your publisher’s site and offer multiple buy links so that none of the retailers who might support your books is left out.  For all those wonderful independent bookstores, there’s Indiebound.

Your website should also contain buttons that will help your readers link up with you elsewhere, like your blog, Facebook page, Twitter account, etc.  Let’s see if we can take some of the stress and uncertainty out of the idea of putting yourself out there in public.  I’ll start with blogging, which, while not absolutely necessary, is becoming increasingly important.

Idea #1: If you’re uncomfortable blogging on your own or don’t feel that you have enough to say to keep people coming back, enter into a group blog with other authors where your commitment might be anything from a blog a week to one a month.  You’ll still get the exposure and you’ll benefit from the cross-pollination of your peers.

Idea #2: Set yourself a schedule, something easy, fun, entertaining and informative.  You’ll find a schedule takes some of the stress away, since you’ve got an idea each day of what you’ll post.  As an example:

-Mondays: fun facts (this can be anything from research you’ve come across to quirks of your writing process to FAQs about yourself, your superstitions, weird history, etc.)
-Teaser Tuesdays: I see this a lot, and it’s intriguing each and every time.  Simply post an excerpt from something you’re reading or writing or about to have released.  It can be from the beginning, the middle, the end, out of the mouths of babes….

-Writer Wednesday: This might be the day each week where you post something helpful about the process or the business.  Maybe you talk about character development or dialogue, plotting or pacing, or any number of other things.  Or maybe each Wednesday you feature an author who’s not you and take the day off.  Let someone else guest blog for a change.

-Thoughtful Thursday: I’m thinking here of the old Saturday Night Live “Deep Thoughts by Jack Handy.”  Maybe you post your musings or quotes or articles you’ve found helpful in your work.

-Fun Fridays: This is something I’ve begun on my blog.  I’ve posted up a free short story, links to videos, songs or other websites.  Generally, the humor is industry-related, but not always.  It is, however, always intended to be entertaining.

 

Idea #3: Offer to guest-blog for all and sundry.  Are there blogs already targeted toward your audience that encourage guests?  Dip your feet in with a guest blog or interview elsewhere.  (If you do have a blog of your own, offering to swap blogs is often very effective.)

Readers like lists; they like quick concise wisdom that they can take away with them; they like controversy and humor.  They do not like: the hard sell, mundane minutia, or being talked at rather than with.  Pose questions, start a dialogue.  Be a real and fully interactive person rather than a bot.  Do not: use the forum to rant about negative reviews or problems with your agent, editor or publishing house.  Remember that there are truly no “take backs” on the web.  Once something is out there, it’s stored forever somewhere, and I’ve seen more than one author shoot him or herself in the foot by being indiscrete or overly aggressive and getting labeled a problem child.

I briefly touched on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook, which are two of the best known, but there are a ton of other great sites that appeal to readers, from Goodreads to Library Thing, Shelfari, Authors’ Den, Figment, CreateSpace….  The list is practically endless.  Of course, it’s impossible to do everything with the attention needed to succeed, so it’s probably a good idea to choose a few places into which you’ll pour your time and energy.  Do less and do it well.  Doing a great deal poorly really doesn’t get you anywhere.

Lest you think things like Twitter and Facebook might be too great a distraction…well, you may be right.  They can be very distracting and addictive.  You have to know yourself and be very disciplined with your time so that you don’t take too much away from your actual writing.  But if writing is your profession, something you’re very serious about, networking is an increasingly large part of that.

Would it help if I tell you that, like with your blog, you can have your “tweets” (your Twitter posts) feed into Facebook as well—and vice versa.  Double the exposure and half the effort!  (Although, I’d argue that the two are truly different enough that this may not always be your best option.)  What about if I mention that it takes less than a minute to sign up for a Twitter account and that posts can only be 140 characters maximum (not words, characters!)?

Outside of social media, there are a host of other new and exciting ways to reach readers, from music videos and book trailers for your work to widgets and apps, though the latter is still prohibitively expensive to create.  And no, you don’t have to be an electronics guru to figure them out.  As far as book trailers, many have gone the homemade route.  With a clever concept and a little help from your friends, a Flip camera and a YouTube account can do wonders, although it takes a little more than that for widespread distribution unless your video is lucky enough to go viral.  But there are plenty of companies out there that’ll help with the creation and/or distribution of various sorts of multi-media.

Look at the possibilities as just that—possibilities, full of promise and ripe for the exploration of ideas.  Once you get into the swing of things, you’ll find that promotion takes on a life of its own.  You’ll build a file full of contacts and discover what works for you.  It’ll become easier with time.  You’ll have your go-tos, your big events and an ever-growing network to help you spread the word.

First, a quick but HUGE congratulations to Vicky Dreiling on being a triple RITA Award nominee for HOW TO MARRY A DUKE (x2) and HOW TO SEDUCE A SCOUNDREL.  So awesome and well-deserved!

Another HUGE congrats to give out, this one to David Mack for making the Top Ten Tie-Ins ballot on Unreality SF for his Star Trek novel RISE LIKE LIONS.  You can click here to vote for your favorite story on the shortlist.

Also, the agents of The Knight Agency are doing a Twitter chat tomorrow, Tuesday March 27th at 12 p.m. ET.  We’d love you to join us!  Use the #knightagency hashtag.  Talk with you then!