Here are two new literary agents looking for clients. DongWon Song (Howard Morhaim Literary) is seeking science fiction and fantasy – especially epic fantasy or high fantasy. He is also interested in books about food, science, and pop culture. Laura Mamelok (Susanna Lea Associates) is looking for literary fiction, high-end commercial fiction, women’s fiction, literary crime/thrillers, and young adult fiction with crossover appeal. In nonfiction, she is looking for narrative nonfiction, current affairs/journalism, memoir, and humor.
Laura Mamelok of Susanna Lea Associates

About Laura: Laura Mamelok is a literary agent at Susanna Lea Associates, where she also sells foreign rights. SLA, which has offices in New York, London, and Paris, represents a range of fiction and nonfiction, both commercial and literary. Laura is French-American and has lived in both Paris and New York. She obtained her BA in comparative literature at Barnard College and her MA in comparative literature and film at Columbia University and the University of Paris 7. Prior to joining SLA in 2009, she worked as a literary scout for Maria B. Campbell Associates. She lives in Brooklyn.

What she is seeking: Laura is primarily interested in literary fiction, high-end commercial fiction, women’s fiction, literary crime/thrillers, and young adult fiction with crossover appeal. On the nonfiction side, she is looking for narrative nonfiction, current affairs/journalism, memoir, and humor. She’s drawn to international stories and settings, in both fiction and nonfiction. Above all, she is on the lookout for fresh voices, strong storytelling, and original ideas.

Submission guidelines: Queries by email only to lmamelok [at] susannalea.com. Please send a concise query letter, including email address, phone number, and any relevant information (previous publications, etc.), a brief synopsis, and the first three chapters and/or proposal. Please include the word “Query” in the subject of your email. She considers all queries received, but will respond only if interested.
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DongWon Song of Howard Morhaim Literary

About DongWon: DongWon Song is a literary agent at Howard Morhaim Literary. He was formerly an editor at Orbit, an imprint of Hachette Book Group. There, he launched multiple New York Times bestselling series, including FEED by Mira Grant and LEVIATHAN WAKES by James S.A. Corey. He was the first hire at a publishing startup, Zola Books, and while there oversaw content and eventually became the head of product for the ecommerce and ebook apps. He is a graduate of Duke University with a BA in English and Economics.

What he is seeking: Science fiction and fantasy – especially epic fantasy or high fantasy for both adults and teens. He is also interested in nonfiction, especially food writing, science, and pop culture.

Submission guidelines: E-query along with three sample chapters (for fiction) or full proposal (for nonfiction) to dongwon [at] morhaimliterary.com. Average response time is 6 to 8 weeks.
 
 
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The Amazon Wars are back! (You knew they weren't over.)

In this most recent skirmish, authors, agents, and booksellers have banded together to call for a Dept of Justice investigation into Amazon's monopolistic tactics.

In a recent ruling against Apple, even the judges expressed some doubts as to whether they were looking at the right target.

"Would it not matter that all those people got together to defeat a monopolist? It’s like the mice that got together to put a bell on a cat,” U.S. Circuit Judge Dennis Jacobs told the Justice Department’s lawyer, Malcolm Stewart.

Apple is hardly a mouse. It has its own antitrust suit to deal with over iTunes. Nevertheless, Jacobs does have a point.

When Apple began its efforts to undermine Amazon, Amazon controlled 93% of the ebook market. That figure has since fallen, but because Amazon is secretive about its market share, nobody really knows how much it controls.

The truth is that the market rests in the hands of very few companies. Whether they collude or compete, the end result is always the same: Authors lose out.
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Authors, Booksellers & Agents Call for DoJ to Investigate Amazon

By Judith Rosen

Publishers Weekly, Jul 14, 2015

Authors United, a loosely knit group of authors who banded together last year to apply pressure to Amazon during its then-dispute with Hachette, has called on its members to sign a new letter destined for the antitrust division of the Department of Justice.

Last fall Douglas Preston, the thriller writer who formed Authors United, aired his group's concerns about Amazon's domination of the retail book market in a meeting with the DoJ. Now, although the Hachette-Amazon disputed has ended, he said enough has not been done about Amazon's position in the marketplace.

In an e-mail sent Monday afternoon, calling on authors to sign the new letter, Preston wrote: “The settlement of the dispute did not change the fundamental problem: That one corporation now dominates the book market in the United States. We believe Amazon has used its power in ways that harm the interests of authors, readers, booksellers, and the publishing industry as a whole.”

Preston composed the letter to the DoJ, which will be sent days after Amazon celebrates its 20th anniversary, with the Authors Guild. The letter has also been endorsed by the American Booksellers Association and the Association of Authors’ Representatives.

“Today a single company, Amazon, has gained unprecedented power over America’s market for books,” it begins. “We are not experts in antitrust law, and this letter is not a legal brief. But we are authors with a deep, collective experience in this field, and we agree with the authorities in economics and law who have asserted that Amazon’s dominant position makes it a monopoly as a seller of books and a monopsony as a buyer of books.”

Read more HERE.

 
 
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There are several interesting writing contests this month. Of special note is Library Journal's self-published book award. Library Journal is a prestigious publication, read by librarians all over the country, so if you have self-published in Romance, Mystery, Science Fiction, or Fantasy, do consider entering.

In another interesting competition, Brigantine Media is offering an advance of $2000 and a publishing contract for a manuscript of any genre. (Take a look at their contract HERE.) (And if you win, don't sign it until it has been reviewed by a lawyer. Their out-of-print clause needs modification.)

Good luck!
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Boardman Tasker PrizeRestrictions: Books published between 1st August 2014 and 31st October 2015 in the UK. Genre: Books with mountain, not necessarily mountaineering, theme whether fiction, non-fiction, drama or poetry, written in the English language. Prize: £3,000.00. Deadline: August 1, 2015.

Milwaukee Irish FestGenre: Poetry. Entries should have a culture/literary relation to either Ireland, Irish-America, or to Irish poetry. Prize: $100. Deadline: August 1, 2015.

The Governor General’s Literary AwardsRestrictions: Books must have been written, translated or illustrated by Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada. Genre: Best English-language and the best French-language book will be chosen in each of the seven categories of Fiction, Literary Non-fiction, Poetry, Drama, Children’s Literature (text), Children’s Literature (illustrated books) and Translation (from French to English). Prize: $1,000 - $25,000. Deadline: August 1, 2015.

Costa Short Story AwardRestrictions: Residents of UK and Ireland. Genre: Short story. Prize: £3,500.00. Deadline: August 5, 2015.

RBC Taylor PrizeRestrictions: Citizens or residents of Canada. Must be published author. Genre: Literary nonfiction. Prize: $25,000 (CAN). Deadline: August 7, 2015 for books published between May 30 and July 31, 2015.

Publish or Perish Contest is sponsored by Brigantine Media. Genre: Any.  Results Announced: September 15, 2015. Length limit: 150,000 words for the manuscript; 5,000 words for the marketing plan. Prize: $2,000 advance against royalties and a contract to publish the book. Deadline: August 15, 2015. Read more details HERE.

The Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary ExcellenceGenre: A work of fiction (novel or collection of short stories) that will be published in 2015. Galleys for a 2015 publication are also accepted. Restrictions: Author must be an African-American U.S. citizen. No self-published works. Prize: $10,000. Deadline: August 15, 2015.

Scotiabank Giller PrizeRestrictions: Open to books published in Canada in English between October 1, 2014 and September 30, 2015. Must  be nominated by publisher. Genre: Fiction. Full-length novel or collection of short stories published in English, either originally, or in translation. Prize: $100.000 to the winner and $10,000 to each of the finalists. Deadline: August 15, 2015.

Library Journal 's Self-Published Ebook AwardsGenres: Romance, Mystery, Science Fiction, Fantasy. Open to all English-language self-published ebooks. No restrictions on date of publication. Prize: $1,000.00 USD plus review in Library Journal. Deadline: August 31, 2015.

I is Another - short story competitionGenre: A story in the first person about someone who is not you but which is about a subject close to year heart. Therefore the storyline will really matter to you but the story should not be autobiographical. It should have a strong theme such as betrayal, sorrow, lust, jealousy or revenge and be under 2000 words. Prize: £200. The winning short story and runners-up will be published in their online magazine. Deadline: August 31, 2015.

Epigram Books Fiction PrizeRestrictions: Authors must be Singaporean, Singaporean permanent resident or Singapore-born. Genre: A full-length, original and unpublished novel written in the English language. Prize: $20,000. Deadline: August 31, 2015.

Eugene Paul Nassar Poetry PrizeRestrictions: Author must be resident of Upstate New York. Genre: Book of poems in English, at least 48 pages long, published between July 1, 2014 and June 30, 2015. Prize: $2,000.  Deadline: August 31, 2015.

SwitchbackGenres: Short Fiction & Creative Nonfiction. Prize: $200 and publication.  Deadline: August 31, 2015.


Young Lions Fiction AwardRestrictions: Open to US citizens 35 years of age or younger. Genre: Novel or a collection of short stories published between January 2015 and December 2015. Prize: $10,000.00. Deadline: August 31, 2015.

 
 
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Summer is in full swing, but soon it will come to an end. This is a good time to slow down, take stock, and prepare for the mad dash of Fall. Fortunately, there are a few good conferences that will allow you to do just that.

There are several good conferences this coming month focusing on the craft of writing, which is timely. August is the "dead month" for agents and editors - a time when they catch up on their old queries, and take a break from receiving new ones. (See: When Not to Contact and Agent: What Writers Should Do During the Dead Month.)

Whether you decide to retreat with other writers, or simply head out to the garden shed, this is a good month for writers to stop a spell, and ruminate.
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Writing Short Nonfiction: Picture Books and Articles. Aug 2 - 6, 2015, Honesdale, Pennsylvania. Sponsored by Highlights Foundation. Workshop faculty: Debra Hess, Deborah Heiligman, Barbara Kerley. Two one-on-one critique sessions with a member of the faculty included.

Green Mountain Writers Conference. August 3 - 7, Chittenden, Vermont. Workshops in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, as well as one-on-one consultations, lectures, publishing discussions, and readings. The faculty includes poets Christian McEwen, Peter Money, and Verandah Porche; fiction writers Elizabeth Rosner and Phoebe Stone; and creative nonfiction writers Chuck Clarino and Yvonne Daley.

Mendocino Coast Writers Conference. August 6 - 8, Fort Bragg, California. Workshops in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, as well as panels and workshops with editors and agents, craft lectures, readings, and discussion forums on publishing and marketing. The faculty includes poets Albert Flynn DeSilver and Indigo Moor; fiction writers David Corbett, Catherine Ryan Hyde, and Lisa Locascio; and creative nonfiction writer Sheila Bender. 

Cape Cod Writers Center Conference. August 6 - 9, Hyannis, Massachusetts. Workshops and craft classes in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, as well as manuscript consultations and mentoring sessions with editors and agents. The faculty includes poets Marge Piercy and Kevin Pilkington; fiction writers Claire Cook, David Anthony Durham, Indira Ganesan, Kate Klise, and Charles Salzberg; nonfiction writer Jerry Armenic; editor Chantelle Aimée Osman (A Twist of Karma Entertainment, LLC); and agents Michael Carr (Veritas), April Eberhardt (April Eberhardt Literary), Sorche Elizabeth Fairbank (Fairbank Literary Representation), Amaryah Orenstein (GO Literary), and Rick Richter (Zachary Shuster Harmsworth). Application Deadline: July 24, 2015.

Florida Authors and Publishers Association Annual Conference. Aug 7 - 8, 2015, Orlando, Florida. Professional development sessions designed to provide authors and publishers with up-to-date publishing resources. Faculty: Steven Spatz, President of BookBaby; Dete Meserve, President Wind Dancer Films; Tara Alemany, Aleweb Social marketing; Ken Countess, Constant Contact; Carol Topp, CPA; David Essel, inspirational speaker; Saundra Kelley, storyteller.

HippoCamp Creative Nonfiction Conference. August 7 - 9, Lancaster, Pennsylvania. craft and query workshops, panel discussions, lectures, open mics, and readings for creative nonfiction writers. Participating nonfiction writers include Amy Jo Burns, Tara Caimi, Viannah E. Duncan, Sarah Einstein, Wendy Fontaine, Robert Long Foreman, Lee Gutkind, Vicki Mayk, Jennifer McGuiggan, Kate McIntyre, Lori M. Myers, Matt Skillen, James Stafford, D. Watkins, Allison Williams, and Stefanie Wortman; participating publishing professionals include Tyler Barton (Triangle), Carol Cool Erin Dorney (Triangle and Third Point Press), Nicole Frail (Skyhorse Publishing), Monique Antonette Lewis (At The Inkwell), Gale Martin (Harcum College), Donna Talarico (Hippocampus Magazine), and Jim Warner (Quiddity).

Willamette Writers Conference. August 7 - 9, Portland, Oregon. 100 workshops conducted by more than 50 seasoned pros in the areas of fiction, non-fiction, screenwriting, manuscript editing, publishing, self-publishing and promotion, pitching, entering writing contests, research and business. Whether you write self-help books, historic fiction, blockbuster Hollywood screenplays, mysteries, romance, magazine articles, sci-fi, plays, children's books, humor, self publish or simply need help marketing yourself as a professional, you'll find helpful guidance and keen insights. Other conference features include advance manuscript critiques, filmlab, silent auction, awards banquet, and group and one-on-one pitch sessions with New York literary agents and editors and Hollywood film agents, managers, and producers.

Mid-Atlantic Fiction Writers Institute. August 7 - 9, Hagerstown, Maryland. The annual MAFWI summer conference offers workshops and breakout sessions by bestselling authors, college faculty, and experienced public relations professionals. From story fundamentals like plot and point of view to seasoned advice on how to market your work, there is something for writers of every genre.

Deadly Ink Mystery Conference. August 7 - 9, New Brunswick, New Jersey. 12 workshops, 2-tracks for writers and fans. Guest of Honor: Brad Parks, Toastmaster: E.F. Watkins, Fan Guest of Honor: Ilene Schneider,Other authors: S.W. Hubbard, Other authors: Jeff Markowitz, Jane Cleland, Jack Getze, Roberta Rogow, S.A. Solomon, Annamaria Alfieri, Richard Belsky, and more.

Travel Writers & Photographers Conference, Aug. 13–16, Corte Madera, Calif. Writing and photography workshops in the morning, a full afternoon of panels and discussions, and evening faculty presentations. There are optional, working field trips to explore the resources of the Bay Area. The faculty includes publishers, magazine editors, photographers, travel essayists, food writers, restauranteurs, guidebook writers, and more.

Unicorn Writers' Conference, August 15, Purchase, NY. Make connections and get feedback with dozens of opportunities for one-on-one face time with industry insiders, including: One-on-one manuscript reading and feed-back sessions with agents and editors, Networking breakfast, lunch and dinner, After-conference networking party. Perfect Your Craft with a choice of seven workshops to attend from over thirty different sessions offered in: Fiction, Nonfiction, Memoir, Mystery, Poetry, Screenwriting, Children’s Literature, Romance, Horror/Sci-Fi. Get the insider’s edge with a vast selection of rare, how-to tutorials from every department within a publishing company, including: Marketing/Publicity, Art/Production, Contracts, Special sales, Media training, Pitching Your Work, How to appeal to agents and editors, Various writing workshops, Literary agents and editors - discussion panels. 

 
 
Here are three new literary agents looking for clients. Amanda O’Connor (Trident Media) is seeking general-interest and upmarket nonfiction, spirituality and wellness, and literary fiction. Mallory C. Brown (TriadaUS) is interested in young adult, new adult, fantasy, romance, women’s fiction, and nonfiction. Pete Knapp of New Leaf Literary & Media, Inc. is looking for middle grade and young adult fiction across all genres, and he's also seeking smart, high-concept adult fiction.
Mallory C. Brown of TriadaUS

About Mallory: Literary agent Mallory C. Brown is with TriadaUS. Some of Mallory’s favorite books at the moment are: A Series of Unfortunate Events, Gone Girl, Outlander, and To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before.

What she is seeking: Young adult, new adult, women’s fiction, and nonfiction. She is especially drawn to pieces with strong character-driven plots and witty humor. She loves contemporary fiction, low fantasy, and romance. Mallory also appreciates a well-placed comma and hopes you do, too.

How to submit: E-query mallory [at] triadaus.com. When querying, please include the first ten ms pages in the body of the e-mail after your query.
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Amanda O’Connor of Trident Media

About Amanda: Amanda O’Connor joined Trident Media Group from Penguin Random House where she worked as an editor. Previously, she had been a bookseller, ghostwriter, assistant, and volunteer, happily taking on many roles within the publishing industry. Her breadth of experience has proven invaluable to her work as an agent, supporting authors through every step from proposal to publication and beyond. She holds a B.F.A. Writing, Literature, & Publishing with a concentration in poetry from Emerson College.

What she is seeking: Amanda is continuously building her client list in general-interest and upmarket nonfiction, spirituality and wellness, and literary fiction. She looks for the “wisdom factor” across genres and disciplines, especially authors who have an expertise they are eager to share with the world. Her favored subjects include (but are not limited to) history, religion, popular science, sociology, culinary arts, and creativity. In spirituality, Amanda’s approach is truly ecumenical, seeking leaders of all faith communities from Catholic nuns to Sikh entrepreneurs, from practical self-help to inspirational memoir. Literary fiction is a pursuit of passion. She gravitates towards works that address timeless concerns of the soul through the lens of modern life. Above all else, Amanda loves a well-crafted sentence.

How to submit: Please submit through Trident’s online form, directing its attention to Amanda O’Connor. Unsolicited queries should include a paragraph about yourself, a concise and thoughtful summary of the proposal, and your contact information. Please do not send a manuscript or proposal until you have been requested to do so.
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Peter Knapp of New Leaf Literary & Media, Inc.

About Peter: Peter worked at The Park Literary Group, where he represented authors of middle grade and young adult fiction, and prior to that he was a story editor at Floren Shieh Productions, consulting on book-to-film adaptations for Los Angeles-based movie and TV entities. He graduated from NYU summa cum laude and lives in Brooklyn.

What he is seeking: Middle grade and young adult fiction across all genres, and he's also seeking out smart, high-concept adult fiction. In YA, he wants character-driven contemporary, magical realism, epic fantasy (but it must feel fresh), and realistic stories with some type of twist (speculative, fantastical or otherwise). In middle grade, he likes literary award-contenders, epic adventures (fantastical or not) and everything in-between. He has a special place in his heart for middle grade that is spooky, funny, irreverent—or all three.

How to submit: Send query to query [at] newleafliterary [dot] com. The word "Query" must be in the subject line, plus the agent's name. You may include up to 5 double-spaced sample pages within the body of the email. NO ATTACHMENTS, unless specifically requested.
 
 
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What is a virtual book tour?

A  virtual book tour (aka blog tour) consists of lining up a series of bloggers to review your upcoming book (and/or conduct author interviews) during a time frame that corresponds to the release of your title. 

It is, as the name suggests, the internet version of an old-fashioned, in-the-flesh book tour.

Purpose of a virtual book tour

The purpose of a blog tour is to generate interest in your book. (This is called buzz.) That interest should pay off in sales, but it won't if you don't capitalize on it with other promotional tools such as giveaways, well-placed author interviews, and, of course, promotion of your blog tour on twitter, Facebook, and on your own blog and website. Building an audience takes time, energy and planning. A blog tour is just a part of your promotional plan.

How effective is a virtual book tour?

That depends entirely on where reviews and/or interviews are posted. Highly trafficked sites will be more effective than sites with just a few followers. If you plan it right, a book tour that includes influential sites can create considerable buzz. The difficulty many Indie authors face is that they don't have the time it takes to research well-trafficked sites. And, of course, tours require some planning. Review requests need to be sent out several months in advance of the release date.

Be aware that you will have to send out hundreds of email requests, as well as hundreds of ebook ARCs to get a decent number of reviews. (Unless you have written a steamy romance, the return rate is generally less than 10%.) But even 20 well-placed reviews and interviews can be highly effective. The reviews may not necessarily generate a lot of sales, but your name and the title of your book will have appeared on the net in 20 locations - hopefully with back links to your website - which will increase your exposure on search engines. (Don't forget to check if reviewers cross-post on Amazon and other venues, which will increase the reach of their review exponentially.)

To find bloggers in your genre see:

Top 12 Sites for Finding Reviewers

Top 5 Sites for Science Fiction Writers

Top 5 Sites For Mystery/Thriller Writers

Top 6 Sites for Romance Writers

Top 5 Online Resources for Children's and YA Book Writers

You can also do a google search on "[Your genre] book reviews." This will yield you thousands of hits.

Measuring success

Many authors measure the success of a blog tour by how many books they sell. (Be sure to look at your KDP, Nook or Smashwords dashboard before you embark on a tour so you will have a point of comparison.) But there are other ways to measure success. 

Getting your name out there is important, not just for your current book, but for future books. One way to determine if your blog tour is increasing your visibility is to sign up for Google Alerts, and create alerts for your name and for your book title. You can compare how often you are mentioned before and after the tour. Keep tracking to see if the buzz continues, and when it starts falling off. That will give you a time frame for how successful your tour has been, and will allow you gauge the success of your other promotions. What you want to see is steady conversation about you and your book for several weeks prior to the release, and a couple of weeks after. (Don't forget to arrange for pre-orders. Amazon has that feature as does Smashwords.)

Increased traffic to your blog and/or website is also a measurement of success. How many people visit your website during the tour, and are they following? (If you don't already have an email sign-up feature for your blog or website, now would be the time,) Followers are your fans! Don't be shy about sending them news. 

Book tour services

In light of the planing involved, some authors turn to book tour services rather than spend time organizing their own tours. There are a couple of advantages to using a book tour service: 1) You don't have to do all the work, and 2) Tour services have lists of hundreds of reviewers and social media outlets.

There are also disadvantages: 1) There is no guarantee that the reviewers the tour services have on their lists will actually review your book, 2) The review sites may not be well-trafficked, and 3) You have to pay, sometimes quite a bit, for the service.

What to look for in a book tour service

First, check out their stats. If their site ranks in the millions on Alexa, it means they get very little traffic. (The lower the number the better. Numbers in the hundreds of thousands are good.) Also check their daily visitors and page views on 7SecretSearch. Look to see how many followers the main tour site has. If there are fewer than one hundred, don't even think of using the service.

Next, check to see who is on their list of bloggers. How many bloggers are listed? (Make sure it's a lot.) Go to those sites and check how many followers each one has. This may be time consuming, but if the blog sites have few followers, it will do you little good to have them post an interview or review. While you are checking for followers, do a quick check for comments on posts, an "about" page, and other indications that the blogs are not "dummy blogs." (Some virtual book tour services have been known to set up fake blogs.)

Lastly, look for services that provide things you either can't or don't want to do yourself. These may include:
  • A banner
  • Posting on Net Galley
  • Distribution of a promotional package
Remember, tour services need to be for your genre. There is no point hiring a tour service that caters to romance bloggers if you write mysteries. So, examine the host blogs carefully.

Best services

Experiences with tour services vary tremendously, but there are a few (very few) that have been consistently recommended by authors. I've listed those which have decent site traffic, good social networking, and a large enough number of participating bloggers to make it worth your while.

Keep in mind that the success of a tour depends largely on how much an author is willing to contribute (e.g. contacting the blog hosts personally, making sure your website is current and mentions the tour, composing interviews and promotional material to send to hosts). Prices vary widely, and they do not always correspond with value.

For more information about paid blog tours see:

A Comparison of Book Blog Tour Services (Read the comment section)

Planning a Blog Tour? Think Twice (A critical review of blog tours)

7 Blog Tour sites 

Reaching Readers: Lessons Learned From Blog Tours
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Xpresso Book Tours

US Alexa rank: 300,347. Global rank: 587,555

Daily TrafficUnique Visitors: 3,674. Pageviews: 14, 696 

Genre: Young Adult and New Adult in all genres 

What they offer:

Cover Reveal $40
  • No limit on participants (average is 40 - 60)
  • One day
  • Maximum Social Media Exposure through participating blogs
  • Should be planned 3 to 4 weeks in advance
  • Only for covers that have not been released anywhere online

Book Blitz $90
  • One day or window to post
  • No limit on participants (average is 70-90)
  • Maximum Social Media Exposure through participating blogs
  • Should be planned 3 to 5 weeks in advance
  • Must include a giveaway (one per blog or one shared Rafflecopter prize–note that one per blog will get you the most participants = more exposure.)

Review Query $70
  • Connect your book with thousands of bloggers, readers, and reviewers from both our host list and 30k/month page views;
  • Save hours from querying bloggers individually;
  • No wait list for this service! Can be posted within 2 business days.

Packages

All of the following packages include:

Reviews to the max $170
  • 6 days
  • Maximum sign ups (up to 40 blogs)
  • May include giveaways *Encouraged*

Rock the Block $120
  • 1 week
  • ~15 tour stops

Rock the Town $170
  • 1 to 2 weeks (your choice)
  • ~20 tour stops

Rock the World $225
  • 1 to 3 weeks (your choice)
  • ~30 tour stops

Rock the Stars $280
  • 1 to 4 weeks (your choice)
  • ~40 tour stops
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YA Bound

US Alexa rank: 272,973. Global rank: 1,213,266
Genre: Young Adult

What they offer:
15 stops - $50
20 stops - $70
25 stops - $90
30 stops - $120
35 stops - $140
40 stops - $180
50 stops - $200
Book blitz (1 day or 1 week) - $30

Cover reveals are free.
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Pump Up Your Book Virtual Tours

Global Alexa rank: 672,407. Australia rank: 16,949

Genres: Fiction and nonfiction

What they provide (prices range from $199 to $799):
  • Bronze Tour Package – 10 stops (over the course of one month)
  • Silver Tour Package – 18-20 stops (over the course of one month)
  • Gold Tour Package – 30+ stops (over the course of two months)
  • Platinum Package – 45+ stops (over the course of three months)

All packages include:
  • Media Packet
  • Banner
  • Official tour page
  • Social network promotion
  • Inclusion in their PUYB Virtual Book Club on Goodreads

 
 
Here are two new literary agents seeking clients. Danielle Burby (HSG Agency) is looking for young adult, mystery, women’s fiction, and fantasy. Eric Smith (P.S. Literary) is looking for YA and adult sci-fi and fantasy, thrillers and mysteries; and in nonfiction, cookbooks, pop culture, humor, essay collections, and blog to book ideas.
Danielle Burby of HSG Agency

About Danielle: Danielle started at Hannigan Salky Getzler in 2013 and now serves as a junior agent and the agency’s foreign rights manager. She is actively building her client list. Danielle graduated from Hamilton College with honors and a double major in Creative Writing and Women’s Studies. Before finding her home at HSG, she interned at Writers House, Clarion Books, Faye Bender Literary Agency, Dunow Carlson and Lerner, John Wiley and Sons, and SquareOne Publishers (along with stints as a waitress and a farmers’ market vendor). Danielle was involved in way too many singing groups in college and is always up for karaoke. She also enjoys both tea and coffee, managing to defy the naysayers who claim they’re an either-or thing. She is, however, distinctly a chocolate person. You can follow her on twitter at @danielleburby.

What she is seeking: young adult, mystery, women’s fiction, and an occasional fantasy. She gravitates toward stories with a strong voice and particularly enjoys complex female characters, narratives that explore social issues, and coming-of-age stories. Genres that appeal to her include contemporary YA, medieval fantasy, historical fiction, cozy mysteries, and upmarket women’s fiction. She finds it hard to resist gorgeous writing and is a sucker for romantic plotlines that are an element of the narrative, but don’t dominate it.

How to submit: Email a query letter and the first five pages of your manuscript to dburby [at] hsgagency.com. No attachments.
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Eric Smith of P.S. Literary

About Eric: Eric Smith is an associate literary agent at P.S. Literary, with a love for young adult books, sci-fi, fantasy, and literary fiction. He began his publishing career at Quirk Books in Philadelphia, working social media and marketing on numerous books he absolutely adored. Eric completed his BA in English at Kean University, and his MA in English at Arcadia University.

A frequent blogger, his ramblings about books appear on BookRiot, The Huffington Post, Barnes & Noble’s Teen Reads blog, Paste Magazine’s Books section, and more. A published author with Quirk Books and Bloomsbury, he seeks to give his authors the same amount of love his writing has received. Follow him on Twitter: @ericsmithrocks

What he is seeking: Eric is eagerly acquiring fiction and nonfiction projects. He’s actively seeking out new, diverse voices in Young Adult (particularly sci-fi and fantasy), New Adult, and Literary and Commercial Fiction (again, loves sci-fi and fantasy, but also thrillers and mysteries). In terms of nonfiction, he’s interested in Cookbooks, Pop Culture, Humor, essay collections, and blog to book ideas. You can view his detailed manuscript wish list at http://ericsmithrocks.com/mswl/

How to submit: Eric is currently accepting queries through PS Literary’s Submissions page. Limit your submission to a query letter and do not send attachments (use text within the body of your e-mail). All queries to him should be directed to query[at]psliterary.com
 
 
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The news that most literary prizes are won by men should come as no surprise. The chances of getting published - and reviewed - are much greater if you are male. (There are two literary strongholds for female novelists: romance and "women's fiction." The rest are dominated by male authors, and feature male protagonists.)

Kamila Shamsie has challenged publishers to address this disparity by making 2018 the Year of Publishing Women, in which no new titles should be by men. So far, only And Other Stories, a small British press, has taken up Kamila Shamsie's challenge.

A point of interest is that And Other Stories accepts submissions directly from unpublished authors, and for translations of work into English. If you are a woman who has not yet published a novel, you may want to consider submitting

Further reading

Research shows male writers still dominate books world

Kamila Shamsie: let’s have a year of publishing only women – a provocation
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No men allowed: publisher accepts novelist's 'year of women' challenge

The Guardian: Alison Flood, Thursday 11 June 2015 03.00 EDT

Small press And Other Stories has answered author Kamila Shamsie’s provocative call for a year of publishing women to redress “gender bias” in the literary world.

The novelist made what she called her “provocation” in Saturday’s Guardian, revealing that just under 40% of books submitted to the Booker prize over the past five years were by women, and pointing to everything from the author Nicola Griffith’s research, which found that far more prize-winning novels have male than female protagonists, to the Vida statistics showing that male authors and reviewers command more space than female.

“At this point, I’m going to assume that the only people who really doubt that there is a gender bias going on are those who stick with the idea that men are better writers and better critics,” wrote Shamsie. “Enough. Across the board, enough ... I would argue that is time for everyone, male and female, to sign up to a concerted campaign to redress the inequality ... Why not have a year of publishing women: 2018, the centenary of women over the age of 30 getting the vote in the UK, seems appropriate.”

And Other Stories, the literary press that uses a network of readers to source its titles, has become the first publisher to accept the challenge. “I think we can do it,” said publisher Stefan Tobler. “And if we don’t do it, what is going to change?”

Read the rest of this article HERE.

 
 
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With the recent announcement that it will begin paying Kindle Unlimited authors by pages read, rather than borrows, Amazon has set off a spate of commentary, from Fortune to a satirical jab by the Telegraph.

Nobody has ever paid authors by the number of pages read. Authors have been paid by pages written, especially when their works are serialized, and they have been paid by the word. But the idea of paying an author for the number of pages a reader actually reads is unprecedented. There is no comparison to be made in the history of authorship. (Not even pricing books by how much they weigh, or by how large they are.)

The confusion Amazon has generated is apparent in the Authors Guild statement below. In it, the Guild raises a number of questions, largely having to do with logistics (What counts as a page read?), and implications for authors (Will they have to generate cliff hangers? and the eternal, Will quality suffer?)

None of these critiques of a system in which reader attention span determines the economic success of an author addresses the underlying problem with this scheme.

It monitors readers in ways that are highly intrusive.

How much I read of a book, or which pages I read of a book, is none of Amazon's business. Not only should Amazon keep its nose out of my reading habits, it should not draw any conclusions from them. I often read nonfiction books piecemeal. Sometimes, I read works of fiction in snippets. (Short stories, poetry collections.) Should a writer get paid less if he or she wrote only one short story or poem that touched my heart? What if that poem were "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening"? If I didn't read any other poem in that collection, would it mean Robert Frost was less beloved in my eyes? Would it make him less well known to the reading public than someone who had written a book of dirty limericks (of which I guarantee every single page would be turned)?

You betcha. And, as a consequence of paying authors via this bizarre system (especially if it catches on) careers will be hampered, talent will go unrewarded, and readers will be served continual crowd-sourced pap - all under the banner of "books readers want to read."

Once again, publishers (in this case Amazon) not only determine what authors get paid, but what readers should like. But unlike industry manipulation of bestseller lists, fixed reviews, and well-placed hype, this is an invasion of privacy with no benefit to either readers or authors.

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From the Authors Guild:

Starting July 1, Amazon will pay royalties to its indie authors based on the number of pages users actually read, rather than the number of times the book is “borrowed.” In its announcement, Amazon touted its unilateral amendment to its terms for self-published e-books enrolled in its Kindle Unlimited (KU) and Kindle Owners’ Lending Library (KOLL) e-lending services. The change, Amazon said, is a response to authors’ complaints about the unfairness of its current single rate for all books, regardless of length. Writers of longer works will stand to benefit, provided those books are read in full, but it could slash the earnings of entire classes of authors, such as poets and children’s book writers, whose works tend to have fewer pages. The new regime leaves intact Amazon’s unfortunate practice of paying indie authors out of an opaque royalty pool, which pits self-published authors against one another in a zero-sum scramble for readers. With a finite amount of money to go around each month, one author’s gain is another’s loss.

The royalty adjustment comes almost a year after Amazon launched Kindle Unlimited, an e-book subscription service where readers pay $9.99 a month for access to hundreds of thousands of titles, most of which are self-published by members of Amazon’s KDP Select program. KDP Select authors, who are automatically enrolled in both KU and KOLL, agree to make their e-books available exclusively through Kindle platforms, preventing these indie authors from exploring other revenue streams as long as they are enrolled in Select. Authors may, however, drop out of KDP Select by contacting Amazon with the ASIN of the book they would like to remove, according to the announcement.

Under its outgoing royalty structure, Amazon pays a fee for each book “borrowed,” provided at least 10% of the book is read. The fee is the same for short story–length books as it is for a 500-page novel. Some writers quickly learned how to game the system and flooded Kindle Unlimited with excerpts and shorter works, even publishing books in chapters, since once a reader crosses the 10% “borrow” threshold the author earns the same no matter how long or complex the book is. While there are any number of other possible solutions to the problem, Amazon’s solution is to pay per page read. This represents an entirely new way of thinking about compensation for authors.

Exactly how this will impact books in the long run is hard to know, but it undoubtedly will affect KDP Select authors’ writing and the ability of some of these authors to make a living. For now, many questions remain to be answered. Will authors enrolled in the program feel compelled to write longer books? Will they feel the need to make sure every page has a compelling detail or cliffhanger? Will there be more padding (to make a book longer) or less (so every page is read)? If books do get padded, will readers start reading differently and skipping more? What happens to the long works of nonfiction that might take years to write and add greatly to our society’s knowledge base, but are rarely read in full by the lay reader? Will skimmed pages count? How long does a reader have to spend on a page for it to count as “read”? What data will Amazon share with authors and publishers? Will the data it gathers (most likely kept close) give it even greater dominance in indie publishing? Will it share any of its reading statistics with writers to help them have more pages read? Will they eventually foist this payment method on publishers, starting with the smaller ones who have little to no negotiating power?

At first glance, it appear that tying royalties to pages read will only incentivize authors to produce books that compel readers to keep reading. It’s not so clear whether that will result in better books. What is clear is that Amazon’s contracts with its indie authors are non-negotiable terms of use that Amazon can change at any time and which become binding on its authors within 30 days of their posting. Since its Kindle Select terms require exclusivity, this unilateral change in the royalty structure has the potential to disrupt the livelihoods of KDP Select authors with little to no warning. Even with Amazon’s monthly tinkering with the royalty pool, under its per-borrow scheme authors in recent months could at least count on a rate of somewhere between $1.33 and $1.40 per borrow. Writers of children’s books, particularly books for young children, will necessarily see that rate go down significantly.

Announced just weeks before it takes effect, the change is a reminder of Amazon’s power not only vis-à-vis traditional publishers and authors, but also among those self-published authors who have often been the e-tailer’s most vocal apologists. It’s never been more clear that indie authors who publish with KDP Select are dependent on Amazon’s business decisions, including how much money to distribute via the monthly royalty pool.

This is also a sad reminder that traditional publishers—whose unsavory contract terms we’re focusing on as part of our Fair Contract Initiative—aren’t the only ones who offer writers take-it-or-leave-it publishing contracts.

In additional Amazon news, the retailer has come to terms with Penguin Random House, the last of the Big Five publishers to negotiate e-book terms with Amazon after the expiration of the consent decree resulting from the U.S. v. Apple e-book pricing litigation. Neither side disclosed the nature of those terms or what pricing model (wholesale or agency) will govern under the terms of the new agreement.

 
 
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Here are 24 fabulous conferences scheduled for the month of July. Even if you don't plan to attend any this month, take a look at some of the websites. Just reading the roster of authors, agents, and industry professionals who attend these gatherings is exciting!

In addition to the national and regional events, there are also a number of smaller venues offering an intimate day or two of workshops and readings. In all cases, writing conferences are memorable, instructive, and inspiring events. I encourage every writer to attend one.
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Omega Institute Poetry Festival. July 5 - 10, Rhinebeck, New York. Readings and workshops led by poets Nick Flynn, Marie Howe, Li-Young Lee, Alison Luterman, and Aja Monet.

Idyllwild Arts Summer Program Writers Week. July 6 - 11, Idyllwild, California. Workshops, craft talks, readings, and one-on-one consultations in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. Faculty includes poets Natalie Diaz, Luis J. Rodriguez, and Ed Skoog; fiction writer Samantha Dunn; and nonfiction writer Amy Friedman. Guest writers include poets Victoria Chang and Matthew Dickman, nonfiction writer Sandra Tsing Loh, and critic David Ulin.

Summer Fishtrap Gathering of Writers. July 6 - 12, Wallowa Lake, Oregon. Workshops in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, as well as panel discussions, readings, and open mics. The theme for the 2015 conference is “Hidden From History: Stories We Haven’t Heard, Stories We Haven’t Told.” Faculty includes poets Sherwin Bitsui and Allison Hedge Coke; fiction writers Karen Fisher, Craig Lesley, Jan Vandenburgh, and Erika T. Wurth; and nonfiction writers Tom Kizzia, Page Lambert, and Robert Michael Pyle.

ThrillerFest X. July 7–11, New York. This is the annual conference of the International Thriller Writers. The ThrillerFest conference has four main components: Master CraftFest, CraftFest, PitchFest, and ThrillerFest. Master CraftFest was designed as an educational tool for aspiring writers as well as debut and midlist authors to gain advanced training from the masters of the craft in an intimate, day-long training session. CraftFest was designed for all writers to learn from bestselling authors and subject experts who kindly offer their advice and assistance to advance attendees’ writing techniques and further their careers. PitchFest was designed to match writers with agents, editors, publishers, and producers.ThrillerFest, the final two days of the conference, is intended to offer readers a chance to meet the best authors in the industry and be introduced to debut and midlist authors. Expect innovative panels, spotlight interviews, and workshops to educate and inspire.

Centrum Port Townsend Writers’ Conference. July 9 -19, Port Townsend, Washington. workshops in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, as well as craft lectures, readings, open mics, and time to write. The faculty includes poets Kim Addonizio, Erin Belieu, Gary Copeland Lilley, Jimmy Kimbrell, and Joseph Stroud; fiction writers Claire Davis, Skip Horack, and Pam Houston; and creative nonfiction writers Lisa Norris and Luis Urrea.

The Summer Writers Institute at Washington University. July 10 - 24, St. Louis MO. An intensive, two-week program featuring workshops with experienced instructors and published authors. Writers also benefit from readings, craft talks, and individual conferences with instructors. Faculty includes Stefan Merrill Block, Fiction; Heather McPherson, Modern Humor; David Schuman, Flash Fiction; Kent Shaw, Poetry; Kathleen Finneran and Deborah Taffa, Pers. Narrative; Richard Chapman, Screenwriting; Colin Bassett, Lit. Journalism; Mary Jo Bang, Keynote.

All Write Now! July 11, Cape Girardeau, Missouri. Sponsored by the Southeast Missouri Writers' Guild and the Heartland Writers Guild. Writing workshops spanning the gamut of genres, from romance to non-fiction plus practical application workshops for pitching, publishing, using technology.

Antioch Writers' Workshop. July 11 - 17, Yellow Springs, Ohio. morning classes and afternoon seminars in fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry for all levels of writers--beginning to advanced. The workshop includes opportunities to give readings, receive professional critiques, interact with faculty, and meet with a visiting agent. We also offer "a la carte" options for writers to attend only the morning classes, only the beginning writers' afternoon seminar, or a one-day Saturday Seminar. Faculty: Lee Martin (keynoter and morning fiction); Dinty W. Moore (morning non-fiction); Cathy Smith Bowers (morning poetry.) Afternoon seminar faculty includes Sherri Wood Emmons, Cathy Essinger, Roxane Gay, Matthew Goodman, Gregoy Belliveau, Jeffrey Ford, and others. Visiting agents Suzie Townsend (New Leaf Literary) and Hannah Brown Gordon (Foundry Literary + Media). A la carte registration closes on July 7.

Taos Summer Writers’ Conference. July 12 -19, Taos, New Mexico. Workshops in poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and publishing, as well as master classes for full-length manuscripts, readings, manuscript consultations, and a visit to the nearby D. H. Lawrence Ranch. Faculty includes poets Jeffrey Davis, Joy Harjo, Valerie Martínez, Tomás Q. Morín, Hilda Raz, and Richard Vargas; fiction writers Jonis Agee, Tom Barbash, John Dufresne, Minrose Gwin, Jesse Lee Kercheval, Priscilla Long, BK Loren, Lynn Miller, Antonya Nelson, Matthew Pitt, Bob Shacochis, Summer Wood, and Margaret Wrinkle; and creative nonfiction writers Debra Monroe, Mark Sundeen, Candace Walsh, and Robert Wilder; editors Nancy Naomi Carlson (Tupelo Press) and Elise McHugh (University of New Mexico Press); and agents Allison Hunter (Stuart Krichevsky Literary Agency), Alexis Hurley (Inkwell Management), and Jane Von Mehren (Jane von Mehren Associates). Each workshop is limited to 12 participants; each master class is limited to 6 participants. 

Tin House Summer Writer’s Workshop. July 12 -19, Portland, Oregon. workshops in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, as well as seminars, readings, and meetings with agents and editors. Participating writers include poets Natalie Diaz, Cornelius Eady, and Tony Hoagland; fiction writers Dorothy Allison, Robert Boswell, Lan Samantha Chang, Manuel Gonzales, Marlon James, Victor LaValle, Jenny Offill, Benjamin Percy, Karen Russell, Jim Shepard, Karen Shepard, and Claire Vaye Watkins; and creative nonfiction writers Charles D’Ambrosio, Maggie Nelson, and David Shields. 

The Gathering. July 16 - 19, La Plume, Pennsylvania. Workshops in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, as well as lectures and performances. The theme this year is “The Story,” which will focus on personal encounters with history. Faculty includes poet Denver Butson, fiction writers Adwoa Badoe and Gina Nahai, and nonfiction writers Katherine Boo and Elizabeth Gordon.

PNWA Conference. July 16 - 19, Seattle, Washington, Sponsored by the Pacific Northwest Writers Association. More than 50 seminars, editor/agent forums & appointments, practice pitching, keynote and featured speakers, reception, awards ceremony. Many agents and editors attending.

Green River Writers Workshops:Turning Memory into Story: Memoir Writing Workshop. July 16 - 19, Las Vegas, New Mexico. Using memory as a starting point, Green River Writers Workshops focus on the craft of storytelling through memoir, fiction, historical writing, and poetry. Both experienced and beginning writers are welcome. Faculty: Gerald Hausman, Loretta Hausman, Alice Winston Carney.

Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference. July 17 - 19, Grapevine, Texas. The theme is “the great divide between the Haves and Have-Nots in American society and the social, economic, racial, cultural, and political fissures created by this divide.” Workshops in creative nonfiction as well as panel discussions, lectures, readings, and pitch sessions with agents. Faculty includes Jill Abramson, Barbara Ehrenreich, Anne Fadiman, and Alex Tizon. Attending agents: Jim Donovan (Jim Donovan Literary), Jim Hornfischer (Hornfischer Literary Management), Dave Patterson (Foundry Literary + Media), and BJ Robbins (BJ Robbins Literary Agency).

Martha’s Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing Summer Seminar. July 19 - 24, Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. Workshops in poetry and fiction, one-on-one manuscript consultations, panel discussions, and readings. Faculty includes poets Emily Skaja and Marcus Wicker, and fiction writers Michael Martone, Phong Nguyen, and Alexander Weinstein.

Stonecoast Writers’ Conference. July 19 - 25, Portland, ME. Workshops in poetry, short fiction, novel, and nonfiction/memoir, and a mixed-genre Creative Writing Bootcamp. The Stonecoast Writers’ Conference is open to students of all experience levels. However, admission is selective. Writing sample and deposit required.

Writing the Rockies. July 22 - 25, Gunnison, Colorado. Workshops, readings, panels, seminars and other events in poetry, genre fiction, screenwriting and publishing. One-to-one visits with faculty for critiques & pitches. Sponsored by Graduate Program in Creative Writing, Western State Colorado University. Faculty includes Poetry: Fred Turner, Kim Bridgford, Dave Mason, Emily Grosholz, Marilyn Taylor, Tom Cable, many more. Screenwriting: JS Mayank, Genre Fiction: Russell Davis, Michaela Roessner, Diana Tixier Herald Publishing: Caleb Seeling, Larry Meredith.

Midwest Writers Workshop. July 23 - 25, Muncie, Indiana. Craft and business sessions, agent pitches, manuscript evaluations. Numerous authors, agents, editors, and publicists attending.

Agent, Editor, Authors Critiques & Pitch Workshop. July 23 - 25, Seattle, Washington. Critiques with a pro, a pitch session with an agent, panels with everything from geography and world-building, Indie and Hybrid vs. Traditional, the editing process, marketing, and much more. Also a two-hour block of time set aside for a free, open to the public portion. Authors will speak in an open discussion on several aspects of writing and there will be an opportunity for book sales and signings.

North Carolina Writers' Network Squire Summer Writing Residency. July 23 - 26. Greenville, North Carolina. Workshops in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, as well as a presentation and readings. Faculty includes poet Amber Flora Thomas and fiction writer Luke Whisnant.

Iota Short Prose Conference. July 23 - 26, Lubec, Maine. Workshops, craft discussions, readings, open mics, one-on-one meetings with faculty, and field trips to nearby locations for poets, fiction writers, and creative nonfiction writers. Faculty includes poet and prose writer Richard Hoffman and nonfiction writer Sarah Einstein.

Napa Valley Writers’ Conference. July 26 - July 31, St. Helena, California. Workshops in poetry and fiction, craft lectures, panels, and evening readings with wine receptions at venues around Napa Valley. Faculty includes poets Jane Hirshfield, D. A. Powell, and Arthur Sze; and fiction writers Robert Boswell, Lan Samantha Chang, Michelle Huneven, and Antonya Nelson.

Writer’s Digest Conference, July 31–Aug. 2, New York. Annual Writer's Digest Conference featuring: Pitch Slam, with more than fifty agents and editors in attendance, educational tracks devoted to publishing and self-publishing, platform and promotion, and the craft of writing,  speakers and instructors, including New York Times bestsellers Jonathan Maberry, Hallie Ephron and M.J. Rose, self-published author G.P. Ching, and Writer Beware co-founder Victoria Strauss.

Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators Annual Conference. July 31–Aug. 3, Los Angeles, California. More than 100 writers, editors, illustrators, & agents. Workshops, breakout sessions, manuscript and portfolio consultations, panels, discussions.


 

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