Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Mount Hermon recap, part 7

Captain’s Log, Stardate 04.25.2006

Blog book giveaway:
My Thursday book giveaway is A BABY FOR DRY CREEK by Janet Tronstad.
My Monday book giveaway is THE REMEDY FOR REGRET and A WINDOW TO THE WORLD by Susan Meissner.
You can still enter both giveaways. Just post a comment on each of those blog posts. On Thursday, I'll draw the winner for A BABY FOR DRY CREEK and post the title for another book I'm giving away. Stay tuned.

Continued from Mount Hermon recap, part 6:
Pray for Jeff Dunn (RiverOak). He had gall bladder surgery and couldn’t make it to the conference.

This is for all you writers. I’m afraid I was remiss in taking better notes at the editors’ panel, but the questions some of the attendees asked weren’t very interesting to me, either. So I popped up with a question: “Are there any secrets you (the editors) could give away about trends of the market genres?”

Andy McGuire (Moody) thinks readers will start to demand more straight mystery series (like Sue Grafton’s alphabet series) with a detective or PI to follow through a dozen books or so.

Zondervan is not interested in speculative fiction/sci-fi/fantasy AT ALL. And in case you missed it the first time, that means NONE. Karen Ball was very frank—the sales numbers just don’t support the risk of publishing in that genre.

Jeff Gerke (NavPress) gave a terrific theory about the future of speculative fiction/sci-fi/fantasy (SF/F). He thinks that in 3-5 years, one spectacular SF/F book will explode into the market (kind of like Left Behind but in SF/F), and then the publishing houses will start requesting SF/F manuscripts like crazy. Jeff’s friend Dave Long (Bethany House) disagrees, but let’s hope Jeff is correct. Otherwise, all the Christians who love sci-fi/fantasy will continue to go to Barnes and Noble and buy the secular stuff.

The editors were a bit slap-happy by this time in the conference, so they bantered around and put down poor Jeff, and didn’t answer my question any further.

Because they were bought by Hachette Livre, Warner Faith will be changing their name to something like Hachette Publishing Group?, I didn’t take good notes. Chip MacGregor mentioned when that was happening but I don’t remember.

Karen Ball is leaving Zondervan on the 28th? I think? but will be editing for them as a freelancer. I think she’ll be my editor! Yay!

Tomorrow: How I came to be murdered.

TMI:

Discussion loop: On this loop I belong to, someone asked about houses buying on proposal, especially since the author had a couple books published a few years ago, but her current proposal had been turned down by her publisher. I answered on-loop and thought I was being very logical and friendly, saying that most houses (from my experience and talking with other published authors) usually don’t buy a manuscript on proposal from someone they’ve never published before (unless, of course, you’re someone like Jennifer Weiner or Amy Tan).

So a day later I went back and others on the loop have disagreed with me, that houses do buy on proposal from previously published authors, even if that author hadn’t published with that particular house before. (I really don’t buy that. Not unless the author had great sales at the other publishing house.)

So I read my response again, and Oh my gosh can someone please remove the poker from my butt??? How do I come across as so asinine on e-mail?

I will no longer be the first to respond to an email. I will instead gauge the atmosphere and if people are persisting in fairy-tale delusions about houses having $100,000 to throw away on every manuscript that crosses their desk, so be it. I will just keep my mouth shut.

7 comments :

  1. I'm surfing through the blog ring today, and I just saw your 'Zondervan news' for the first time! Wowzers! That's exciting news.

    I knew you when...

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  2. Grrr... well Zondervan will just have to miss out on my brilliance. (though they have unwittingly been corrupted by it in a small way...thanks to Brandilyn) ;)

    But I guess they won't care since they have your brilliance, Camy.

    Thanks for all the reports.

    Always a joy to read your blog, even if it is all pink and stuff. :)

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  3. I certainly hope Jeff Gerke is right about the future of Christian sci-fi/fantasty books -- I absolutely LOVE Kathy Tyers and Karen Hancock, and I would love to see more books of that type published. However, I can understand (sadly) publishers being reluctant to take the risk given the current market. Which is sad...because I think we need more of those types of book out there!! Anyway, thanks for the terrific notes! And I hadn't heard Karen Ball was leaving Zondervan...is she just going to be a straight freelancer or is she going to another house? That is awesome that she may be editing your series!!

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  4. Camy, I wish we would have been able to hang out more at Mt. Hermon. I think we'd find we have the same commenting affliction. :)

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  5. Aww, was it that bad? I bet not. I know you're buried. Praying for you!

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  6. Well, I heard Jeff's nutshell wrapup of his impassioned case for the breakout sci-fi/fantasy market one night at dinner at MH. That was right before he asked about my sci-fi/fan that won in Noble Theme last year. I can say one thing for sure: in the market you just never know. It's all up to story, supply and demand.

    But I understand what you said on the commenting section. You said "most" and I agree with you. "Most" houses don't. Some might. Some do. I think anytime people use the words "always" and "never" there's an acception. Sheesh, I think people just split hairs sometimes. LOL. Sleep easy. You were right too. :)

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  7. It's disheartening to me that SF/F isn't embraced by the CBA audience (or properly marketed and supported to find that audience). SF/F does well in secular. That includes Christians like me and Stuart and Shannon and Beth and Sally, etc. That tells me that, in great part, publishers just don't know how to properly push it to a CBA audience that got an earful of anti-Harry Potter stuff.

    But I will hope for that breakout novel that opens doors to come this year, not in 3-5. Oh, yeah. And I hope it's one that makes me sing with reader-delight! Me like books make Mir slappy-happy.

    Mir<---not yet slappy happy about CBA SF/F

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