Lit Agent Links – Skype, Hype, and Passing the Slush Pile

Do you think the Norse god Odin, who takes advice from a severed head, rides an eight-legged horse, talks to ravens, sacrificed an eye and hanged himself in the pursuit of wisdom, would appreciate us referring to his day as “Hump Day”?!

Well, okay… the “Hump” refers to finally suffering through the worst trials of the workweek, and looking forward to the pleasures of the Day of Frigg (his wife), so maybe he would appreciate the symbolism. *shrug*

As Odin was the literary agent of Norse myth, let us away to this week’s literary agent links!

Jessica at BookEnds LLC had over 500 unanswered queries to get to the other day.  Go check out how that went.

Kristin Nelson at Pub Rants gives authors another reason to nail that query pitch paragraph: you might need to rework it for your jacket copy.  (Despite how I rant about publishers pushing promotional responsibilities onto authors, this particular duty I would gladly take in hand.)

At Dystel & Goderich:
Rachel points the way to a great piece by author Melanie Benjamin on the perils of Skype for authors,
Jane discusses the intangible factors in weighing publisher offers, and
Jim attacks the question “What is great writing?”

And, the LIT AGENT LINK OF THE WEEK award goes to Nathan Bransford for pointing the way to Laura Miller‘s Salon piece on how self-publishing is shifting the dreaded slush pile into the laps of readers, who really don’t want it:

Readers themselves rarely complain that there isn’t enough of a selection on Amazon or in their local superstore; they’re more likely to ask for help in narrowing down their choices.

Yet another destructive dynamic to add to the list of reasons everyone in publishing should be working to shore up the industry against self-publishing and self-promotion, rather than just riding it into the ground, whooping and hollering like Major Kong in Dr. Strangelove.

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