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Elizabeth Scott


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

This is a timed post because I have about three minutes to write it before I'm off to the copy edits. However! So far, my reward for working on the copy edits is going to the movies and I've seen Sherlock Holmes, which I enjoyed (Robert Downey, Jr. is tremendous) and Avatar, which was truly like nothing I've ever seen. It takes 3-D to a whole other level and if you get a chance to see it, it's so worth it.

What good movies have you seen recently?

Okay, timer is ticking, so here are the links:

Editorial Ass on what second printings mean

Only Justine Musk could talk about writing and Fight Club--yep, you read that right! Check out parts one, two, and three--There are a lot of great things in these posts, which I highly recommend reading. Here's one of my faves: "Growth is messy and awkward.

We fail. We make mistakes.

So what. Let the chips fall where they may. Failure is just another teaching tool. If anything, we should seek to fail as fast and as often as possible."

Want to make sure you *never* get published? Well, here's how you can do that.

In a similar vein, Nathan Bransford repeats an older but still relevant blog post about the importance of not being an ass, or as he says, "But when those difficult and nebulous decisions are being made in a publishing house, such as who gets what advertising and who is going to be the lead title and a great deal of complex factors are being weighed, put a great personality in the "pro" column for an author.

Personality counts."

Lisa Schroeder has some great tips for what you can do when you want to support an author, but don't have the money to buy their book

Rachel Caine has a very sensible post about the so-called death of bookstores--"Periodically, someone will declare the sky is falling, books are dead, and the New Hot Tech will inherit the earth. I think this could be one of those times. And now I shall go buy a book."

Another repeated blog post, but another one well worth reading, this time from A Chair, A Fireplace, & A Tea Cozy about how ARCs are NOT finished books--"When I was discussing this with Carlie Webber, young adult services librarian for BCCLS, New Jersey, she handed me the ARC and book of Be More Chill by Ned Vizzini. The ARC has a chapter not found in the book. Reviewers and those who understand what an ARC is – and isn't – know that when they read the ARC, they are not reading the final book."

ah, nothing says the holidays like...copy edits???

Monday, December 28, 2009

This is going to be a short and sweet post as I'm currently neck deep in copy edits. But! I did have an amazing holiday, and I hope you did as well!

This was my favorite present--my mom went to a luncheon where Judy Blume was speaking, waited in line, and then got a copy of one of my fave Blume books, Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret, SIGNED! It was so amazing. My parents are awesome!

What's been your best holiday gift this year?

Before I head back to the copy edits, I do have a few links to share:

Editorial Anonymous on how to tell if sales of your book are good or not--which is **must-read** post!--as well as reader questions and publishing myths (which comes with a contest!)

Over at Pimp My Novel, Christi Corbett writes about writing space and ideal vs. reality--great look into not just writing space, but time as well.

Alex Flinn on "So...what are you working on?"--As someone who is so superstitious about what I'm writing that not only will I not talk about it (and I won't. at all.) there is only one person in the world who sees all my stuff while I'm drafting, I loved this blog post.

Forget perfect, and embrace all the things that make *you* the amazing person you are!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

This year, Jill, who runs Reading is Bliss, asked me to write a guest blog about the holidays and I was more than happy to do so.

You can read about what I love--and don't love-- about the holidays, and what I think is the most important thing to celebrate here.

And of course, although most of the blogs are pretty quiet, there's still a few links worth sharing:

Nathan Bransford is wondering how you start a new writing project--at over 150 comments, there's a lot to read here! (And I don't know about you, but I love reading about how other people write)

Pimp My Novel has a guest blog from Randy Susan Meyers about Books on Writing--I like how it's divided into two sections, Before (for when you are writing) and After (for when you are trying to sell your book)

And okay, I know this is pretty shameless, but Kate and Will from Perfect You were named the Number One Couple over at Not Enough Bookshelves!! -- After looking at all the other amazing couples listed, not only am I'm honored to be part of the list, I'm blown away that Kate and Will came in first! (And very grateful to Alexa for the honor!)

Oh! And today is the last day to get yourself a free book...


Monday, December 21, 2009

We had our first snow of the year, and I guess Mother Nature wanted to make up for those 70 degree days we were having in November because WOW! We got about twenty inches in a day, which is (I think) a record-breaker. (And if nothing else, it looked beautiful)

I love snow, but today we're entering into the one part of snow I don't like, and that's the part where patches of it have turned to ice and you have to be extra super careful walking. As someone who is, shall we say, less than naturally graceful, I do not handle walking on slippery surfaces with ease. (Unless the ability to fall down A LOT counts as ease!)

So cross your fingers for me as I head out to take the dog to the vet today for a checkup, and I have some links to share:

The Intern on the weirdness that is book promotion

Nathan Bransford offers a look back at the year in publishing

Kristin Nelson does her yearly statistics roundup--For a look at her previous roundups, just check out my December archives for the past few years. (This year's numbers are, once again, just staggering--38,000 queries, and 6 new clients (!!))

A great post that suggests writers embrace use of "enthusiasm" rather than "disipline" when it comes to writing--"If you aren’t excited about what you’re writing how in the heck can you expect anyone else to be?...That isn’t to say being excited about your stories will mean you’ll never have another bad writing day. It doesn’t mean writing won’t ever be hard. I guarantee it will be. But at least you’ll be working hard because you want to be–not because discipline shamed you into it. Not because guilt told you to write or else. As writers, we understand the power of words. So why in the world do we constantly impose negative ones on this creative thing we’re supposed to love? Enough, I say. Starting today, focus on how to be more enthusiastic about your writing."

Editorial Anonymous with some sage advice on new vs. experienced agents

Justine Musk on procrastination -- The first one is my favorite. It sounds easy but it can actually be really, really hard.

A great little post about the unexpected perks of being an author

Confused by trends in books sales? Confused about sales of your own books? Don't worry, you aren't alone. No one seems to really know

I'm thrilled to say that both Something, Maybe (don't forget that you--yes, YOU!--get a free book for buying this!) and Love You Hate You Miss You are nominees for the Children's Book Council Award, and if you wanted to, you could vote for them, or any of the other amazing books, listed here

And! I was so surprised when I found out that Stealing Heaven is one of the nominees for the 2010-2011 Missouri Association of School Librarians Gateway Award, I actually wrote to the librarian who sent me the note about the nomination and told her I was sure she'd made a mistake. But I was wrong (no shock there, right?) and Stealing Heaven is a nominee--along with so many other WOW! books that I'm still surprised--and very honored) to be on the list. (Thank you, Missouri!!!)

well, winter is finally here!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Winter--the actual cold weather and not seventy degrees passing itself as "winter" because there's a little breeze--has arrived. And I love it!

Also, and in completely unrelated news, my husband is now addicted to popchips, those potato chips that are air-popped. I don't know what it is about them, but last night he ate his third bag in three days (!) and then asked me if I wanted to go to the grocery store.

So he wanted to to the grocery store, right? Big deal.

Oh no, my friends. This is *unprecedented* as my husband does not like to go anywhere after work, especially since Call of Duty 6/Modern Warfare 2 came out. (I have to say, one of the many trailers for that game is pretty mesmerizing, and I can't be the only person who feels that way because the song that's used in it, which is about seven years old, is in the top 100 singles on iTunes these days (number 42 as of this morning))

So anyway, I will be stocking up on popchips when we go grocery shopping this weekend. (He keeps trying to get me to try them but I'm not giving up my Fritos for some chip. I don't care how great it is. Nothing beats Fritos. Nothing!)

Moving on to links:

Agent Jessica Faust on a question from a writer whose novel has been praised by a critically acclaimed author, but who has yet to get an offer of representation from an agent -- Interesting and eye-opening, and I take her point about the power of blurbs, even as I have to say I do think they can make a difference. (I'm still thankful every day for the amazing blurb that super awesome Sarah Dessen gave Something, Maybe--and yes, the thing where if you buy a copy of it you get a FREE book is still going on!

Agent Kristin Nelson is still answering reader questions -- I was especially interested in her thoughts on Kirkus shutting down.

A writer with a full-time job wants to hear from other writers who do the same thing--Writing while working full-time is something I did for a while, though admittedly I wasn't actively pursuing publication for 99% of that time, and I think that if you are, or if you're trying to write a book that's already under contract and do all the stuff that comes with it plus work full-time, that's a lot to handle! (I think there is a huge difference between just writing and then writing and the publication process, which involves not just more writing/rewriting but also publicity and so on)

An interesting post about writing speed, which I hadn't thought about before, but okay, people can write 1500 words an hour for hours on a daily basis????? Wow. I'm mostly posting this because I love this line from the post so much: "Keep writing, write well. It's not a race. Do this for yourself."

Justine Musk on inspiriation--and Britney Spears

Agent/Author Nathan Bransford on writing contests

More answers to reader questions from Kristin Nelson, but what really grabbed me from this particular blog entry was her link to mega-agent Richard Curtis' post about ebook rights

Laredo, Texas could soon be the largest city in America with no bookstores

Tess Gerritsen on the writing process

Not at all writing or publishing related, but with eight million plus views, and hello, Matt Damon!, take a minute and check this out

I guess I meant speeding up!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Wow, was I wrong about industry blogs slowing down, as is witnessed by today's load of links.

Also, don't forget that you've got a little over a week left to get your holiday gift!!

The promised links:

Agent Kristin Nelson on the latest publishing dust-up plus more answers to reader questions (and the questions are really good!)

Jessica Faust on needing/having different agents for different genres

Guy Gavriel Kay talks about how book reviewing has changed (Yay for bloggers!!)

Rachel Aaron has a really lovely post up about the ever-changing nature of writing -- "Books are like forests. When seen from the road or on maps they appear contained, green blocks squeezed in between fields, but when you’re lost in one and the sun is sinking, nothing feels larger or more overwhelming. This is how I feel sometimes when I write: lost in something that looked so sure and easy, fumbling, feeling like I’m going the right way but never sure."

Great post by Will Hindmarch on Worrying Out Of Order -- "spend so much time reading about the future of media, about the death of publishing and the fate of authors, about what the writer’s career may look like in the next few years, that I’ve forgotten where I have the most control over my fate: at the keyboard."

Booksquare on what will save publishing


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Lately (okay, for the past two days), I've been getting up when my husband does, which is extremely, mind-numbingly early, in an attempt to get myself to exercise because I have been slacking very badly on that as of late.

I have to say, being so sleepy is rather helpful--it's like I'm too tired to protest, so I just exercise to get it over with. (I still don't know how people love exercise, but maybe that will kick in at some point???)

On the minus side of this equation, getting up so early means I'm super tired and yawning non-stop by nine p.m. Which, even for me, the queen of uncool, is pretty darn uncool! Next thing you know, I'll be going to bed at seven, getting up at three a.m.---nope. Won't go down that road. (I don't want to get up at three in the morning!!!)

Since it's the holiday season, the blogs are slowing down a bit, but there's still stuff to share:

Editorial Ass on losing an author to another house -- I don't think I've ever seen an editor talk about this before, and it's a very interesting post!

Agent Jessica Faust on negotiating advances -- Thoughtful post, and interesting comments too.

Agent and soon-to-be-author Nathan Bransford on the continuing problems of publishers and their problems finding sure-fire bestsellers -- "...from a publisher's perspective, they're often willing to pay big advances because their profits hinge on a relatively small number of hits and bestsellers. Thus the authors/celebrities who can reliably deliver an audience become hugely valuable. If a publisher doesn't pay a healthy advance they risk losing their bread-and-butter authors and the most promising new projects to their competitors.

From an agent's and author's perspective, there's not always a strong incentive to move away from traditional advance/royalties either, simply because it's often appealing to bank the guaranteed money and head for the desert.

In economics they call this the Winner's Curse, which is the theory that when you don't know what an object is truly worth (e.g. how many copies a book will actually sell) the winner of an auction will tend to overpay relative to the actual value of the object. The theory goes that someone who wins an auction is often worse off than if they hadn't bid at all."

Finally, as it is the holiday season, and this, quite frankly, looks amazing--if I could eat chocolate, I'd be making a batch today--Triple Chocolate Cookies n’ Cream Peppermint Bark


Monday, December 14, 2009

I did something so stupid this weekend--I was out, and someone sneezed on me (for real. This guy just turns and wham! achoos right in my face) and so I went and washed my face and then decided to put some hand sanitizer on my hands for good measure.

Well, you know how I have that big snake ring on the middle finger of my right hand? Some hand sanitizer got stuck in it and it burned my skin! It hurt so much and the worst part is, my finger looks--well, it looks like it got burnt. Badly. (Blisters and everything!) So now I can't wear the ring until my finger gets better and I miss it!!

Also, I had no idea hand sanitizer could be so--well, burny! (I know it isn't a word, but it should be.) At least I know better now, right?

Moving on, I have some links to share:

Agent Jessica Faust wants to know what conferences you think are worth attending--this is one of those blog entries where the interesting stuff is all in the comments. I like seeing what conferences people feel are "must-attends"

Justine Musk has a little more to say about building an author platform, this time about catching a reader's attention and she's got a post up about writing fast as well.

In Justine's blog post about writing fast, she linked to this blog post, which I'm 99.9% sure I've linked to before, if only because reading it made me think "Wow!"--Jeff Vandermeer's How To Write A Novel In Two Months -- it's an older post, but a really great one, especially if you want to see how writers can--and do--write books very quickly.

PS Don't forget you've still got time to get a free book!


Friday, December 11, 2009

This week has just flown by--I swear it was Monday yesterday. How can some weeks zoom by when other seem to crawl??

Thank you so much for your lists of songs that make you think of one of my books or books--and if you have any more songs that make you think of something I've written let me know, 'cause I'm still working on that playlist!

Also! Don't forget that if you happen to be out holiday shopping this weekend, there's a treat waiting for you if you buy a copy of Something, Maybe

Today's links are mostly about Kirkus closing--the loss of a book review journal is a huge deal, and Kirkus was one of the big ones and had been around for over seventy years.

There have been a lot of blog entries about it, but here are three I think are particularly interesting:

Author Alex Flinn on what the end of Kirkus means for her

A little know fact about Kirkus--it was supposedly the one book review journal that Hollywood types looked at, and with it gone--will that mean the number of books optioned for movies will drop?

Finally, from Lee & Low Books, What Kirkus Closing Means For The Average Reader

A few more non-Kirkus related links:

Over at Genreality, Bob Meyer is talking about agents--from a writer's point of view. Bob writes some really interesting blog entries, and this one is no exception!

Agent Kirstin Nelson answers more reader questions

Agent Jessica Faust on how to submit once an editor or agent has requested your work based on a contest win

playlist help needed!

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

I'm supposed to create a playlist that "reflects my writing and books," but here's the thing--I don't listen to music when I write! So I have no idea what reflects my books or writing except silence which is, well, not super conducive to a playlist.

So, I thought of you, awesome blog readers! Can you help me out and let me know what song or songs make you think of my books?

Also, I do have a few links to share:

The Rejectionist has some thoughts about writing that came after watching Terminator: Salvation -- it sound random (and okay, it is, but the advice? Fab!)

Agent and future author Nathan Bransford on pen names

Agent Jessica Faust points out that it's not just authors who have to "brand" themselves

Agent Kirstin Nelson answers reader questions

Can't wait for your playlist suggestions!!

yay! plus links

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Big thanks to everyone who wrote/commented at fb/tweeted about the holiday celebration yesterday--thank you! I'm really excited about it, and I hope you are too--I mean, you buy a copy of Something, Maybe, and you get my other new 2009 book--for free!

More details here, or for those link-stripping feeds, just go here: http://elizabethwrites.com/blog/2009/12/holiday-gift.php

Moving on, I have loads of links to share today...

Hey, did you know St. Martin's Press has a new line coming out aimed at older teens and twenty-somethings? Me neither, but agent Kristin Nelson got the scoop

Editorial Ass on what to expect if an editor requests your book at a conference -- lots of great stuff, and be sure to check the comments for the entry as well to see others in the industry share their thoughts

Yes, people *do* judge books by their covers. (I know we've talked about this before, but it's so, so true!) But as it turns out, even people who work in the publishing industry do it

Editorial Anonymous on form rejections--and why they are called form rejections

Agent Jessica Faust on likeable characters and on the need for respect between agents and clients

Justine Musk on building an author platform--part one and part two -- why should you read this? As usual, Justine says it far better than I ever could: "In the old days of publishing (which now seem as long-gone as the dinosaurs), publishers gave you the space and patience for that to happen. If they published you in hardcover, your first readers had a year to get the word out about you and jumpstart the second life your book experienced when it came out in paperback.If you were published in original paperback, publishers would nurture you along for four or five books while you steadily accumulated a readerbase.

Not that any of this was guaranteed — or easy — but you had that fighting chance, and it enabled someone like Dean Koontz to survive as an obscure midlist writer (under various pseudonyms) for twenty years before breaking through to the bestselling lists (again under different pseudonyms, which indicates that maybe, just maybe, personal talent, skill and effort can mean as much if not more than luck).

Things are different now.

Writers are so focused on the Holy Grail of that first book contract, which (usually) takes ten or more years of serious writing practice to attain, that they often don’t realize that the second (and third and fourth) contracts can be as challenging. Publishers can’t afford — and are not willing — to carry you anymore. They want numbers. As in sales numbers. They want you to burst out of the gate like the sleekest of racehorses. If you don’t, they drop you, and you face the challenge of starting all over again...

Not at all publishing related, but--well, how could I resist sharing this link for cream cheese-stuffed chocolate chip cookies?

Holiday Gift!!

Monday, December 07, 2009

Today, I'm thrilled to say I have a holiday gift for you, lovely blog readers!

If you live in the US and buy a copy of my novel Something, Maybe by December 23rd and send me a picture of your receipt via email or by your phone or whatever to me at elizabethscottcontest@gmail.com I will send you a free, autographed copy of Love You Hate You Miss You.

Yes, that's right!

Buy Something, Maybe by December 23rd, email a picture of the receipt to me at elizabethscottcontest@gmail.com and you'll get a free autographed copy of my other 2009 hardcover release.


Well, because I think Something, Maybe is a great holiday read--who doesn't like a love story during this time of year? Or any other for that matter, right? (okay, that's the end of the shameless self promotion, but, you know, had to put the plug in!)

The other reason I'm doing this is because I want to thank you for reading my blog and just, in general, being awesome!

Again, to get your free, signed copy of Love You Hate You Miss You, you must live in the US, and you must purchase a copy of Something, Maybe and send a picture of your receipt to me at elizabethscottcontest@gmail.com by December 23, 2009.

Fine print and etc.: Please note that I am only taking receipts. An order confirmation from an on-line bookstore is not a receipt. The receipt is what comes in the box when the book arrives. Also, if you are a member of my mailing list, consider this a bonus to the holiday gift I've already sent you all a message about, which means yes, multiple books for those who qualify...


Friday, December 04, 2009

Wow, I had no idea so many of you like hybrids too! (My husband was very happy about that, btw--he's been driving a Prius for years, so he was all, "Your blog readers are awesome!" to which I said, "Of course they are!" And you are, you know!)


Pimp My Novel on what factors influence how many copies of a book are purchased by the chains, independents, and the big box stores: part one and part two -- The main thing about these two posts, I think, is pointing out that a lot of what factors into selling in is completely out of your control, but if you want to be published/are about to be published/and/or don't know what things like co-op, comp titles, and P&L are, then do yourself a favor and read these posts. It's important to know about the industry and Pimp My Novel is one of the best blogs out there about it.

Normally, young adult novels get a fair amount of time on bookstore shelves--but this is not the case of adult books, which usually have three months to either succeed or get returned. J.C. Hutchins writes very candidly about the first month of his book's "life," and what's happened in it. -- "And how is the book doing? If you’re an aspiring novelist, or have a book coming out soon, prepare for a revelation. If you’re a published author, feel free to sagely nod along."

Editorial Ass on what you can--and what your should--expect from your agent

Author John C. Wright on writing advice

Agent Jessica Faust on writers and the writing process

Finally, over at Storytellers Unplugged, three excellent editing tips -- The first one, in particular, is one I take to heart very strongly. (My books normally lose about 30-40% of what I've written from first to final draft)

new car, and looking for contest winner...

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Well, yesterday turned out to be quite the day! I had revisions due, and I was almost done with them, but then I found out my car, which had broken down the day before, would cost more to fix than the car is actually worth. So, after ten plus years with the same car, I had to go out and get a new one.

As you can probably guess, I don't go car shopping too often--I like to buy something that will last and then, as my father says, I "drive it until it's mostly dust" --but it went okay, although even if you know exactly what you want and exactly how much you're willing to pay, it still takes forever and you spend a lot of time sitting in various offices or just outside of them. (That and signing forms!)

But I did end up with a car--a Civic Hybrid--*and* I turned in my revisions. (After that, I was pretty much ready for a nap!)

Here's hoping to a nice quiet day today...

Also! I'm still waiting for the thankful contest winner, Miss Emily, to get in touch with me. I've sent her multiple emails, to which I've gotten no reply, and I've already given her one blog shout-out. This is my last try--so Miss Emily, if I don't hear from you by Thursday at midnight, I'm going to assume you don't want the books...so please get in touch with me!


Nathan Bransford, who is now a writer and an agent, on reacting to an editorial letter

Very interesting post by Jeff VanderMeer on the perils of success -- I confess, I haven't thought too much about super success having a downside, as I mostly just want to have/be a super succcess, but after reading his blog post, I can see where getting a huge advance/having a big book could cause problems. (Not that I don't still envy those problems, but it did provide a perspective I hadn't thought about)

Two very interesting posts from agent Kristin Nelson about passing on a project that later turns out to be a best-seller

A long but very thoughtful post about the power of review copies (aka as ARCs)