Tuesday, September 1, 2009
I recognize the delusional moments I have, but I believe that this digression into insanity is marked with brilliance. It began with the idea that some literary agents have a set of rules they live by and they don’t deviate, but many, go above and beyond to help authors get their work out there. There are a number of forms this can take, whether it is taking on a work they know might take some extra legwork to position or sell, working with authors to improve their platform, or helping authors with the marketing of our package, because after all, a good book ought to get out there, and it’s a shame when it gets hung up on the PROCESS. I thought those ‘Brave Agents’ deserved some recognition--they are helping us, and I, for one, appreciate it--publishers too for that matter. I felt that in addition to that, creating an award would both encourage agents inclined that way anyway, because they are being recognized with gratitude, and I felt it could, in the long run, create a resource for authors… a list of agents who provide helpful resources or take certain kinds of work that are difficult to find representation for. [more on the future plan after the awards] That was the brainchild… but the acronym took some time. It simmered. It fermented. And by golly, it even took a detour through la-la land. But in the end I’ve deemed that it is rather more amusing than offensive. I worry sometimes that my time spent in the gutter has caused me to see too much through pudding colored glasses, if you know what I mean. But I think I got it (classy Elizabeth likes it, so if you can tickle the classy people… I’m just sayin’). LAPDANCE AWARDS The awardees today are all agents who I have not queried, but they have for one reason or other, really touched me… helped me… projected my quest to publication forward by something they’ve provided, and I believe they can help you too, without having to do ANYTHING other than what they do everyday. So to express my gratitude… JESSICA FAUST: I finished CONFLUENCE in October and then proceeded to spend 6 months with a few rounds of editing and rewriting before I decided to start ‘selling it’, so it was April when I began looking at how to do this. I searched for advice and one of the tags was ‘social marketing’. Timing-wise I hit a blog by Jessica Faust, expressing that social marketing was helpful, suggesting dual FB identities (one for personal, one for professional). She gave her name on FB and said she was happy to friend authors looking to network. For me, this was ground zero. But over and above her openness, she writes a blog, sometimes brutal in honesty, that honestly advises authors on the dos and don’ts of how we approach agents. Jessica, I’d be sitting alone in my basement without you. THANK YOU! NATHAN BRANSFORD: Nathan is a resource I have run across in a thousand places. He has so many helpful ‘how to’ links at his blog. Up the right side of the page is a link to every how-to any new writer could need. It is SO NICE to have it all laid out there, and I strongly recommend checking him out as a first stop when you have your handy finished novel and are ready to begin down the long, rocky path to publication. JANET REID: For many of us querying is a thousand times more intimidating than actually writing a 400 page book. Heck, for me it is harder than the 800 page book that I had to shorten to 600 pages! But Janet provides an opportunity to practice and get it exactly right. Query Shark is brutal—I’ve seen her sometimes tell people they don’t have a book, let alone a query, but for those with a decent story, she is a superstar in helping them get that query right. NOAH LUKEMAN: This last one is going to someone who is no longer taking new clients, but he has put out some free publications just to help those of us looking for agents. I believe that the spirit of helping authors wade through the quagmire is commendable, and I’d like to thank him for these helpful resources. Nominating for the Future If you know (or know of) an agent or publisher who has been extremely helpful, taken a chance on a work that for some reason was seen by the masses as difficult to market (especially if it was successful, proving their wisdom), or gone above and beyond in some other way, email me the name and the STORY OF WHY--when I have too many, it is the stories that will determine who gets the award. I don’t know yet how limited it will be--if nomination will mean award, or if I will have to say ‘multiple nominations, or amazing story’--ideally the latter. I would like this to mean something, and it means more if the bar is higher, but it depends on feedback and participation--I have to have a lot of nominations before I can start limiting who is chosen. Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org Head the email: LAPDANCE nomination Where the Fruits will be Gathered I have formed a Facebook group [LAPDANCE Awards] where we can keep archived winners (and why) and have discussions and information organized such that we can look for certain types of agents. What I need from you SPREAD THE WORD. Let authors know both about the award and the future resource. Ask them to join us on Face book (how many LAPDANCE groups can there be, after all?) Join the group and let other authors know. Thank you so much!!!