Wednesday, September 16

The Internet & Publishing

It hasn't, in the grand scheme of things, been that long since I started writing my first novel and stumbled over to the Internet, about halfway through, because I suddenly wondered what to do with the thing.

And yet so much has changed since then.

When I started querying that first novel, I needed a boatload of stamps because so few agents took e-mail queries.

For GRIM LIGHT, I still have stamps left over, because I miscalculated and bought too many (also, because my querying was successful, but I'll shut up now). And I definitely noticed, when I was doing my super-OCD spreadsheet of agents, that the number accepting e-mail submissions had increased significantly.

And when I first started looking for publishing blogs, Miss Snark and GalleyCat were about the only games in town. There may have been a few others, but they don't stick out in my memory. But if my (admittedly faulty) memory serves, Kristin Nelson and Jenny Rappaport came around not long after that. And of course, there's always Publisher's Lunch and Publishers Weekly,* which bring news of the more formal kind.

Then something happened. New blogs started popping up here, there, everywhere. It was like a game of whack-a-mole trying to hit them all.

Nowadays, you can't throw a gin & tonic without hitting an agent, editor, or general publishing blog. Keeping up on the news and everyone's opinions on it can be a bit daunting. Of course, you can follow many publishing folk on Twitter, and have a better chance of catching that bit of news you missed, but again...there are so many.

Thankfully, a few of these blogs have taken to posting weekly news and article roundups. I've found these such a timesaver--someone else is out there sifting through the blogs for the important stuff, so I don't have to. Bless 'em.

Every Friday, Nathan Bransford posts "This Week In Publishing", which gathers up newsworthy bits from the publishing world. And QueryTracker has its "Publishing Pulse", also posted on Fridays. This is more of a blog roundup, in addition to a listing of new agents and agency moves.

ETA: From the comments, Robert W. Leonard gives us Pimp My Novel and Market My Words, which also do weekly roundups; R. K. Charron points us toward Jane Friedman's blog, where she also does a weekly summary. Thanks guys!

For how notoriously slow** publishing is, it sure moves pretty fast sometimes. Thank the stars there are people out there keeping an eye on it.

What are your favorite publishing blogs? Do you know of any others that do weekly news roundups?

*I know that this publication doesn't use an apostrophe in its name. But I can't help but put one there. It just looks so wrong otherwise. And don't think I didn't debate about whether it should be a plural or singular possessive. Publishers Weekly gets off the hook because you could potentially look at it as a plural noun.

**I like to say that publishing isn't that slow, it just plans really, really far in advance.


  1. I follow Pimp My Novel and Market my Words. Both do a Friday link round-up as well. I don't have a couple of the ones you mentioned though. I do now, thanks. :)

  2. Hi :)
    Thank you for the great blog post.
    Jane Friedman does a great weekly round up (She's on Twitter too).
    All the best,

  3. Wow! Excellent recommendations, guys. I'll add them to the main post!

  4. Ooh! Ooh! I know the rule! I know the rule! Publishers Weekly and Writers House use to drive me insane about their lack of apostrophes. And then I stumbled across this little-known punctuation rule:

    "If the name of an entity contains an apostrophe, the apostrophe may be omitted."

    Thus, the most beautiful bridge in Jacksonville, the Dames Point Bridge, is not a quirk of punctuation. Writers House does not break the rules by omitting the apostrophe, nor does Publishers Weekly. But Hank's Bar and Grill is free to include it. Because it's optional!

    A mystery in punctuation solved.

  5. AHA! Okay, I'm glad I know that now. If there's a RULE, then a supposed apostrophe omission can't bug me. Because it's the rule.

    Yaaaay! Thanks, Tia. You just made my grammar OCD take a sigh of relief. =)

  6. I usually start my morning by reading the BookEnds agency blog, then I run down the list of about a dozen other agent blogs. After that, I hit writer blogs. PaperbackWriter is one of my favorites, along with Murder She Writes (and the blogs of the crew from there). Miss Snark's First Victim is a good writerly blog with her Secret Agent contests, and I love The Public Query Slushpile. There are a ton more but I'm hitting the high spots. Otherwise, I'd be here all day. =o)

  7. I can't even keep up w/ all the publishing blogs.

  8. B.E. and Stephanie, don't I know it. That's why I'm eternally grateful to those who provide weekly roundups. They can't possibly get everything, but it's at least a nice summary! =)

    It's really amazing how much it's all changed since I started not-so-long-ago. That's the 21st century for ya, I guess.


If you don't feel that you are possibly on the edge of humiliating yourself, of losing control of the whole thing, then possibly what you are doing isn't very vital. If you don't feel like you are writing somewhat over your head, why do it? If you don't have some doubt of your authority to tell this story, then you are not trying to tell enough. --John Irving