Archives for September 2011

Digital Book Proposals: Jody’s Five Keys

Digital book proposals are here to stay, and while I kicked and screamed about it for quite a while, at some point about a year ago I decided to take it as my own personal challenge.  I pride myself on thinking like as an editor as well as thinking like an agent, so I said to my editor-self: “What’s different about how you experience a book proposal when you’re reading it on a Kindle?”  And I answered, “Wow, I hadn’t thought of that, but it’s actually a pretty different feeling!”  

I checked out my hypothesis at BEA last spring with a very official survey (“Hey, editor friend, do you react differently to a printout than to a digital proposal?”  Answer: “Well, [Read more…]

Book Proposals Go Digital #1

 Book proposals are read on Kindles, Nooks and other e-readers, and that should mean something to you if you’re writing or selling nonfiction.  

I will explain.

When I picture myself in any of my three corporate book publishing editorial jobs I always see a multicolored stack of two-pocket folders in a wire basket on one corner of my desk.  I often knew which proposals were from which agent by the color of the folder.  Smart move, I thought, so I copied it when I opened my agency.  I hoped the book editors who were now on the other side of my desk would move the “Jody Rein navy blue” folders to the top of their “read” piles, as I had done with literary agents whose taste I paticularly respected. I’ve been known to be painstaking in preparing the physical presentation from books sold through my agency, even going to far as to hand-stick little gold sparkly stars on the label of a proposal for a satirical work.  Just before packing the proposals into their 25 or 30 Fed Ex packages (score one big advantage for email), I would sit at my desk and stare at a the proposal, open and closed, complete with my pitch letter snuggled into the right hand pocket.  I’d rifle through the pages as presented, attempting to channel my old editor self into the physical interaction with the pitch–it did make a difference (we are all human, after all).

Now–throw that all out the window.

Proposals are now almost exclusively sent, and [Read more…]