Hi Big People, PeeWee here. And I've got some new friends to introduce you to! But first...the winner of A DOG'S WAY HOME by Bobbie Pyron is....

Karla Nellenbach and her brother and sister pups, Samson and Nickels, who saved the bunny from the owls (it was an animal-filled story!)

Here they are:

Samson is one brave dog to take on a mess of owls!  Most owls are bigger than me, so I wouldn't even try--in fact, is Samson looking for a job?  Because I'm about the size of a bunny, and I need protection!

Read Samson's story and all of the rest in the comments here. There were some really great stories of rescue, daring and bravery.  All of these dog's and their owners would LOVE Tam in A DOG'S WAY HOME.  So even if you didn't win, I highly suggest you pick up a copy!  It hit the shelves last week.  You can buy it here, here, or here.  Go!

Now it's time to meet some of my other new friends!

This is Kaffi.  She was rescued by her owner at a rest stop while on vacation.  She was part chihuahua like me!  You can read her full story in the link above.  Her owner Kelley is a hero in my book!

This here is a surfing pup named )(urley! She can hang twenty, ride the waves, and she's also got a killer sleepy face (see below).  I can swim, but I've never tried surfing!

On Wed we'll meet Cody, Kal, Sera and Bolt!  So stay tuned for more doggie pics.
And just because we love the book so darn much, we'll announce a new winner of A DOG'S WAY HOME on Wednesday!  That's right--two winners.  We chihuahuas can be very giving. 


This is fabulous.

I think it's my new life goal to some day see this guy in person.

Hi All!

Well, PeeWee and I received so many dog pics, that we're working on an epic post to announce the winner.  I wanted to announce by last night, but I haven't been able to nail PeeWee down (he's got a very busy schedule).  So look for our doggie post this weekend!

To distract you until then, check out Lee Nichols' shiny new book trailer for DECEPTION, the first book in her Haunting Emma series!  It rocks--and it's perfect timing, too, since BETRAYAL hits the shelves next week!

And if you haven't checked out Lee's Blog yet, DO.  She's running awesome contests that include an iTunes gift cards giveaway!
Reality can't just go onto the page and work as a book.

In real life (IRL for you gamers out there) people really do just taaaaalk about nothing. They talk about their daaaaayy or the weeeaaather...all the time! But that isn't the stuff of dialogue in fiction--unless it's meant to demonstrate something. A dissolving couple, for instance.

IRL, people really do just jet off somewhere and then come back and resume their life. They do just take up random hobbies or investigate friends' murders in lieu of the police (OK, not that one. Hint hint, amateur sleuth writers).

But not in books. Books have to be life, distilled. Only purposeful things go into a book. Dialogue and character decisions that move the plot forward.

Books are realer than life.

You may have seen my Twitter outburst earlier today concerning contact info and how IT SHOULD BE PROMINENTLY DISPLAYED ON YOUR WEBSITE!!!!!

I'm setting up a blog tour for one of our fabulous authors, a crime writer with a book out in May. I've been clicking around all day and am surprised how hard it is to contact bloggers!

Of course, writers out there, your contact info is essential if I stumble upon your blog and am like "Oh sweet potatoes! This guy/gal can write! I must sign!" However, that's not really the reason you want your info accessible.

Maybe you're a black belt. Maybe a graphic designer. A dog fan? Your unique skillset and interests may perfectly fit the needs of someone who stumbles across your info because of a retweet or someone posting you on their FB wall. You just never know!

Notes and Disclaimers:
  1. If you're afraid your inbox will be flooded: get over yourself. We're talking about serendipity here...it's not going to happen every day.
  2. Be smart. Physical addresses and phone numbers? No.
  3. "Contact Me" forms are handy...but if a longer message needs to be sent, it's just going to annoy you (those forms remove paragraphs). Just put your email somewhere!
  4. I am indifferent between "Contact Me" tabs or putting the info someplace in the sidebar. Or even just having it in your larger profile (on blogger, etc.)

So, we’ve covered the “revolution,” the chains, and the new mindset agents, authors and editors should be looking to adopt as digital products take the stage. What does it mean, practically, for authors and their representatives?

It means doing more than writing a book, unfortunately. Agents frequently say to their authors “You write the book. Leave the rest to me.” That’s partly truth and partly left over from when publishers shouldered the brunt of publication, including promotion and marketing. Stuff that now falls almost completely to the agents and authors—both have had to diversify from “selling the book” or just “writing the book.”

Consider digital the next wave of responsibility reverting to the agents and authors. We’ve learned to get online, create buzz, and keep selling the book after it’s “sold” in the traditional sense of an agent’s job. That’s largely back-end stuff, post-pub. Now we have to add some front-end stuff. We’ve got to think about the book plus, the PPP, from the get-go.

That doesn’t mean that authors come in with set-in-stone demands on the digital avenues they want to take, any more than they should come in having designed their own cover. But it means giving apps, etc thought. Ideas. Having started a blog. Even fiction authors should have an eye toward platform.

I’ve heard people say that the migration of responsibility from publisher back to author is “unfair.” Like we should hate publishers because they don’t send all authors out on book tours like they did in the Golden Days. And where did all the scotch and cigars go?!

That’s ridiculous. Not only have challenges facing publishers changed, but the way books are sold have too. Book tours? Not the best way to make $$ on books (but that’s another blog post). Marketing and promotion are now grassroots—getting the word out online has to have a voice. The author’s voice.

Authors can’t just “be artistes” anymore, just like agents have to find time to act as publicists (among other things). Your first job is to write the book, but your job doesn’t end once you type “fin” and land an agent. Not by a long shot. Bummer, because most authors have full-time lives outside of writing. But these days embarking on the publication journey means being willing and able to take on the front- and back-end responsibilities. They’re no longer optional.

Thanks for following the series, everyone. You’ve all made great points and asked great questions in the comments—those have become fodder for future discussions.

Check this out:

Then go HERE.
Previous posts discussed the "new" digital environment and addressed the inadequacy of some of publishing’s time-tested practices. This post continues the series, getting into what I believe a new agenting model for world domination mindset looks like.

150 years has given publishing a certain efficiency. There are snafus, but we know that a manuscript is going to come in, there’ll be a contract, some more stuff will happen, and there will be a book at the end. (“Book,” here, includes verbatim electronic versions—ebooks).

That model is comfortable. The new environment isn’t; it’s totally different technology from what we’ve been dealing with for centuries.

But I propose getting over that. When a manuscript is read to go on submission, the agent has to start thinking about the potential package of products: PPP.

What should be sold to the editor? What should be taken elsewhere for development? What should be developed in-house? None of these questions can be answered without thinking about what the book could be—in physical and digital form.

Most agents still negotiate based on selling The Book, not on selling the PPP. With a comprehensive plan (design outlines for apps, ideas for revenue splits—without, of course, tipping one’s hand completely) the publisher is a lot more likely to insert language that allows for specific project(s), even if they refuse to fork over whole clauses (The Audio Clause, The Multimedia Clause).

Voila. Now we can all just get along, right? We just have to ask about specific applications for audio rights, and they’ll GIVE THEM TO US!!

Well, probably not. It’s not going to be that easy, and the majority of innovations are probably not going to come through the Big Six because they really do have corporate mandates that say there’s no deal without, say, audio rights. (Bummerrrrr!)

But that’s no reason to keep banging our heads into the same Book first, other-stuff-later-maybe-if-we-get-to-it-and-it-stops-being-so-scary wall.

Think outside the book.

Last time I introduced this series, about the ways that digital possibilities affect the way publishing operates. This time, I bemoan ridicule discuss some of the things that are holding us back from getting excited about it.

Contracts. Contract language. One of the top reasons writers need agents. (The others being: so you have someone to whom to send cupcakes, for their rolodexes Gmail contact list. Psychotherpay. A drinking buddy.)

Contracts are evil, vicious things. They are tangled webs of nasty waiting to snag writers by their skipping feet and drag them to a rightsless hell. Boilerplates, negotiated between a publishing house and an agency, form the bedrock of all deals done between those entities. BedROCK. It’s not flexible. That was okay before. But the digital stuff doesn’t lend itself to rigid definitions like, say, foreign translation rights (involving a specific language and a specific territory).

Yet when people start talking about apps and ebooks, rights and contract language are pretty much the first topic of interest. How do we define “multimedia rights,” for instance, so that there is a boilerplate-ready understanding of what one sells when they fork over the multimedia right clause? It’s a serious (hopeless?) pain in the ass undertaking.

Even defining ebooks vs. apps vs. enhanced ebooks is contentious. What differentiates them? How much of the original content blahblahblah I’m bored with this conversation.

Who cares?

Who cares what “multimedia rights” “really” "MEAN""?" (yes, I'm mocking your quotey fingers) It clearly has no intrinsic meaning. It’s a catchall, and it's not functional anymore. Let it go. (See? Psychotherapy)

The cool stuff that can be done with books today is literally boundless. An idea that used to have a terminal life as one thing: a book (nothing wrong with that, put the pitchfork down) can be reincarnated. It means we are going to have to treat every contract like it’s new. We’ll be adapting the language every time to accommodate the plan for each project. Publishers are playing hardball, so it's going to be hard. That’s okay, guys.

We've got to make a plan for each project (topic of the next post, on Wednesday) and get educated on these technologies. It’s a lot of information. But so was learning all the Big Six imprints. If agents are going to continue to advocate well for authors, it means knowing about this stuff, or knowing the people who do. Let’s drop the semantic debates and get started.

It's a phrase tossed around when people talk about the "digital revolution" currently befuddling plaguing facing the publishing industry. And it's silly.

I went to a delightful panel on Monday, given by the Association of Author Representatives, about how apps/ebooks/enhanced ebooks/unicorns are affecting how agents do their job. It was the first talk on the subject in about a year that actually delved into some meat--what are the new possibilities, and how do agents and publishers work to best develop them.

But there was still a lot of blood spilt time spent talking in terms of "The Old Ways." The way publishing has always worked, where contracts are king and the product, first and foremost, is always a printed book. News flash, people, we're going to have to change the way we think about everything about books. In fact, if we haven't already, we're behind the curve.

The truth is that this shouldn't be a terrifying landscape anymore. The interwebz have been around for 20 years! Ebooks have been stalking us developing for 10. Publishing has to stop lamenting the ways that these developments will change the old business models and realize that they already have. Now it's just a matter of imagining what's possible given the technologies (and their incredible availability). That's a lot more intimidating than adhering to boilerplate contract language.

This will be the first in a series exploring the obstacles and possibilities that agents and authors face on the front-end of the publishing process. How do we prepare and package a book before we even go to sell it to a publisher? What are the pitfalls?

A series making you not this. >>

It's not scary, and it's not going to ruin publishing. In the next few posts, I'm going to talk about why I'm not crazy for saying so.
Seriously. I'm swooning already.

Jeffrey Eugenides' first novel in nine years (and his first since the Pulitzer Prize winner MIDDLESEX) will be published by FSG in October. Catalog copy describes THE MARRIAGE PLOT, focused on a college senior in a love triangle, as "a brilliant, funny, and heartbreaking novel about the glories and vicissitudes of young love," with the 576-page novel priced as a $28 hardcover.
If you head on over to Coffee. Tea. And Literary. you'll notice that I discuss #ZombieVirus2011.  It's brutal.  And PeeWee just missed out on becoming this:

Seriously, the virus that went around our office was No. Joke. While I was sick, PeeWee was such a sweetie.  He made sure to keep me company.  He even slept when I slept (see?):

And when I was too weak to read myself, PeeWee read to me.  And he has a new favorite book.  It's called A Dog's Way Home by Bobbie Pyron.

For anyone who is a dog owner, knows a dog owner, or just for anyone who loves dogs READ. THIS.  There may be a few tears (okay, maybe a lot of tears), but you will fall in love with Tam.  Tam is a Shetland who gets separated from his owner, a little girl named Abby, when their family gets into a car accident somewhere along the Blue Ridge mountains.  And everyone believes that they'll never see Tam again.  Everyone but Abby.  This story is their journey.  I won't say anything more because I don't want to ruin it!

When PeeWee and I were done reading, I made sure that Suzie read this one with her pups, too.  And now Tam has at least 5 fans from Confessions!  There will be more, I have no doubt :-)

So.  PeeWee, generous as he is, has decided to give up his precious copy of A Dog's Way Home to share with one of you. (He also threatened an ankle-biting if I don't buy him another copy when this is all over.)

The contest is simple.  Just share a dog story in the Comments below.  A funny one.  A touching one.  A sad one--whatever you want to share.  Me and PeeWee love to meet other dogs, so please introduce us!  That's ALL you need to do to enter.  The winner will get a copy of the book, and a shout out on the blog.

Entries will be accepted until February 22, 11:59pm EST.  This is the pub date for the book!
*US participants only*

As a side request (this is NOT a contest rule)--whether or not you enter the contest, I'd love to see pics of your pups!  Please send photos to PeeWee(at)nancycoffeyliterary(dot)com and we will post them when we announce the winner.  We'll need your name, your dog's name, and a photo.

Okay.  Back to prepping for the Super Bowl.  PeeWee's already dressed. As you can see, he's not a Steelers or a Packers fan.....

  Saints jersey courtesy of the lovely Erica O'Rourke
So, there I was. I'd already been graced with this post for which there are no words by Chuck Wendig. Things are under control at The Reef. Things are peach-eh.

Then we got a box. What was in it, you ask? Well. Let me show, not tell, you.

I'm like...wait...are those...Bears?


Good Times indeed, Mini Me.

But wait...Oh, oh no.

More predators lurk. And this one's not holding any candy hearts. Chomp chomp.

Thanks to Susan Prunty, one of the winners of the blurb contest a couple weeks back!**

**One of the things Susan and I talked about was bribes...which this is explicitly not. It says in the card. ;)

Last year at Book Expo America, Expert Swagger Suzie Townsend showed me the ropes. One of the MAIN EVENTS on Suzie's precision-and-efficiency-oriented schedule was Lauren Oliver's signing table. We waited in line for a. long. time. With the 18,000 lbs of books.

Lauren took a minute with each reader, chatted, and Harper was giving BOTH of her books away. OMG. I'd read BEFORE I FALL, and DELIRIUM looked just as good. I snatched greedily and skipped off to continue to pillage and burn.

Last week, I read DELIRIUM:

Before scientists found the cure, people thought love was a good thing. They didn't understand that once love--the deleria--blooms in your blood, there is no escaping its hold.

Things are different now. Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the government demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen. Lena Haloway has always looked forward to the day when she'll be cured. A life without love is a life without pain: safe, measured, predictable, and happy.

But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable: She falls in love.

OK, I'll wait for the chills to subside...Lauren impressed me in BEFORE I FALL by cleverly examining a very complex subject: guilt and regret. She's done it again with DELIRIUM. Lena is a typical teenager, a little jealous of her gorgeous best friend Hana, nervous about her upcoming examination, which precedes the Procedure that will render her incapable of love. She's got some baggage. A familial history of deleria that has her hyper-analyzing herself for signs of disease. Her insecurities make her so real, and her history is haunting. The choices she has to face are unthinkable. And the end of this book put me in the fetal position (perhaps the most masterful use of repetition of a line I've ever seen). Go! Get it!