Since there have been so many negative things going around the Interwebs lately about literary agents, I figured that since I really am, and always have been, pro-agent I'd look for some positive things to post for a change. We need agents, good agents who are moving forward with the times, now more than ever before. And while I don't actually have an agent in a literal sense, I do know a few, I am close to them, and I value their advice on the rare occasions that I shamelessly hock them for advice.
Here's an excellent post from the Dystel & Goderich Agent Blog about how they look at self-publishing, and how they work with their clients who are indie publishers. I have read about what they've been doing in the past, I've been following their blog since it started, and this recent post made me feel as if they are thinking realistically about the changes in publishing.
We’ve learned a tremendous amount from these authors about how to successfully self-publish and these lessons have direct and significant application to traditional publishing. The smarter houses have committed to a partnership with us and our clients, showing tremendous vision and flexibility in the way they have modified their systems to accommodate the special needs of people who can sell oodles of books on their own, thank you very much.
Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins, Grand Central, and PenguinUSA have all been aggressive in offering huge deals that are enticing to our authors not just because of the money involved but because of their afore-mentioned flexibility in terms of publishing schedules, contractual terms (including options and non-compete clauses), marketing and promotion, and their genuine desire to help grow these writers’ careers. And, here’s where the partnership aspect is important.
This next link has nothing to do with self-publishing, but I've been working with Lori Perkins in an author/editor relationship for a long time now and I've come to respect her as a publishing professional. In fact, she's the one who helped choose a lot of the titles by my published romances with RR. I've always considered her the consummate editor. And, she's a very nice person, too. But she's also a literary agent who has been around for a very long time. Though I've never worked with her as a client, I have been following her agent blog for probably about seven years now. And I recently read where she landed a nice deal for someone in the adult entertainment industry.
As many of you know, I've been working with Jenna Jameson for about a decade. Getting HOW TO MAKE LOVE LIKE A PORN STAR on the NY Times best-seller list in 2004 was one of the high points of my agent career, an I am hoping we are going to do it again with Jenna's first novel, SUGAR, an erotic romance she is co-authoring with romance maven Hope Tarr.
Again, this next link is unrelated to self-publishing, but I often go to this agent's web site to find books I might like to read. As far as agent web sites go, this agency has nailed it with regard to showcasing their clients published books. I found one of my favorite YA authors there, Michael Northrope, and I'm constantly going back, odd as that sounds, to find more books I might want to read. I wish all agent web sites were designed like this. It would make book shopping/vetting so much easier.
You can get there from here. The agency is Harvey Klinger, Inc. and the homepage focuses on book covers.
If you look around, and you pay attention, you'll find many literary agencies that offer far more positive things than negative. They are working with authors to help move forward in changing times, and I would imagine there are going to be a few screw ups along the way. And I thought it was worth mentioning a few of the positive things agents are doing now, to off-set the negative things we've been seeing all month. The fact remains that a good literary agent is one of the most important people to an author's career.
The US senate, bless their dear little souls, have passed a bill to tax Internet sales. As if things aren't hard enough on the US consumer with gas prices, school loans, and interest rates, they want to drain a little more from us. Pardon my sarcasm, but I have little faith in any politicians these days.
Opponents say the bill amounts to a multibillion-dollar tax hike on American consumers. The National Taxpayers Union set up a petition to Congress in March that said the tax was "really just a way to unleash state tax collectors on the Internet," and 15 conservative groups also sent a letter to members of Congress saying an Internet tax law is is "bad news for conservative principles and the cause of limited government."
I've been in the market for an iPad mini for a while now. So I placed my order this week to avoid paying tax in the future. It looks as if this is going to happen, and frankly I'm not at all surprised.
Largest Human Penis
This isn't something that's going to change the world, but when I saw it on twitter this week I made a note to post a link about it. Frankly, I don't know if it's possible to measure the longest penis in the world because I would imagine the guy with the biggest one isn't going to stand up and scream about it. For all we know, it could be the man we least expect. When I was single I was stunned on more than one occasion. And once, when I was on the beach in P'town, I saw a guy walking nude through the dunes that left me speechless, and that doesn't happen often. But never the less, this is the largest one on record.
Jonah Falcon is known the world over for having the worlds largest human penis, measuring in at 13.5 inches in length. He isn’t a porn star,and doesn’t aspire to be one. In-fact Jonahs dream is to become an actor in major motion pictures, not low budget porno films. Interesting fact about Jonah, he was “discovered” after being approached by security in the airport. They feared he was carrying a bomb in his pants.
That made the evening news, literally, but Jonah didn’t become world famous until he was featured on the HBO Special: Private Dicks: Men Exposed. He was asked about the experience, and is quoted as saying;
“I went to their office in bike shorts with my c–k wrapped around the side of my leg,”You can read more here, where they also mention the world's smallest penis.