Previously this week, I mentioned Nathan Bransford as a blogging agent that anyone interested in publishing a novel should check out. I was serious. I've decided to post some of his gems, but I recommend that you seek his site out yourself.
Five Gems from Nathan Bransford:
1. August is a traditionally slow month in publishing, though he notes that it doesn't seem particularly slow this year. I had no idea that a particular time of the year was considered slow.
2. Quotes and blurbs from authors, editors, or clients are met with healthy skepticism, so don't bother soliciting them. On the other hand, if one of these respected individuals personally contacts him to refer your work, he'll definitely look at the manuscript.
3. He has a great post on the vital intersection of plot and character. The discussion of conflict, both external and internal, resonates. If the first and final images of your character aren't radically different, nothing happened during the course of your novel.
4. Query letter do's and don'ts. An interesting post on 1) copycat trends, 2) ripped from headlines trends, and 3) "simultaneous thought" trends is on the same page.
5. Nathan does a fascinating query critique of three brave authors who submitted theirs for public dissection. This is the open window into how one agent thinks. Valuable.