Definitions

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New Adult: What Is It?

“Home” is such a simple word, at least on the surface. But where is home to a modern 24 year old? Is it the tiny apartment that she lovingly decorated with IKEA furniture and inexpensive trinkets from Target? Is it the two-story Victorian that he grew up in, where his parents still welcome him...

What is Mainstream Fiction? Upmarket Fiction?

Q: The more industry blogs I read, the more confused I get about which category my novel falls into. It seems to sit on middle ground between literary and commercial, which some agents have said they are looking for. One agent advised me to call it “literary commercial.” I have also seen this described as...

Middle Grade vs. Young Adult: What's the Difference?

The MigWriters site has an amazing post breaking down the difference between the two children’s categories of middle grade and young adult.  To define the two, they pull a lot of good info from a variety of different sources – editors, agents (such as Lucienne Diver of The Knight Agency) and writers alike. It’s just...

Literary Definitions: Vol. 8

It’s been a good while since I passed out some definitions, so here is another batch.  (Click on Definitions at the bottom of this post to see the past seven installments.) Family Saga: A story that chronicles the lives of a family or a number of related or interconnected families over a period of...

What is Upmarket Fiction? Defining the Classification.

I’ve spent a good amount of time recently getting agents (and a few editors) to sign on to a ginormous Agent Pitch Slam, which is part of our writers’ conference in NYC in May.  Each agent submits their “wants” bio that explains what they are looking for and what they want to hear pitches...

Defining Create Nonfiction, Narrative Nonfiction and Biography

Q. At first I thought I was writing “narrative nonfiction.”  As I proceed through the book, I have begun to wonder whether I might be writing “creative nonfiction,” or even an “autobiography.”  Could you please further elucidate the distinctions?      – Mark A. Well let’s see…      Narrative nonfiction IS creative nonfiction.  They are one in the same...

Literary Definitions: Vol. 7

Ever come across a publishing term and wasn’t sure what it meant?  (Who hasn’t?) The Buried Editor and I are pairing up to start a series to help define some oft-used terms in the publishing world. Here’s Volume Seven: Buzz – Interest and positive word-of-mouth talk about something. For example: “The new Hulk film is supposed...

Literary Definitions: Vol. 6

Ever come across a publishing term and wasn’t sure what it meant?  (Who hasn’t?) The Buried Editor and I are pairing up to start a series to help define some oft-used terms in the publishing world. Here’s Volume Six: Attribution (Levels)        On the record – When everything in an interview is fair game to...

What Does That Mean? Literary Definitions: Vol. 5

Ever come across a publishing term and wasn’t sure what it meant?  (Who hasn’t?) The Buried Editor and I are pairing up to start a series to help define some oft-used terms in the publishing world. Here’s Volume One: Film option – (n.) Not to be confused with “option clause” below.  An option is when a...

Cool Term: 'Knockbuster'

Heard this term over the weekend on SlashFilm, a movie news site. A “knockbuster” is a cheap rip-off product that capitalizes on a highly anticipated product coming out soon.  These are easier to spot in the film world, as you can see direct-to-DVD movies hitting stores just before a huge movie hits the theaters....

What is a Platform?

This is a complicated subject, and a lot of people could write many pages and barely scratch the surface on this.  That said, here’s my short version of how to define “platform.” Platform, in essence, concerns all the avenues you have to sell your work to readers who will buy it.        Let’s look at...

What Does That Mean? Literary Definitions: Vol. 4

Ever come across a publishing term and wasn’t sure what it meant?  (Who hasn’t?) The Buried Editor and I are pairing up to start a series to help define some oft-used terms in the publishing world. Here’s Volume Four: All rights – (n.) Just like it sounds. When a publication or publishing house purchases all rights...

What Does That Mean? Literary Definitions: Vol. 3

Ever come across a publishing term and wasn’t sure what it meant?  (Who hasn’t?) The Buried Editor and I are pairing up to start a series to help define some oft-used terms in the publishing world. Here’s Volume Three: Advance – (n.) A payment against future royalties that you are paid in advance of publication. This...

What Does That Mean? Literary Definitions: Vol. 2

Ever come across a publishing term and wasn’t sure what it meant?  (Who hasn’t?) The Buried Editor and I are pairing up to start a series to help define some oft-used terms in the publishing world. Here’s Volume Two: Acquisitions editor – (n.) an editor with the ability to submit book ideas for publication to the...

What Does That Mean? Literary Definitions: Vol. 1

Ever come across a publishing term and wasn’t sure what it meant?  (Who hasn’t?) The Buried Editor and I are pairing up to start a series to help define some oft-used terms in the publishing world. Here’s Volume One: To Acquire – (v.) The act of accepting a manuscript for publication. A work is not officially...

Literary Agents vs. Managers

Last week, I posted submission info on Will Entertainment. Before I knew it, Verla Kay’s Web site, among others, picked up the news and spread it like wildfire. Garrett Hicks (of WE) must have gotten plenty of queries, because the next day he wrote and asked that I clarify how he is a “manager,” not...

The Elusive Auction

Q: Under what circumstances are manuscripts (or series) auctioned? I have seen this mentioned in several book deals and am just curious about it.      – Tara To help define both an auction and a pre-empt, I’ll just pull a paragraph from the 2008 GLA: A: “Your book may be bought in a pre-empt. That’s when...

FAQ Regarding Agents…

Q: If you’re a first-time writer, what should you do when an agent requests a publishing history and author bio?A: If you have no publishing history or credits, then just say so. Remember that if you’re submitting a novel, the thing that matters most is the quality of the writing. Is it good? If...