Blogger: Janet Kobobel Grant
Location: Books & Such Main Office, Santa Rosa, Calif.
Mondays and Tuesdays are Be Bombarded By Emails Days. It usually takes me two days to work through all the messages that await me when I crank up my computer on Monday.
What’s in my email?
About a third of it consists of queries. So, you do the math. If I receive 100 to 200 emails per day, you have an idea how many brilliant ideas are lurking amongst them. Well, actually, not many. I see lots of stuff that’s already been written by other authors–over and over again. Some ideas are “wild.” A professional wrestler’s mistress wants to tell all…uh, I’m thinkin’ I don’t want to know. And many people want to take the tragedies that have occurred in their lives to shape manuscripts from the events. Problem is, those stories need to have a clear benefit for the reader, but they seldom do. A couple of potential gems lurk in the stack of queries, and I request to see the proposals. Hope springs eternal in the heart of an agent.
Also in my email are communications from clients: new ideas for projects they want to test out on me; a proposal for me to read over, give feedback on, and eventually send out to editors. As of a few minutes ago, via email, I’ve scheduled a conference call with two clients who are writing a book together, and we need to discuss the deadline. (I tell my clients to let me know as soon as it becomes apparent that they’re going to miss a deadline rather than waiting until the day before the manuscript is due to confess it won’t be in on time. I have the feeling this phone conversation is going in the will-be-missing-the-deadline direction.)
An email from an editor finishes off negotiating an offer for a project. We’ve been going back and forth for a couple of months; so the editor, author, and I are all celebrating the closing out of the complex deal points. Next, I’ll be moving onto the contract to negotiate all that fine print.
Three emails from another editor contain attachments of finalized contracts for me to check one more time and then send on to clients to sign. After reading these, I’m feelin’ as if my day is full of sunshine and accomplish- ment.
Another editor emails me to see if I’ll be attending the same conference he is so we can meet up and talk about–what else?–projects from my clients that might be a good match for his publishing house.
Still another editor and I are exchanging emails about a client’s theological credits to write a nonfiction book that was the editor’s idea. The editor thinks my client is a good fit for the project and is taking the idea, with the author’s name attached to it, to the publishing committee this week.
The emails roll on. It’s a good day because no disasters were waiting in my in-box to derail my to-do list.
What’s on that list? Check in here tomorrow to find out.