Oh Miss Snark does not like this at ALL.
This is like having Mother Superior walk behind your desk to make sure you aren't reading comic books (Miss Snark was not...she read Nancy Drew).
Herewith what Miss Snark did today.
8:30am arrive in office with first of the cafe bustello jolts needed to be fully human and semi-kind.
Read my incoming email from Writers Almanac, Word A Day, Today in Literature
AND most important DailyCandy.com online.
Read Arts Journal.com (80% of the publishing news is some hairy kid in the UK).
Read email that has piled up over the weekend. Drop a quick post onto the blog.
10:00am Begin daily look see through client files. This means I check every client to make sure everything that is supposed to be happening is, or send them a reminder. This leads to calls to editors to do things like follow up on title changes (which lead to URL changes etc). I call a few people I know for some blurb action.
This takes about three hours on Monday, and about 20 minutes by the end of the week.
1:00 pm A quick look at my data base of editors to see if there are any I haven't spoken to in a while. These kinds of touch base call sometimes gets a good lead for book slots the editors need to fill unexpectedly.
I'm just finalizing a deal that came about when I called an editor who had a book suddenly not ready for the Winter 2006 list. I had something ready, she bought it and we're all happy.
The downside is this is tedious work. Less than 10% of the calls will bear fruit. Heck, less than 50% of the calls are even actual conversation! I can't figure out a way to get around it though, so I do it on Monday so I don't have to fret the rest of the week.
3:00pm I'm sick of the world, sick of books..oh wait..I haven't eaten. Call to the corner pizzeria and get some mood elevators delivered. Yum.
3:30pm calls to west coast editors and my sub rights agent in LA. Im prodding them about books coming out soon so that they will be talking about them when the reviews hit. Subrights are great little sources of money. Film and tv are great BIG sources of money. Agenting for that stuff is like brain surgery. Get the best, pay the freight and don't do it yourself.
4:00pm Mail call. Oh good, lighter than usual. Oh what's this? "I read your website carefully".
Ya sure. That's why you sent something we don't handle. Form rejection letter #3. Three more query letters get form rejection #1. One query with no attached sample pages gets form letter #2. One manuscript I'd requested last week. Oh good the cover letter avoids telling me to get back to her in 30 days or less. Smart girl. Five more that aren't awful, but just don't sound ...interesting. Form rejection letter #1.
5:00pm uh oh. Hysterical client. "They're ruining my book. I want it to look like this and not that". I look at the proofs. He's right. The cover sux. Ok, slipping into the nearest phone booth to don my SuperAgent unitard. Back to the phone. Clutching thesaurus for nicer ways to say "this sux".
Call the designer. Lots of talk about branding. Previous two were good, we want to continue with this motif. No artsy shmartsy crap. Stick with the stuff that worked. If you want trendy, go work on a zine.
Much ballyhoo, new proofs by end of week. I don't even WANT to know what that poor man is saying about me about now.
6:00pm Longer conversations with two writers who may work on an upcoming project. Lot's of explaining the concept, explaining the parameters. This is like being a translator at the UN with the nominal author on one side, the prospective publisher on the other, and the writers as the third parties. Each will get the proposal I sold to the publisher. We'll see who wants to do it, can do it in a reasonable amount of time and won't charge an arm and a leg.
7:00pm Last cover letter printed, pitch package and novel enveloped and scheduled with the messenger service.
7:30 Now to the must-read section of the daily webcrawl: Media Bistro, PubLunch, PW, more on AJ , Sarah's blog, Beatrice and others I get to when I have time.
This is a nice slow day. Summer means people are taking four days off, or at their country houses or just hiding in their offices. No one is going to lunch and no one is rushing around to parties. It's kinda nice.
Calls: outgoing 36, incoming 17.
Mail: letters10, packages 1
Vulgarities: required by law 6, optional extras for particular fuckwits 19
Miss Snark 1, World 0.