Kasey's Comments - November
Open A New Window
I like that, open a new window. So much better than jumping
out of the old one, right?
This exercise we all indulge in, as Kay Hooper terms the “business” of
publishing, has never been easy, and it doesn’t seem to be getting easier. It’s
becoming more complex, as we not only have to write the books, we have to promote
them. Hell, we have to learn a whole new language about trailers and
e-pubbing and blogs and my space, your space, all God’s chillen got a
We need help, folks!
And that’s where Novelists Inc. comes in! Ninclink is a wonder, Nink and
the Ninc website are constant sources of necessary information. But nothing--nothing!--beats
a Novelists, Inc. conference.
Now, as you have one leg up and over the ledge of that old window,
you’re pausing to ask why. Okay, some of you may be slyly
smiling and saying, “Oh, yeah—prove it!”
Let’s start with the obvious: publishing is exercised in
Manhattan. The ’08 conference is in Manhattan. Where publishing
lives, where the editors are, where the agents are. The benefits of all
of us also being in Manhattan do not require the skills of a brain surgeon!
Two: The conference program. Genius, pure genius. We’ll
cover lots in the next months, here, on Ninclink, and at the website, but let’s
begin with the afternoon of Roundtables, all right?
Editors from ten houses, running the gamut of genres, will be sitting down
informally with small groups of Novelists, Inc. members to talk about the needs
of their particular houses, and to answer questions from the table.
We’re not talking unhelpful suggestions like “write the
book of your heart,” or “I can’t say what I want, but I’ll
know it when I see it,” or “historicals, up; contemporaries, down;
mysteries, stable.” No way!
Consider The Roundtables a form of speed dating—after about twenty minutes
of frank conversation and questions, bam, a move to another table if you wish,
another editor, another intimate perspective—and another chance to make
a connection, plan a later one-on-one meeting. An entire afternoon of
Novelists Inc. is setting the table, you do the rest.
Everybody loves the Nightowl sessions, so in ’08 they’re expanded. Doubled,
actually. Sunday the conference becomes all ours again; the editors and
agents go home and we get to talk amongst ourselves, share what we’ve
learned, gripe if we must, but end the conference on that so necessary “Up” that
will send us all home eager to get back to the computer.
In between, there’s informative speakers, great food, endless local attractions
(my God, people, it’s New York!), new friends, old friends, new ideas,
old ideas reworked and made new again. Energy! That’s
what we get from a terrific conference, and that’s what Novelists Inc.
has built for us in Manhattan.
None of us knows it all. None of us is too advanced in her/his career
to not need what’s waiting for us in Manhattan. None of us is too
overworked or undersold to be able to ignore the need to see and be seen in
the home of publishing; to network, to feel the spark of a new idea thanks
to something said in a workshop or overheard in the bar.
This exercise we all participate in is not for the faint of heart. Two
books in print or more than a hundred; it never gets easier. We can never
say, “I’ve learned enough,” because none of us has learned
enough, there’s always more to learn, some new mountain to climb, some
new twist on promotion or editorial guidelines to digest.
We’re writers. Visionaries, if you will. We don’t jump
out of windows (too messy, for one thing). We open new windows,
and that’s what Novelists Inc. is doing for all of us March 27-30 of
2008 in Manhattan.
Next month, among other subjects, we’ll talk a bit about the fantastic
Affinia Manhattan hotel, but in the meantime, check out the website and the
photographs and descriptions of the suites, because every room
at the Affinia is a suite. The prices aren’t too shabby, either,
but it’s first come, first booked at the great conference rate!
Early-bird registration ends November 15th, you know, and the price for opening
that new window goes up.
Think about it, and open that new window… we all still need some exercise.
Ninc President-elect 2008