Monday, February 28, 2011

Why, Hello There.

New blog! I’ve loved blogging over at Confessions From Suite 500, and I’ll continue to do so on some sort of basis. Maybe regularly. But I want to devote a little more space to a topic that I’ve come to feel very strongly about: publishing and digital developments/online media. I’ll do that here.

My series on the way digi-pub affects agents' roles (here, here, here, and here) is an example of the sort of thing we’re going for. I'm interested not only in what new possibilites are out there (apps! ebooks! unicorns! rainbows!) but how publishing, in all its facets, has to change to take advantage. What everyone's role, from author to agent to publisher, might look like in the future.

I want this blog to be a dialogue (rhyme!). I want to get feedback on what bothers terrifies interests you. It’s going to be different depending on the audience (author, pub person, reader) and I think that’s one of the most interesting parts. You can email me at ProseBlog [at] gmail [dot] com with topics that you’d like to see addressed. But be advised that if you 1. Query there 2. Nag me 3. Expect any sort of response from that email, you’ll be marked spam. Forever.

So how about a little celebratory contest? Enter by commenting (+1), putting this on social media somehow (+2), following the blog (+2), or suggesting a future blog topic in the comments section (+3). I’ll select, oh, let’s say three winners by a mysterious method of my choosing.

Prizes, you ask?

Well, I really like picking prizes based on winner’s preference, but here are some ideas:
  1. Some sort of agent-y prize: critique of query or first 5 pages. Or something.
  2. A social media checkup. I’ll look at your blog, twitter, website, etc. and make sure that you’re putting your best foot forward.
  3. Title brainstorm. Need something titled? Let’s do it.
  4. It’s been suggested that I send out a signed copy of a FPLM client’s book. But I haven’t asked anyone about that. And it would be signed by me.
  5. If it’s reasonable (I reserve sole judgment) you can suggest your own.

Thanks for stopping by!
(Is this font too small?)


  1. Hi Meredith! I saw your tweet and headed right over. I think this is a great idea for a blog. As fast at things are changing, you'll have an endless supply of topics.

  2. Very excited to be able to read this! And no, the font isn't too small.

  3. +1 Catchy title. Now gotta ask if the title is pronounced La Vie En Prooo? :) And the font is just nice, though a bit teeny for my mobile phone.

    +2 Tweeted:

    +2 for following (You didn't have to, would have followed anyways)

  4. I read blog posts about the evolution of publishing and find the mixture of 'oh horrors' and 'let's all go indie' to be quite bewildering. I'm all for a blog aimed at exploring the issues constructively.

    Duly followed.

    Oh, and since you asked, the font could be a teeny bit bigger.

  5. Though I am very anti-kindle I will read and listen and keep an open mind since this does seem to be the way the world is going...fortunately or unfortunately...

    Duly tweeted.


    Would love to see agent question days/hours/chats those really keep me going - the ability to reach out and ask a question (any question) in a non-traditional way - helps us writers feel we aren't so alone...

  6. I agree--fun title. And those are some excellent prizes.

    Topic suggestion: Stylistic trends (like the rise of 1st person present in YA) and the benefits and pitfalls of the most prevalent trends (or the ones you want to talk about most).

    Commented (+1), retweeted (+2), follower (+2), suggestion (+3) = 8.

  7. Sounds like a great new blog, and I'm happy to follow! Yes, the font is a little small...but maybe I just need glasses.

    Excellent prizes.

  8. Love the name of the blog! I tweeted you a few minutes ago and I'm definitely following!

    I'm excited about the future of digital and publishing in general, but one of my fears is that children's books will become more like video games than books, so I would suggest that as a topic.

    Full points - huzzah!

    Congrats on the shiny new blog!

  9. Excited for this new endeavor on your part!

    Topics I would love to see: Any specific thoughts on literary fiction, and/or whether or not you see the digital world expanding the market for short stories/short story collections.

    Commented, retweeted, followed, suggested! (8 pts!)

  10. I got a Sony eReader years before they flooded the market so I'm so excited about the way things are evolving!

    Tweeted and followed! :D

  11. Unicorns and rainbows? On top of all the other awesomeness that is Mer? Can a mere *squee* espress my excitement? No!

    And I have first-hand knowledge of how incredibly awesome Mer can be with social media and writing/publishing. This blog is going to be wonderful!!

  12. Hi, Meredith. Looking forward to your sage advice on getting comfortable with twenty-first century publishing. I will put your blog on my blog list ( and that of the famous Crime Writers' Chronicle ( I can make the font bigger with a tweak of my fingers, since I use a Macbook, and I do have to do this, but what do you want, I'm a geezer.

  13. Hi Meredith,
    Saw your twit and came over to peek. Told all my friends. Look forward to your topics. Best of luck. spitfirerosi...

  14. Congrats on the new blog, Meredith. I've been following your digi-pubs series with great interest. I'm following the blog and am excited to read what else you have to say on emerging trends in the biz. Good luck!

  15. Happy to have found you via @Kortizzle on Twitter. I am more interested in non-fiction proposals than fiction, which leaves me a bit out of the loop on most of these conversations. That being said, I love following anything that has to do with industry changes and, specifically, platforms. I've been building my platform for many years ahead of my book, so I'd love to know more info on how to fill in the gaps on what I may be missing there.

    Shared this on Twitter by RT'ing Kortizzle!

  16. Oh! This is a great topic for a blog! I've enjoyed following you on twitter, and look forward to this. I will do the subscribe-y thing (although I'm bad at checking my blog reader and much prefer a little twitter that a new post is up) and, of course, will tweet it out. Good luck. This is going to be fun!

  17. I found the font quite small so I hit <+> to make it one size bigger and that seems just right.

    Sometimes your readers have to adapt to you.

  18. Possible blog discussion: Lost art of Choose Your Own Adventure books

  19. I tweeted the blog link, am following, and here are my topic suggestions:

    The potential rise of author/programmer/illustrator teams, or authors who know how to write code. How traditionally published authors can digitally enhance their work, whether with playlists of music or digital photo albums of locations and objects in their writing.


  20. Yes, the font could be one size bigger. Or it's still really early in the morning.

    Following, tweeted and topic suggestion: in the advent of this economy do you think initial debuts will begin to shift toward paperback and e-reader formats first, or swing to e-reader first and then publishers wait to release a physical book if it's a success?

  21. This is a great blog idea. I think the font size is fine and readable. I'd love to see a post about illustration heavy MG/graphic novels in digital media - I'm wondering how well these projects transfer to an e-page and how young readers feel about them.

    Commented/tweeted/followed/suggested = 8!

  22. AWESOME! And timely! This will be helpful to so many of us, thanks. Some topics that I and some of my friends would enjoy seeing are more on creating a brand and also what good things to really be covering on our blogs. I've got ideas for my own, but more input is great, and I've been batting it around with pals lately.

  23. 1-following you, but really would have anyway.

    2-tweeted about your new blog: 

    3-the font is just right and the title is fun. Looking forward to reading your posts.

    4-Future Topic: Putting Samples of your unpublished work on you blog (Do's, Dont's. Pros & Cons etc...)

    Thanks for hosting a new blog :)


  24. I do think the font is too small, but it's a nice font.

    I still think this blog should be called There's a Mer-Bear in the Lair, Mon Cher!

  25. Why hello there, bonjour.

    I'm intrigued. Congrats on your new adventure here. (love the blog name)

    Follow blog-2
    I like your topic plan. It's timely and topical. I'm sure your topics will change and morph organically as topics and life have a way of doing. Thus my only 'suggestion' is to be yourself and have fun with it.
    Also, the font size is a teeny bit small.


  26. Looking forward to reading future posts here. I agree with those above, font is a little small to read, especially on my laptop.

    Great prizes!

  27. Being an overachiever, I'm looking for a +3 comment :-) So topics for future, blogs:

    1. Does dark blue text on black work for old eyes?
    2. Neovella -- is it just FB for publishing or a new way to reach younger readers.
    3. What are the other uses for eReaders? (documents for meetings, notes from professors, lectures from teachers, etc.)

    Congrats on the new blog!

    aka Spam Princess

  28. Follow--Check
    Social Media--Check!/Valerie_Norris
    Comment: Looking forward to future posts. And yes, font is too teeny.

  29. Great topic and I'm going to bookmark your blog.

  30. Yay, Mer! It's so great that you've started your own blog! :D I've added myself to the list of followers.

    I do think the font is a tad too small, but that's just because I have terrible eyes. A touch bigger should do the trick.

    I would love to see a topic on writer etiquette on social media sites. I've read articles about general etiquette rules, but one more geared toward authors would be great.

  31. My comment will be this: YOU OLD FOLKS ARE INSANE!!!! This market, today, may have a Kindle in their nightstand next to other battery operated devices, but tomorrow's market (which is 15 minutes away from taking over in 21st century terms) is not all gaga over Twitter or Facebook.

    Here's my comment: If you're a writer and want to know what the next market is doing, get yourself an Xbox Live account or grab a PS3.

    So we launch a book, it gets 30 comments on some board and a couple of likes.

    Someone launches a game, and it gets 30,000 threads on five-dozen boards. People in 90 countries and 200 languages INSTANTLY begin buying logo merchandise.

    Books think they are competing with ebooks. Not really. We are competing with all digital entertainment. Better learn it.

    -max sense

  32. I like your strict policy on spammers. ^_^ It's smart, though I'm sure some folks will complain about it being "mean".

    And yes, I think the font's a bit small. *checks site code* Hm… It certainly doesn't look 13px, which makes me wonder if there's some conflicting CSS in there.


    Oh. Um. The CSS is sorta messed up, with come classes duplicated in multiple spots in the same CSS set. There's obviously something wrong in the settings, 'cause on the surface, the blog post font should be the same size as the sidebar font.

    I'm not seeing the precise problem point, but then, the conflicting CSS commands alone might be causing that. Adding something along the lines of "font-size: 125%" to one of the primary .post-body classes should work to increase blog post font size. (By "primary", I mean not within the settings for how the blog will appear in a mobile browser.)

    Er, and the dark blue text isn't exactly legible in the sidebar and footer.

    *really hopes she hasn't gotten on nice lady's "HATE" list*

    For a future topic, what about e-books and libraries, like the HarperCollins 26-copy limit on OverDrive, now?

    Commented - check
    Followed - check
    Tweeted - check
    Topic idea - …check?

  33. Blog topic - how to personalize a query without sounding like a tool or stalker b/c that's what I'm doing currently.

    Commented - obviously
    Followed - Take my word for it
    Topic Idea - Why not
    Social Media -!/icountwords

  34. Congratulations! Love the idea for this blog.

    Tweeted. Followed.

    Topic idea (or, selfish question, you decide): How important is it for an aspiring author to BLOG if they're already tweeting, facebooking, and networking on social media?

  35. Great idea for a blog! Digital publishing is a fascinating but scary arena, but I think all writers need to learn as much as possible about it.

    Followed, tweeted, commented....

  36. Oooo, another agently-type to stalk :) I'm glad you're showing us this angle. +3 for following and commenting.

  37. I'm looking forward to reading your blog--should be very interesting :) +3 for comment and following!

  38. Yay, more agent blogs! :) I think your font size is perfect, and I can't wait to see what you have in store for this blog.

    +1 comment, +2 follow

  39. Love that you have your own blog now!

    An unpublished writer should begin building a web presence asap, I see that a lot on industry blogs. Do you have any suggestions for execution?

    What should we blog about? Are writing samples good or bad? How do we find our target readers before our book is published?

    I tweeted and followed as well.


    I look forward to reading your posts.

  40. Following
    Suggestions for topics: how to best use social media, how self publishing and epublishing are changing the landscape of print publishing

  41. Looking forward to what transpires on your new blog! I would love to see a post on Twitter etiquette from an agent's perspective.

  42. Awesome! Can't wait to see what you come up with!

  43. Contest whoopee! Only +1 for me. The font is kinda small, but not too bad.

  44. This is a great blog idea. I loved your series over at Confessions From Suite 500 so I'm excited to read more of that.

    As for this awesome contest, I tweeted:!/T_Neithercott/status/42331581272162304

    I'm a follower and I have a future blog suggestion:

    A post about illegal downloading of eBooks. How can/do publishers prevent the digital book from being downloaded and copied? And what's the difference between eBooks and music that's illegally downloaded? Will illegal file sharing (if it's possible) prevent people from buying their own copies. And is this a real concern seeing as people can trade paper books at will?

    (I'm sure you'll have a million blog topics as e-Readers evolve. I can't wait to learn more!)

    Okay, so:

    Comment: +1
    Tweet: +2
    Follower: +2
    Topic suggestion: +3
    That's a total of 8. :)

  45. Unicorns? Rainbows? Woot and holler! Oh yeah, and apps and ebooks, too. Looking forward to reading more.


  46. Enter by commenting (+1), putting this on social media somehow (+2), following the blog (+2), or suggesting a future blog topic in the comments section (+3). I’ll select, oh, let’s say three winners by a mysterious method of my choosing.

    +1 - Hello!

    +2 - Tweeted under @LianaBrooks - if the feed is working it goes straight to Facebook - there's also a post on my blog

    +2 - I'm a follower

    +3 - I'd love to see some blog posts about what an author should talk to an agent about after they're offered a contract but before they sign on with the agent. I've seen posts suggesting the author think and talk with the agent, not just scream in delight and cry in relief, but no one seems to have a checklist on what to ask.

    total - 8 :o)

  47. So great to have you blogging! I love to read the Sharkly one talk about you – she always says such great things and you sound like you work well together. Hey, here’s an idea for a blog topic – a bunch of them I think – how about something like what it’s like Swimming with the Shark. I’ll be you have things you can share that she wouldn’t bite you for. :-D

    On to serious topics:
    I love to hear agents talk about their likes/dislikes in the process of submission and in the stories. I’ve learned a lot from visiting blogs that do a lot of that.

    How about talking about the publishing industry in general? I write in the romance genre and would love to hear more about how that’s going but I also love to hear how others genres are doing. And also, how is the industry doing overall? What does it mean that Borders is closing so many stores? Is epublishing getting stronger and does it look like the wave of the future, and so on. I read that readers, with all the instant gratification, are likely to want shorter, faster paced books – what do you see happening to books?

    Would love to hear insights about how an author – pubbed and unpubbed – can position themselves in the best way via social media to get the most bang – not just using it to promote their books and/or blogs.

    That’s it for now. If I have any more I’ll email you. I think it’s great that you are asking and I am looking forward to your blog. I’ll certainly add it to my favorite blogs list.


    Oh, p.s. for someone who is, um, older, the font is a bit small. However, that doesn’t mean I won’t visit. I’ll just use a bigger monitor. :-D And I like your blog title.

  48. This is pretty awesome. I'm looking forward to future posts. (I followed, tweeted, and linked in my sidebar @ for a total of 5.)

  49. I love the blog title, too. I'm following now, and I'd love to hear your thoughts on whether authors will need to be more blogged out in the future. I think a cool e-reader feature would be a link to the author's blog or website.


  50. Aaaand contest entries end here! Of course feel free to comment in any case.

  51. Wooo a new industry blog to stalk! But sad because I just missed out on the contest by an hour :(.

  52. Hmm...I thought I commented, but it didn't seem to take.

    One thing I have heard a lot about is how publishers are holding on to e-rights, thus keeping the book in print *indefinitely*. I've heard complaints from those self e-publishing their backlist, getting more than they would have off of a publisher's royalty rate. They don't want to lose this ability, and they want their rights to revert back someday.

    Thoughts? So far, all I've heard are author's takes.

  53. Congrats on your new blog! Looking forward to reading more.

  54. The new blog sounds great!


  55. Congrats and good luck with your blog! Sounds like a great idea. You've scored a new follower, even without the contest as a teaser! :)

  56. Hi, Meredith. I found out about your blog through Janet Reid -- a literary agent I never intend to query, and yet her blogs are my very faves to rave. :) Your blog is linked to my (new) website, shared on Facebook, and ... well, here I am commenting. Nattering, really.

    I'm the "Old Guard" print journalist who doesn't warmly embrace new technology with open arms. The vastly underpaid, curmudgeonly, hyper-caffeinated (wait, where's the cup --?) freelance writer who loathes piddling around on Facebook, Twitter and even her own blog, because in my world, minutes = $$. I'll probably quote McLuhan and other mass communications theorists copiously, and you'll wish I'd go away.

    Oh, I did just finish my first full-length novel, too, so keeping abreast of the changes in the publishing industry is a requisite.

    Hugs and all that,

    Melissa (ATX)

  57. Comment: +1

    Facebook: +2

    Follow: +2

    Future Blog Topic: +3

    I'd really love to know your thoughts on edgy YA at this point. Is there really such a thing anymore? I've heard that for it to be edgy YA, you have to have sex and/or drugs. But seriously, if there isn't a character on drugs or having sex or, I don't know, driving way too fast, then I call the book "boring." (I exaggerate, but not all that much...most of the YA books I'm reading these days have at least one of these elements, and they can't ALL be edgy.) What do you think? What makes YA edgy these days?

  58. I think the font's ok, but maybe that's because I'm reading on my iPad where I can easily make it bigger. :)

    I'm commenting and subscribed in my reader, and I have a topic/question: ebooks and libraries. Is there a model where everybody (libraries, publishers) comes away happy?

  59. Oooh, just found you! Even if it's too late to enter, I wanted to say hi! And say I'm very excited about this new endeavor.

  60. Hey Meredith,

    I just read your posts from Confessions. I agree with a lot of what you're talking about, and I've started a blog for my publishing thesis project at where I talk about the changes in the publishing industry and the project I'm putting together for my thesis. I've subscribed to your blog by RSS. If you wouldn't mind, I try to feature other blogs on my blog, and I'd love to feature yours.

    - Franco