Friday, September 05, 2008

Book Blocks

As an agent, I know how hard it is for authors to get publicity for their new books.

As an aspiring writer, I know how hard it is to get all the building blocks of a novel to work right.

So I present to you, what I hope will be the start of a new series, called "Book Blocks".

This is an open invitation for any author who has a book coming out to write up a short piece about one of the building blocks of their upcoming book. It can be about the characters, the plot, the theme, the actual writing structure, the idea behind the novel (or non-fiction work), the worldbuilding, etc.

In 500 words or so, explain to the reader how you used that "book block" in your new book, and why it makes your book special. Your aim should be to both promote your book (the free publicity aspect) and to try to teach aspiring writers how to grow in their own writing (the passing it forward part of this). I get about 500 readers a day, many of them aspiring writers, who are also avid readers.

Why am I doing this, you ask? Because I believe in giving back to the publishing community. I don't have the time to read and review all the books I like, and I also understand that it's hard for authors, especially first-time ones, to get their books discussed via word-of-mouth. I'd like to be able to help authors, represented by any agency (or unagented) to find new readers for their work.

I'm hoping that this will be both useful and fun for the authors who choose to write up pieces for the blog. If I get enough submissions, I'd like to do weekly posts for this. If I get a lot of submissions, I'd be happy to post a "Book Block" every Tuesday and Thursday.

So if you are interested in participating, here are the guidelines for authors:

  1. Your book must have been released within the last calendar year or will be released within the next six months.
  2. Your book can be from any publishing house, with the exception of self-published or vanity presses. Small press submissions are welcomed, especially. It must be available in English. If your book is an e-book, please feel free to participate too.
  3. Your book can be any genre, even non-fiction. Erotica books are welcome too, but please keep the book block piece itself "clean". I'm sure there are people out there who would love to know just how those tantalizing sex scenes are written.
  4. Your piece must consist of just one "building block" of your book. For example, you can't write about how you constructed the plot and how you created the characters; you have to choose one. They should be no longer than 500 words, but they can be shorter.
  5. E-mail your submission to me, preferably in plain text (this makes it easier to paste into Blogger), along with a jpeg of the cover of your book. Send all submissions to jennyrcma AT gmail DOT com, with the subject line of "Book Blocks: your title".
  6. I retain the right to veto any "Book Blocks" submissions that I feel are inappropriate in nature or content for this blog. It is my blog, after all.
  7. You are welcome to send me a hard copy of your book at the following address, but it is NOT REQUIRED, and it won't have any bearing on whether I choose your book or not. I'm going to be very busy reading unpublished material soon, so I cannot guarantee I'll be able to read your book right away (or for months, let's be realistic here).
Jenny Rappaport
L. Perkins Agency
15-9 Interlaken Court
Freehold, NJ 07728

Once I have about five Book Blocks pieces sent in by authors, I'll start posting them. The guidelines for this will go in the sidebar of LIT SOUP. Feel free to spread the word around the internet.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this turns out to be a successful experiment. =)


Just_Me said...

Oh! This sounds like fun! But I don't have anything out yet.

Please, tell me other people take a year to write and edit a book.... I hate editing!

JeanieW said...

This is a very generous use of your blog. Thank you. I hope you're still running this feature in however many years it takes me to get my first book published.

Jenny Rappaport said...

I'm hoping it lasts for a good long time too.

And if you pass the word around to other authors, then the more Book Blocks pieces will be written and the longer the series keeps running. =)

Kosmo said...

Sounds like a great idea, Jenny.

Anonymous said...

Just_me said: Please, tell me other people take a year to write and edit a book.... I hate editing!

I say: So far, it's been twenty years for me. So you're not even close to the 'long time' end of the scale.

Here's hoping I have something for you next year, Jenny. Fingers are crossed!


Ryan Field said...

This is great. I'm going to pass it on to a few other writers too.

Natalie said...

Great idea! I look forward to the upcoming posts:)

Chumplet said...

What a wonderful idea. Thank you for the opportunity. I have an e-release that will be out in print in a couple of months.

Nancy said...

Hey Jenny, great idea. I'll see if I can't get my boss at Mighty Pen to link to this entry on our website blog, as I'm sure the authors we edit might be interested in the free press.

Nancy D'Inzillo

Anonymous said...

Just to let you know, I've linked to your blog from mine. You can see it if you click on my name here.

I think this is a wonderful service for authors. Thank you.

Caroline said...

What a great idea! My novel doesn't come out until 2010, but I'm posting about this on my blog.

Incredibly generous and wonderful thing to do!

Jenny Rappaport said...

We're almost at five pieces written already, so if I get one more before tomorrow, then that's when the series starts!

Maryn McKenna said...

This is very thoughtful and generous! I can't send you anything for 6 months :-( because I am a year out from my pub date (for SUPERBUG). But I'll be very interested to see what you post!

Angela K. Nickerson said...
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Angela K. Nickerson said...
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Angela K. Nickerson said...

Thanks so much for your generous offer! I am hoping you got the Book Block I emailed you for A Journey into Michelangelo's Rome. If not, please email me: