Chip MacGregor

October 5, 2010

Newsday Tuesday …


Some quick notes and random stuff…

Well-known writer Alton Gansky has put together a strong faculty for his intimate, new-style writing conference, coming up October 18-22 in New Mexico. If you’d like to meet people in the industry, but are a bit intimidated by one of those 500-attendee gatherings, check out what he’s doing at the Southwest Christian Writers Studio:

The INSPY Awards have announced their list of 2010 finalists. Included this year are some authors we represent: Gina Holmes, in the Literary Fiction category, for Crossing Oceans; Jim Rubart, in the Speculative category, for Rooms; and Jenny B Jones, in the YA category, for So Over My Head. Other finalists included two authors we represent, but whose books we weren’t representing at the time—Dean Nelson for God Hides in Plain Sight and David Gregory for The Last Christian. And Mark Bertrand made the finalist list for his fabulous novel Back on Murder, but then was taken off the list when it was revealed his book released one day too late to make the list! You can see the entire list of finalists here:

Publishers Marketplace (a great resource that you should consider subscribing to) did some research on the number of deals being done so far this year in all of publishing. As usual, they reported things were slow in the summer, then picked up considerably in September. Overall books deals are up about 16% from last year (which is great news for authors), with “thrillers” being a clear growth category, and YA fiction on an upswing. And while big-money deals are growing, “debut” authors are down considerably—meaning publishers are looking toward their A-level authors to pay bills more than ever before. If you’re interested in staying on top of the publishing news, check it out at

In case you missed it, Michael Cunningham, author of The Hours, penned a wonderful piece of writing in the New York Times on the use of words. It’s worth reading:

I frequently get people asking about freelance editors. There are ton of them (especially now that all the publishing houses have trimmed their staffs), so if you go to any decent writing conferences you’re sure to meet a few folks who do freelance editing. For copyediting, I have often worked with Hannah at DoubleCheck:  , and I noticed at ACFW several authors were chatting up the developmental editing abilities of Jamie Chavez, who you can find at 

If you need help just getting your novel up to snuff, we are big fans of , and we like the work Joyce Magnin is doing with authors. Of course, if you want some basic "how do I make this writing gig work" advice, consider talking to Tiffany at 

I also have people write to ask me, “How can I make sure my site is the top one listed on a search engine when somebody does a search for my name or topic or genre?” There are whole books about this subject, but here are a couple places to start:


And in the NEWS OF THE WEIRD category, a paper in Pennsylvania refused to run an advertisement from the Christian Book and Gift Shop because the name of their store was “offensive.” True story – the guy at the paper said the fact the store had the word “Christian” in it meant an ad “could offend non-Christians.” Good grief. It’s all here:

Here’s something you’ll enjoy – the 100 Best First Lines from novels, according to the American Book Review:


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