Tonight’s YALitChat is inspired by an article in the Wall Street Journal called “Death of the Slush Pile.” It talks about how Random House, the largest publisher in the U.S. plucked a newbie author and mother from the slush pile (a term I deeply dislike) and published her book CARPOOL to fame. It also mentions other slush pile alums like Philip Roth, Anne Frank and Judith Guest. And, what would a slush pile article be without mentioning the success of both Harry Potter and Twilight (referring to it as a “mistake”)? Read the full article here for the an interesting take on the reality of the situation as well as inspiration.
Henry Holt and Company Books for Young Readers
Farrar Straus Giroux Books for Young Readers
Roaring Brook Press
Feiwel and Friends
This directly impacts YA writers and limits our options. So, with the so-called “death of the slush pile” being officially proclaimed and more and more publishers requiring an agent to present your work. What to do?
Publishers need new books to sell from new authors with fresh ideas. This will always be the case. Agents need new clients and a quick and efficient way of finding them that does not take too much time away from the service they perform for their current clients from which they derive their income. Not all writers need agents to sell their work and that is becoming more true every day.
The reason is simply this. The market simply cannot mass support all of us at one time. However, you may be able to have success on a regional level by self-publishing your work and building an audience if agents/editors cannot afford to take a risk on it at the moment (the market will not support it). It all depends on what you want. Or, you can stick it in a drawer and do nothing. All personal choices each of us must make.
Technology has afforded agents with ways to meet their needs as much as it has writers. The internet and sites YALitChat’s ning give agents access to writers on a daily basis. It’s like one big writers conference happening 24/7. Agents are utilizing sites like twitter to share insight and advice on everything from queries to what not to say when you meet them in the bathroom at a conference (believe me you need to know this). This alone, however will not get it done. What will?
During tonight’s chat, we’ll discuss the following:
- Is slush REALLY dead or has it simply relocated as some suggest?
- What YA publishers are taking unagented submissions?
- Can you REALLY survive without an agent and if so, for how long?
- Can you REALLY self-publish successfully?
- How do you know when it’s time to self-publish?
- What about contests? Can they really help?
- What about sites like InkPop, Authonomy?
- Have you submitted to YALitChat Agent Inbox yet or is this just another ploy?
Bring questions, be RESPECTFUL, spread the love.