I know. It seems like the only thing writers and agents are getting is rejection slips. The stakes are high--indeed. What's the favorite phrase of agents and editors? AUTHOR PLATFORM. But editors still become smitten with a new author's voice and writing, whole publishing teams get excited by the nonfiction book that is coming to market at just the right time with all the media working correctly. There is still the experience of the public falling in love with a story, a book, an author. The readers are still there.
Here is a taste of what editors have bought lately:
Screenwriter Kathy Ebel cuts a wide comic swatch with FAST & SLOPPY, the story of a deeply flawed but unsinkable young woman whose misguided attempts at finding love and security in 1990s New York City include sleeping with her best friend's father. To Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, by Betsy Lerner at Dunow, Carlson & Lerner.
NPR news editor Krishnadev Calamur's debut novella, MURDER IN MUMBAI, featuring a beleaguered cop and a journalist who reluctantly collaborate to solve the murder of an American businesswoman in India, as the debut title in Dutton's Guilt-Edged Mysteries e-imprint, to Ben Sevier with Stephanie Kelly editing, by Josh Getzler at Hannigan Salky Getzler.
Lorrie Thomson's EQUILIBRIUM, about a woman who, along with her two teenaged children, is trying to pick up the pieces a year after her husband committed suicide, to Peter Senftleben at Kensington, by Jessica Alvarez at BookEnds.
Former Politico writer Karin Tanabe's THE CAPITOLIST, in which a 20-something journalist leaves a cushy NYC magazine job for DC's hottest (and most cut-throat) political rag, where she uncovers a juicy scandal involving a senator that could make or break her career, to Sarah Cantin at Atria, in a nice deal, by Bridget Wagner at Zachary Shuster Harmsworth Literary Agency.
Susan Spann's SHINOBI, in a new samurai mystery series featuring a Samurai and a Portuguese priest, who must clear a teahouse entertainer of murder, with each book focusing on a different aspect of 16th-century Japanese culture, to Toni Plummer at Thomas Dunne Books, in a three-book deal, by Sandra Bond at Bond Literary Agency.
And a whole host of Romance, Inspirational, Mystery, Science Fiction, Fantasy....
Nonfiction buys (not listing the obvious celebrity books like Whitney Houston biographies and Amanda Knox's memoir):
Former journalist who now works in digital strategy and data analysis Amy Webb's DATA, A LOVE STORY, a humorous and instructive memoir about how Webb "gamed" the world of online dating and used her skills to figure out what sort of man she really wanted to date, then crunched the numbers to figure out how to successfully attract just the right one, including her eventual husband, to Jill Schwartzman at Dutton, at auction, by Erin Malone and Suzanne Gluck at William Morris Endeavor.
Fortune Magazine journalist Carol Loomis' untitled book about Warren Buffett, drawing on her more than 40-year friendship with America's most successful investor, in which she collects and adds new commentary to six decades of articles in Fortune, to Adrian Zackheim at Portfolio, at auction, by Tracy Brown at Tracy Brown Literary Agency.
Ray Walker with Rachel Holtzman's THE ROAD TO BURGUNDY, the story of his long, hard journey to realize his dream, chucking his California office job in favor of winemaking in Burgundy, starting with no money, no vineyard, no grapes, and no French, starting with a wife, a new baby, and more determination than anyone in his new village had ever seen before; the learning curve for the Walker family was steep, but from that hardly-promising start, he became the first non-Frenchman ever to make the hallowed grand cru Le Chambertin, and founded Maison Ilan, a wine that sold out its very first vintage, to Lucia Watson at Gotham, for publication in Summer 2013, by Sharon Bowers at Miller Bowers Griffin..
CEO of the Special Olympics Tim Shriver's book about the athletes who "have taught me more about how to live this life than anyone," presenting "really important lessons for a time and an age when people are really looking and seeking ways to find more fulfillment, more purpose, more peace ... in their lives," to Sarah Crichton at Sarah Crichton Books, by Rafe Sagalyn at The Sagalyn Agency.
The Comedy Bible author Judy Carter's THE SPEAKER'S BIBLE: Turning Your Life Story into a Money Making Career, helping readers discover the keynote speech buried inside their life story...and then shows them how to build a successful speaking career from that speech, to Daniela Rapp at St. Martin's, for publication in Fall/Winter 2012 and 2013, by Penny Nelson at Manus & Associates.
Fast Company, Slate, NPR, and NYT contributor Farhad Manjoo's MASTERS OF OUR UNIVERSE, an account of the war among today's major tech companies, primarily focused on Apple, Facebook, Google, and Amazon, as they expand beyond their traditional services and move aggressively into each other's territory, battling for dominance of our lives, to Jofie Ferrari-Adler at Simon & Schuster, at auction, by Larry Weissman at Larry Weissman Literary.