Success With Nonfiction

audiobook literally

June is Audiobook month and sadly, almost coming to an end. Here at HRM we are proud to represent so many different titles and various authors who we have helped get their work published in audio and we love every second of it, especially when the final product comes our way. Let’s just say we have a lot of awesome audiobooks to listen to in our office. Lately, we have really been into our non-fiction titles.

Publisher’s Weekly and the Association of American Publishers (AAP) confirmed 2016 was a successful year for nonfiction titles. PW shows the numbers behind adult nonfiction stayed “hot” during the year, rising 6.85% from 2015. Audiobooks rose 24.9% since 2015, emphasizing the growth in the adult trade books category.

We have highlighted a couple of our own nonfiction titles below. They are the perfect mix of self-help, inspiration and humor:

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  • Thru-Hiking Will Break Your Heart: An Adventure on the Pacific Crest Trail” by Carrot QuinnCarrot Quinn fears that she’s become addicted to the internet. The city makes her numb, and she’s having trouble connecting with others. In a desperate move, she breaks away from everything to walk 2,660 miles from Mexico to Canada on the Pacific Crest Trail. It will be her first long-distance hike.
  • Waiter to the Rich and Shameless” by Paul Hartford

    A down-and-out musician chops off his hair to become a server at the top of the Hollywood food chain, discovering a cloistered world of money, fame, bad behavior and intrigue.
  • The Amelia Series by D.G. Torrens

    From Book 1: This is a powerful true story of one young girl’s struggle to survive the state-care-system in the 70’s and 80’s. Amelia has just one wish, to make it through to adulthood and hold her destiny in her own hands. This is a harrowing true story, one of survival and human strength. Amelia has been tragically separated from all her siblings, never to see them again for many years. She is moved from one children’s home to another until finally, it’s just too much for her to bear. Amelia starts to wonder about the peace and finality of her own death.

Our office is currently hosting a giveaway of The Amelia Series by D.G. Torrens. If you are interested in winning the full collection (yes, ALL THREE BOOKS!), follow the instructions below!

giveaway details dg torrens

Good luck, and write on!

 

 

 

BookExpo America 2017

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A few weeks ago, we made our way to the BookExpo of America (BEA) at the Javits Center in NYC. The book fair took place over a three-day period and there no mistaking that 2017 brought a whole new feel to the expo.

This year, BookExpo America took on smaller events, doing away with some panels (i.e. Book Bloggers’ Convention and the IDPF annual conference) and advertising their collaboration with BookCon. What’s the reasoning behind this change, some might ask?

Two potential explanations:

  • It’s becoming a more intimate setting for the behind-the-scenes publishing professionals to convene and conduct meetings about the past year and what the future holds for their company and each other.

AND/OR

  • Downsizing to entice fans to attend BookCon.

In an interview, Penguin Random House CEO Markus Dohle described BEA as a host for events to bring the industry together. With the publishing market changing regularly, BEA has become one big meeting amongst publishing professionals of all sorts to uncover new tactics to market their new releases, find new distribution vendors, and query upcoming projects. Professionals are attempting to become more relevant to today’s market using BookCon to incorporate pop culture as a marketing tactic. BEA advertises itself as a way for professionals to fish for their next up and coming title, but it’s also the perfect opportunity to show others what you have been working on all year and to catch-up with other publishing professionals that you might only get to see once a year. BEA has become a great place to bounce ideas off other people who are experiencing the same challenges you are to make next year even more successful.

There are many reasons why publishing professionals attend the exposition and book selling traffic is not one of them anymore. No matter what your reason for attendance is, BEA is a place for relationship building. Whether you are looking to connect with your co-workers, your authors, readers, or meet new publishing professionals like yourself cultivating an intimate setting for these relationships to bud and prosper has become a goal of the organizers behind BEA.

A prime focus has been getting authors to meet with their fans in a more intimate setting. Therefore, downsizing BEA in preparation to partner nicely with BookCon seems to make logical sense. There has been discussion about BookCon being the gateway for readers and authors to coexist together in the same space, steering away from the professional aspect of publishing. A relatively new event, BookCon capitalizes on the author/reader relationship and building more of an intimate fan base for these authors. It takes away the digital screen we all too often hide behind and promotes a more human and organic connection between authors and readers. There is a large range of authors who exhibit at the convention, bringing in a mixture of both adults and children attendees. BookCon has become a better way to market pop culture mixed with storytelling. Increasing the intimacy of BEA will flow that same intimacy into BookCon.

All in all – BEA had another successful year and BookCon will be looking to a promising future going hand-in-hand with the expo.

Write on.

World Book Day, April 23rd

Reading is one of the most important life skills that one will ever learn. Reading creates all sorts of positive changes- from reducing stress, to creating a better sense of self and independence, to empowering our brains to keep growing. We should be encouraging those around us to read each and every day (especially our children), even if it’s just for five minutes, but there is no better day to preach the wonders of reading than this Sunday, April 23rd because it is World Book Day!

worldbookday

As a literary agent, it’s no surprise that this day means a whole lot to me. But, this day goes way beyond my career, it strikes a very personal cord with me. My friends at Amazon are encouraging people to share why they read so well, here it is.

There are so many different reasons why I read, but I think what really hits it home for me is that reading is the easiest and least expensive vacation you will ever get. I don’t think I have ever come out of a reading session more stressed or frustrated than when I started. In fact, I can’t recall a time when I wasn’t noticeably more relaxed after reading just a few chapters of whatever book has my attention at the moment. A book is the one tool that is available to us on a daily basis that allows us to transport ourselves somewhere else. While reading we can visit any place in the world, be whoever we want to be, and experience new adventures. I don’t know of a better “break” from the chaos and natural stresses of our every day lives than that. Reading allows us to totally disconnect and recharge. Reading creates a safe environment where we can just be with ourselves (and the characters of course), which is becoming harder and harder to find in a social media driven world. Reading is the best therapy we can give ourselves.

Why do you read? #LovetoRead

Write on.

Top Publishers of 2016

A few weeks ago, Publisher’s Weekly came out with a ranking of America’s top 20 publishing houses for 2016. It’s no surprise who the top 5 were, but what’s really important is what came after.

The sixth and seventh publisher were both that of children’s books- Scholastic and Disney came in right under the ‘Big Five.’ It’s quite a refreshing thing to see. Children’s literature has always been a tough genre to crack because the audience is smaller, the interests change rapidly, and the surge of technology has threatened to turn some children away from reading and the love of books. Nevertheless, books sales for 2016 has proved that there is still so much to love about children’s publishing. For Disney, Star Wars and Rick Riordan books led the way.

tops publishers

Houghton and Workman come in next, showing us that non-fiction titles still have a big impact on our consumption market as well. For Workman, Atlas Obscura and What to Expect When You’re Expecting were their bestsellers. But for most publishers, their fiction titles landed them on this list. For Sourcebooks, The Cellar by Natasha Preston sold the most units.

Some other cool trends to see were that a few religious publishers made the cut, John Wiley’s business books proved fruitful once again, and adult coloring books are still in high demand from publishers like Dover and Sterling.

Here is the complete list:

  1. Penguin Random House
  2. HarperCollins
  3. Simon & Schuster
  4. Hachette
  5. Macmillan
  6. Scholastic
  7. Disney
  8. Houghton
  9. Workman
  10. Sourcebooks
  11. Sterling
  12. John Wiley
  13. Abrams
  14. Dover
  15. Candlewick
  16. W.W. Norton
  17. Kensington
  18. Chronicle
  19. B&H Publishing
  20. Tyndale

Write on.

 

 

The Audies, 2017 Edition

I’m a little late to the game, but the finalists for the Audie Awards were announced recently. If you don’t already know, the Audies are like t he Oscars for audiobooks. They have been awarded annually by The Audio Publisher’s Association since 1996. There are a bunch of categories in which authors and narrators are applauded and honored for their outstanding work. The actual award ceremony is always held during Book Expo of America in May, which this year is in NYC.

audie

You can see all their categories and their finalists here, but I have highlighted a few of my favorite categories below:

Fantasy

The Bands of Mourning by Brandon Sanderson

The Black Prism by Brent Weeks

The Everything Box by Richard Kadrey

The Hike by Drew Hagary

League of Dragons by Naomi Novik

Mystery

Crimson Shore by Preston & Child

The Crossing by Michael Connelly

A Great Reckoning by Louise Penny

The Heavens May Fall by Allen Eskens

IQ by Joe Ide

Romance

Dirty  by Kylie Scott

Duke of Sin by Elizabeth Hoyt

First Star I See Tonight by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Glitterland by Alexis Hall

The Obsession by Nora Roberts

Sci-Fi

The Book of the Unnamed Midwife by Meg Elison

Crosstalk by Connie Willis

The Dispatcher by John Scalzi

Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuval

Star Wars: The Force Awakens by Alan Dean Foster

Write on, listen on!

 

Audiobooks Making International Waves

Audiobooks are a great source of extra income for many authors, an extra revenue stream that otherwise wouldn’t be there. The audiobook market within the United States is a booming industry, increasing each and every year. Putting their success here in America aside, the possibilities for the future of audiobooks is still endless. According to an article in The Japan Times, audiobooks in the U.S. account for 10% of book sales- amounting to a $160 billion industry. But, this isn’t the case internationally. For example, in Japan the audiobook industry caps off at $5 billion. On the international scene, audiobooks have so much left to do and leave so much to be excited for in the future.

Audio publishers, like Audible, are just beginning to figure out how to be successful overseas. Recently, Audible launched an international initiative in countries just like Japan. In these countries they offer unlimited audiobooks for a monthly fee. The pay per book model that we have in the United States and the United Kingdom just doesn’t work in most other countries. There just isn’t enough awareness or accessibility to audiobooks that are needed for such a model. So, publishers are starting to get creative.

world

The use of smartphones and their apps are greatly changing the audiobook landscape in countries like Japan. These apps offer easy access to audiobooks that once wasn’t there. In Japan, many people use public transportation and are looking for things to entertain them on their long commutes that don’t pack a lot of weight- downloadable audiobooks are the perfect answer. Febe, a downloading site, was launched in 2007. The site offers over 19,000 books on a variety of topics and genres. Since it’s launch, the number of users has increased from 2,000 to about 180,000- proving that if the content is there and accessible, people will use it.

There is still a long way to go with cultivating a real audiobook culture overseas, but the future is very promising. Audio publishers have found that the key to stimulating interest in audiobooks abroad is to use famous people, poets, or authors as readers. Since it’s a relatively new market, there needs to be something that pulls the listener in to giving the whole audio thing a try. This poses a slight problem because production costs of making an audiobook are already pretty high, let alone needing to commission a celebrity to do the reading. High costs along with low recognition of audiobooks are audio publishers two biggest obstacles when thinking of expanding abroad. But if the audio trend does catch on, the risk will be well worth the reward.

The Instant Approval Process

It’s been about six months since we launched our new ‘Submission Page’ and it’s about time we talk more about this revolutionary process.

As manager of Hershman Rights Management (HRM), a literary agency founded in July 2015, I am always looking for ways to better serve my authors and future authors. HRM represents about 100 authors and has successfully sold hundreds of their titles to audio publishers such as Audible, Tantor Media/Recorded Books, Brillance, ListenUp, and MMB Media to name a few. We have also assisted our authors in expanding their works internationally with our most popular translations being into Chinese, Korean, Spanish, Turkish, and French.

iaop

As a literary agency, we constantly receive submissions and queries from authors for unpublished works through our ‘Contact Page.’ We love hearing from new talent and cherish the opportunity to be one of the first eyes to peruse the fruits of their labor. But, we also love working with our many self-published authors and have started an Instant Approval Offer Process (IAOP) to make their submission process easier and more accessible. If you are a published author (either self-published or traditionally published) and are looking for ways to expand your reach via audiobooks, foreign translations, etc. then our instant approval process is just what you have been looking for. IAOP allows published authors to enter in some simple information about their work based on criteria that we know publishers are looking for. If your information matches the criteria, you will instantly be given an opportunity to be represented by HRM.

The IAOP is helpful because authors no longer need to wait extended amounts of time to hear back from a literary agent or publishing company they might attempt to query themselves. Representation by HRM allows authors to invest more of their time in writing more books rather than trying to figure out the audiobook process or international publishing process themselves, which often times becomes much more complicated and confusing than the author initially imagined.

The goal of the IAOP is to allow authors who like the freedom of being self-published, but still want to explore other avenues in which they can profit off their work, to get a hassle and worry free offer from a literary agency designed to cater to their specific needs.

See below for a brief FAQ about our IAOP:

-How long does it take to hear directly from HRM after I am approved for representation?

If after filling out the form you receive an approval for representation by HRM, you will hear from us within 48 hours with some information about our agency and a draft contract for you to look over.

-What happens if my information doesn’t match the criteria you are looking for?

The simple answer, nothing. If you don’t get approved for representation, you are more than welcome to keep trying once you have garnered more sales, reviews, or social media followings for your work. If only some of your information matched our criteria you might get a message saying that we need to further review your submission information before we can make a decision about whether or not we think representation by HRM would be a good fit for you. Fingers and toes crossed!

-Are there any obligations when filling out the IAOP?

Nope, there are no obligations on either party when filling out the IAOP. If you get approved for representation and after talking more with HRM you decide you aren’t interested, that’s perfectly fine. You are under absolutely no obligation to sign on for representation with HRM just because you did the IAOP. We also aren’t obligated to extend representation to you if we don’t think we would be able to help you in any way. The last thing we want to do is spread false hope.

To learn more about HRM, click here.

To use the IAOP, click here.

Write on.