Agent Savant

The musings of literary agent Laurie McLean

Random House Gives $5,000 bonus to each employee

Written By: laurie - Dec• 17•12

Here’s the story behind those bonuses you read about last week:

BookScan To Include Walmart Sales Data

Written By: laurie - Dec• 14•12

This is a big deal. Ever since BookScan started it has only included retail bookstore point of purchase sales in its reports, and not even every bookstore participated. Now, for the first time, BookScan will add sales data from Walmart into its totals. This will significantly change the numbers and represent 80% of English language book sales. However one must note that Walmart tends to carry only a small selection of bestselling titles, so this will skew the numbers more towards the bestsellers. Read the full article here.

Happy Holidays

Written By: laurie - Dec• 12•12

Love this funny from Liz Climo:

Narhwale and Mistletoe

Harlequin Teams with Cosmo for new series

Written By: laurie - Dec• 06•12

Harlequin has always impressed me as one of the more savvy book publishers around. Their announcement this week is no exception. They are teaming up with steamy single girl magazine, Cosmopolitan, aka Cosmo, to launch a series of co-branded romance novels. Called Cosmo Red Hot Reads from Harlequin, these short (30,000 word) books will be e-originals and are aimed squarely at people who like to read their romance on a variety of devices.

Two e-books, priced at $3.99, will be released every month starting in May 2013. According to Harlequin the books will feature “narratives centering on modern young women living the free-spirited and outgoing lifestyle espoused by the international magazine.”

I’ve long wondered when a breakout cell-phone-only book will go viral and pull the rest of the industry along in its wake. This might be the powerhouse team that makes it happen.

Cosmo magazine logo

Amazon Launches Kids Subscription Service

Written By: laurie - Dec• 05•12

Amazon Sells Subscription Package of Kids Books, Videos and Apps

Called Kindle FreeTime Unlimited, Amazon’s new all-in-one unlimited subscription service will offer all types of media from books and apps to movies and television shows for kids. It will work on any Kindle Fire device and will be available as part of Amazon’s next automatic OS software update for that device. The package features all kinds of media focused on children ages 3-8. Amazon Prime members get preferred pricing–$2.99/month per individual child (or $6.99 per family)–but others can subscribe for $4.99/month (or $9.99 per family.)

Companies participating in this subscription service by making their content available include: Andrews McMeel Publishing, Chronicle Books, DC Comics, Disney, HIT Entertainment, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Marvel, Nickelodeon, PBS, Reading Rainbow, and Sesame Workshop, among others. Chris Van Allsburg’s “Jumanji” and Barbara Lehman’s “The Red Book” are among the available picture books, along with those featuring characters like Big Nate, Ivy and Bean, Phineas & Ferb, Shrek, and Kung Fu Panda. The service also includes ebook apps and in-book games from characters such as Thomas & Friends, Looney Tunes, Scooby-Doo, Arthur, Duck and Goose, Caillou and Superman, and from award-winning children’s author Sandra Boynton.

Read the entire announcement here.

Sorenson Scores Starred Review for Aftershock

Written By: laurie - Nov• 05•12

Congratulations to my client, Jill Sorenson, for a rare and jewel-like starred review in Publisher’s Weekly for her forthcoming romantic thriller AFTERSHOCK. Here’s a snippet from the review and a link to the entire review here.

“Sorenson (The Edge of Night) fuels this fast-paced romantic thriller with nonstop adrenaline. Paramedic Lauren Boyer is headed to an emergency call when an 8.5-magnitude earthquake hits San Diego, killing her partner and trapping her and others underneath a collapsed freeway. As Lauren desperately tries to save the wounded, she learns that three escaped felons are among those trapped beneath the freeway…This twisty roller-coaster ride keeps the pages turning.”

Jill Sorenson's Aftershock

Coming in January 2013

Pam van Hylckama Vlieg Signs at Keplers Books

Written By: laurie - Oct• 31•12

My colleague, fellow agent Bookalicious Pam (far right), signed two anthologies and read selections of her writing at Keplers Books in Menlo Park on Halloween Eve. She must have come as a GHOST-writer! Notice Magical Mayhem in front of her! Pick up a copy for Halloween.


Penguin House?

Written By: laurie - Oct• 26•12

Here’s a great article from Shelf Awareness about the potential merger of Random House and Penguin, comedically referred to as either Penguin House or Random Penguin. I even like the logo they came up with as a spoof. But they make a variety of good points to consider. Well worth the read:

Two of the Big Six in Merger Talks

Written By: laurie - Oct• 25•12

O.M.Golly. Today I just read that Random House is in discussions with Pearson, owner of Penguin, on a possible merger. I keep telling everyone who will listen that I believe Amazon is going to buy either HarperCollins or Simon & Schuster. This totally blindsided me. Wowza. Wonder if it will really happen. Can you see a “Random Penguin” in your future?

Disney Channel Options Awkward by Marni Bates

Written By: laurie - Oct• 23•12

Here’s the press release:

Awkward Cover

For Immediate Release                   

Disney Channel Options Awkward by Kensington Author Marni Bates

Los Angeles, CA; New York, NY – October 23, 2012 – The Gersh Agency in Los Angeles today announced that The Disney Channel has optioned the teen novel Awkward by Marni Bates to be made into a television movie. Awkward is published by Kensington Books’ KTeen imprint in New York.

Awkward is a romantic teen comedy featuring a girl whose embarrassing moment is captured by her high school classmates and goes viral on YouTube. Suddenly dubbed “America’s Most Awkward Girl”, Mackenzie Wellesley soon finds herself dodging both the paparazzi and the popular girls at school, even as America’s hottest boy rock band, ReadySet, transforms her moment of humiliation into a hit music video! But when Mackenzie’s rise in notoriety only pushes her farther away from the guy she’s falling for, she’ll find out just how steep the price of fame can be…

“Marni Bates brings a youthful breath of fresh air to young adult novels with her delightfully humorous, yet authentic portrait of high school life. We know Disney viewers will be as charmed as her legions of readers,” said Alicia Condon, Editorial Director, Kensington Publishing.

Marni Bates recently graduated from Lewis & Clark College and has four YA novels under contract with Kensington Books’ KTeen imprint: Awkward and Decked with Holly are currently available, with Invisible and Notable coming in 2013. She also has penned a nonfiction teen book with HCI called Marni.

Brandy Rivers of The Gersh Agency in Los Angeles who brokered the deal said, “Marni is hands down one the greatest new voices in YA and we are thrilled that this is going to be a fabulous new movie for the Disney Channel!”


About Marni Bates
Marni Bates is the author of four young adult books for Kensington Books KTeen line of teen novels. She also penned an autobiography entitled Marni. She grew up in Ashland, Oregon and currently lives in Los Angeles. When not writing, she can be found rollerblading, drinking frappuccinos with extra whip, reading romance novels, and watching copious amounts of TV—strictly for artistic inspiration, of course.

About The Disney Channel
The Disney Channel is a cable and satellite television network owned by the Disney-ABC Television Group division of the Walt Disney Company headquartered in Burbank, California. The channel specializes in television programming for children through original children’s television series and movies, as well as third-party programming.

About Kensington Books
Kensington Publishing Corporation is the last remaining independent U.S. publisher of hardcover, trade and mass market paperback books. Headquartered in New York, NY, KTeen is their young adult imprint.
For more information contact:

Brandy Rivers
The Gersh Agency

Karen Auerbach
Director of Publicity Kensington Books
(212) 407-1551

Laurie McLean
Larsen Pomada Literary Agents