Sunday, April 11, 2010

Elizabeth Law (@egmontgal) talks more cowbell and less vampire #scbwiwwa

We're having some technical difficulties in Salon 1. In short, we have no audio. So Elizabeth Law is acting out this SNL skit on cowbell. I'm now a fan of having no audio, because it leads to performance art by Elizabeth. Outstanding!

(And now, she just gave the A/V guy a cowbell. Zing!)

Elizabeth's twitter name is @egmontgal. Do yourself a favor and follow her there.

All an editor is looking for is the big tomato: juicy, specific, and one that she identifies with when she's reading. She's not looking for a formula or to fill a slot on her list. She's looking for something she recognizes and likes.

Her regrets are publishing things she didn't like but thought would make a lot of money. She won't do that again.

The way to build a hit is to find a good book that you really like and get behind it and bang the drum for it. WHEN YOU REACH ME was not an easy book to sell into bookstores. It just kept on selling, and then Rebecca Stead went on NPR and it sold 40,000 copies in a month.

Elizabeth disclosed she'd sleep with someone at NPR to sell that many books, which is a beautiful show of dedication, isn't it?

Egmont USA is a tiny company, just eight people.

There are a number of questions she has to answer every time she buys a book. Here are a few:
  • Who is the audience?
  • Where will it sell?
  • What is it like and how have those books sold (she doesn't love this part)
We should know what the selling points are for our own books. "Tragically, 'this book is really great' does not work."

(Fascinating E. Law trivia: She shampoos with Alpecin Caffeine Shampoo, which apparently isn't legal in the U.S.)

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