Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Ashley live on This WEEK in LAW Friday 11AM PST

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

I’ll be on a panel about publishing at This Week in LAW which will be live streamed at Friday September 24 at 11-12:15 p.m. PDT, 1-2:15 Central, 2-3:15 Eastern time.  Drop by in your web browser or visit the TWIL page afterwards to pick up the podcast. If you rely on an iPod, the podcast will also be on iTunes. There are so many possible topics, I can’t say what we will cover, but I’m sure authors and fellow agents will find it interesting. Post your thoughts here afterwards, too.

Big Fiction Writing Opportunity – co-creating the news

Friday, July 16th, 2010

Ever since the iPhone 4 was released thousands of people have contributed to a huge shared fictional world centered on the “iPhone antenna problem.” Everyone has an opinion including many, often the most angry posters, who have never touched the iPhone. We have two iPhone 4 units that replaced our iPhone 3GS models on release day. It is absolutely true that bridging the gap with the “grip of death” has the effect of dropping the signal bars in the display and often, but not always, dropping calls and lowering 3G data services. I can see website loadings slow down if the iPhone 4 is held a certain way. But not always.

The fiction is coming from the human nature to demand an explanation for all things, and increasingly an explanation in Hollywood terms, in which there is a single bad villain (possibly assisted by minions in orange jumpsuits) who must be found and captured or killed. So bloggers take positions on self-appointed moral grounds and demand that Apple fix the problem, or when Apple fixes the problem it will cost $1.5 billion. Yet, while there is certainly reproducible, unexpected behavior with the iPhone, there’s no evidence that there is a villain to kill or design defect to fix. All we know is that there exists some symptoms of behavior in the device.

Apple will shortly (within the next ten minutes) hold their press conference and hopefully resolve the plot. Predictions range from: “Apple will deny the problem, piss off everyone and the stock will nose dive,” to my own estimate, that the iPhone 4 is unusually sensitive to its environment and requires some refinement in the software and possibly user expectation to work best.

We will know shortly.

My purpose in writing is to call attention to the ongoing co-creation of a world view simply by the use of foreshadowing, creation of suspense and involving the reader emotionally by tying a few observed events, to a range of possible dramatic situations. Mystery writers call this technique “red herrings.” Can you make money writing red herring news? Sure. If you can drop Apple stock by a few percent, you can clean up on short sells. The profits are greater than selling a mystery novel.

Here’s an example of a benign  explanation of the iPhone dropping calls. Fact: the iPhone 4 is a more sensitive device than the previous models and competitive phones. Fact: the iPhone 4 can find a real signal where other phones can’t. Fact: sometimes an iPhone 4 drops calls where other phones either couldn’t make them at all, or they do not drop calls. A Hollywood plot calls for their to be some crucial defect in the phone that causes this. Is it however, a defect if the iPhone 4 can find service where others can’t–even if it sometimes loses the call? Cell towers (hopefully) are set up in circular patterns that overlap at the edges to provide service continuity. The places where service doesn’t overlap (or is blocked by a mountain or large metal buildings) is called a dead zone. A cell phone calling from the edge of one tower’s service is probably also at the edge of more than one cell tower. Not quite overlapping circles that almost touch; get it? So a traditional cell phone may see no service or one tower that it holds on to and keeps a call going. Because the iPhone 4 is the more sensitive phone (most everyone agrees this is so), it may see several choices of signal, gets confused and drops the call. Possible? I’m not an antenna engineer but I did waste a lot of my yoot tuning short wave receivers listening to ham radio. Is this a defect, a simple behavior, or an easy software fix?  We are about to find out.

Opt out of Google Settlement by Sept 4

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009

We are approaching the final deadline for authors to opt out of the Google Settlement. Our agency has advised our clients to opt out unless the author has a clear business and legal reason for opting in. If you haven’t already carefully determined that you need to opt in, the prudent course is to opt out. The Science Fiction Writers of America now recommends that members opt out and has a readable summary from the author’s perspective at their site.

Backstage Tours

Tuesday, July 14th, 2009

Backstage Tours are now available at the Eyes Like Stars website. This amazing novel set in The Theatre Illuminata, a wonderland where drama lives, has already gone back to press after being on sale for only a week or so. Author, director-producer Lisa Manchev has opened one more part of her theater with this innovative website for the books.

Guide to the Google Settlement in PDF

Saturday, April 25th, 2009

This item duplicates the link to download the PDF file of our Guide to Google Settlement because some readers found the link hard to find at the end of the previous post. Do read the previous post that presents our major concerns, then download the Guide for the steps authors need to take.

AGLA Guide to the Google Settlement

Welcome to our blog

Saturday, December 8th, 2007

Welcome to the blog of the Ashley Grayson Literary Agency.
In this blog we will be writing on topics that we think should be of interest to authors and even readers who would like to know more about how the books they read are made. I’m going to kick this off this week, so drop by and see what I think is worth talking about. Beginning in January, we will all be posting. In future entries I hope to cover topics like these:

  • How a fundamental shift in western business thinking has changed how publishers and booksellers approach their core business and what that means to authors and agents.
  • A look at new trends in technology that make author’s careers easier to launch and more profitable than ever.
  • When and why you need an agent to sell a book; when any reputable agent will be better than none and when you need us.
  • A blog’s Categories help readers focus on their interests when the blogger writes on a variety of topics. To kick off, I’ve elected these categories:

  • Agents – is the category for questions everyone has about agents. I will try to focus on what makes us different as agents, when all agents generally do the same things.
  • Business – I view Publishing as a business and encourage all authors to regard themselves as a business also.
  • Clients – is the category of shameless promotion for our clients and their books. Check here to see what we’ve sold.
  • Investing – is one of those areas that distinguishes our agency from other agents who are equally skilled and experienced in selling books and negotiating contracts. I believe that every author must not just treat his or her writing as a business, but as a valuable investment. I select clients with the same care that I buy stocks.
  • Publicity – covers all those things an author can do to promote his or her work without spending a lot of time or money.
  • Publishing – is about all the aspects of publishing that are unique and which make publishing wonderful, fun, insane, and dangerous.
  • Query – is a special category for the elusive and frustrating magic of the author’s query.
  • Technology – is reshaping the world and we have to pay attention to the tools, channels, and new values that are rushing at us.
  • Writing – is the category covering anything to do with communicating with words.