Thursday, November 15, 2012

Agent Nikki Terpilowski, 5 Minute Interview

 This is part of a series of interviews I have planned for the next two months. I spoke with Agents and Editors--all were gracious and willing to share their insights about publishing. I hope you enjoy!

Today I am talking with Literary Agent Nikki Terplowski, from Holloway Literary, LLC.

What is your take on Digital?

N.T.: Like many, I believe digital publishing is the 'next big thing' in the industry. Some have embraced it and others are still wary. Eventually, writers, agents and publishers will have to deal with digital and decide if they will benefit from the new format or get left behind.

What is your take on Piracy?

N.T.: Fortunately, I have not had to deal with any piracy issues but certainly it is prevalent... I'm all for regulations that will help prevent the issue from becoming more pervasive.

What can a new author do to make themselves valuable to you?
N.T.: Establish an online presence: Website, blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads. Establish it now as you are writing. Understand the concept of branding as it relates to authors, determine what image you want for yourself and be well-versed on how to promote your brand and platform before you're published.

What ways are readers finding your authors?

N.T.: Social media, absolutely. Whether it is a Tweet, a blog or Facebook post, readers continue to look for recommendations online.

What is the one question no-one’s asked and they should?
N.T.: Do you think my idea is marketable?

Fun question: Favorite beverage: Coffee, preferably Jamaica's Blue Mountain. (I love this coffee!)

What is your thought on serials?

N.T.: I love them. They're brief, accessible and easily read in a few moments. And then...serials create interest, a desire to purchase the entire novel. It's an old-fashioned idea...Fitzgerald, Dickens...many of our literary greats started off with serializations. And now, the idea is re-discovered, modernized for a new generation of readers.

I found this wonderfully positive interview, about digital and how an author can grow. I am fascinated about the rise again of serials. What are your thoughts?

The next interview will be with Latoya Smith, Editor form Grand Central on November 27, 2012.


Suzanne Johnson said...

Thanks for this great interview! One of my publishers has signed a couple of authors to do serials--it's an interesting concept. Does the author write the whole book, and then release it one piece per week (or whatever), or write as she goes along? I can't quite wrap my head around it, but it's interesting.

M.V.Freeman said...

I think it goes both ways (I've heard some just wing it....) others I think have it all written.

I think its kinda cool myself. You get hooked on the story slowly.

I am hearing more and more about this.

susan taylor said...

Definitely, good stuff to hear. Authors need to know to push if their submission is a serial and carefully read about calls that mention editor's desire for such.

Anonymous said...

I think with people reading on the go, often just short snippets, there is a real market for this. We may just find there are a lot of snacky style readers out there who aren't interested in sitting down, tucking up their legs,and spending an hour or two with their nose in a book. The industry isn't the only thing changing. The culture is changing as well as the mediums people rely on to satisfy that adapting need.

Sherry Isaac said...

Is my idea marketable? Excellent question. I'd put that up there with knowing what the agent I plan to query is looking for, and comparing my ms to what's currently on the shelves, knowing my brand, and knowing my genre, but 'marketable'. I've never heard it put that way. How do I market my story, to an agent, to a publisher, to an audience, and more importantly, is it marketable?

I'm taking this gem with me as I trudge through my new outline.

M.V.Freeman said...

Hi Susan,

I agree--I am seeing more of them. I like the idea of a serial. :)

M.V.Freeman said...

Hello Tara,
I know I can be hooked with a serial. It's like Soap Opera watching--but with a story.

But also--these serials usually end up as a book that can be bought--I love that. Because even though it satisfies some for the quick read, There are many more who still like to curl up and read(like me!)and will have the opportunity.

You brought of an interesting concept. Because it is important to watch some of the trends.

M.V.Freeman said...

Hi Sherry-
I found that very interesting too--and important.

I'd like to say as I started out writing I knew all about "Marketing" with my stories--I didn't. I do now, and it does affect how I write.

Good luck on that outline--always an upward climb. ;)

Cari Hislop said...

To M.V.: Out of curiosity, how does marketing change how you write a story? I'm aware how some aspects of my writing may affect sales, but actual marketing... Just really curious. Loved the interview! It gave me an idea... ;)

M.V.Freeman said...

Hi Cari!
Marketing changes my story in the sense that I keep in mind what images could I use to sell it? For Incandescent it was fire.

Also--themes--is it paranormal? Suspense? A cross genre? Because sometimes if you have something totally bizarre like a cross dressing chimpanzee with tendencies for mind reading stuck in the middle of New York City and it's up to him to save the world...
That's hard to peg.
(Although, I am now intrigued...)

I try to visualize it-how the blurb would be, things like that. Also, who would I send this too? What editor or agent would like it? Because If I sent a Urban Fantasy to someone who only takes contemporary well, that is just an exercise in futility.

There are many layers to what makes it marketable. (Funny how that is!)

Thanks for asking that question--because I think it is a good one.

Cari Hislop said...

Thanks MV for answering my question!
I'm going to have to copy your answer and think about it (my brain is running on slooow).

My stories are probably vampire cross-dressing chimpanzees (often to be found wearing Regency clothing)... I should probably figure that one out, but every time I think I'm on solid normal ground something weird happens. I mentally think of my stories as fairy tales, but whether they're fairy tales or just super confused tales is another story. Either way, they're definitely cross dressing chimpanzees with fake fangs (can't have real ones that would be scary!) :)

M.V.Freeman said...

Cari, I love stories that are different--and think about it-you said your stories are fairy tales. That is fabulous--and a start. Then you decide--romance? or is it more adventure with romantic elements? The possibilities are endless.

And you cracked me up about the cross dressing chimpanzee with fake fangs...

Cari Hislop said...

To MV: My chimpanzees are all die hard romantics. Even the villains! I suspect I may have ingested too many fairy tales in my youth (red book, green many books of compiled versions? I don't think my stories could be labelled adventures (my plots tend to be really simple with character development driving the action which admittedly, can be bizarre), but they make me laugh.

M.V.Freeman said...

Cari--and that is awesome!