Thursday, February 11, 2010

Nathan Bransford and the Frabjous Forums

By Beth Terrell

I debated with myself before posting this tonight.

"Self," I said, "I think I will write a blog post about Nathan Bransford's nifty new website, which is virtually brimming with information and advice for aspiring writers."

"Are you crazy?" myself replied. "Everyone already knows about Nathan Bransford's informative and exceedingly popular website. Heck, half the aspiring writers in the world have queried him, half are planning to query him someday, and half (I'm a writer, Jim, not a mathematician!) are trying to figure out how to write a query composed entirely of rhetorical questions."

Nathan is not a fan of queries that open with rhetorical questions, so naturally, there is at least a small contingent of writers who think they will be able to write their rhetorical question queries with such sparkling wit and brilliance that Nathan will immediately forget his aversion, commend them on having the initiative to do something so daring, and sign them up on the spot. Do not, I repeat, do not do this.

But I said this was a debate, didn't I? So, back to it.

"Self," I retorted, "It may be true that everyone knows Nathan has a wonderful and informative site, but do they also know that he has a nifty new web design, complete with interactive forums? Do they know they can find information about writing, queries, approaching agents, and a host of other topics related to getting (and staying) published? Do they know he has links to other agent sites, that he occasionally has contests, and that sometimes the prize is a query critique or an offer to read a few of the winner's pages? Do they know that they can ask a question on the Ask Nathan forum thread and the great man himself will answer it? The answer is no, I don't think they do."

I stymied myself with that very reasonable argument, so I went to his site and jotted down this (very incomplete) list of topics I found there. (Some are from the forums, and others are blog posts.):

New Blog Series: Interview with an Agent
The Complete Guide to Hiring a Literary Agent
Help with Query Letter Submission Guidelines
Genre Writing
Literary YA
Switching POVs
Can Authors Balance Publicity and Privacy in the Internet Era?
The Batch Querying Theory
It's a Great Time to Be a Writer

He also does a weekly "This Week in Publishing" post, in which he discusses the week's developments in the publishing industry, complete with links.

If you're a writer, or if you have any interest in the business side of publishing, this is a site you should bookmark and come back to again and again. It's:

Happy writing!


Jean Henry Mead said...

Thank you, Beth. I've heard of Nathan but never visited his site until just now.

Beth Terrell said...

His is one of the few blogs I have sent directly to my email box. Ours, of course, is another.