Sunday, June 25, 2006


Has anybody else noticed how ink manufacturers are putting less ink into pens these days than they used to? I've thrown away three brand new ink pens in the last week that ran out of ink while I was marking on essays. I finally noticed in the last one that the ink tube was less than half full before I even started writing! It used to be that the ink went up nearly to the top of the tube, with perhaps an inch of air at the tip.

What's up with that? Is this yet another step on the "same size container, but less for your money" road?

It's just like when the chocolate manufacturers started making candy bars just a little bit smaller. They didn't want to raise the price because, frankly, the candy market is very cutthroat and competitive, so they "smallered" the candy.

Anyone else notice anything that has gotten smaller while the cost has stayed the same (or gone up)? Or is it just me?

I can't help feeling there is a life metaphor in there somewhere. When did they "smaller" my hopes and dreams? Our heroes? The Presidency? When did we start expecting to get less, even though we were putting out the same amount?

Okay, I'll stop now.


Monday, June 05, 2006

New Agent at Firebrand Literary Agency

Hey, I realized I hadn't posted any industry news lately. Not that there isn't any, I just haven't been motivated to post. However, for those of you watching for that sort of thing, here is a tidbit:

There is a new agent at Firebrand Literary Agency. An agency client reports that "Megan Atwood will represent a mix of young adult/children's and adult projects. She is currently acquiring young adult and middle grade fiction books, literary fiction, political/crime fiction thrillers, and nonfiction political books. She is looking for edgy, innovative writing that doesn't overwhelm with adjectives."

Queries can be directed to her via email at

As I've mentioned before, it's usually a good idea to try to get in on the ground floor with an agent when they are new to an established agency. While the Firebrand agency isn't an "established" agency, there are agents working there who have come from other successful agencies, so it's a good bet.

One note: on the agency's forum (which is pretty cool, by the way), it states that the agency is not a member of AAR (Association of Authors' Representatives). Normally, this would raise a red flag for me; I'm going to be "cautiously optimistic" in this case, however, because of the reputation of the people involved, as well as knowing a couple of their clients personally. The agency has apparently chosen not to become a member because it limits some of the "packaging" they do for their clients. Okay, I'm not sure exactly what that means, but the good news is that they state they do adhere to the guidelines of the AAR, so that may set your mind at ease if it is a concern for you. I would ask questions if you get the opportunity to be offered representation about how any disputes between you and the agency might be handled. Also, it is always a good idea to talk to previous and current clients of the agent before agreeing to be represented. Firebrand does list their clients on their website, so they should be easy to track down.

There. Now you've had your industry fix for the day.