RIPPLE contest winners!

Thanks so much for your contest entries and buzz for RIPPLE!

The winner of BUT I LOVE HIM or RIPPLE (Winner's choice!) is:
(Please email your address and book choice to Mandy(AT)

The winners of a first page critique OR query critique
cy c
Am777 (twitter handle-- comment was unsigned!)
Saba from

Please email your first page or query as an attached document to: Mandy(AT)
If you are not a writer please just email me and we'll figure out an alternative/solution. :-) 


Epic RIPPLE release day contests!

Guess what's in stores today?

RIPPLE is the story of Lexi, a girl with a dark secret-- she's cursed to spend her nights swimming, singing her deadly song and luring in unsuspecting vicitims. To keep everyone around her safe, she has no friends, and no boyfriend-- becuase the last time she fell in love, he ended up dead. But of course, there's a new boy....

RIPPLE hits bookshelves (and websites!) everywhere today, and is releasing in hardcover. (My first!)

So to celebrate, I wanted to do a contest.

There are two places to win, and TWELVE prizes! On my blog and on my twitter, I will be giving away 10 critiques (query letter or the first page, up to 200 words, of your  manuscript-- winner may choose!). There will be five winners on Twitter, and Five on this blog.  I will also be giving away a copy of RIPPLE or BUT I LOVE HIM (winner's choice!) to one perseon on the blog and one on twitter.

On twitter:

Tweet the following:

It's pub day for RIPPLE, a paranormal romance for teens by author/ agent @MandyHubbard! Win a critique! #Ripple


On the blog:
Leave a comment with a link to somewhere you've buzzed RIPPLE-- either a blog announcement linking to this contest, a blog post about RIPPLE release day, or if you've already read it-- somewhere that you've reviewed it.

Basic Rules:

I'll use a random number generator to select the winners!

The contest is to celebrate the release day, so it closes at midnight PST. I'll select winners in the morning. If you win a critique, I ask that you send over your query or first page by July 31 at the latest.

If you're not a writer and you win a critique, you are welcome to 'gift' it to someone or we can arrange an alternate prize

International entries welcome!


mixed-bag of submissions updates

HI Guys!

I haven't done a submissions/slushpile update in awhile-- so here it is.

I have been reading some FANTASTIC material lately! I'm almost entirely up to date on queries. My oldest query is from July 12th. If you queried prior to July 12 and do not have a response, please requery. I'll have all of my queries requested/rejected in the next 24 hours, so I'll have a clean slate.

I have three fulls from May and then everything skips into July. Working diligently to get through the TBR stack!

To give you a flavor of what I've requested lately, I have in my TBR stack:
Contemporary YA: 7
Contemp MG: 2
Fantasy MG: 3
Fantasy YA: 5
Fantasy YA with a dystopic or sci-fi bent: 3

A note on my response times in general: I do have an intern sorting queries into various folders for me, and that's why sometimes folks who queried after you do may have a response already. She knows my tastes very well, as well as my current client list, so sometimes she may send a rejection becuase she knows it conflicts with a current client, doesn't fit what I rep (it's adult, a chapter book, etc), etc. I respond to all queries, so if it has been more than 6 weeks, simply requery.

On an FAQ: If I reject your work, you are free to query the other YA/MG specialist here at D4EO, Kristin Miller.

We cannot consider your material simultaneously, but if one of us has passed, you are free to try the other. Our tastes differ quite a bit, so you never know. :-)

Lastly, I'm still definitely building my list and there are a ton of things I'd love to see:

A) A novel in verse that knocks my socks off. I came close on one this week... still looking!

B) A genre-blending fantasy or sci-fi. Bring on the alternate histories, strange sci-fi experiments, paranormal capabilities, crazy creatures, time travel, steampunk, gravediggers, dystopian-esque worlds, alternate realities....  blend a couple of those things together, and I'm yours. A steampunk thriller! And alternate history with crazy goblins! Something! 

C) Romance, Romance, Romance. This has been, and will be, on every list I ever make. If you compare yourself to Jennifer Echols, Simone Elkeles, Stephanie Perkins... wherein the story IS the romance, (as opposed to a romantic subplot), I'm your agent. Query me! :-) 

D)  Thriller/Suspense/Mystery: After sweet valley high, I moved straight into a Mary Higgins Clark phase. I read 20+ of her novels. If you have a whoodunnit with a heart-thumping pace, I want to see it.

E) Something beautifully lyrical and literary that emotionally wrecks me.

F) Something so insanely dark, you're not sure it could possibly sell. Like LIVING DEAD GIRL.

G) A girly MG with a fantastic hook that lends itself to a series-- a fantastic voice, and relatable MC is a must.
H) That hard-to-find MG that apeals equally to boys and girls, preferably with a fantastical twist.

If you have any questions, please do let me know!



IN TOO DEEP cover reveal

So.... IN TOO DEEP has a cover. I saw the non-final version a few weeks ago and was awaiting a final. And then, you know, I saw it on The Story Siren's blog. She totally scooped me! (It's okay, though. Actually, it's kind of funny that a blogger had my cover before I did.)

Here it is!

I've been very secretive about this book. Here's my attempt to summarize it:

Oh what a tangle web we weave, when first we practice to deceive...

Samantha realized she was in love with her best friend, Nick, the first time she saw him flirting with another girl. Now, a year later, he's finally single, and she's going to do something about it-- flirt with Carter Davis. It goes both ways, right? He'll see her with a guy who has a rep for sleeping with half of the senior class, jump to conclusions, and finally notice her in a way other than brotherly.

But Sam walks into his Carter's bedroom in one piece, and when she walks out... she's crying, has a bruised cheek, and a torn shirt. And the other people at the party jump to conclusions.

A rumor starts... a rumor which will change everything, tear apart her school, her tiny town...and her life.

This is NOT the official copy, FYI. It's my lame summary. ;-)

Hope you like the sounds of it! 

In Which Mandy Stands up and Cheers

First off, go congratulate Saundra Mitchell, who's new book deal just went up in PM! yay!!

Secondly, y'all know I love me a good inspirational tale of a writer who stuck to it, kept writing despite rejections, and eventually breaks through. So, I have to send you over to Natalie Whipple's blog-- first, read her blog entry from December 2010, entitled "What to do when it IS you." I didn't know Natalie at the time-- I had just seen her blog post being tweeted over, and over, and over. So I finally went to go read it, and was struck by the similarities between Natalie's journey and my own-- she was just a year or two behind me. She'd revised for editors, been rejected, rewritten a project for her agent, etc, etc.

I knew when I read it she'd break through... becuase like me, she refused to quit, and she was doing everything right.  It's just that... like me.... her road to publication was more like the Oregon Trail than an expressway.

Well, I couldn't be happier about a blog post she wrote today-- announcing her sale.

Head on over and congratulate a writer who truly deserves it. :-)

And in case you missed it back in the day, I went and unlocked the friends-only entries where I essentially blogged my rejection and dejection in real time. You can read those entries HERE. (Read them from the end to the beginning to see them chronologically. )

Thinking... About Thinking....

So, most of you guys know I'm part of this fun test drive thing with a Chevy Equinox called The Chevy Girls. They told us all to plan on driving around 1400 miles, and if we needed more to let them know. They gave me this shiny new car and sent me off on my way:

1400 miles in 28 days sounds like a lot.  I guess I spend way more time in my car than I thought, because I hit 1400 miles last weekend!

The thing about driving, though... is that it's where I do my thinking. I'm not sure if its the music, the fresh air, the ability to let your mind completely wander.... but I have thought up more plot twists and character arcs while driving than anything else.

My friend Kristin Halbrook is a writer and named her blog "Long Distance Drive" for that exact same reason.

If your blog was named after the place where you did YOUR thinking, what would it be called?


Dear Monday...

Dear Chevy Equinox,

I really like your pretty blue display. That's really all I have. That, and this picture:

Easily Impressed.

Dear Allergies:
I am breaking up with you. I don't care if I have to take benadryl and sleep all day. You've been evicted.
Sick of Sneezing.

Dear New Condo:
I love you. You are pretty. Please put away my boxes for me.
Tired of moving

Dear Writer Mandy:
You have this week to unpack and get organized. Your condo is not going to do it for you. And then you have to get to work on Top Secret Razorbill Book 4.
Your Deadline.

In which your agent wears dueling hats

So.... I have a wee bit of a question for you guys-- one I'd like you to answer without me giving my own thoughts. I will, however, try to  get a balanced conversation going by playing devil's advocate on both sides and commenting back as needed. (Yeah, let's see how that pans out.... )

With the rapidly changing market, many agents and agencies are adapting.  And by "rapidly changing" I mean... the fastest growing side of the industry right now is ebooks and self-published authors-- many very succesful...and just as many not. I keep a very small client list and yet nearly a THIRD has expressed interest in self/e-pubbing in some capacity.

Some  agencies are opening up special departments/segments that will assist their clients in "self-publishing' their material. Some agencies actually front the costs of self-publishing (covers, editorial, formattingl..)  themselves, and then earn 15% of the sales, once their costs are recouped. Others simply allow clients to go self-publish with no input or commission at all. Some agents charge clients for their editorial input (a flat fee) and then the client gets 100% of the sales proceeds.

Sometimes an agent spends a year helping you revise, shaping the manuscript, and shopping it like crazy, and for whatever reason, it doesn't sell. If you then go self-publish they deserve 15% of sales?

Being both an author AND an agent, I have many opinions. I intend to follow up with a post on that in the future-- but what I am most interested in right now is-- What do YOU think of an agent's role in the ever changing market? What do you think is fair? 

Publishers are adapting-- exploring no-advance models, exploring e-publishing only options, etc. Authors certainly are-- many ditching their traditional publishers for self-publishing, others finding success in self-pub and moving traditional. Yet agents are stuck in the middle-- there are so many things that they could potentially do and assist writers in a major way, but some of those things may leave writers crying foul over a potential conflict of interest.

So I am asking you, dear writers, to be honest. Comment anonymous if neccessary. How do YOU Think agents should change and adapt? What you are okay with...and what would cause you to steer clear of an agency?