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Old 06-25-2009, 03:43 AM   #1
Aztecsince79
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Book Packagers

I noticed a category on WM.com called "packagers."

What is a packager and how do they differ from agents and publishers?

Thanks.
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Old 06-25-2009, 09:46 AM   #2
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A packager puts together book deals.

Walk into any bookstore, find a collection of short stories by different writers, and chances are that a packager (often the editor) put it together.

The one I'm most familiar with is Tekno Books, which does a lot of anthology deals.

Martin H. Greenberg has been doing this kind of thing for a couple decades now.

When he sells a marketable idea to a publisher, sometimes with a famous writer partnering, contacts whatever writers might work well for it, and asks if they'd like to write a story for him. I've done quite a few stories for Tekno and learned a lot from him. He pays FAST, so he's quite a favorite with writers!

Sometimes there's an open call, an announcement that so and so is looking for authors to write such and such, but usually it is by invitation only, sent to writers with a solid track record of sales who can meet a deadline.

Only rarely have I ever seen a newbie sell a first story. In a couple cases I sponsored the newbies myself, helping them make their first pro sales. I'm proud to have been able to do that!

The most important info a packager can give the writer: the theme of the anthology, payment per word, maximum word length, and the deadline.

So it's: "Hey, Gill, I just sold a collection about magical allergies to Ace. Can you do a story for six cents a word, no more than 6K words, and get it in by October 1st? You can? Great!"

Other packagers do OTHER kinds of book deals, but this is the kind I'm most familiar with.

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Old 06-25-2009, 10:36 AM   #3
James D. Macdonald
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Things like movie tie-ins, insta-books, and series novels (e.g. Sweet Valley High) are often packaged as well.
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