Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Barry Goldblatt on Paranormal and Dystopian Novels, Goodreads Reviews, and Conference Pitches

I was fortunate to be able to have dinner with some writer friends and one of their agents, Barry Goldblatt, last week, and I learned a few things I thought I'd pass along:

1. "Paranormal" and "dystopian" are words you shouldn't use to describe your novel because those genres are on the way out. Use terms like "fantasy" or "futuristic" instead.

2. If you are a published author, don't read your reviews on Goodreads unless you want to feel bad.

3. Conference pitches are useless. He can't tell from a pitch if the book is good or the writing is good. He has to read the first page of the book.

So there you go. What do you think? Any other opinions on these topics? What has been your experience with Goodreads and conference pitches? Has anyone ever had success selling a book from a conference pitch? I almost did. Did a rewrite and everything and then got a very nice and complimentary rejection!


  1. When my book first came out last week, I read the early reviews, mostly because they were from my blog tour. But the novelty quickly wore off. One thing I did appreciate was reading how some reviewers planned to dislike my book because they don't like the trope I used. I was shocked that people would even request a book off NetGalley if they planned to dislike it. Fortunately I surprised them or else the reviews wouldn't have been so pleasant.

    I've never pitched at a conference. Querying is less scary!

  2. Thanks for your input. It's always good to hear about different author's experiences.