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READERSVOICE.COM aims to collect a few interesting reading tips. Literary agent Paula Munier was in New York for her appearance at the Writer’s Digest Annual Conference last August when she took the time to do this interview. Ms Munier has authored/co-authored many books, and has worked as an editor, acquisitions specialist and publishing executive. She gives a lot of good book tips in this interview. She has said that mystery and crime writers should be mystery and crime readers, and they can pick up a few reading suggestions here from the latest in these genres.

Paula Munier is a senior agent at Talcott Notch Literary Agency in Milford CT. These days writers can live anywhere and be published around the world. “Most submissions are conducted online over email. So you can query editors, agents, publishers from wherever you are. I am based on the East Coast of the U.S., but I have clients all over—from Seattle to Sydney, Los Angeles to London, Gstaad, Switzerland to Victoria, Australia.”

READERSVOICE.COM: How did you meet all the contacts you would need as an agent e.g. editors at publishing houses?

PAULA MUNIER: I spent many years as an acquisitions editor, so I knew a lot of agents and editors going into my career as an agent. But I’ve also made it a point to connect with as many new editors as possible. We meet at conferences, at events, at lunch!

RV: Is there still big money made by publishers, or do they struggle with all the competition out there these days?

PM: Publishing has always been a slim-margin business, compared to other industries. When the Borders chain went under, most publishers lost 40 percent of sales overnight. Ebook sales are beginning to make that up, but now the problem is discoverability. As more and more of the retail business moves online, how do publishers get the word out about their books? How do readers discover new authors?
That’s why it’s so important for authors to have an online presence—website, social media, etc. The good news is that you can do that from anywhere.

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– copyright Simon Sandall