Posts

Welcome to the Shark Tank

If you’re a writer trying to wrap your mind around the business end of publishing, I hope you’re watching ABC’s Shark Tank. The show has nothing to do with publishing, but it has everything to do with understanding exactly what you are doing when you put your query or proposal in front of an agent or publisher. Whether you…
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An Introvert at a Writer’s Conference

There’s plenty of advice out there about how to make the most of a conference. But what about those of us who are introverts? We may have trouble even wanting to attend a conference, let alone making the most of one! Potential for awkward social situations is around every corner. Oh, how we envy our extrovert friends!…
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The Dilemma of the Prolific Writer

I have a few clients who are very prolific. As soon as they’ve finished a manuscript, they’re always excited to move on to another. They immediately brainstorm a new book and get going on it. They can write two or more terrific manuscripts in a year. For some authors, especially if they’re already established, this…
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Announcing Author School’s Next Session

Two years ago, my partners and I launched Author School with our inaugural course, “Pen to Published.” Since then we’ve had a great time walking through the basics of writing, publishing and platform-building with 400+ students. The responses at the end of the course have positive (well, raving actually!), as in this review from student…
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When You’re Missing the Mark

Katie asked: I was wondering, what if I get an agent and she tries to sell two or three of my novels, all in the same genre, and nothing sells. What would happen in this case? Well Katie, sounds like you and your agent will be at a crossroads and need to make some decisions.…
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Should You Use Sensitivity Readers?

Sensitivity readers have been on our radar for the last few years, and in some circles they’ve even become controversial. Here’s a brief overview of what sensitivity readers do so that you can decide whether to consider incorporating them into your process. What do sensitivity readers do? They typically read unpublished manuscripts early in the…
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Resolved: No Resolutions!

With the holidays over, we’re rushing headlong into the new year, which for many of us means… resolutions. I’ve always loved the feeling of starting a fresh year and optimistically making a list of things I want to accomplish, so I usually spend quite a bit of time on this. I’ve read all kinds of…
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Lone Ranger

Are You a Lone Ranger Writer?

In publishing, we’re constantly asking writers—typically a rather introverted bunch—to get involved, to engage, to network, to join groups and go to conferences. I often find myself wondering how many of you cringe every time you hear that kind of advice. Maybe you’re not into the whole publishing “scene.” Maybe you don’t enjoy being in…
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Do You Have a Holiday Writing Plan?

No getting around it, the holiday season is here. This week is Thanksgiving, families are gathering, and stores are already playing Christmas music. The joys, the stresses… here they come. What does this mean for writers? This season can easily lead to frustration for people trying to juggle a busy life on top of their writing. The…
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Does Age Matter for Writers?

Hi Rachelle, I’m 62 and about to retire; I’m preparing to dedicate my retirement years to writing full-time. I wonder whether “age discrimination” would enter into my efforts to get published. I realize the quality of the product is the most important thing, but do you think my age would detract from consideration of my…
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Questions to Ask a Small Publisher

If you’re reading this, then there’s a good chance you’re a writer and you’re going to be published someday if you’re not already. In today’s publishing environment, there are plenty of options (as you know) and if you don’t have an agent, you may find yourself talking to a smaller, independent publisher. It’s hard to…
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target-on-your-back

When a Writer Becomes a Target

Once you’re a published author, you’re going to have a target on your back. You will offer up your words to strangers, and not everyone will like what you write. You’ll be naked and vulnerable in front of the world. You’ll make mistakes, you may offend people. And you may not feel safe. They will…
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Mail

Should You Re-Query an Agency?

One of the most common questions I receive is, “When is it okay to send another query to an agent who previously passed?”Another is, “If an agent passed on my query, can I send the query to another person at the same agency?” There are various scenarios to consider, so here’s an overview. First, whenever…
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Botched Communication

  I want to tell you about an incident at a writers’ conference that was sort of heartbreaking for me. We agents have a lot invested in these conferences, just like the writers do, and sometimes we have disappointments too. I met with a writer who pitched me a couple of projects. She seemed like…
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