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Rachel

Dear friends, I am heartbroken to tell you that my friend and client, author Rachel Held Evans, died early this morning. She was surrounded by friends and family, and we held her and sang to her as she took her last breaths. Please see my previous post for ways you can help the family right…
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We Could Use Your Help

    Some of you might know that Rachel Held Evans, author of several bestselling books including Searching for Sunday and The Year of Biblical Womanhood, is critically ill and has been in the ICU for two weeks. She is in a medically-induced coma and the situation is dire. It’s not my habit to write…
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One book

Why You Should Pitch a Single Book

If you’re like most writers, you’re probably not writing just one book. You’ve written multiple books, possibly in different genres. You may have a whole 3 or 6 or 9-book series planned. So the question naturally arises: Should I pitch my whole series to an agent? Should I tell them about my entire body of work?…
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Hourglass

Success in 90-Minute Increments

In the past, I’ve blogged about “interval training for writers.” I referred to the growing body of research on human performance suggesting we’re most productive when we move between periods of high focus and periods of rest, rather than attempting to maintain high focus for long periods of time. I wrote that: 90 minutes is…
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Reflection

What Does Your Online Activity Say About You?

We’re almost a decade and a half into the age of Social Media, and it can still be tricky to navigate. One question we all should be asking ourselves is: What message is my total online persona sending to the world? Another question to ask might be: is my online presence communicating the right brand?…
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Sharp pencils

Writing a One-Sentence Summary

Let’s discuss the one-sentence summary, also known as a logline, a hook, or a one-sentence pitch. What: About 25 words that capture your novel, memoir, or non-fiction book. Why: To get someone interested in reading your book. When to use it: The start of a query, book proposal, or anytime someone asks you, “What’s your…
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So Many Ideas, So Little Time

Are you the kind of writer who has several book ideas (or even written several books), possibly in different genres? If so, you may be wondering where to start. Which book should be the first one you write, or pitch to agents and editors? It’s a question worth asking, and you’d do well to put…
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Sometimes Drastic Measures are Required

I’m reading Michelle Obama’s book, Becoming, and finding it fascinating. It’s a terrific read so if you’ve been on the fence, I recommend it! There’s an interesting tidbit about when Barack got a contract for his first book, Dreams from My Father. It was long before he entered public office, and at the time apparently he had a…
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Despair

There Is No Time For Despair

Here are some truths:  • Publishing is in flux and no one is quite sure what the future looks like. • Publishers are merging, resulting in fewer places to submit manuscripts. • Many authors who have published numerous books are finding their advances going down, not up. • With self-published books now plentiful, there are more books than ever…
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Etiquette

Manners Matter: 13 Etiquette Tips

As everyone becomes busier and more harried, and we all seem to communicate with electronic devices more than with people, I think it’s more important than ever to pay attention to basic politeness in business situations. It’s all-too-easy to rush through our days with little concern for niceties. Here are some tips I’ve gleaned, meant…
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Teamwork

How to Create Your Own Marketing Team

Whether or not you have a book to sell right now, you probably have reason to build a platform and gather a “tribe.” Last week we discussed blogging as one possible avenue for this, and I also gave you a list of several other ways to use the Internet to connect with people. But this is…
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typewriter

Should All Authors Blog?

Ten years ago, the standard wisdom was that authors, both fiction and non-fiction, should have blogs in order to gather an audience and build relationships with readers. Now, not so much. As social media and online marketing have evolved, my thoughts on blogging have changed. I think each author needs to carefully consider whether blogging is…
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8 Things To Do While You Wait

I heard a delightful interview with NY Times bestselling author Paula Brackston on the Grammar Girl podcast, in which she talked about the writing process and the life of a writer. “I was one of those overnight successes that takes about ten years. I’d been trying to get a novel published for a long time. I wrote short…
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Death to Laptop

9 Reasons to Quit Writing

The publication journey isn’t easy, no matter how you approach it. I’m always encouraging people to be patient, persevere through the obstacles, and doggedly pursue their dream. For some people, this means persistence through years or decades. But… is there a time when you should give up? Maybe so. I could be wrong but I…
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I love words.

I love books and publishing and talking incessantly about them.

I love authors and all the intricacies of managing a writing life.

I sell. I negotiate. I coach. I brainstorm.

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