Posts

Red editing pen

Avoid Common Writing Mistakes

  Guest blogger: Natalie Hanneman, Freelance Editor Working with new novelists is one part of my job as a freelance editor that can bring the highest highs and the lowest lows. I am privileged to work with many authors who have never been published, much less edited, and plowing this new territory together is hard…
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What if You Build It, and They Don’t Come?

  I want to say a little something here that nobody seems to be saying. Here it is: It can be more painful to publish a book that nobody buys… than to never have published a book at all. Do you agree with me? If you’ve published a book, you have the excitement of holding…
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Knocking on door

Steps for Approaching an Agent

So, I happened across a Facebook group for writers and there was a discussion about finding an agent. One of the writers mentioned that an agent to whom she’d submitted had requested a book proposal for her non-fiction book. Her question was: What is a book proposal? Perfectly good question. But it shows this writer needs…
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Change your thinking

3 Ways to Change Your Thinking Today

The writing and publishing life can be hard on the equilibrium. It’s full of ups and downs, hopes deferred, dreams dashed, dreams realized, ego strokes and debilitating criticism. We wonder if we’ll ever reach our goals. We swing between high-on-life optimism and crushing pessimism. We decry that this path shouldn’t be so difficult. We rail…
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That All-Important First Line

Let’s talk about the opening line of your book. The first thing to know about “first lines” is that they are not going to make or break you. Sure, it’s a lot of fun coming up with great ones. But as long as the first line makes someone want to read the second line, and…
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Traditional or Self Publishing?

I’ve got an e-book available on Amazon: How Do I Decide? Self-Publishing vs. Traditional Publishing can help authors figure out which path to take. How Do I Decide? is a concise, definitive resource that will guide you through the decision, allowing you to ignore the noise and hype and focus on the right path for YOU.…
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Answering Questions about Queries

I get mail! My inbox is always filled with questions. Today I’m answering some I’ve received on the topic of Query Letters. You’ve said on your blog, “don’t pitch a novel unless it’s complete.” Do you feel the same about query letters? Do we only query completed works, or are ideas fair game? If you…
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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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How to get published

How to Get Published

I get emails every day asking for advice on getting published or getting an agent. This is the post for people needing an entry-level introduction to publishing.   Dear Writer,   Congratulations on your decision to pursue publication. Before approaching literary agents, you’ll need to create the appropriate materials:   → If you’re a non-fiction writer,…
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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…
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Valentine to the Publishing Life

In honor of Valentine’s Day coming up this Sunday, I thought I’d wax poetic about what I love in this industry… and in my job. ♥ First of all, I love the way writers, editors, and yes, even agents, are a true community. Competition exists, but it doesn’t get in the way of real relationships. That’s what…
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Nobody Knows Anything

“Nobody knows anything…… Not one person in the entire motion picture field knows for a certainty what’s going to work. Every time out it’s a guess and, if you’re lucky, an educated one.” ― William Goldman, Adventures in the Screen Trade I’ve always liked this quote, because it’s so true—and it applies to publishing, too.…
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Lessons from the Gym

If you know me at all, you probably know I have this annoying little habit of getting out for exercise everyday. Either the gym, or outside for a hike or bike ride. I admit I love my exercise. But not for the reasons you might think. I mean, physical health is important and all, but…
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Finding Comparable Books

When you’re trying to interest an agent or publisher in your book, you’re often asked to provide “comps” — other books that could be compared to yours, or books that might compete with yours. A good book proposal always has a “Competition” or “Comparable Books” section, and even if you’re self-publishing, it helps if you give…
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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.