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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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Target

Where Your Passion Meets the Market

Recently, I wrote a post about building a long-term writing career (Are You in this for the Long Haul?). In my list of things writers can do to develop a long-haul career, I said: Pay attention to where your passion intersects with the market. I want to expand on that because it’s so crucial. Most…
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runner

Are You in this for the Long Haul?

I have a lot of conversations with clients about their writing careers. Usually they say to me, “I want to be in this for the long haul.” It’s given me the opportunity to have some great discussions about what helps a writer accomplish this goal – and what can sabotage their efforts. It’s an important…
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Challenging Our Assumptions

I’ve noticed that when entering the writing and publishing journey, people have a lot of assumptions that aren’t necessarily true. Here’s a little true/false quiz to pinpoint some assumptions you may have. Do they need to be challenged?   True or False: The best time of day to write is the morning. In order to…
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Announcing Author School’s Next Session

Last year, my partners and I launched Author School with our inaugural course, “Pen to Published.” We had a great time walking through the basics of writing, publishing and platform-building with nearly 400 students. The responses at the end of the course were uniformly positive (well, raving actually!) as in this review from student Taryn…
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Focus on Writing the Best Book You Can

It seems in the last few years, dialogue about all-things-publishing has been focused on platform, marketing, increasing output, distribution platforms, technology, and self-publishing.  But I think it’s important to call our attention back to the work.  In January 2014, I posted a prediction for the coming year: “I think authors will re-focus on the foundational…
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Book made of money

Can I Make More Money via Traditional or Self-Pub?

These days, authors are carefully considering the merits of self-publishing versus traditional publishing, and many are doing both at once. (My e-book: How Do I Decide? Self Publishing vs. Traditional Publishing, will help with these decisions.) I’m having almost daily conversations with my clients, most of whom are already traditionally published, about various ways they…
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Why You’re Getting Rejections

Awhile back, Nathan Bransford had a terrific post on “Why You Are Receiving Rejections.” He says if you keep getting rejections, it boils down to two reasons: either your query isn’t strong enough, or your query is fine but your project isn’t resonating with agents. So true! He’s nailed it! He’s absolutely right! But I have…
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Create a Compelling Book Title

I’ve been coaching several of my clients through the process of coming up with a good title for their book, so I thought I’d share my tips with you. Let’s start by acknowledging a few things. The publisher is usually responsible for the final decision on title, and in the query stage, it’s not that…
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I love words.

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