Posts

Write an Author Bio They’ll Remember

Sometimes it’s hard to believe how difficult it can be to write about yourself in a bio—after all, you’re a writer! But I understand it’s not as simple as that, so here are a few tips to make it easier.   Write your bio in first person for query letters, third person for most other purposes including proposals, book…
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12 Mistakes Authors Make in Connecting with Readers

The whole idea of “building a platform” and “marketing your book” is to get people to read what you’ve written. Whether you’re traditionally or self-published, connecting with potential readers is crucial. There are many good ways to do this (although it’s not necessarily easy), and plenty of resources to  help you. Today I want to…
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gatekeeper

I Am Not a Gatekeeper

People in and around this business have long used the word “gatekeeper” when referring to those in publishing tasked with choosing which books to publish or represent. Since the rise of self-publishing, it has become a debate—often heated: Down with the gatekeepers! Hooray for the gatekeepers! But gatekeepers are not what you think. There is…
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When Will My Agent Contact Me About My Book Deal?

It’s always exciting to hear from your agent that a publisher is interested in your story and is considering offering you a contract. Right? Of course it is! Once you hear those cherished words, it’s hard to wait for the next step. An unpublished author recently wrote me: I have an agent who has always…
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Have it Your Way

Hold the pickles, hold the lettuce, special orders don’t upset us, all we ask is that you let us… serve it your way. If you were born much later than, say, 1970, then you may have missed that tasty morsel of a Burger King commercial. But for the rest of us, it lives on in…
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Colorado trail

7 Keys to Planning Your Career Path

Most people who have successful careers are asked at some point, “How did you get here? What steps did you take to end up on top?” People in some careers are able to answer definitively; for example: “I did well in school, got into a great medical school, did my residency, took on a prestigious…
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How to Write a Terrific Author Bio

Sometimes it’s hard to believe how difficult it can be to write about yourself in a bio—after all, you’re a writer! But I understand it’s not as simple as that, so here are a few tips to make it easier. Write your bio in first person for query letters, third person for most other purposes…
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How Do You Know If Your Work is Any Good?

  A question from a reader on Facebook: Outside of selling, how do you know that your work is actually good? You may pitch a book, and it might be good but might not be what an agent likes. So how do you validate that what you are doing is good? Always a good question!…
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Don’t Make These Mistakes When Submitting to Agents

The most common mistakes writers make, in my opinion, are… a They don’t research the agency they want to pitch. a They pitch their product long before it is actually ready. They are so anxious to get published that they don’t rewrite and edit well. a They don’t do a good job with the competition…
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How Do Book Royalties Work?

Sometimes there’s confusion about how book royalties work. Thought I’d clear up this mystery for you. Generally the author earns a percentage of the cover price of every book sold. In Christian publishing, authors typically earn a percentage of the net price (not cover price). That is, the price at which the publisher sold the…
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Why?

So, you’re a writer. Yeah, maybe you’re also a bank teller or a schoolteacher or a Starbucks barista (don’t knock it till you’ve tried it). But when you think about who you really are, you think… I’m a writer. You slip away from the TV room in the evenings to get a few pages in.…
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Friends

Preparing to Be a Published Author

When you’re hoping to be a published author, you’re preparing for a whole new job in a whole new field. When you look at it from this perspective, you can see why agents are always stressing the importance of preparation and education.. Being a writer might be something you’ve always done. But being a published author…
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Agent-Client Communication

A writer asked: “How much communication should you expect from your agent? Is it unrealistic to ask them to let you know to which publishers they’ve sent a proposal? Should they give you periodic updates (perhaps quarterly?) or are agents generally so busy that it’s unfair to expect them to contact you unless they receive…
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ASK THE AGENT: Exclusivity

A writer asked: “If you are working on revision suggestions for one agent with whom you have NOT signed, should you still query other agents?” Simple answer: No. If the agent has given you revision suggestions but not agreed to represent it, you should honor them (the fact that they took the time to give…
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