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What’s your advice for someone wanting to publish a first-time poetry collection?

The first step toward getting your poetry published is to get the Poets Market, a print resource also available on Kindle. It includes hundreds of publishing opportunities specifically for poets, including listings for book and chapbook publishers, print and online poetry publications, contests, and more. Before trying to get a whole book of poetry published,…
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SPOTLIGHT ON CLIENT BOOKS – Make a Move: How to Stop Wavering and Make Decisions in a Disorienting World by Stephanie Williams O’Brien

  We make thousands of decisions, and while most of them are relatively simple, we can get stuck in the larger, life-altering decisions, leading to frustration, anxiety, and confusion. “It would be so much easier if life just came with a road map!” Life is full of twists and turns, the unexpected and the unforeseen.…
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SPOTLIGHT ON CLIENT BOOKS – Abuelita Faith by Kat Armas

  This beautiful book from debut author Kat Armas is out in the world, and I’m excited for you to read it! What if some of our greatest theologians weren’t theologians at all? “Abuelita Faith” tells the story of unnamed and overlooked theologians in society and in the Bible–mothers, grandmothers, sisters, and daughters–whose survival, strength,…
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Is there anything you should avoid in a query that would lead to an automatic rejection?

  Is there anything you should avoid in a query that would lead to an automatic rejection? People ask me this question all the time, and I want to start by saying that every agent is different, and we probably have different things that make us immediately decline a query. For many agents, failing to…
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SPOTLIGHT ON CLIENT BOOKS – Love Makes Room: And Other Things I Learned When My Daughter Came Out by Staci Frenes

  When Christian singer and speaker Staci Frenes learned her teenage daughter was gay, she found her dreams for the future—along with her lifelong faith—collapsing around her. Coming to terms with a new reality was an invitation to make room for new things: uncertainty, hope in the midst of loss, awkward and tough conversations, an…
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“Write what you know.” Is this good advice?

  Writers are often told, “write what you know.” Is this good advice? Absolutely! It’s great advice… if you understand what it means. You can’t take it literally to mean something like, “Only write about things for which you have specialized knowledge.” Nobody has specialized knowledge of fairies or monsters or vampires, and most people…
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SPOTLIGHT ON CLIENT BOOKS – Red Lip Theology by Candice Benbow

Excited to announce this January release!! I feel like I’ve been waiting forever to tell you about this book. Candice Benbow writes about Black spirituality and Black womanhood like no one else. She draws you in from the first page and doesn’t let you go. Her personality shines through and she balances depth and humor…
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How Many Queries Should I Send Out?

  When you are looking for an agent, how many queries should you send? The short answer is: as many as it takes! There are several hundred literary agents out there. Once you’ve narrowed it down to agents who rep your genre, you’ll probably still have a pool of 100, 200, or more. You can…
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SPOTLIGHT ON CLIENT BOOKS – “The Weight of Memory” a novel by Shawn Smucker

“The Weight of Memory” a novel by Shawn Smucker “A resonant allegory about forgiveness and faith. Fans of James Rubart will want to take a look.” -Publishers Weekly “Smucker crafts beautiful sentences and haunting characters that immerse readers in a world where anything is possible but not everything is real.” -Library journal I was hooked…
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What would make my memoir stand out to a publisher?

First, it’s important to know that a memoir is not your life story (that’s an autobiography). Your memoir is a piece of your story, centered around a particular time or event in your life that sent you on a different trajectory. Make sure you know your theme. Is it a coming of age story? Dealing…
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Should you pay for a critique or professional edit?

If you’re looking for an objective opinion—one that doesn’t come from your writing partner, critique partner or your best friend—then paying a professional editor may be a good idea. Someone who hasn’t been involved all along in your brainstorming and writing process can look at your book with a fresh mindset and point out things…
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What are Beta Readers and What do they Do?

Beta readers are a writer’s taste-testers. After your manuscript is complete and you’ve gone through a couple rounds of revisions with your critique partners, and you feel like it’s as “final” as it’s going to get, you give it to 1 or 2 beta readers before submitting to agents and/or publishers. Many contracted authors use…
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Should I accept a contract from a small press or wait for a large house? Or should I self-publish?

This is kind of like that old show “The Price is Right.” Do you want the new living room set, or the unknown behind door number two??? It’s a tough decision, not knowing exactly what your choices are. First, ask yourself: In my heart of hearts, do I WANT a large publisher, or will I…
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Should you enter writing contests?

  It’s a personal decision, but there are a few good reasons writers enter contests. First, the prize money! That’s always nice. But what if you don’t win? Was your time spent entering the contest wasted? Entering the right contests can be helpful for writers of both fiction and non-fiction. The feedback is often invaluable.…
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