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Ask the Agent: Colorful Language

I’d like to discuss the taboo of cursing in Christian fiction. It seems that many writers and publishers are willing to include rape and murder, but shy away from the occasional well chosen curse word. Personally, I think it can be a great literary tool. I do understand that it is often overdone and that…
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Ask the Agent: Writing by Committee

I’ve seen lots of published novels that read like they were written by committee. This doesn’t surprise me, because those immature in the craft (or just with less gift/ability, whatever you want to call it), DO write their novels by committee. Over a very long period of time, they take so many good suggestions that…
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Ask the Agent: Having It Made

How about shedding some light on whether getting published and “having it made” are synonymous. It seems to be the feeling among writers that once you get a contract and have a book or two published, all you have to do is run up a decent proposal and your publisher will buy it. I hear…
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The Stories We Tell

Whenever I walk into Barnes & Noble and see all those thousands of books… Whenever I hear statistics like 400,000 books published last year… Whenever I look at the query section of my inbox (currently at 105 emails)… Whenever I attend a writer’s conference and meet with writers passionate to see their words in print……
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Are You a Fighter?

Everyone knows getting published is an uphill battle. With few exceptions, it’s a long, difficult and often frustrating road with the possibility of heartbreak at every turn. (I’m so optimistic today, aren’t I?) The fact is that many of us have a desire, a dream, a passion which we believe is fueled by God. We…
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Read, Read, Read

As a follow up to what I wrote last week about getting away from your computer and getting to a bookstore… today I want to simply say this: Read. Yes, it’s that simple: You gotta read books! You hear it all the time. As writers, we need to first be readers. I know most of…
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Afternoon in a Bookstore

Last week my youngest daughter turned 9, and one of the things she wanted to do for her birthday was go to Barnes & Noble. (Cool, huh?) So my girls and I spent part of an afternoon hanging out in the bookstore. They love to browse the stacks, grabbing books off the shelf, sitting on…
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The S Word

I’m excited but not surprised at the lively discussion that’s been taking place in response to yesterday’s Q4U. Anytime we bring up the issue of “safe” in Christian writing and publishing, opinions abound. I’m impressed with the thoughts you’ve expressed here and I don’t have much to add that’s any different from what you’ve already…
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Ask the Agent: Rejecting Bestsellers

“How many bestsellers have slipped through reputable agents’ hands? I am curious to know how an agent deals with such a loss when a bestseller was in their hands and they rejected it.” This is an interesting question, because most editors and agents have passed on books that went on to success (if not bestseller…
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How Long is Your Book?

The question of “how long your manuscript should be” is sometimes hard to answer because different publishers have different guidelines. I’m going to give you some information here, but first I want you to know WHY this is important. It’s pretty simple: If your book falls within the standard preferred word-count range, it’s one less…
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Agenting & Editing – Part Deux

Last week I explained that it’s not considered ethical for literary agents to benefit financially from the editing of their clients’ books. (Agents should not profit from their clients in any way except for selling the rights to their books.) As part of my mission to clear up some misconceptions about how WordServe operates, I…
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Earning Out Advances

For any of you hoping for an update on the CCWC, here it is: I went, I taught, I met with writers (including some of my blog regulars which was really fun), found some potential clients, said hi to my industry friends, was forced to eat really bad food, had a fanastic dinner with a…
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Self Publishing and ePublishing

Note: I am away from the blog for a few days, teaching at the CCWC and taking a couple days vacation with my family. My blogs are now posting all by themselves, isn’t that exciting? Back “live” with you on Monday. Keep sending your comments! ***** There were quite a few comments last week and…
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Does the System Work?

Last week, Christine posted a comment in response to Monday’s blog post, “Dreams” and I thought it would be interesting for you to weigh in on her thoughts. As you might guess, I have my opinion (and if you’re really nice I’ll consider sharing it), but I thought it would be more interesting to hear…
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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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