A Writer’s Life

Trust Me, You Need a Good Editor

I just finished reading a self-published book on a topic I’m passionate about, by an author whose blog I occasionally read. As I’ve mentioned before, I regularly read indie-pubbed books, and the fact that I work in traditional publishing doesn’t mean I’m biased against them. It does, however, mean I’m aware of the ways a…
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The First Draft is Just the Beginning

I spend a lot of time working with my clients to edit and revise their proposals and manuscripts. I give notes and suggestions for improvements. Sometimes I take them through draft after draft, until everything seems just right. I know it’s tiring for them, and sometimes frustrating to be pushed to go over it again…
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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 An unpublished author recently wrote me: I have an agent who has always…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 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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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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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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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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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.    Two years ago in January 2014, I posted a prediction for the coming year:   “I think authors…
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The Introvert’s Guide to Conferences

Okay, so you notice there’s no shortage of advice out there about how to make the most of a conference. But what about those of us who are introverts? It can be even more difficult for us to navigate these social situations. Oh, how we envy our extrovert friends! Are there any special tips for…
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You’re Too Good to Quit

In our house, we’re getting ready for competition season in gymnastics to begin this weekend. My daughter is a USAG level 7 gymnast with some pretty ambitious goals and it takes a lot of the family’s time and focus.   But recently my daughter was convinced she needed to quit gymnastics (after seven years and…
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The Year in a Word

Happy new year! As we begin 2014, talk is everywhere about our goals, resolutions and plans. Many of you have chosen “one word” that will serve as a focal point throughout 2014. Choosing a word has become popular in the last five years or so, and I like it because it’s a concise way to distill…
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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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