Agents

Why Didn’t I Say Yes to Your Novel?

When an agent or editor requests your partial or full manuscript, it’s nerve wracking to wait and wonder, day after day, if they’re reading it and whether they like it. If they finally decide not to offer representation, it hurts and you just want to know… why? Most agents try to offer some kind of…
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Questions on Queries

Here are a few questions I often receive about queries and what I say in response: You said “don’t pitch a novel unless it’s complete.” Do you feel the same about query letters? Do we only query completed works, or are ideas fair game? If you are sending a query to an agent, only pitch…
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Decisions, Decisions

A writer asked: If you have a bunch of book ideas, how do you decide which ones are viable?     FOR NON-FICTION: Spend some time on each idea, one by one. First work on a rough outline of what the book would be. List the themes and topics you’d want to cover. Ask yourself:…
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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 An unpublished author recently wrote me: I have an agent who has always…
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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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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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Knocking on door

Steps for Approaching an Agent

So, I happened across a Facebook group for writers and there was a discussion about finding an agent. One of the writers mentioned that an agent to whom she’d submitted had requested a book proposal for her non-fiction book. Her question was: What is a book proposal? Perfectly good question. But it shows this writer needs…
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When You’re Missing the Mark

Katie asked:   I was wondering, what if I get an agent and she tries to sell two or three of my novels, all in the same genre, and nothing sells. What would happen in this case?   Well Katie, sounds like you and your agent will be at a crossroads and need to make…
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Your Agent Should Be the Bad Guy

I’m blogging over at Books & Such today. Here’s a preview: One of the primary advantages of having an agent is that you have an advocate who can handle all the negotiations with the publisher and navigate difficult territory, allowing you to maintain a positive working relationship with everyone at your publishing house. This positive…
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All the Publishing Information You Ever Wanted

Many of you have been reading my blog for a while, but you might not be aware of how much information is available in my archives. Just as a refresher, I wanted to highlight some posts you might find helpful. Have you seen my DEFINITIVE post on How To Get Published? Do you need to…
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Telling Your Personal Story

Telling Your Personal Story

Dear Rachelle, People are always telling me, “You should write a book!” For years I have been ignoring them, but more and more people are telling me that I shouldn’t let my experiences be wasted, that I need to share them because they are not only inspirational, they will make people laugh, make them cry, and…
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The Benefits of Having an Agent

The Benefits of Having an Agent

Today I’m covering some back-to-basics information. While people have always asked me about the advantages of having an agent, I’ve noticed an increase in the frequency of the question in this age of independence and do-it-yourself. People want to know: Do I need an agent? If I had one, how would they help me? Is…
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