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Does a Fiction Author Need a Platform?

  There are two things I’m constantly stressing with writers: (1) Mastering the craft of writing is crucial. (2) Building a platform is important. For fiction authors, the two are not equal. If you’re writing a novel, your writing should be first priority. Spend most of your discretionary time writing and becoming a better writer.…
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How Long Should I Try to Get and Agent before Deciding to Self-Publish?

  It can take quite a while to find an agent, which is usually the first step if you’re seeking traditional publishing. But how long do you go at it before giving up? . As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, you might send your query to dozens of agents before finding a match. Only you…
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How do you determine the difference between heavy competition for agents vs. if your work is just not good?

So you’re sending out submissions with no luck. Why? Well, your query may need work. The book idea itself may need work. OR… Your query and your book might be just fine. But because there are so many other queries in the queue, and perhaps bad luck and lack of serendipity and an annoying scarcity of fairy…
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What’s a good subject line for a query email?

A basic but important question: what do you put in your query subject line? . I’m sure there are plenty of possible creative answers to this, but I’m going to err on the simple side. I like a subject line that includes the word “Query” along with your book title, and possibly the genre. .…
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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…
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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,…
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