Popular Posts

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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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.…
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An incredibly exciting and yet bittersweet announcement!

This is an incredibly exciting and yet bittersweet announcement! 💙 We’ve been waiting so long to tell you about this beautiful book that Rachel Held Evans wrote. Brilliant children’s book author Matthew Paul Turner finished and fully realized it, along with our gifted illustrator Ying Hui Tan. It’s the fulfillment of one of Rachel’s many…
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What can an agent do for me? Do I need one? How much do they cost?

  . If your goal is to publish your book with a medium to large traditional, royalty-paying publishing house—then you want to seek agent representation. Very few large houses these days accept submissions from unagented authors. . Getting an agent is one way to know you’re on the right track. If you get a yes…
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Can I Use Song Lyrics in My Book?

Song lyrics! It’s oh-so-tempting to use them in your novel, isn’t it? Or your memoir. Songs can be so evocative… they can express that exact right feeling in the exact right way. But hold up. Sometimes it’s not the best idea. If you’re going to include lyrics – or excerpts from poetry – you’ll need…
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How Long Should My Book Be?

Word counts! Here are some ideal word count ranges. If you’re trying to break in, stay within these guidelines to decrease your obstacles to getting published. Adult fiction: 75k-100k words (sweet spot is 80-90) Sci-fi or fantasy can be up to 120k. YA fiction: 50-90k Nonfiction: 70-80k Memoir: 75-95k Self-help: 40-55k Children’s picture books: 300-1000…
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Do I Need a Book Proposal?

Book proposals! Who needs them, and when? You need to prepare a book proposal if you’re pursuing traditional publishing (as opposed to indie) and you’re writing NON-FICTION (including memoir). If you’re writing fiction, then you don’t need a full proposal, but you’ll need to prepare a synopsis, and probably gather some comps as well. There…
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What’s the Secret to a Great Query Letter?

Query letters! We all have to write them (yes, even agents) and they’re SO important. What’s the secret? It’s understanding this most important point: The purpose of a query is get someone to want to read your manuscript. Nothing more, nothing less. It’s not to explain your whole book or tell your whole story. It’s…
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Can I Write in Both Fiction and Nonfiction? Can I Write in More Than One Genre?

  Oh writers, you’re so darn creative. Always wanting to branch out! Wanting to write different kinds of books! Okay, so, as an artist, you have complete freedom to do what you want. However as a published author, i.e. a businessperson, you have to think of things besides your creative freedom. There’s branding — will…
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Is This What You’re Feeling Right Now?

I sat down to write this post and just kind of stared at the screen for a while. Found myself clicking over to Facebook for a bit, then resolutely back here to write. Hopped over to check email but there’s nothing new since ten minutes ago. Has anyone texted me lately? No. Back here to…
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Write Another Book

Recently I had lunch with two writers, one published and the other not yet, but close. The most impressive thing about these two women is that they’ve each written more than a dozen books. Because of that, I think they both have strong writing careers ahead of them. I work with a lot of first-time…
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Are You a Reader?

Read. It seems obvious. If you’re a writer, you have to  read! I know most of you are readers. But I’m regularly surprised at how many writers confess to not reading widely in the genre they’re writing. Or any genre, for that matter. Read in the genre you want to write At one conference, I met with…
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Should You Use Sensitivity Readers?

Sensitivity readers have been on our radar for the last few years, and in some circles they’ve even become controversial. Here’s a brief overview of what sensitivity readers do so that you can decide whether to consider incorporating them into your process. What do sensitivity readers do? They typically read unpublished manuscripts early in the…
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Searching

How Do You Find a Literary Agent?

I asked readers on my Facebook  page for questions they’d like me to answer on the blog. It seems many are dying to know the secret to getting an agent. Stephanie asked: What is the single most important thing when approaching an agent? Aleah asked: What’s the best way for a first time novelist to get…
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