Publishing

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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Ask the Agent: Walking the Line

Dear Rachelle, I have written a crime mystery that involves abuse, revenge, a murder, inappropriate conduct by a pastor, and a cover-up. There is no sex in the story, but there is some rough language. There is a message of redemption and truth. I’m not sure if this is CBA or ABA. What I think…
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Dreams

Whenever I (or other bloggers) write about marketplace realities in publishing, there are always a wide variety of responses, ranging from pragmatic acceptance to mournful disappointment to angry lament. My observation – and I could be wrong – is that the sad and mad responses are from writers whose passion for being published burns hot…
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Let’s Talk About Writing, Publishing, and Coaching

  I was interviewed on the Lead Stories Podcast with Jo Saxton and Steph O’Brien. Listen in, if you’re interested! (It’s about 45 minutes.) We talked about: What I look for in someone I might represent as an agent What coaching looks like and why it is worth it How I redirect people who aren’t…
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Announcing Author School’s Next Session

This past spring, my partners and I launched Author School with our inaugural course, “Pen to Published.” With 160 students enrolled, we had a great time walking through the basics of writing, publishing and platform-building. The responses at the end of the course were uniformly positive (well, raving actually!) as in this review from student…
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How Long Will It Take?

One of the most frequent questions I get is, How long? How long should I wait before following up with an editor on a submission? If I get an offer from a publisher, how long before they send a contract? How long until I see my first check? When will my manuscript be due? When…
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Art & business

Your Artist Self and Your Business Self

One of the biggest challenges for many writers is being able to separate the artist self from the business self, and figuring out ways to nurture both. I find this to be an issue for unpublished authors more than those who are published. Once a writer is published, they seem highly motivated to stay published,…
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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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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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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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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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How Do Book Royalties Work?

Sometimes there’s confusion about how book royalties work. Thought I’d clear up this mystery for you. Generally the author earns a percentage of the cover price of every book sold. In Christian publishing, authors typically earn a percentage of the net price (not cover price). That is, the price at which the publisher sold the…
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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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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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