Publishing

What if We Reject a Bestseller?

A writer asked: “How many bestsellers have slipped through reputable agents’ hands? I am curious to know how an agent deals with such a loss when a bestseller was in their hands and they rejected it.” This is an interesting question, because most editors and agents have passed on books that went on to success (if not…
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Find What You Control, and Take Action

Here are some truths:  We are in the midst of a pandemic and everything is off kilter. Publishing is going to be affected and no one is quite sure what the future looks like. Even before the pandemic, it has always been challenging for writers to get their books traditionally published. With self-published books now…
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So Many Ideas, So Little Time

Are you the kind of writer who has several book ideas (or even written several books), possibly in different genres? If so, you may be wondering where to start. Which book should be the first one you write, or pitch to agents and editors? It’s a question worth asking, and you’d do well to put…
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11 Things Happy Authors Don’t Do

Some authors are mildly successful but still happy. Some aren’t even published yet, but they’re still content with their journey. Other authors have great success, yet are still pretty unhappy. What makes the difference? How do we avoid behaviors and circumstances that rob us of joy and steal our contentment? Here are a few ideas. Happy…
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Welcome to the Shark Tank

If you’re a writer trying to wrap your mind around the business end of publishing, I hope you’re watching ABC’s Shark Tank. The show has nothing to do with publishing, but it has everything to do with understanding exactly what you are doing when you put your query or proposal in front of an agent or publisher. Whether you…
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The Dilemma of the Prolific Writer

I have a few clients who are very prolific. As soon as they’ve finished a manuscript, they’re always excited to move on to another. They immediately brainstorm a new book and get going on it. They can write two or more terrific manuscripts in a year. For some authors, especially if they’re already established, this…
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Announcing Author School’s Next Session

Two years ago, my partners and I launched Author School with our inaugural course, “Pen to Published.” Since then we’ve had a great time walking through the basics of writing, publishing and platform-building with 400+ students. The responses at the end of the course have positive (well, raving actually!), as in this review from student…
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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 some decisions.…
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Does Age Matter for Writers?

Hi Rachelle, I’m 62 and about to retire; I’m preparing to dedicate my retirement years to writing full-time. I wonder whether “age discrimination” would enter into my efforts to get published. I realize the quality of the product is the most important thing, but do you think my age would detract from consideration of my…
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Questions to Ask a Small Publisher

If you’re reading this, then there’s a good chance you’re a writer and you’re going to be published someday if you’re not already. In today’s publishing environment, there are plenty of options (as you know) and if you don’t have an agent, you may find yourself talking to a smaller, independent publisher. It’s hard to…
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target-on-your-back

When a Writer Becomes a Target

Once you’re a published author, you’re going to have a target on your back. You will offer up your words to strangers, and not everyone will like what you write. You’ll be naked and vulnerable in front of the world. You’ll make mistakes, you may offend people. And you may not feel safe. They will…
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Botched Communication

  I want to tell you about an incident at a writers’ conference that was sort of heartbreaking for me. We agents have a lot invested in these conferences, just like the writers do, and sometimes we have disappointments too. I met with a writer who pitched me a couple of projects. She seemed like…
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Target

Where Your Passion Meets the Market

Recently, I wrote a post about building a long-term writing career (Are You in this for the Long Haul?). In my list of things writers can do to develop a long-haul career, I said: Pay attention to where your passion intersects with the market. I want to expand on that because it’s so crucial. Most…
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5 Things To Do Before Hiring a Freelance Editor

More writers are hiring editors these days, whether they’re going indie or just making sure the manuscript is polished before submitting to agents and publishers. If you’re a newer writer, unpublished, here are some things I think you should do before spending your hard-earned money on a freelance editor. (1) Get objective feedback. It’s best to have…
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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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