Publishing

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…
Read More

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…
Read More

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…
Read More

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…
Read More

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.…
Read More

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…
Read More

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…
Read More
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…
Read More

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…
Read More
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…
Read More

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…
Read More

Will I Have to Pay Back My Advance?

Do authors ever have to pay back their advance? This is a question agents hear a lot. Often a writer is nervous about possibly being asked to pay back the advance if the book doesn’t sell enough copies. If you’re publishing with a reputable traditional publisher, then you don’t have to pay back your advance for…
Read More

Side Hustles for Writers

I’m a literary agent, but I have a side hustle as an online educator teaching a course for writers. These days, lots of people have “side hustles” including those who are full-time parents and others who work a job full time. Side hustles are a perfect way for writers to make more money and expand…
Read More

Rachel

Dear friends, I am heartbroken to tell you that my friend and client, author Rachel Held Evans, died early this morning. She was surrounded by friends and family, and we held her and sang to her as she took her last breaths. Please see my previous post for ways you can help the family right…
Read More