Publishing

Nobody Knows Anything

“Nobody knows anything…… Not one person in the entire motion picture field knows for a certainty what’s going to work. Every time out it’s a guess and, if you’re lucky, an educated one.” ― William Goldman, Adventures in the Screen Trade I’ve always liked this quote, because it’s so true—and it applies to publishing, too.…
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Lessons from the Gym

If you know me at all, you probably know I have this annoying little habit of getting out for exercise everyday. Either the gym, or outside for a hike or bike ride. I admit I love my exercise. But not for the reasons you might think. I mean, physical health is important and all, but…
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Finding Comparable Books

When you’re trying to interest an agent or publisher in your book, you’re often asked to provide “comps” — other books that could be compared to yours, or books that might compete with yours. A good book proposal always has a “Competition” or “Comparable Books” section, and even if you’re self-publishing, it helps if you give…
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Rachelle Gardner

How to Talk with Publishers and Agents

As a literary agent, I love attending conferences and meeting authors. My career is about helping writers share their words with the world, and at conferences I get to sit down with them and spend a few minutes getting to know what they’re passionate about. There’s nothing more rewarding. When I meet with you, my goal…
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What the Heck is Content Marketing?

I’m always talking with authors about marketing their books and growing their platforms. It’s a challenge for most writers, who are constantly trying to figure out the formula for gathering more fans (i.e. potential book-buyers). While writers typically don’t love the idea of marketing their books, ironically they’re more suited to it than many other kinds…
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OMG! What if B&N Closes?

“The report of my death was an exaggeration.” So said Mark Twain in 1897, and I’m wondering if Barnes & Noble might be saying the same thing right about now.   Over the last week, an article by Michael Levin has been making the rounds, causing fear and trembling among certain groups of authors and…
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How Do I Decide

Books Covers and My Experience with 99 Designs

Whether you’re self-publishing or working with a publisher, creating an effective book cover is extremely important. I’ve worked with publishers on hundreds of covers, and now I have the experience of working with designers on the cover of my own first e-book. From my perspective, the single most important thing to understand about book covers…
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The Everything Store

Still Conflicted about Amazon

I’ve just finished reading Brad Stone’s The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon. I’m still processing what I learned, and checking other sources for differing perspectives, but my initial reaction is that this is an eye-opening, clarifying, sobering yet illuminating resource for anyone interested in publishing or business in general.   I…
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What We Give Up

I’m blogging at Books & Such today, about the things we have to say “no” to when we choose to pursue certain passions. I don’t play golf, cook gourmet meals, or grow a garden. What have you given up? Click HERE to read the post and chime in with your thoughts at Books & Such.…
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How to Tighten Your Manuscript

I’m blogging at Books & Such today. Here’s a preview: Is your book too long? Does it feel a bit wordy, perhaps slightly bloated? Or . . . does it feel perfect but it’s a little high in word count? There comes a time in every writer’s life when the need arises to shorten a…
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Minimize the Obstacles

I’m blogging at Books & Such today. Here’s a preview: When you’re a debut author trying to break in to traditional publishing, one of the most important things to remember is this: Minimize the obstacles. You already know it’s not going to be easy to break in, so you want to avoid making it even…
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The Long Haul

I’m blogging at Books & Such today. Here’s a preview: I have a lot of conversations with clients about their writing careers. Often they tell me, “I want to be in this for the long haul.” It’s given me the opportunity to have some great discussions about what helps a writer accomplish this goal –…
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What is the Opposite of Success?

I’m blogging at Books & Such today. Here’s a preview: The business of publishing gives us frequent opportunities to feel like a success or … not a success. At every step of the journey, we receive feedback and results that tell us whether our efforts are working. It’s an uncertain path riddled with possibilities for…
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Destroying laptop

Should You Give Up on Publishing?

I’m blogging at Books & Such today.   The publication journey isn’t easy, no matter how you approach it. I’m always encouraging people to be patient, persevere through the obstacles, and doggedly pursue their dream. For some people, this means persistence through years or decades.   But… is there a time when you should 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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