Q4U

One thing at a time

What’s on Your Sticky Note?

We all have our daily challenges, and I think most of us have certain things we struggle with over and over. My biggest day-to-day difficulty is the sheer number of things that need to get done. Sometimes the to-do list is so long, I get paralyzed. So I have a sticky note right by my computer. It…
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Broken Pencil

Writing and Rewriting

“More than half, maybe as much as two-thirds of my life as a writer is rewriting. I wouldn’t say I have a talent that’s special. It strikes me that I have an unusual kind of stamina.”                                                 ~John Irving   How much do you enjoy the revision process? How much effort do you put into revising?…
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girl with laptop

Q4U: Blocked Writing

Some people believe in writer’s block; others believe in the power of discipline and “just do it.” Some writers wait for the muse, others just power through. Some have numerous obligations competing for their time; others are not so fragmented. All of us have moments… hours… days… or even weeks in which we can’t write. What, if…
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little boy with laptop

When Do You Read Blogs?

I’ve been writing this blog for three-and-a-half years and this whole time, I’ve been on a Monday through Friday blogging schedule. So now I’m experimenting with posting on weekends, too, which I think will give me more time for some fun stuff like comics and questions and polls and contests and videos. But I’m wondering if…
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Would You Rather…

It’s time for another installment of my kids’ favorite car game, in which you get to choose between two hypothetical options. If you’re lucky enough to have played this game with kids, you’ve probably had to choose between lovely alternatives like: “Would you rather be hairy all over or completely bald?” or, “Would you rather…
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How Do You Learn to Write?

We talk so much about the business of publishing on this blog, but it always has to come back to the writing, doesn’t it? I can’t overstate the the importance of taking the time and effort to master the craft. So how does an author objectively know the quality of their writing? People are constantly…
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Tell Us About Yourself!

It’s time once again for me to learn more about you. To the right in the sidebar, there are FIVE questions. Please answer each one as accurately as you can by clicking in the bubble. Then in the comments, tell us either: –Something interesting about your current work in progress (WIP); or –Something interesting about yourself.…
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Tell Me the Truth Now

No matter what I blog about lately—no matter where we go in the blogosphere as a matter of fact—somebody always turns it into a conversation about two things: (1) Publishing is dead or at least in its final death throes; and (2) Everyone should pursue self-publishing and if you don’t, you’re an idiot with your head…
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What Do You Need From This Blog?

I read a lot of blogs, and I’m sure you do too. Some are great at always looking forward into the future of publishing, examining the digital future. Others are better at giving the nuts and bolts of how publishing works right now. Some offer encouragement (I try to do that as much as possible)…
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Coming to the End of Ourselves

I was out with my husband hiking the Manitou Incline here in Colorado – it’s only a mile to the top but 2,000 feet vertical gain. Then it’s about a 4 mile hike on a gentler trail to get back down. A nice morning’s workout. I got to thinking about all the ways I try…
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Should Agents Stop Taking Email Submissions?

A blog reader wrote…I think your in-box is being filled faster and faster as a result of agents now accepting electronic queries. I would bet that before you accepted email you got only a fraction of the number you currently receive. Now anybody with a computer can hammer out 80, 000 words and hit the…
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Advice for Writers Getting Started

Like all agents and many published authors, I frequently receive emails with questions from writers. Sometimes they’re specific questions about the business, but often they’re sweeping and general, like: How do I get published? I have several templates I use to answer people’s questions, but I’m getting bored of my same old answers. So help…
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Q4U: Bookscan Numbers on Amazon

The Internet lit up yesterday with the new development over at Amazon—the fact that they’re now giving authors their sales information from Bookscan. If you’re an author with an account at Amazon’s Author Central (if you have a book on Amazon, you’d better have an Author Central page!) then you can now access your sales…
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Blogs We Don’t Like

Somebody asked me recently, “What turns you off in writers’ blogs?” They wanted to know if there were certain things I saw that would make me not want to represent someone, or at least make me wonder whether I should. So I thought about it, and here are a few of my answers: → A…
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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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