Ask Me Anything, Publishing, Submitting|
Does a Fiction Author Need a Platform?
There are two things I’m constantly stressing with writers: (1) Mastering the craft of writing is crucial. (2) Building a platform is important. For fiction authors, the two are not equal. If you’re writing a novel, your writing should be first priority. Spend most of your discretionary time writing and becoming a better writer.…Read More →
Ask Me Anything, Submitting, Writing|
How do you determine the difference between heavy competition for agents vs. if your work is just not good?
So you’re sending out submissions with no luck. Why? Well, your query may need work. The book idea itself may need work. OR… Your query and your book might be just fine. But because there are so many other queries in the queue, and perhaps bad luck and lack of serendipity and an annoying scarcity of fairy…Read More →
Ask Me Anything, Publishing, Submitting, Writing|
What’s a good subject line for a query email?
A basic but important question: what do you put in your query subject line? I’m sure there are plenty of possible creative answers to this, but I’m going to err on the simple side. I like a subject line that includes the word “Query” along with your book title, and possibly the genre. Some examples:…Read More →
Ask Me Anything, Publishing, Submitting, Writing|
Is there anything you should avoid in a query that would lead to an automatic rejection?
Is there anything you should avoid in a query that would lead to an automatic rejection? People ask me this question all the time, and I want to start by saying that every agent is different, and we probably have different things that make us immediately decline a query. For many agents, failing to…Read More →
Popular Posts, Publishing, Submitting, Writing|
How Many Queries Should I Send Out?
When you are looking for an agent, how many queries should you send? The short answer is: as many as it takes! There are several hundred literary agents out there. Once you’ve narrowed it down to agents who rep your genre, you’ll probably still have a pool of 100, 200, or more. You can…Read More →
A Writer's Life, Publishing, Submitting, Writing|
What would make my memoir stand out to a publisher?
First, it’s important to know that a memoir is not your life story (that’s an autobiography). Your memoir is a piece of your story, centered around a particular time or event in your life that sent you on a different trajectory. Make sure you know your theme. Is it a coming of age story? Dealing…Read More →
Agents, Popular Posts, Publishing, Submitting|
What can an agent do for me? Do I need one? How much do they cost?
If your goal is to publish your book with a medium to large traditional, royalty-paying publishing house—then you want to seek agent representation. Very few large houses these days accept submissions from unagented authors. Getting an agent is one way to know you’re on the right track. If you get a yes from a…Read More →
Guest Bloggers, Publishing, Submitting|
Guest Post: 5 Common Proposal Mistakes – An Acquisitions Editor Shares Some Tips
by Kara Leonino, Tyndale House Publishers When she walked over, all the signs were there. I could tell that her smile was trying to say, “I am excited to be here,” but fear was hovering close. As she sat down, I could see the subtle shaking in her hands and the lilt of her voice…Read More →
A Writer's Life, Submitting, Writing|
Why is it so Hard to Find an Agent?
Ah, the age-old dilemma. How to get an agent? Why does it seem like such an uphill battle? It even sometimes feels like agents are actively trying to keep you out! Exactly WHY is it so hard? First, let me be clear: we agents love nothing more than saying YES. Our favorite things are finding…Read More →
Popular Posts, Publishing, Submitting|
Do I Need a Book Proposal?
Book proposals! Who needs them, and when? You need to prepare a book proposal if you’re pursuing traditional publishing (as opposed to indie) and you’re writing NON-FICTION (including memoir). If you’re writing fiction, then you don’t need a full proposal, but you’ll need to prepare a synopsis, and probably gather some comps as well. There…Read More →
Identify Your Novel’s Genre
Writers often ask me, “How do I figure out what genre my book is?” While the answer is straightforward for some people, it can be a tricky question for others. It becomes even more complicated if you’re also resisting the idea that you have to put a classification or label on your novel at all.…Read More →
Marketing, Publishing, Submitting|
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…Read More →
A Writer's Life, Publishing, Submitting|
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 →
Should You Re-Query an Agency?
One of the most common questions I receive is, “When is it okay to send another query to an agent who previously passed?”Another is, “If an agent passed on my query, can I send the query to another person at the same agency?” There are various scenarios to consider, so here’s an overview. First, whenever…Read More →