Search Results: query

Why You’re Getting Rejections

Awhile back, Nathan Bransford had a terrific post on “Why You Are Receiving Rejections.” He says if you keep getting rejections, it boils down to two reasons: either your query isn’t strong enough, or your query is fine but your project isn’t resonating with agents. So true! He’s nailed it! He’s absolutely right! But I have…
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Create a Compelling Book Title

I’ve been coaching several of my clients through the process of coming up with a good title for their book, so I thought I’d share my tips with you. Let’s start by acknowledging a few things. The publisher is usually responsible for the final decision on title, and in the query stage, it’s not that…
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Searching

How Do You Find a Literary Agent?

I asked readers on my Facebook  page for questions they’d like me to answer on the blog. It seems many are dying to know the secret to getting an agent. Stephanie asked: What is the single most important thing when approaching an agent? Aleah asked: What’s the best way for a first time novelist to get…
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We Could Use Your Help

    Some of you might know that Rachel Held Evans, author of several bestselling books including Searching for Sunday and The Year of Biblical Womanhood, is critically ill and has been in the ICU for two weeks. She is in a medically-induced coma and the situation is dire. It’s not my habit to write…
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One book

Why You Should Pitch a Single Book

If you’re like most writers, you’re probably not writing just one book. You’ve written multiple books, possibly in different genres. You may have a whole 3 or 6 or 9-book series planned. So the question naturally arises: Should I pitch my whole series to an agent? Should I tell them about my entire body of work?…
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Sharp pencils

Writing a One-Sentence Summary

Let’s discuss the one-sentence summary, also known as a logline, a hook, or a one-sentence pitch. What: About 25 words that capture your novel, memoir, or non-fiction book. Why: To get someone interested in reading your book. When to use it: The start of a query, book proposal, or anytime someone asks you, “What’s your…
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Announcing Author School’s Next Session

Last year, my partners and I launched Author School with our inaugural course, “Pen to Published.” We had a great time walking through the basics of writing, publishing and platform-building with nearly 400 students. The responses at the end of the course were uniformly positive (well, raving actually!) as in this review from student Taryn…
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More on Writers’ Conferences

I know a lot of you will be attending writers’ conferences, so I wanted to mention a few more things here. First, I can’t overstress the importance of having a verbal pitch ready. There are numerous opportunities at conferences to give a brief pitch of your book, sixty seconds. This can be at a meal…
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Questions on Queries

Here are a few questions I often receive about queries and what I say in response: You said “don’t pitch a novel unless it’s complete.” Do you feel the same about query letters? Do we only query completed works, or are ideas fair game? If you are sending a query to an agent, only pitch…
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Non-Fiction Platforms

I’ve had some people tell me lately that they’re starting to hate that word platform. I’ll let you in on a little secret: I sometimes wish the whole idea of platform would just go away and we’d be free to simply publish the books we love. Like you, I wish it were all about original…
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Don’t Send Me Everything You’ve Got

I’ve written previously about authors arguing with me when I send them a rejection. They write back trying to convince me that I’m wrong and I should take another look. There’s another kind of “not taking no for an answer” I get sometimes that seems like a better approach because it’s not an argument, but…
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Write an Author Bio They’ll Remember

Sometimes it’s hard to believe how difficult it can be to write about yourself in a bio—after all, you’re a writer! But I understand it’s not as simple as that, so here are a few tips to make it easier.   Write your bio in first person for query letters, third person for most other purposes including proposals, book…
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How to Write a Terrific Author Bio

Sometimes it’s hard to believe how difficult it can be to write about yourself in a bio—after all, you’re a writer! But I understand it’s not as simple as that, so here are a few tips to make it easier. Write your bio in first person for query letters, third person for most other purposes…
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ASK THE AGENT: Exclusivity

A writer asked: “If you are working on revision suggestions for one agent with whom you have NOT signed, should you still query other agents?” Simple answer: No. If the agent has given you revision suggestions but not agreed to represent it, you should honor them (the fact that they took the time to give…
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