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|
Are You in this for the Long Haul?
Recently several clients have said to me some version of, “I want to be in this for the long haul.” It’s given me the opportunity to have discussions about what helps a writer accomplish this goal – and what can sabotage their efforts. It’s an important topic for consideration, because sometimes we have to make…Read More →
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 →
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 →
A Writer's Life, Writing|
Focus on Writing the Best Book You Can
It seems in the last few years, dialogue about all-things-publishing has been focused on platform, marketing, increasing output, distribution platforms, technology, and self-publishing. But I think it’s important to call our attention back to the work. In January 2014, I posted a prediction for the coming year: “I think authors will re-focus on the foundational…Read More →
Can I Make More Money via Traditional or Self-Pub?
These days, authors are carefully considering the merits of self-publishing versus traditional publishing, and many are doing both at once. (My e-book: How Do I Decide? Self Publishing vs. Traditional Publishing, will help with these decisions.) I’m having almost daily conversations with my clients, most of whom are already traditionally published, about various ways they…Read More →
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…Read More →
What if You Build It, and They Don’t Come?
I want to say a little something here that nobody seems to be saying. Here it is: It can be more painful to publish a book that nobody buys… than to never have published a book at all. Do you agree with me? If you’ve published a book, you have the excitement of holding…Read More →
Agents, Popular Posts|
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…Read More →
Agents, Publishing, Submitting|
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?…Read More →
A Writer's Life|
Success in 90-Minute Increments
In the past, I’ve blogged about “interval training for writers.” I referred to the growing body of research on human performance suggesting we’re most productive when we move between periods of high focus and periods of rest, rather than attempting to maintain high focus for long periods of time. I wrote that: 90 minutes is…Read More →
What Does Your Online Activity Say About You?
We’re almost a decade and a half into the age of Social Media, and it can still be tricky to navigate. One question we all should be asking ourselves is: What message is my total online persona sending to the world? Another question to ask might be: is my online presence communicating the right brand?…Read More →
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…Read More →