keep

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…
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Knocking on door

Steps for Approaching an Agent

So, I happened across a Facebook group for writers and there was a discussion about finding an agent. One of the writers mentioned that an agent to whom she’d submitted had requested a book proposal for her non-fiction book. Her question was: What is a book proposal? Perfectly good question. But it shows this writer needs…
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Traditional or Self Publishing?

I’ve got an e-book available on Amazon: How Do I Decide? Self-Publishing vs. Traditional Publishing can help authors figure out which path to take. How Do I Decide? is a concise, definitive resource that will guide you through the decision, allowing you to ignore the noise and hype and focus on the right path for YOU.…
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Answering Questions about Queries

I get mail! My inbox is always filled with questions. Today I’m answering some I’ve received on the topic of Query Letters. You’ve said on your blog, “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…
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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…
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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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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.    Two years ago in January 2014, I posted a prediction for the coming year:   “I think authors…
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10 Things Editors Look for in Nonfiction

Got a terrific nonfiction project you’re trying to sell? Wondering if you have what it takes? Here are some signs of potential future success as a nonfiction author: 1. You’ve previously written a book that was at least mildly successful… maybe something like The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. 2. You have a recognizable…
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And to Whom Should I Reply?

I can never understand why so many writers have websites and/or blogs, but do not have their email address or a “contact me” link easily visible. It’s a frequent source of frustration for me. Why would you bother putting yourself out there without giving people a way to contact you?There are two circumstances in which I come…
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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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How to 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 jackets,…
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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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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.