I Am Not a Gatekeeper

I Am Not a Gatekeeper People in and around this business have long used the word “gatekeeper” when referring to those in publishing tasked with choosing which books to publish or represent.   Since the rise of self-publishing, it has become a debate—often heated:   Down with the gatekeepers!   Hooray for the gatekeepers!   Some bemoan: The gatekeepers are trying to keep us out. They’re making it too hard for good writers to get published.   While others retort: Be thankful for gatekeepers—they protect us from all that evil bad writing out there!   Well… here’s a news flash for you:   There are no gatekeepers.   There is nobody in publishing whose job is to “keep you out.” It’s not anybody’s job to protect the...
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Your Agent Should Be the Bad Guy

http://www.rachellegardner.com//HLIC/ac5d9bc4b62b897f7d1e7f898c0c0088.jpg I’m blogging over at Books & Such today. Here’s a preview: One of the primary advantages of having an agent is that you have an advocate who can handle all the negotiations with the publisher and navigate difficult territory, allowing you to maintain a positive working relationship with everyone at your publishing house. This positive relationship can have huge implications when it comes time for a publisher to decide whether they want to work with you again. It can also affect how you’re tr eated— whether it’s with respect, with kid gloves, or with dread. Most importantly, it can determine whether your publishing experience is mostly pleasant and rewarding… or not. When I say the agent can handle your negotiations, I don’t mean just the...
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All the Publishing Information You Ever Wanted

http://www.rachellegardner.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/answers-150x150.jpg Many of you have been reading my blog for a while, but you might not be aware of how much information is available in my archives. Just as a refresher, I wanted to highlight some posts you might find helpful. Have you seen my DEFINITIVE post on How To Get Published? Do you need to know How to Find a Literary Agent? A great title is an important aspect of attracting an agent’s or editor’s attention. Here’s how to create a perfect title for your book. Did you know I have a list of qualified freelance editors on my website? By the way, all those pages can be accessed by clicking on the tab at the top of the blog that says “Popular Posts.” Do you need to know where to find tons of publishing information and discussion online? See my list of Writing & Publishing...
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Telling Your Personal Story

Telling Your Personal Story Dear Rachelle, People are always telling me, “You should write a book!” For years I have been ignoring them, but more and more people are telling me that I shouldn’t let my experiences be wasted, that I need to share them because they are not only inspirational, they will make people laugh, make them cry, and entertain them. I’ve finally decided I need to bite the bullet, so I’m starting with you. Can you help me? Signed, Hopeful Memoirist * * * Dear Hopeful, I get several query letters each month that begin with some variation of: “For years, all my friends have been telling me I should write a book.” Maybe it’s because of an amazing incident or an inspiring life journey. Maybe you’re funny or have a way with words. Whatever it...
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The Benefits of Having an Agent

The Benefits of Having an Agent Today I’m covering some back-to-basics information. While people have always asked me about the advantages of having an agent, I’ve noticed an increase in the frequency of the question in this age of independence and do-it-yourself. People want to know: Do I need an agent? If I had one, how would they help me? Is it worth paying out 15% of my revenues? Not everyone wants or needs an agent. Your job is to assess your situation and decide if it is the kind of partnership that would serve you. Here I offer you an overview of the ways the right literary agent can enhance your writing career. What kind of publisher do you want? You only need to consider an agent if you’re interested in pursuing traditional, full-service, advance-and-royalty paying publishers. If you’re...
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