Write the Whole Book Before Pitching?

Write the Whole Book Before Pitching? I’m blogging at Books & Such today. Here’s a preview. Classic wisdom for unpublished authors seeking traditional publication has been that if you’re writing a novel (fiction), you need a complete manuscript. If you’re writing non-fiction, you need a book proposal plus two or three sample chapters. If you’re writing a memoir, who knows — everybody has a different opinion. Here’s what is true and will always be true: unpublished fiction authors MUST have a complete novel before trying to get an agent or publisher. No question, no exceptions. But things are changing in publishing, especially when it comes to non-fiction. In some ways, the standards are higher. It’s more of a risk for a publisher to say “yes” to an unproven author....

What’s Changed in Publishing?

What’s Changed in Publishing? I’m blogging at Books & Such today. Here’s a preview:   I began blogging as an agent in January of 2008, and it’s remarkable to look back over my past posts and notice how much has changed in six years. When I started, I didn’t even have a Kindle. Now my family owns five Kindles plus iPads and various other electronic devices, and I wouldn’t want to do this job without them.   I wrote posts back then about how there was a stigma to self-publishing and I warned writers against it— if they wanted to be taken seriously. Now self-publishing is a normal and accepted option for writers.   I wrote about how e-books were a minuscule percentage of any author’s total books sold.   I was not even on Twitter until a year after I started...

What’s Your Book About?

What’s Your Book About? I have a post up at PubSmart today. In case you haven’t heard, PubSmart is a new writers’ conference debuting this April in Charleston, SC, with the goal of bringing together self publishing, traditional, small press and hybrid. PubSmart is about introducing new models that lead to smart decisions about how to seize opportunities in today’s transformed book marketplace. I’m thrilled to be on the faculty of this terrific new conference! Keynote speakers are Hugh Howey and Jane Friedman, and the faculty includes heavy hitters from all walks of today’s expanded publishing world.Learn more on the PubSmartCon website.   Here’s a preview of my post:   What’s Your Book About?   Everyone attends conference for their own reasons—to learn,...

Will the Book Biz Follow the Way of Music?

http://www.rachellegardner.com//HLIC/359c4fff7b3ca5b9192b663cc7c257ca.jpg I’m blogging at Books & Such today. Here’s a preview:   One of the recurring themes of this blog is how publishing is evolving, and you probably know that for the last few years, people have been comparing our current situation to the music industry’s revolutionary changes over the last fifteen years. If we’re smart, the wisdom goes, we’ll carefully study how things have gone in that medium and see what we can learn from it. I’ve read many articles that astutely point to things that have worked and things that didn’t for the big record labels; analysis of mistakes that were made; and how that industry has adapted to changing technology which has in turn changed consumers’ buying patterns.   There is much that can be learned and applied to the...

7 Ways the Writer’s Life is Like American Idol

7 Ways the Writer’s Life is Like American Idol I’m blogging at Books & Such today. Here’s a preview:   I’m often struck by the similarities between the competition reality shows on TV these days, and life in the publishing environment. The programs bring together hopefuls in an endeavor—baking, fashion, business, movie makeup, singing—and pit them against each other. Along the way, the competitors make friends, make enemies, learn more about their chosen endeavor, and learn about themselves.   The shows are not only fun, they’re full of insights. Here are a few things I’ve been thinking lately as I watch the new season of American Idol.   1. Some people are more talented than they know. Others are less talented than they think they are.   Some contestants come in with...

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