So Many Ideas, So Little Time

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 some serious thought into it. Here are my thoughts:   FOR NON-FICTION:   Spend some time on each idea, one by one. First work on a rough outline of what the book would be. List the themes and topics you’d want to cover. Ask yourself: is there enough material here for a whole book? Consider whether you’ll be able to gather the information needed to fill a book on this topic. Is there enough to say?   Marketplace: Are there other books on this topic? Too...
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How to Get Published

How to Get Published I get emails every day asking for advice on getting published or getting an agent. This is the post for people needing an entry-level introduction to publishing.   Dear Writer,   Congratulations on your decision to pursue publication. Before approaching literary agents, you’ll need to create the appropriate materials:   → If you’re a non-fiction writer, you’ll need a full professional book proposal, with three sample chapters (this must include the FIRST chapter). (See How To Write a Book Proposal)   → If you’re writing fiction, your manuscript must be complete, edited and polished; you also need a one-sentence hook and a one-paragraph pitch.   → Do you need to know How to Find a Literary Agent?   → A great title is an...
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When You’re Missing the Mark

When You’re Missing the Mark Katie asked:   I was wondering, what if I get an agent and she tries to sell two or three of my novels, all in the same genre, and nothing sells. What would happen in this case?   Well Katie, sounds like you and your agent will be at a crossroads and need to make some decisions.   Each agent is different, and some agents might set you free at this point, believing they’re not the right agent to help you find success. You’ll want to clarify whether your agent wishes to continue or hang it up.   Remember that you have a choice, too. You may want to consider indie publishing. If you want to continue pursuing traditional publishing, and you think another agent can serve you better, it would be a good time for you to make this decision. Be cautious not to...
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Valentine to the Publishing Life

Valentine to the Publishing Life In honor of Valentine’s Day coming up this Sunday, I thought I’d wax poetic about what I love in this industry… and in my job. ♥ First of all, I love the way writers, editors, and yes, even agents, are a true community. Competition exists, but it doesn’t get in the way of real relationships. That’s what this business is about, relationships, and the people I’ve met in this business are simply the best. ♥ I love working with authors. Your passion impresses me; your bravery amazes me. The commitment authors must maintain in order to be successful is nothing short of monumental, and for that, I salute every one of you. It is my pleasure and privilege to support you in the small ways that I do. ♥ I love the new submissions that I get to see all the...
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Nobody Knows Anything

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. We don’t know how a book will do until it goes on sale, or sometimes, until it’s been on sale several months or even years.   Publishing companies and Hollywood studios routinely produce works they predict will sell based on past success of similar works. It’s a flawed method of decision making, but it’s the best we’ve got.   Besides analyzing past experience, what can we do to predict future...
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