Should You Write the Whole Book?

Should You Write the Whole Book? Classic wisdom for unpublished authors seeking traditional publication has been this: If you’re writing a novel (fiction), you need a complete manuscript.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 Here’s what is true and will always be true: unpublished fiction authors MUST have a complete novel before trying to get an agent or publisher.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. And in light of this reality, I’m going to make a bold and...
[ Read More → ]

February Book Club Selection

February Book Club Selection The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh A She Reads Selection ~BOOK GIVEAWAY TODAY! SEE BELOW.~ I’m so pleased to share with you one of the best novels of the last year. I read The Language of Flowers in two days, passed it along to friends, and my book club just recently discussed it too — everyone has loved it. The Victorian language of flowers was used to convey romantic expressions: honeysuckle for devotion, aster for patience, and red roses for love. But for Victoria Jones, it’s been more useful in communicating grief, mistrust, and solitude. After a childhood spent in the foster-care system, she is unable to get close to anybody, and her only connection to the world is through flowers and their meanings. Now eighteen and emancipated from the system, Victoria has...
[ Read More → ]

Don’t Put Me to Sleep!

Don’t Put Me to Sleep! Hi Rachelle, I’m working on a book proposal, and was wondering if I should interject my personality/humor into it? Or are they usually personality minus? I believe I tend to write better when I can be humorous and use my own voice. Thoughts…? Signed, Don’t Want To Bore You     Dear Don’t Want, Would YOU rather read something that was intentionally dry and boring, or something fun and funny? What would most likely sell YOU on buying a book? It’s CRUCIAL that queries and proposals include your personality… or at least the personality of your book. Draw me in. Make it so that I’m DYING to read your book. Don’t bore me! Sincerely, Boring Agent Does your query or proposal have some personality and life in it? Do you find this...
[ Read More → ]

In Which I am Interviewed by Michael Hyatt

In Which I am Interviewed by Michael Hyatt Instead of posting here today, I’m sending you to another blog. Michael Hyatt interviewed me via Skype and the video is up on his blog today. Visit Michael Hyatt’s blog by clicking here. In the interview, Michael and I discussed advice for new authors looking for an agent, common mistakes new authors make in approaching agents, the importance of  a formal book proposal, why authors should still consider publishing with a traditional publisher… and more. Drop by and tell him I sent you! Be Sociable, Share! ...
[ Read More → ]

How To Write a Book Proposal

How To Write a Book Proposal There are several great books available on writing book proposals. My favorite for non-fiction is: Write the Perfect Book Proposal by Jeff Herman. I like this one because it contains ten real-life proposals that sold. Author and writing mentor Mary DeMuth has created two in-depth proposal tutorials, one for fiction and non-fiction. You can find the links here on my blog under the tab “Resources for Writers.” If you’re a WordServe client and we request a proposal from you, we’ll send you our book proposal template. Meanwhile, here are bare-bones outlines of non-fiction and fiction book proposals. Note: You’re highly unlikely to have a winning book proposal if you try to write one based strictly on a few blog posts. Make the effort to get access to an in-depth...
[ Read More → ]

Guest Blogger: Michelle LaRowe

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_5cLmD8GqnKY/S1UN2UxL73I/AAAAAAAADhM/0X9HUqC7Klk/s320/moms+book+of+lists.jpg Selling Your Message From the Get-Go It’s no secret that you know your book best. So from the moment you consider going after publication, it’s important that you take a proactive role in developing the marketing language for yourself and your book. Here are four ways how: 1. Write a killer query. Long before an agent can work to sell a book to your publisher, you’ll have to sell your book to that agent. Your query is the first opportunity to develop effective “sell language” for your book. Your sell language can include a crafty title, an effective tagline that summarizes your book or concept, or a key word or phrase that you’ve coined or adapted as your own. Some of the sell language that I’ve used in my queries has included: · Nanny to the Rescue!· 112 of the Most...
[ Read More → ]

Writing a Synopsis, Pt. 2

by Gordon Carroll Yesterday we started discussing how to write a synopsis. Today we’re continuing with how to write the Simple 1-Page Synopsis. Up to this point we’ve had to scrunch and delete and throw away and purge until bare bones were all that remained of our once great tale. But now…now we can play a little. However, use caution. A single page seems like a lot compared to a single line or a single paragraph, but it really isn’t compared to an entire novel. Brevity is still the key. And it’s your time to shine. By the way, more and more editors seem to want this brief one-page synopsis in your proposal these days. Any longer and they may not read it. So it’s worthwhile to learn to fit your story into this format. Let’s look at what we will need here: → What is...
[ Read More → ]

Writing a Synopsis, Pt. 1

Writing a synopsis for your book can be one of the hardest things you ever attempt! People are always asking me how to do this, so today I’m deferring to my client Gordon Carroll, who has written a helpful article on writing the pitch sentence, the paragraph, and the one-page synopsis. I’ve divided it into two parts for today and tomorrow. So take it away, Gordon. Okay, I’ve finally found something more horrible than having to write query letters. WRITING A SYNOPSIS! Argh! I’ve sat in the audience of several agent and editor panels and they make this sound so easy. I find it not to be so. It’s hard. About as distant from the free flowing joy of writing fiction as you can get. Still, it’s the way it is, and if we want to be famous, rich authors with published...
[ Read More → ]

Ask the Agent: Requested Materials

Lisa wrote with this question: When you request a proposal at a writers conference and ask for the first five chapters and a synopsis, is that all you want? Or do you want a market analysis, character sketches, etc.? This is a great question, because it once again points out the need for clear communication. If I ask for a proposal, that’s what I want. If I ask for the first five pages and a synopsis, that’s what I want. A book proposal is a specific document with expected contents: synopsis, audience analysis, competitive analysis, author bio and marketing information, etc. When an agent asks for a proposal, they expect you to find out what a proposal typically includes, and send a professional and thorough document. If an agent says “Send me the first three chapters...
[ Read More → ]

Making it Easy to Say No

Making it Easy to Say No Awhile back, someone asked me, “What are the Top Do-This-and-You-are-Dead mistakes people make in pitches, queries, and book proposals?” My answers:a Bore me.a Pitch something I don’t represent.a Pitch something that sounds derivative, been-there done-that, nothing unique.a Show me that your writing isn’t yet up to publishable level.a Approach it with the attitude: What the Christian world needs is… (your book, of course).a Criticize other Christian books, saying they all are trash but YOUR book is a work of literary genius.The following mistakes don’t necessarily ensure you’ll be dead. But they definitely drop you down a notch and make it easier to say NO.a Tell me there are NO other books like yours.a Tell me your book is great or amazing or that I’m...
[ Read More → ]

Steps for Approaching an Agent

So, I happened across some kind of website/chatroom/message board for writers and there was a discussion about finding an agent. This is one of those sites where people ask each other questions and help each other on the road to publication. One of the writers mentioned that an agent to whom she’d submitted had requested a book proposal. Her question for her friends and fellow aspiring authors was: What is a book proposal? I have to admit that FREAKED ME OUT. These are the basics. How can you be already approaching agents when you don’t have any idea how this whole getting-published process works? An agent can’t sell your book to a publisher without a book proposal. You’ve got to have one, and it’s got to be good. These days, you even need one for...
[ Read More → ]

line
Site by Author Media © Rachelle Gardner.