Minimize the Obstacles

Minimize the Obstacles I’m blogging at Books & Such today. Here’s a preview: When you’re a debut author trying to break in to traditional publishing, one of the most important things to remember is this: Minimize the obstacles. You already know it’s not going to be easy to break in, so you want to avoid making it even more difficult on yourself. This is why agents give so much advice on their blogs. Not every piece of advice applies across the board to every author, but we’re trying to help you have the best chance of attracting an agent and publisher. Assuming you’ve written a terrific book… What are some possible obstacles to finding an agent and publisher? Read the post at Books & Such to find out. Click...
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All the Publishing Information You Ever Wanted

All the Publishing Information You Ever Wanted 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. I get emails everyday asking for information that I’ve already covered somewhere on the blog, so I’m trying to help make it a little easier for you to find what you need. Those links in the bar across the top have drop down menus with incredible resources for you! Under the Submissions tab you’ll find: My Submission...
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How We Choose the Best Publisher

How We Choose the Best Publisher Recently I’ve placed several projects with publishers, and each of these projects had the good fortune of having multiple publishers interested in them. So my authors and I were in the position of being able to choose the best publisher among those who were interested. Most people think these situations get resolved purely on the basis of money, i.e. whoever offers the biggest advance. However, as I discuss with each author who finds themselves in an “auction” situation, there’s more to it than money. The real question is not, “Who’s offering the most money?” but “Who will be the best publishing partner for me?” Here are 6 factors we consider when choosing a publisher. 1. The editor. Crucial to the author’s positive publishing...
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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...
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Breaking Into Publishing

Breaking Into Publishing When you’re a debut author trying to break in to traditional publishing, one of the most important things to remember is this: Minimize the obstacles. You already know it’s not going to be easy to break in, so you want to avoid making it even more difficult on yourself. This is why agents give so much advice on their blogs. Not every piece of advice applies across the board to every author, but we’re trying to help you have the best chance of attracting an agent and publisher. Assuming you’ve written a terrific book… What are some possible obstacles to finding an agent and publisher? Manuscript word count outside of acceptable guidelines Not being familiar with how publishing works and consequently approaching it wrong and with unrealistic...
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Do You Have the Competitive Advantage?

I hope you all have read the posts and comments from the last several days over at Michael Hyatt’s blog, From Where I Sit. I can’t possibly summarize it all, but there are a couple of really important thoughts I want to share with you. It seems the biggest worry of the unpublished author is (understandably), “Will there be room for the new voices? The non-famous? The good-but-as-yet-unpublished-writer? In other words, me?” As you can imagine, that question affects all of us, agents especially. I have currently under consideration around 200 queries, partials, proposals and manuscripts. Most of those are from unpublished authors. So the question for me is the same as for you. Not just “Do I believe in them?” which is my first question, but, “Can I...
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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...
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