OMG! What if B&N Closes?

OMG! What if B&N Closes? “The report of my death was an exaggeration.” So said Mark Twain in 1897, and I’m wondering if Barnes & Noble might be saying the same thing right about now.   Over the last week, an article by Michael Levin has been making the rounds, causing fear and trembling among certain groups of authors and publishing folks.  Syndicated on news websites all over the U.S., Levin’s article predicts that Barnes & Noble may close all the rest of their stores by the end of the year. It proposes five reasons for B&N’s demise, and goes on to lament the awful tragedy this would be. (You can read a version of the article HERE.)   I just want to add my two cents to the pot:   Everybody, get a grip.   1. We’ve known for a long time that...
[ Read More → ]

Focus on Writing a Great Book

Focus on Writing a Great Book It seems in the last few years, dialogue about all-things-publishing has been focused on platform, marketing, increasing output, distribution platforms, technology, and self-publishing. (This blog is no exception.) But as I noted in this post at Author Media , I think it’s important to call our attention back to the work.    It may be easier to get published these days because of self-pub and the proliferation of indie publishing options. But it’s not any easier to write a good book.    In fact, it may be even harder to write a good book than it was in days past, because both you and your reader have more distractions. You’re tempted by the Internet, your ability to concentrate for long periods of time has been compromised, and deep focus is more...
[ Read More → ]

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 Here.   Be Sociable, Share! ...
[ Read More → ]

The Publishing Information You Need!

http://www.rachellegardner.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/answers-150x150.jpg Every couple of months I’m re-posting this helpful guide to finding what you need. Have you seen my DEFINITIVE post on How To Get Published? Have you ever wondered what you should say if an agent calls to offer representation? 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 in “Popular Posts” both on the sidebar and in the tab at the very top. Would you like to follow more agent blogs? I have an agent blogroll. Want to check out Mary DeMuth’s e-books on writing book proposals? You can find those under the “Resources for Writers” tab. I get emails...
[ Read More → ]

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...
[ Read More → ]

What’s Changed and What Hasn’t

What’s Changed and What Hasn’t I began this blog in January of 2008 when I became an agent, and it’s remarkable to look back over my past posts with an eye toward how much has changed in that brief 4 ½ years. When I started, I didn’t even have a Kindle. Now I’m on my third one, and I couldn’t imagine being in this business without one. 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 THE great new frontier 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 the blog (January, 2009). Facebook and Twitter were still optional and sort of curiosities. What else has...
[ Read More → ]

Today’s Publishing Landscape: What Do You See?

Today’s Publishing Landscape: What Do You See? Every once in a while I have to stop my work, look up from my computer, and take a good long look around me. What does the publishing landscape look like from one agent’s perspective? Here are a few things I see: ♦  I see a higher level of stress surrounding publishing than I’ve ever seen in 17 years in this business. ♦  I see authors pulled in too many different directions, no longer having the “luxury” of focusing on just writing the best book they can, but needing to be experts at marketing and social media too. ♦  I see many authors doing an amazing job at both writing and marketing, and I’m in awe of this. ♦  I see amazing opportunities for authors that they’ve never had before: opportunities to reach more readers through digital...
[ Read More → ]

6 Reasons Authors Still Want Publishers

6 Reasons Authors Still Want Publishers In an age when so many of the “big stories” in publishing are about amazing self-pub successes, people are asking more and more, “Why would I want a traditional publisher?” Here are six big reasons. 1. Objective validation To be “chosen” by a publisher means that a group of people who are widely read, and who see dozens of new projects come across their desks every single week, believe your book has value and will find a reading audience. It means that people who see all kinds of writing—from really bad to really great—believe that yours is somewhere in the ballpark of “really great.” 2. Editing and design Virtually all writers, including the very best, will find their writing improves and their books are better because they’ve...
[ 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 → ]

Author Advances: Is There Such Thing as Too Much?

Author Advances: Is There Such Thing as Too Much? When an author gets a contract offer from a publisher, the first thing they want to know is, “How much?” And by that they mean, “What is the dollar amount of the advance they’re offering?” Obviously, the standard way to view advances is, the more the better. Right? Well, maybe… maybe not. A large advance is a good thing because it means that no matter how many copies your book sells, you’ll receive at least that much money (minus your agent commission). If we’re taking the short view—the “take the money and run” view—then this is a very good thing. If you’re an author who may not have books beyond this first contract, then getting as much money as possible up front is a great idea (from the author’s perspective). However… If you’re taking the long...
[ Read More → ]

What’s Holding You Back?

What’s Holding You Back? Guest Blogger: Joanne Kraft Walking towards the help desk, I sized up the assistant manager. Skinny jeans, lip ring, black circular tattoos nicely framing his elbows. “Hi, I’m Barrett” He reached his hand out, “You need some help?” “Nice to meet you, I’m Joanne Kraft. I live in the area and have a parenting book that’s going to be released through my publisher in a few weeks: Just Too Busy—Taking Your Family on a Radical Sabbatical. I want to make sure the Borders in my hometown has copies on hand before my book launch party.” I smiled, handing him one of the 1,000 colorful marketing postcards my pub house had sent me. Walking over to a computer, Barrett found my book and confirmed that they already knew about it and even shared where it was going to be placed in their...
[ Read More → ]

Add the New Site to Your Reader

Add the New Site to Your Reader If you're reading this blog in a reader, please take a moment to unsubscribe from the old URL, and add the new one: http://www.rachellegardner.com.
[ Read More → ]

That Pesky Exclamation Point!!!

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-eUiCMsyIZEs/TfBMMAe19qI/AAAAAAAAEf4/AA1FLT4I6nA/s200/exclamation.jpg (And Other Annoying Devices) When I’m editing manuscripts, I somehow turn into the cruel and heartless eliminator of… exclamation points!!! Seriously, I’ve developed a hatred for them! People tend to WAY overuse them! Not to mention italics and bold, and that oh-so-effective use of ALL CAPS!!!!!!! Here’s a hint to avoid coming across as amateur: Use the above devices sparingly in any writing intended for publication. (I’m being specific here, because in blogs, emails, social networking and text messaging, you’re free to go crazy.) If you tend to use a plethora of exclamation points, do a search-and-replace in your manuscript and put a period in place of every single one of them. Yep, every one. Then you can go back and add an exclamation point...
[ Read More → ]

Notes From the Beach

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-g5ACPGl3-SM/Te67JFzrJFI/AAAAAAAAEf0/f6IrCyxJbYM/s320/the-beach-at-6pm.jpg I just returned from my summer vacation and am still trying to re-integrate into normal life so I don’t have any profound insights for today’s blog post. (My last seven posts were pre-scheduled before I left town. I love modern technology.) But I do have a couple of observations from my time away, and here they are: 1. People are still reading. Everywhere! And they’re reading… books! Paperback books mostly. In the airports, on planes, and during an entire week of observing people on the beach and by the pool (covertly trying to read their book titles) I saw people relaxing with reading material and it was overwhelmingly fiction. The whole week I only saw one Kindle by the pool, and a couple people reading books on their iPhones on the plane....
[ Read More → ]

« Previous Entries

line
Site by Author Media © Rachelle Gardner.