10 Things Editors Look for in Nonfiction

10 Things Editors Look for in Nonfiction Got a terrific nonfiction project you’re trying to sell? Wondering if you have what it takes? Here are some signs of potential future success as a nonfiction author: 1. You’ve previously written a book that was at least mildly successful… maybe something like The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. 2. You have a recognizable name. For instance, Bradley Cooper. Or Oprah. 3. You are currently a top candidate for President of the United States. 4. You have recently won several gold medals in the Olympics. In a sport people care about. 5. You have come up with a life-changing, magical method of organizing people’s stuff. And it involves talking to your stuff. 6. You are the founder of Microsoft. 7. You are the…. what’s that? you don’t like this...
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10 Things to Expect from an Agent

(The Real Deal This Time) 1. Expect them to have a strong track record of selling books to legitimate publishers and/or experience in the publishing industry.→ Check Publisher’s Marketplace→ Ask around, ask other authors, ask others in the biz. Find out what books they’ve represented and check the acknowledgements page of those books.→ If they haven’t been an agent for long, make sure they’ve been in publishing for awhile. Check references. Google them. 2. Expect they have access to the right publishers and editors.→ The “right ones” are the ones you need for your book.→ The agent should know which publishers are likely to be interested in your proposal.→ Agents have relationships with editors and publishers, something that most unagented writers don’t have,...
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10 Exercises To Make You a Better Writer

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_5cLmD8GqnKY/SW809jIZTSI/AAAAAAAACig/xgo7eaGAAzk/s200/penpaper.jpg or Get You Out of a Rut* 1. Read a chapter of your WIP aloud to someone other than your spouse, your children, or your cat. Invite feedback, if you’re brave. But mostly, just listen as you read. Do the words flow easily, roll nicely off the tongue? Do you stumble anywhere? Anything sound awkward? How’s the dialogue? Option: Record yourself reading it aloud, then listen to the recording. 2. Write a short story featuring one of your minor characters, something taking place outside the scope of your book. What did you learn about that character? 3. Get really good at people-watching. Listen closely to conversations of those around you, observe details of body language and facial expressions. Keep a notebook or Word file of your observations. 4. Imagine your main characters in...
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10 Really Good First Novels

http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif Looking for some terrific holiday reading? Need some inspiration to get that first novel finished? Here is a list of 10 great books that were the first novel published by each of these authors. (In some cases, the only novel they published.) This isn’t meant to be discouraging. Every writer has a first book… sometimes they’re amazing. Be inspired! 1. Gone With the Wind, Margaret Mitchell2. The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini3. To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee4. The Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger5. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Mark Haddon6. The Sun Also Rises, Ernest Hemingway7. Peace Like a River, Leif Enger8. The Time Traveler’s Wife, Audrey Niffenegger9. The Secret Life of Bees, Sue Monk Kidd10. Catch-22, Joseph Heller Q4U:What are YOUR...
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10 Ways to Be a Dream Client

1. Reveal that you’re related to Harper Lee and that she has finally decided to publish her second novel and she wants you to recommend a good agent, preferably someone you’ve worked with and whose first name starts with the letter “R.” 2. Make sure spellchek is on when writing. 3. Start a blog dedicated solely to celebrating your agent’s many gifts and talents. Here are a few suggested titles for your blog: “Rachelle Rocks”; “Brilliance, Personified”; “I Don’t Care if I Ever Get Published, It’s Honor Enough Just to be Represented by Rachelle.” 4. Stop crying long enough to repeat after me: Revisions make me a better writer. Revisions make me a better writer. Revisions… 5. Laundry day is Thursday. Just let yourself in with the key I keep in the flowerpot. And...
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10 Traits of a Good Agent

10 Traits of a Good Agent This is the first in my new “10 Things” series to (hopefully) appear weekly, for awhile anyway. If you have ideas for future “10 Things” posts, please let me know. Many of you might be looking for an agent… and it can be hard to know exactly what to look for in your literary representation. So I wanted to give you a few tips. First, it’s all about the relationship, so the it’s important to find someone you click with, someone who seems to “get” you. Beyond that, you’ll want to find someone who’s working style fits with yours. Some agents are more hand-holding and nurturing, others are all business. Some are interested in career-building, others just want to know what book you have to sell right now. Which style fits your...
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