July 16, 2019

Authors, Engage Readers with QR Codes

Emily Craven, guest blogger at The Creative Penn, has an excellent article on how authors can use QR codes to engage readers. QR codes are free to generate, and they can direct a smart phone user to any website or media link, such as a YouTube video, a donation page, or a discount coupon. The […]

Self-Publishing Case Studies by Jason Boog

Jason Boog posted his slides from the Media App Summit about the rise and current status of self-publishing (slides 2-3). The case of Cora Carmack (slides 7-8) is especially interesting because it documents the birth of a new genre in 2009, which is now the third most influential genre in sales of self-publishing. Self-Publishing Case […]

Keeping a Character’s Internal Narrative Congruent with Reality

Livia Blackburne has posted “7 Reasons Agents Stop Reading Your First Chapter” on Writer’s Digest website. Read the other six reasons. I want to comment on item 7, because I have encountered this more than a few times: 7. Unrealistic internal narrative: Make sure a character’s internal narrative—what the character is thinking or feeling—matches up […]

Writing a Bare Bones Synopsis

Beth Anderson has a helpful technique for writing a bare bones synopsis. Coming to this task, Beth recommends that you have in hand your character’s motivations, emotional unresolved issues, back story, and so on–all part of some internal conflict. You need to know what your main characters want and how they plan to get it. […]

Fiction Synopsis Examples: How to Write Your Book Proposal

Chuck Sambuchino at Writer’s Digest recently posted a summary of his synopsis examples for fiction titles. What is most helpful is the range of genres included and Sambuchino’s expressed self-awareness in providing examples. My favorite synopsis (although not my favorite movie in the bunch) is “The Ides of March,” which Sambuchino calls a character-driven thriller. […]

5 Fiction Proposal Writing Frustrations

I speak with many authors each week, often with frustrated ones. Writing a book proposal can be a frustration, especially fiction authors. So how can you keep your head in the game and place your work with a literary agency? Address these head-on. The leading frustration, I think, is having to do the query letter […]

Literary Agent and Book Editor Turn Offs

Christina Parisi has an excellent blog on her top 10 turn-offs for book editors reading your proposal. She is an Executive Editor at AMACOM Books and the Director of AMA Self-Studies and acquires books in management, leadership, training, HR, and general business so she probably has in mind nonfiction books. Yet, I am adding literary agents […]

Author Platform: What to Do when You Don’t Have One

  Planet Earth Reiki Galaxyoffers encouragement for creating a platform–you know, a soapbox from which you can build visibility before submitting proposals. Good advice. Recently, a new client asked whether this is an iron-clad rule. “If I don’t have a platform, am I simply wasting opportunities to get published?” In a word, yes. It needs […]

Dialogue in Fiction Book Proposals

Writer’s Digest offers an excerpt from Jeff Gerke’s The First 50 Pages (Writer’s Digest, 2011). (The book was published in early November 2011.) As Jeff says, “Great dialogue may not get you a publishing contract, but lousy dialogue will often prevent you from getting one. Awkward, unrealistic dialogue is a common reason acquisitions editors and […]

Focus Your Book Proposal with 3 Questions

Have you ever heard (or said), “I know who my readership is, but I am not quite clear on what I want to say to them?” If you are at the planning or proposal stages, and if this is your sentiment, then you may need to do more research on your readership. Working on your […]