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Posts Tagged ‘career advice’

The Top 20 Articles of 2016 for Aspiring Authors

This has become a bit of a tradition: every December since, well, 2015, I’ve looked back at the year and compiled a “best of” summary of the Top 20 articles, news, and resources for writers who are working toward publication. Making the jump from writer to published author means entering a whole new world of business, and it’s important to do your homework and understand the landscape. The Trends This year, as I went back through my tweets and notes, two things became clear: It was a hard year to pay attention to publishing. National and international news took precedence. Maybe because of all the crazy stuff happening in the rest of the world, it was not a big year of publishing changes. (Anyone want to dispute that? Am I forgetting some major change of policy, player, or approach here?) Self publishing is still growing, filling all of the corners […]

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How to Hire an Editor (Editing Series, Part 3)

If your goal is to publish your book, you’re going to need an editor at some point. If you’re self publishing, this should be obvious. After all, who else will stand between you and your readers and make sure that you’re putting your best self forward? Who else will help you see the holes, the errors, and the missing pieces of your manuscript? None of us are perfect judges of our own work. (I was reminded of this today, when an acquaintance posted a heartfelt reminder on social media to “Proof read what you have written…Chances are you spelt things incorrectly.”) But remember, it’s not enough to make sure that there are no typos. You also need to have a compelling story, a logical outline, and a clear connection to our readers…all of the things a developmental editor provides. If you’re pitching your book to an agent or a publisher, you’re not […]

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5 Ways to Make a Writers’ Conference Work for You

I know I need an agent, but I don’t know where to find one. I don’t know how to start building an author platform…I don’t even know what a platform is! I should join or start a critique group, but I don’t know any other writers! Sound familiar? Aspiring authors and curious writing bystanders say things like this to me a lot, and my answer is always the same: Get Thee to a Writers’ Conference! Although writing a book can be a solitary, introverted activity that you can do without bothering to put on pants, publishing a book is a community activity. Writers’ conferences are the places where we network, visit, and meet the next generation of authors. There are hundreds of multi-day events for writers all over the country and around the world. They’re organized for writers in a particular region, or for a specific genre of writing. Some conferences […]

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The 20 Must-Read Articles of 2015 for Aspiring Writers

Every month or so, I have the chance to stand in front or a group of people and talk about how to get published. How does a writer go from a manuscript to a published work that readers can buy? One of the points I regularly make—one of the facts I think is critically important and often overlooked—is that a writer has to take the responsibility to understand the publishing industry. You need at least a general idea of how the sausages are made. After all, you wouldn’t decide to open a restaurant or a widget factory without doing your homework about the regulations, the competition, and the best practices affecting your industry. So why would you think that you can just mail off a manuscript and not understand what happens next? So, in the spirit of educating, and giving in to the inevitable lure of a year-end “best of” list, here […]

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Your Agent Is Not God (And Other Things That Should Be Obvious, But Aren’t)

It seems like all of the conversations I had with writers last week were about agents—what they do, what they don’t do, how to get one, and when to leave one. That might be because it’s conference season, and writers all across the country are pitching new agents or arranging meetings with their existing agents. Or it might be because literary agents still hold this mysterious place of power in the publishing journey. Many of the new writers I meet (and some who aren’t so new) think that agents are the silver bullet to their publishing career. They may not phrase it this way, but the attitude is that once they get an agent—any agent—to agree to represent them, then their career will be settled, and they can let someone else handle all of these business questions and go back to writing. No more pitching. No more marketing. No more empty […]

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  • It’s Up to You to Get Noticed (Before You Self Publish #5)
    If you want to self publish, you will have to work to get noticed. Here we are at last, on the final point of this blog series “Before You Self Publish.” So far we’ve talking about the importance of thinking like a CEO, the danger of releasing a book too soon, the value of print, and the importance of the...
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