Monday, August 27, 2007

Several more books I'd recommend:

The First Five Pages: A Writer's Guide to Staying Out of the Rejection Pile ISBN 068485743X and The Plot Thickens: 8 Ways to Bring Fiction to Life ISBN 0312309287, by Noah Lukeman. Both these titles focus on the craft of writing fiction. Literary agent Noah Lukeman represents many New York Times bestselling authors, and award winning authors. He’s read over 50,000 manuscripts in the past 10 years and knows what will sell and what won’t. The first five pages are critical to whether an agent, editor, or the all important consumer will make the decision to purchase a book. Think about it. The last time you picked up a book, you looked at the cover, turned over and read the back cover blurb, and then, most probably, took a look at the first couple of pages. Lukeman tells you how to improve your writing so it grabs the reader.

The Resilient Writer: Tales of Rejection and Triumph by 23 Top Authors, by Catherine Wald, ISBN 0892553073. Being rejected is an uncomfortable and often demoralizing experience. Writers are on the receiving end of more than their fair share by virtue of simply being writers. Catherine Wald handles the topic with grace and optimism. She has heart-to-heart talks with 23 leading authors regarding their personal experiences with

Private Label Reports

Rose and Kate's

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Books I’ve read and recommend on writing and publishing.

Of course this list isn’t all inclusive, that would take hours, but the titles mentioned here cover all the bases and would be a good starter library for any writer.

Book Proposals That Sell, by Terry Whalin, ISBN 1932124640. A good primer on what should be included in your nonfiction book proposal written from an acquisition editor’s point of view, which is exactly what Terry Whalen is. The book contains 21 secrets to boost your proposal to its fullest potential, a checklist, a sample proposal and lots of straightforward, useful advice. The basics of the publishing industry and how the acquisition process works is covered from an insider’s perspective. This book will help you scale the walls to publication.

Making The Perfect Pitch, ISBN 0871162067 by Katharine Sands, a successful literary agent with the Sara Jane Freymann Agency in New York, corrals 40 top agents and experts from CAA, Trident Media, Meredith G. Bernstein, Jane Dystel Literary Management, and more and gets them to tell what really excites them about pitches, query letters and proposals. "Making The Perfect Pitch" is well organized and the approach is unique. While it's informative to have the expertise of one agent it's invaluable to have the opinion of a number of different agents'. Ms. Sands brings a breadth of knowledge and experience to writers they desperately need and seldom receive. If you're hunting for an agent, you need to know how to pitch and "Making The Perfect Pitch" gives you the ammunition to be dead on target.

The Frugal Book Promoter, by Carolyn Howard Johnson, ISBN: 193299310X. An author’s greatest challenge can be to climb the marketing mountain and get their title visible to potential customers. If a reader doesn’t know about your book, how on earth will they be able to purchase it? Carolyn tells you how to promote, from sending out your own ARCs (advance review copy), to why a website is important, to utilizing all the perks of amazon. This truly is well placed promotion on a shoestring.



Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Summer is winding down and our marketing activities are starting up.

I've been spending the last few months studying the Internet to see how I could earn money by writing. I'm not talking about freelancing gigs so much as writing articles, web pages, and blogs.

As an experiment I took an old website or ours that was business related and changed it to a niche site on weddings on a budget. I included AdSense revenue links, a few affiliate links, and an Amazon book or two. Here's the site, Weddings On A Shoestring Budget

After writing the content and uploading the pages to the site, I wrote a few articles about weddings on a budget and summited them to It took a few weeks to get traffic from the people who were looking for tips on how to have a wedding without breaking the bank, but now the site brings in a nice little income. Not a huge amount, but the site was just sitting there doing nothing before.


Golf on a Budget
Rose and Kate
Private Label Report

Friday, August 03, 2007

Is it easier to get a book published now? Part II

Publishers are Becoming More Risk Averse

“It just seems like it's getting harder and harder to get people to take a chance on an unknown.”

“Editors are buying fewer books, they are reluctant to take chances.”

“What does keep projects from being bought is the fact that lists are shrinking, and in a marketplace in which it’s terribly hard to win anyone’s attention – from buyers all the way to customers – everyone up the editorial chain is anxious about making the wrong bet … more often than not, ‘No’ is a safe answer.”

The Pessimists

“I base this on the number of rejection letters publishers have sent for well-written, well-plotted novels by new authors that would have sold if given the chance.”

“I don't see the market picking up much, and if the current trends continue, it will only decline.”

The Optimists

“Because I don't agree that the publishing industry is either for or against unpublished writers. They are FOR unpublished writers who have a brilliant first novel to offer or a nonfiction platform. They are AGAINST unpublished writers who are bad writers or (in the case of nonfiction, are not credentialed in their field, have a new original, high concept idea etc.)”

“The Industry is not a monolithic thing. Some genres (nonfiction especially, which more and more requires the author to have a major platform for promotion and media attention) will continue to become more difficult; some genres (upmarket fiction) exalt first-time writers. The “first novel" for literary fiction represents a unique marketing opportunity for the publisher; it's the second and third novels that tend to be far more difficult to publish well if the first novel doesn't take off.”

“Some trends favor new writers and new voices, however the money is often discouragingly small, so there is not the sense of a career being launched.”

The Impact of the National Economy

"Publishing is an increasingly tough biz in tough times--fewer people read."

So What Can a Debut Author Do?

1) Study the elements of a good query letter.

2) Make your contact letter succinct, positive, but not obnoxious. Stress that you understand the market for your book and how to address that market.

3) Learn what types of manuscripts individual agents are looking for and send yours out to the agents that match up the best with your topic or genre.

4) Don't give up.

Avoid scams and still get your book published. Get our free report Perils and Pitfalls of Publishing for Writers just visit Free Report

About The Authors
Brian Hill and Dee Power have written several nonfiction books including The Publishing Primer: A Blueprint for an Author's Success and The Making of a Bestseller: Success Stories From Authors and the Editors, Agents, and Booksellers Behind Them. Read Dee's blog or Brian's blog The Packer Literary Corner