Feb

19

2013

News You Can Use – Feb. 19, 2013

What Kind of Reader are You? A Diagnostic Guide - An article from The Atlantic. Share which kind you are in the comments below!

10 Tricks to Make Yourself a Dropbox Master – If you don’t use Dropbox consider this article a nudge to use some form of cloud computing as a backup.

Lumio: A Modern Lamp With Infinite Possibilities - This is a link to a Kickstarter campaign for a very cool looking portable lamp. If you have a book lover in your family…think about Christmas.

How to Write While Managing a Full-time Job: 5 Ways to Maximize Your Time – Patrick Carr, one of our clients, wrote this great article for Writer’s Digest.

A Short Course in Line Editing – In a nutshell what an editor is looking for. Make their job easy and do this before you send in your draft.

Your Brand and the Marketing Rule of Seven – The marketing rule of 7 is that a buyer must receive seven impressions regarding your product before they buy. Is this still viable in your opinion?

Amazon KDP Select – Pros and Cons – An important place to start if you are considering using Amazon KDP to self publish your ebook.

 

 

Feb

18

2013

When You Hit the Wall of Discouragement

by Steve Laube

 Depressed

I recently received the following question from a client (an award winning author):
Is it common for an author to hit a wall of discouragement? To feel as though they’re working so hard for so little? To question why they’re doing this?

Unfortunately it is quite common. Doesn’t mean it aches any less. Sort of like getting old…everyone does and it aches, but it is a common malady.

I recently read a blog by a writer in the general market who wrote, “Why am I doing this? I work so hard for so little money only to have critics tell me I have no talent at all.”

It truly comes down to whether your calling is stronger than the frustration and anguish of the writing process.

[ Read More → ]

Feb

15

2013

Fun Friday’s – Feb. 15, 2013

I want one of these for next year’s “Happy Pancake Day”!
One minute of ingenuity.

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Feb

14

2013

Happy Valentine’s Day!

by Tamela Hancock Murray

open book with red heart inside
Today is St. Valentine’s Day.

How appropriate for a literary agent who loves and represents lots of Christian romance novels!

Valentine’s Day is a favorite in our house. As a newlywed, I bought a heart-shaped cake on our first Valentine’s Day together to celebrate. Later, I bought a heart-shaped cake pan so I can bake a cake myself.  That first year I also cut my husband’s sandwich for his lunch into the shape of a heart. But he telephoned from work and said that my efforts made the sandwich too small! After all these years, I still like to treat him to an extra-special dinner and tie a balloon to his chair, though.

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Feb

13

2013

The Writer as Editor: More Tools to Use

by Karen Ball

Adding the finishing touches to his hairstyle

There are some great quotes out there about editors and editing. For example:

“Read your own compositions, and when you meet a passage which you think is particularly fine, strike it out.” Samuel Johnson

“What I have crossed out, I didn’t like. What I haven’t crossed out, I’m dissatisfied with.” Cecil B. DeMille

“From now on, ending a sentence with a preposition is something up with which I shall not put.” Winston Churchill

“I’m writing a first draft and reminding myself that I’m simply shoveling sand into a box so that later I can build castles.” Shannon Hale

And my favorite:

“So the writer who breeds more words than he needs, is making a chore for the reader who reads.” Dr. Seuss

SO, how to edit your own writing? Well, we already talked about three helpful tools in my post last week. Now, let’s take a look at three more:

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Feb

12

2013

News You Can Use – Feb. 12, 2013

The Pope Announces His Resignation – First time this has happened in nearly 600 years. The last time was in 1415. Put that in historical perspective…Columbus sailed the ocean blue in 1492. Martin Luther was born in 1483. This is a really big deal in Church history whether you are Catholic or not.

Lawsuit Threatened by Attorney Representing Author and Publisher of Bestselling book ‘The HarbingerRead this article. Some of the darker side of the publishing world.

Bookish – A New Website to Help Recommend Books – This launched last week to much fanfare. Took two years to develop. Try it out. It works fairly well. EXCEPT the selections are limited, for now, to only the catalogs of the major publishers involved. For example I couldn’t find Frances Chan. One analyst gives reasons why it will survive and why it won’t.   (By the way, don’t forget NovelCrossing.com which helps you find your next Christian novel to read. A very well done recommendation site.)

Copyright Controversy Just Won’t Go Away – If you care about protecting your intellectual property you owe it to yourself to stay informed on the various issues and changes afoot.

Amazon Coins Coming in May – Fascinating press release from Amazon. A way to keep money within their own eco-system and avoid bank fees and other issues. Like I said, “Fascinating.”

Seven Productivity Myths, Debunked by Science (and Common Sense) – Alan Henry looks at various theories of getting things done, like “Getting up early is more productive.”

How Big is the Universe? – Watch this short six minute video attempting to explain the massive distances in the galaxy. At the 5:30 mark the scientist makes a comparison to a grain of sand. Our God is a big God.

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Feb

11

2013

When Your Proposal Doesn’t Sell

by Steve Laube

Unhappy young business man looking away

It happens. Despite all efforts and good intentions not every proposal we shop will end up being contracted by a major publisher. Of course our agency tries our best to keep that from happening. We carefully choose which projects and authors we represent. And our success rate is extremely high.

But that success rate is not 100%.

Here are a few examples of projects that I represented in past years that did not sell to a major publisher.

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Feb

8

2013

Fun Fridays – Feb. 8, 2013

A little bit of culture for your Friday viewing. Introducing ballet master Rudolph Nureyev and Swine Lake via “The Muppet Show.”
Three minutes of parody and hilarity!

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Feb

7

2013

Changes or Opportunities?

by Tamela Hancock Murray

002-26A

What are you doing to counter and grow from the ongoing changes in the marketing of books?

I don’t look at the changes as something to counter, but opportunities to reach an ever-increasing audience with excellent books. I am becoming more savvy about social media, because effective marketing by publishers is becoming more reliant on this new phenomena. I am working more directly with marketing people than in the past.

As you know from reading this blog and keeping up  with industry news, few authors have the luxury today of holing up at home, churning out books, without ever interacting with fans. Today, fans expect to find their favorite authors on the Internet. For example, authors should consider becoming active on Twitter. By active, I mean offer a status update at least once or twice a day.

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Feb

6

2013

The Writer as Editor: Tools to Use

by Karen Ball

consumer survey

As we’ve been discussing over the last few blogs, switching hats from writing to editing can be a bit…challenging. In fact, it can make you feel like your poor head is about to explode! However, you can make the process easier by following the tips from last week’s blog by not letting the editor and writer come out to play at the same time, and by giving yourself time away from the scene/chapter/manuscript you just finished.

But when you’ve done both of those, and it’s time to get into the edit, how do you make sure you catch the real issues? How do you edit your own work? This week and next, we’ll look at six tools you can use to do that with excellence and ease.

Tip #1: Accept Your Limitations. It’s a simple fact, friends: we’ll never be able to edit our own work as well as we edit others’ writing. We see so much more when we read what others have written than we tend to see in our own work. That’s normal, and it’s okay.

Tip #2: Make A Checklist Of Your Weaknesses. We all have them, those little bugaboos that slip into everything we write. Things we seem blind to when we’re writing, and can too often overlook when we’re editing. So how to be sure we’re catching the places where we’re weak?

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