Agents

Book Launch Blueprint – Free Webinar, March 18

The first 30 days your book is for sale sets the tone for the lifetime of your book. Many physical stores stock new releases for less than 90 days. If they don’t sell, they return them to the publisher. If they sell out, the bookstores order more. Without a good launch, a book can die before it ever gets a chance to get readers. Don’t let that happen to you!

With more than 3,000 new books published every week, it is easy for your book to get lost in the noise. One of the best ways to break through is with an effective book-launch campaign.

But how do you launch a book? What is a book launch? Isn’t that the publisher’s job?

That is what Thomas Umstattd and I will talk about in a free webinar this Thursday, March 18, at 4 p.m. (central time). He will reveal several secrets about successful book launches, as well as share some tips on how you can have a solid launch with yours. Register, so we can send you a reminder before it begins. Sign up now.

The first hour will be Thomas’s presentation, then I will join him to answer your questions.

Hopefully, you’ll want to dig deeper and sign up for his 28-day Book Launch Blueprint course, co-taught with Jim Rubart. The price of that course includes $485 worth of free resources. To find out more, click this Book Launch Blueprint Course link. Invest in the information you need to successfully launch your book. I heartily recommend it.

I invite you to join us this Thursday. Register now, take the poll, post your questions, then come back and vote on the questions others have asked. During the second hour, we will answer the questions related to launching a book that have the most votes.

If you cannot attend live, the webinar will be recorded and available, for free, to all who have registered.

Make this your Spring 2020 writers conference, focusing on what you can do from the comfort of your own home.

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Are You High Maintenance?

by Steve Laube

Last week I was asked to define what is meant when an author is deemed “high maintenance” by an agent or a publisher. The more I thought about this the more I realized how difficult it is to quantify. Any attempt to do so is fraught with potential misunderstanding because most people are looking for specific rules to follow.

Normally “high maintenance” is a description of someone who is difficult to work with or is constantly in need of attention. It can be anyone from a “diva” to a “rookie.” The best way to express the issue is in the following word picture:

When you contract with an agent or a publisher you are granted a large measure of “Good Will” in the form of a bag of gold coins. You are free to spend these coins however you wish during the course of the business relationship. The cover design is completely wrong? Spend some coins. The marketing plan appears weak. Spend some coins. And as time goes by and positive things happen you receive more gold coins for your bag.

However, many authors make the mistake of spending their entire bag of coins the first time something goes wrong. And then the next time they need a favor or a special dispensation there isn’t any “Good Will” left.

I think there are three areas where these relationships can break down.

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What if You Get a Book Deal on Your Own and Then Want an Agent?

One of our readers asked this via the green “Ask us a question” button.

What happens if you get a book contract before you have an agent? What if, by some miracle, an editor sees your work and wants to publish it? (1) would having a publisher interested in my work make an agent much more likely to represent me, and (2) would it be appropriate to try to find an agent at that point (when a publisher says it wants to publish you)? My fear is that querying an agent and receiving a response could take several months, but I’d need to accept a potential contract with a book publisher right away (I would think). Is it appropriate to ask the editor to speak with an agent on your behalf to speed the process?

This is a great topic but there are a few questions within the question. Let me try to break it down.

Many times have had authors approach us with contracts in hand and seeking representation (happened just last week). Of course this will get an agent’s attention immediately. But there are caveats:

a)      Who is the publisher? There is a big difference between a major company and your local independent publisher. Not all publishers are created equal (see the Preditors & Editors warnings).

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Do I Need an Agent?

The “Your Questions Answered” Series __________ I would love to hear more advice about finding an agent or if we really need one. I’m planning to teach a Zoom course on this topic through ACFW on September 18. Here is their link: ACFW conference. If you are planning to attend, I’d …

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Prayers of a Literary Agent

I prayed about becoming a literary agent. My friend and agent, Steve Laube, had asked me to consider it. So I told him I’d pray and think on it. Doggone it, I did; and just over three years ago I joined The Steve Laube Agency as not only a client …

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