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Our Service Philosophy

CONTENT

To help the author develop and create the best book possible. Material that has both commercial appeal and long-term value.

CAREER

To help the author determine the next best step in their writing career. Giving counsel regarding the subtleties of the marketplace as well as the realities of the publishing community.

CONTRACT

To help the author secure the best possible contract. One that partners with the best strategic publisher and one that is mutually beneficial for all parties involved.

Recent Posts

It’s A Brave New World

I’ve been in publishing for lo, these many years (over 30), so you’d think the work would be pretty much second nature for me. Not so! In fact, just this last week I did something completely new!

I edited a book, in four days, using Skype and Dropbox.

The amazing thing about this isn’t that the author and I got the book done so quickly, but that it was SO MUCH FUN! We parked on Skype for hours, so that if I had questions as I edited a chapter, I could just ask him, and if he had questions about the editing, he could just ask me. It was like being in the same room together, but without the expense or stress of travel. And I discovered that doing the edit this way gave me a fresher understanding of what the author wanted to say. It also enabled us to do a bit of arm wrestling when we disagreed on something, but to do so with humor and kindness. When you deal with issues over the phone or in email, you always run the risk of misunderstanding because folks can’t see your expressions or body language, or hear the tone of your voice. With Skype, those risks were gone, so we handled a couple of sensitive issues without frustration or misunderstanding.

And that, my friends, is a miracle!

So how does this affect you? Well, as I was working with this author, I started to think about all the other ways we, as agents and authors, could use this technology:

When you know a conversation is going to take more than a few minutes, use Skype (or whatever video calling option you have). Seeing each other, being able to read expressions and body language, to hear tone of voice, goes a long way to heading off misunderstanding.

Use video calling when you’re communicating with someone you don’t know well. I didn’t know this author at all before I stared working with him. But now I feel as though I’ve had an editing retreat with him, and he’s become a friend.

Writers, use video calling if you need to hash things out with your editor. Face-to-face works so much better than email and phone calls.

Are you collaborating with another writer on a project? Use video calling to brainstorm, discuss, and edit your project.

Writers could also use video conferencing to:

  • Mentor other writers
  • Have a critique group with other writers from across the country (Skype has group conferencing)
  • Brainstorm your books together
  • If you’re stuck on your work and need some help, video call a writer friend and brainstorm together. Or just take a coffee break together. I have a good friend who lives in Illinois. When I lived in Illinois, she and I loved to do coffee runs together to Starbuck’s or Caribou Coffee. I’ve missed that time with her so much, so I proposed doing a coffee run on Skype. It’s working out great!

These are just a few of the ways we can jump into this technological world and use it not just for meetings, but to enrich our relationships and writing.

So hey, why not give it a try? You may find that you enjoy it even more than I do.

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The Perfect Christian Woman … According to Christian Publishing

This lady…

Lives a Purpose Driven Life and
Knows the Power of a Praying Wife.

She practices Five Love Languages and
Will not be Left Behind.

She spent 90 Minutes in Heaven
And is convinced that Heaven is for Real.

She is both Captivating and Radical
Because she Kissed Dating Goodbye and
Has developed a Mary Heart in a Martha World.

She wears Blue Like Jazz and keeps The Shack spotless
While making a Case for Christ.

She secured Dinner with a Perfect Stranger and
Appreciates a man who is Wild at Heart and More Than a Carpenter.

But ultimately the Christian Publisher is most attracted to and admires the perfect Christian woman because she is…
Amish.

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The Unhelpful Rejection Letter

Have you ever received an unhelpful rejection letter that says, “Sorry, but this just isn’t a fit for us.”? I have. And I’ve also written more of these rejections than I’d like to admit. In fact, after I write this post, I may just have to send out twenty more.

Some authors write back to say, “Can’t you tell me what I can do better? What suggestions do you have?” I’m sure I frustrate writers when I tell them I can’t comment further. As a published author in my own right, I understand why writers want feedback. So now let me tell you why I don’t feel it’s in your best interest for me to offer feedback when the answer is a firm no.

Lead Me On

When you were in high school, you kept from encouraging people you didn’t want to date, right? Sometimes those people were nice and would make a great match for someone else. Just not you. You hated the fact you couldn’t, in your heart of hearts, be passionate enough about spending time with them to accept invitations for dinner. But how to tell them without gaining an enemy forever? Ouch!

I don’t want make writers, especially my lovely friends, think I’m going to introduce their work to editors if I have no intention of doing so. If I tell you, “Well, I’d like this better if the heroine’s eyes were blue and her name was Sally,” and you changed both factors and sent it back to me, you’d expect me to pursue your work. Now, in truth, I might think your book would be better with blue-eyed Sally instead of green-eyed Sarah, but another agent might disagree. Unless I’m serious about pursuit, it’s better for me to keep my opinion to myself.

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News You Can Use – Mar. 6, 2012

Your Average Facebook Post Only Reaches 12% of Your Friends – Exposing yet another challenge to the world of marketing, either through traditional means or through social media.

New French Law Seizes Digital Rights – “Any book published in France–which would include translated foreign-language books–that went out of print in France–not necessarily elsewhere–before 2001, can be scanned into a database.” And then be made available without compensation.

It Has Come to This in Hollywood – GCB. Fire up the TiVo for that one… Good grief.

From Idea to Store Shelf – I love these kind of stories. Shows the incredible “curation” it takes for a good idea to become great and then what it takes to bring it to market. There are many parallels to the writing and publishing industry here.

Give it Five Minutes, Then React to an Idea – A good reason why appointments at a conference are 15 minutes long.

Free Mac Tools That Make Writing Easier – Agree or disagree? What tools do you use? And if you are on a PC, what do you use?

Anatomy of a Successful Press Release – Try writing one for your own book. Discover that is ain’t easy.

Eight Basic Don’ts for the Beginning Novelist – Steve Moore provides some great stuff. Good reminders for those who think they know this already.

This is a very clever ad for the British newspaper, “The Guardian.”
Click to view “The Three Little Pigs.”

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