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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

Your Brand is Not a Limitation

brand

It is All About Expectations

What if you bought a recording from a music group expecting their usual collection of ballads, only to hear guitar anthems? Or what if you picked up a book with a pink cover that promised a love story but ended up reading a novel where hapless and nameless victims suffered gunshot wounds on every page? You’d be disappointed, right? I would be. You don’t want to disappoint readers, so branding has become a consistent topic.

Your Best Friend

Some writers find the concept of branding to be limiting. When they think of branding the TV show “Rawhide” and cattle comes to mind.  And despite the awesomeness of such a theme song, they want to keep their options open.

While freedom to explore new avenues is desirable for growth, the fact is, writers need to first establish an audience. And to do that, their work has to be consistent in quality and content. The idea is to become a friend to readers, one they can rely on for certain reading value, whether it is fiction or non-fiction. Think about it — what if you had formed a relationship with a friend who consistently gave great advice from the context of her loving family and marriage. Over the years, you come to rely on her for Wednesday afternoon chats over tea in her cozy breakfast nook, watching birds from a bay window. In return, you might bring over some sugar cookies. You find comfort in her usual appearance — a white t-shirt and jeans, blonde ponytail and cotton-candy-pink lip gloss.

What Happened?

How would you feel if one week you kept your Wednesday appointment but were greeted by a stranger with cropped hair dyed the color of onyx, coal-black lipstick, a newly-pierced eyebrow, wearing black leather? Only this isn’t a stranger. It’s your friend. “How do you like my new look?” she asks. “I was tired of the old look and thought I’d spread my wings. And my husband? I threw him out and he took the kids with him. Oh, and I changed brands of tea. But come on in!” Would you trust her not to have spiked the tea as well as her hair?

Double Identity?

This isn’t a comment on fashion, it is a comment about expectations. This is akin to what happens to readers looking for a certain type of story associated with your name. Sure, you might be a cotton-candy-pink writer with a vampire novel sitting in your files. What with self-publishing, shouldn’t the vampire come out and play? Probably not a good idea. The idea of giving blood is not going to appeal to your audience looking for a sugar fix. If they happen upon the vampire novel, your readers devoted to light romance will be confused and disappointed. They will be looking for their friend. Granted, a very, very select few writers are able to write across genres and be successful at several. And others are skilled at using pen names and creating dual marketing identities. But that takes work and an intentional strategy to market to divergent audiences. For most writers, concentrating on a quality and valued friendship with a devoted audience is reward enough.

Your turn

Who are your favorite writers? And if you had to identify their brand, what would you say it is? (Remember a brand is not a slogan, that is a topic for another day.)

 

 

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Let Creativity Flow (Part Two)

I love the ideas you all shared about finding and sparking creavity. It’s fascinating to see how we’re all wired different. My next few blogs will share some additional things you can do to refill the wells of creavity. Have fun!

1. Disconnect from technology. Okay, don’t hyperventilate. But think about it. We have to be the most connected, available, interruptable people ever! Give yourself a break–literally. Shut off the phone, the computer, and anything else with an on/off switch. Focus on the silence. And what God has to tell you in the midst of it.

2. Regain Perspective. Remember, it’s not about you. Sure, it feels like it is, but it’s really not. It’s about what God wants to accomplish. So step away from yourself. Got mountains close by? The ocean? Anything bigger than you? Look at it. Let the sight of something truly huge and majestic remind you of your place in the world. And then remember that the God who created ALL of that beauty and majesty, not only created you, but CHOSE you as his child. And breathed into you His Spirit. And His creativity.

3. Go the other direction. Study something smaller than you (on a physical plane, that is). To to a playground and watch the kids. Take closeup photos of flowers, insects, leaves…whatever is around you. Look at the intricate way they’re made.

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News You Can Use – Jan. 17, 2012

Thank you for the overwhelming response to our survey last week. We had almost 100% confirmation that we should continue this feature. So you are stuck with it!

Publicity Calendar for 2012 – EVERY author should download this PDF and see if there is something they can capitalize on! This is a brilliant resource.

Write for Your Audience – An excellent article from a YA author on the challenge of writing for the market or writing for the acquisitions editor!

Publishers Should Publish Fewer Titles and Monetize Their Backlist – Mike Shatzkin, again, makes everyone think twice about the publishing industry.

The Writer’s Note Taking Tool for 2012 – I use this program every day. Indispensable.

Cell Phone Interrupts Symphony – I love this story. Hurray for the conductor!

Click through to view this great infographic on “Who is an Average Facebook User?”

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Deadlines and Taxes

Two certainties in the life of a writer. Deadlines and Taxes.

You know what a deadlines is. It has the word “dead” in it for a reason. And intrinsic to the reality of taxes is that April 15th filing deadline.

But what about those taxes?

Many articles appear in early April about taxes when approaching the filing date. But I thought we should explore a couple items now so there won’t be any surprises come April.

First, the obligatory disclaimer. I am not a tax attorney or a tax accountant. I am merely discussing concepts and ideas which you may or may not use in your situation. And, as always, when it comes to your taxes, make sure to consult a professional.

Some of you may roll your eyes and say, “I already know this.” But remember there was a time when you did not. I get many “beginner” questions each year from debut authors who are discovering much of the business side of this industry for the first time.

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