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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

News You Can Use – May 29, 2012

Self-Publishing: Under 10% Earn a Living – An article out of Australia makes a bold claim. I would claim, however, that only 10% of traditionally published writers earn a living too. Of course that depends on your definition of “a living.”

100 Best First Lines from Novels – In honor of the last two weeks where we talked about “first lines” I found this article from the American Book Review that chooses the top 100.

Stephen King’s 20 Tips for Becoming a Frighteningly Good Writer – Jon Morrow extracts the best parts from King’s book on writing and then applies it to the blogger.

Six Ways Copyeditors Make Your Book Better – Linda Jay Geldens makes an excellent point. Never skip this step before putting your work out in the public.

The No-Tears Guide to Podcasting – There are many who say podcasting is an excellent way to extend your platform and engage your readers.

Two Excellent Articles about Commas: Their use and misuse – written by Ben Yagoda
Fanfare for the Comma Man
The Most Comma Mistakes

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15 Latin Phrases Every Writer Should Know

15 Latin Phrases Every Writer Should Know

Persona Non Grata
“An unwelcome person” (lately defined by some as a literary agent) Habeas Corpus
“You have the body”  (The legal right to appear before a judge.) Cogito Ergo Sum
“I think, therefore I am.” For a writer it would be “Sribo ergo sum” E Pluribus Unum
“Out of many, one” Quid Pro Quo
“This for that” or in other words, “You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” Ad Hominem
“To the man” During an argument or discussion, when one party attacks their opponent’s reputation or expertise rather than sticking to the issue at hand. Soli Deo Gloria
“Glory to God alone” – a motto of the Reformation. Johann Sebastian Bach would sign his compositions with the initials S.D.G. Caveat Emptor
“Let the buyer beware” (before you use the “1-click” feature on Amazon.com) Memento Mori
“Remember your mortality” (also the name of an album by Flyleaf) Caveat Lector
“Let the reader beware”   (be nice to your reading audience!) Sui Generis
“Of its own kind,” or “Unique” – a key principle in copyright or intellectual property law Veni, vidi, vici
“I came, I saw, I conquered” – A message supposedly sent by Julius Caesar to the Roman Senate to describe a battle in 47 BC. For the writer? “Veni, vidi, scripsi” (I came, I saw, I wrote) Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam
“For the Greater Glory of God” – see 1 Corinthians 10:31. Johann Sebastian Bach also used the initials A.M.D.G. Mea Culpa
“By my fault” – or in common language today, “My bad.” Pro Bono.
“Done without charge” – Incorrectly used by fans of U2.
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Keys to a Great Synopsis

When I posted my ideas on some Keys to a Great Book Proposal, a few writers said they were challenged to write a synopsis. I agree that writing an interesting synopsis is difficult. However, it’s not an element you want to omit from your proposal because a synopsis orients the editor to the book’s contents. Here are my answers to often-asked questions:

1.) Do I need a chapter-by-chapter synopsis?

For fiction, no. I think I get this question a lot because years ago, a popular and respected editor I worked with asked for this type of synopsis. This is because some authors the editor worked with sometimes took liberties with the plot once they sat down to write the complete book. The book the editor received was different from the one contracted! Hence, this requirement. I got in the habit of writing this type of synopsis and found it helpful when I wrote my books. I knew exactly where I was going and why, as well as what my chapter cliffhangers would be. Working this way is a discipline that gave me confidence. I recommend that writers try this method at least once to see how they like it. But I don’t ask for this in a proposal because few fiction editors want to see a synopsis presented in this manner.

However, nonfiction proposals do need a chapter by chapter breakdown to explain what each chapter will contain. This is because often in nonfiction, chapters are loosely connected by a topic but can be read as separate entities. Readers may skip around with nonfiction books, gleaning information they need and discarding the rest. So this type of synopsis is helpful for nonfiction proposals. However, I do recommend summarizing the purpose and theme of the book in an overall description of a couple of paragraphs as well, then moving on to the individual chapter descriptions.

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What’s MY Line? (First Lines – Part Two)

I loved reading your favorite first lines last week. Isn’t it amazing how the right first line sets the stage, how it can pull readers out of reality deep into the story that’s being woven around them? I’m always awed at the power of the written word.

As I said last week, a group of writer friends likes to share the first lines of their works in progress. JUST the first line. Not the first paragraph, or even the first two lines. All we can share is that one, lonely line. And you know what? It’s been so helpful to do this. Because I realized, as I played from time to time, that my first lines weren’t as strong or emotive as they needed to be. And that, far too often, those first lines only had impact when combined with the second line.

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