If you're an unknown quantity, and you aren't sleeping with someone at a literary agency--or even if you are, in some cases--it's virtually impossible to get face time with a publishing professional, be it an agent, editor, or publisher.
As a writer, professional editor, and former intern for one of the top literary agencies in New York City, I've seen my fair share of query letters. A number of minor issues tend to pop up fairly consistently, but there's one mistake I see writers making again and again.
To reach Salt Cay, fly into the Lynden Pindling International Airport in Nassau (Airport code: NAS). From there, a 45-minute taxi ride brings you to your accommodations at the Comfort Inn Suites on nearby Paradise Island.
We first met Roxanna Elden at Miami Dade College where we were teaching a class on publishing. From the second she opened her mouth (which she did frequently) it was obvious she was a published author waiting to happen.
It's called Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast, and it's a ripping barnburner full of outlandish action, heroic and dastardly characters, roller coaster rhymes and some absolutely fabulous illustrations by Brendan Kearney.
The book publishing world has been in tremendous flux in recent years, but I had no idea how much so until I began researching options for my own book about how to defend your reputation online. Here's what I have learned so far about the current state of publishing.
Understand that according to most agency agreements, your previous agent will be entitled to receive compensation for sales they made while you were under contract with them, even though you are no longer working together.
Some people will waste a lifetime waiting for the Gatekeepers. I was almost one of those people. By nature, I'm a rule follower. Even unwritten rules. If there's a way something is "supposed to be done," that's how I'll do it. When I finished writing my first novel, I queried agents.
Countless self-help books flirt and kiss but rarely go all the way. Perhaps because for the most part it's the commercial appearance of value with their pretty fonts, lively testimonials, and convoluted messages that escape even the greatest cryptographer.
The Book Doctors first met Andy Ross at Cody's Books, which was one of the most influential bookstores on the West Coast, smack dab in the middle of Telegraph Avenue in book-crazy Berkeley, California.
Today I received another rejection from an agent. Another beating. Unlike previous form letters that felt impersonal, this one was bittersweet because I received it two weeks after the agent requested the full proposal.
Writing, like any profession, is a road forked with unexpected turns and sudden drops and stops. On occasion, when you reach what you expect is the successful end, you discover abruptly that the princess is in another castle.
We all have a story to tell. Our lives are our stories. That's why the memoir category exists--because we love to read biographies and memoirs of those names we know and the people we want to learn more about.
Of all the skills a literary agent is required to have, the most important is the ability to negotiate well on behalf of the author client. Authors hire agents to protect their business interests in publishing. How do you know if your agent is a good negotiator?
I watched live television coverage of the multicar accident for an entire day before recognizing my father's Chevy pickup pinned between two semi trucks. A news reporter at the time, I narrowly avoided being assigned to cover the collision that killed my father.
Meet Adria J. Cimino, author of Close to Destiny, and one of the publishers behind Velvet Morning Press. Cimino stepped away from both traditional publishing and the United States. After her move to Paris, she teamed up with author Vicki Lesage to form Velvet Morning Press.
The most important role of an agent is to be honest, even when you don't like that they're not on board with your most recent idea. That's when you trust their experience and their role within the publishing community and just let it go or chat about self-publishing options.
Last year I wrote a 360-page book that attracted the attention of one of the world's most celebrated literary agents. He was so moved by my writing that he immediately took me on as a client and, one week later, sold my book to one of New York's leading publishing houses.