land an agent for self-published book

How to Land an Agent for a Self-Published Book

If you've given up on the self-publishing route and want to try traditional publishing, then there are several approaches you can take to interest agents.
multifaceted

How Crowdfunding Allows You to Experiment Outside Your Genre

Established writers can't often—and probably shouldn’t—publish far outside of their area of expertise. It’s a fast way to alienate your existing fan base. But crowdfunding allows you to experiment outside of your genre for a project you want to see out in the world.
hiring a pro editor

Should You Hire a Professional Editor?

But being able to truly see if you’ve been successful in writing a compelling work requires objectivity and distance than can be hard to achieve on your own—and this is where a professional editor comes in.
literary publishing

My New Series of Columns on Self-Publishing

I'm writing monthly for the IngramSpark blog, which is focused on the concerns of self-publishing authors and small presses.
advice on publishing and marketing

My Latest Advice on Book Publishing and Marketing

Get links to my latest interviews and Q&A sessions where I discuss the publishing industry as well as marketing and promotion.
Emily Grosvenor, Tessalation

Using Kickstarter to Fund a Children’s Picture Book

Author Emily Grosvenor explains how she has constructed a Kickstarter campaign for her children's book, Tessalation!
Into the Nanten

5 Steps to Great Cover Art

Author Jay Swanson explains how to find and work with cover artists.
query letters for nonfiction

How to Write a Query Letter: Nonfiction and Memoir

Learn how to pitch your nonfiction book to agents and publishers—whether you're writing memoir, narrative nonfiction, or prescriptive nonfiction.
A lit red hand of a crosswalk sign.

3 Ways You’re Sabotaging Your Chances with an Agent

Editor and writing coach Rebecca Faith Heyman discusses three ways you might be sabotaging your prospects with an agent (and how to improve your chances).
What You Need to Know About Crowdfunded Publishing   

What You Need to Know About Crowdfunded Publishing  

What is crowdfunded publishing? Learn about the two types of models now prevalent, plus the major services you can choose from.
How to Get Your Book Published

Updated & Expanded: How to Get Your Book Published

I've revisited my No. 1 post on how to get published—adding more advice and instruction.
Writer's Digest (October 2014)

The Evolving Role of the Literary Agent

In the most recent issue of Writer's Digest magazine, you'll find my feature article, "The Evolving Agent." I discuss how literary
Both Sides Now: A New York Editor and Author Goes Indie

Both Sides Now: A New York Editor and Author Goes Indie

Today's guest post is by author Leslie Wells. I’ve been on both sides of the publishing desk—as an acquiring executive
Illustration by Helena Perez / Flickr

5 Mistakes You’ll Make on the Way to Publishing Success

Today's guest post is by Carmen Amato (@CarmenConnects), author of The Hidden Light of Mexico City and the Emilia Cruz series. You
Steven de Polo / Flickr

How to Write a Competitive Title Analysis

The following post has been excerpted and adapted from The Author Training Manual by Nina Amir, recently released by Writer's
by ChaoticMind 75 / Flickr

6 Ways Micro-Publishing Strengthens Your Author Career

Micro-published books are short, tight, and swift. A meaningful discussion of micro-publishing has been pushed aside during the ongoing tug-of-war between traditional publishing and independent publishing (self-publishing). But we are well beyond “everyone is a writer” at this point. We have progressed into “everyone is a publisher,” if they wish to be—and we have been living in this realm for some time already. Fortunately, micro-publishing benefits the industry as a whole by bringing some much-needed simplicity and directness into a publishing equation that is often weighted down by its own complexity and contracts. And it also benefits you, the writer.
Infographic: 4 Key Publishing Paths

Infographic: 4 Key Book Publishing Paths

This infographic breaks down the key 5 publishing paths, their value to authors, the potential pitfalls, and examples of each.
Getting Lucky

How to Increase Your Odds at Getting Lucky

Learn how self-published novelist Ransom Stephens landed a two-book deal with Amazon—without even querying.
Small presses

Better Than Fall Back: The Small Press Option

Some writers think a small press is something you have to make the best of. Yet small presses can often serve as a first—even best—option. Three case studies show why.
A photograph of several bookstore shelves loaded with books.

Why Editors Focus on Page One

Editors can tell within a couple pages if a manuscript will be acceptable to them. How? What makes this decision so clear to an editor and so muddy to an author?
Photo by Caro Wallis / Flickr

Submission: 6 Rules of Thumb From an Editor-Turned-Writer

Today's guest post is by writer and editor Jennifer Niesslein (@jniesslein), who is based in Charlottesville, Virginia. I’m experiencing karma.
Understanding the 5 Key Book Publishing Paths by Jane Friedman

Infographic: 5 Key Book Publishing Paths

This infographic breaks down the key 5 publishing paths, their value to authors, the potential pitfalls, and examples of each.
Should you self-publish?

Should You Self-Publish? 15 Questions

Self-publishing is not for every writer—you must have specific traits. Ask yourself the following 15 questions before you decide to go it alone.
Knocking on doors of traditional publishers

How Long Should You Keep Trying to Get Published?

Don’t you wish someone could tell you how close you are to getting traditionally published? Don’t you wish someone could say, “If you just keep at it for three more years, you’re certain to make it!" Or, even if it would be heartbreaking, wouldn’t it be nice to be told that you’re wasting your time, so that you can move on, try another tack (like self-publishing), or perhaps even change course entirely to produce some other creative work?
Bradlee Frazer

Q&A on Copyright With an Attorney

By far, I receive the most questions from writers on copyright, mainly due to this post: When Do You Need to
Copyright symbol

Copyright Is Not a Verb

Today's guest post is by copyright lawyer Brad Frazer. He has written two other posts for this site: Trademark Is Not
The Birds Tree by ploop26 / DeviantArt

Why Self-Publishing Is a Tragic Term

Today's guest post is by Ed Cyzewski. You may recall him from his previous post here, When Self-Publishing Is More
Flickr / Giovanni Orlando

Is Your Work Commercially Viable?

Writers often ask, "How do I get published?" But I don't like to answer that question until I know what
blog to book

Please Don’t Blog Your Book: 4 Reasons Why

It's been a trend ever since I worked full-time as a book acquisitions editor: Blog-to-book deals. I acquired or oversaw
Writer Unboxed

5 Attitudes Toward Publishing You Should Avoid

Today I'm over at Writer Unboxed, discussing the types of attitudes that make me want to issue red-flag warnings to
photo by André Freitas

How Do You Know If Your Agent Is Any Good?

I recently received the following question from a writer who wishes to remain anonymous: Every new writer wants to know
Speaking at SXSW PubCamp 2011

My Best Advice for Writers From 2011

Last week I shared 12 Must-Read Articles From 2011. Now I'm going to share a list of the best advice
Publishing Perspectives

Serial Fiction: An Old Form Made New

Yesterday, my feature article for Publishing Perspectives went live: Experimenting With Serials for Fun and Profit Here's a little excerpt:
The Secrets They Kept by Joanne Tombrakos

What Good Salespeople Know That Writers Should

Today's guest post is by author and business person Joanne Tombrakos. What ultimately spurred my decision to self-publish was a
Writer Unboxed

Do-It-Yourself vs. Professional Help

Yesterday was my regular contribution to Writer Unboxed. I discussed how some independent authors are putting their work out there with
Writer's Digest (October 2011)

Book Proposals in the Digital Age

I started my first publishing job in 1998, and I immediately started reviewing nonfiction book proposals as part of an
Going Geek by John Carpenter

Using an Agent to Get on Kindle

I've been keeping an eye on John Carpenter and his book project ever since we first started having conversations on
Midwest Writers Workshop

The Basic Pitch Formula for Novelists

At the Midwest Writers Workshop, an agent panel gave some wonderful, straightforward advice about how to construct your pitch. You
Reading Notebook #29: When the Author Became More Important Than the Publisher

Reading Notebook #29: When the Author Became More Important Than the Publisher

From "Talent Grab" by Malcolm Gladwell, The New Yorker (October 11, 2010) … a parallel revolution was taking place in
Reading Notebook #18: There's More Bad Writing Than Ever

Reading Notebook #18: There’s More Bad Writing Than Ever

From an interview with Clay Shirky over at the Barnes and Noble Review: I’ve always adopted the Bill Burroughs mantra,
Here Comes Everybody

Reading Notebook #17: Technology Brings Author Empowerment—Yet A New Struggle to Surpass Average

As I was reading Chapter 4 of Here Comes Everybody, I was struck at how Shirky's description of the power