Want to start building your author platform, but not sure how? Check out these quick and easy tips below for getting your online presence up and running! Continue reading
Ah, the dreaded p-word. “Platform” is an all-encompassing term that can include blogs, websites, social media, speaking events, TV/radio appearances, celebrity fame, and other outlets that help an author connect to readers, writers, and other gatekeepers in the literary industry. Jane Friedman describes it best: “an ability to sell books because of who you are or who you can reach.”
At one time, nonfiction authors were the ones who had to worry about platform—they had to prove there was an audience who wanted to read about their particular memoir, advice, or topic. But now, most fiction writers are expected to have a platform too. The content of a story always comes first, but many publishers want to see an author’s connections in the early stages of the game. So let’s take a look at frequently asked questions about all things platform for fiction writers. Continue reading
Let’s pretend (only for one horrifying second) that the content of your manuscript didn’t matter.
Yes, I know. It’s awful. But bear with me.
Let’s pretend that it didn’t matter how good or bad your actual writing was, and that an editor only focused on the other pieces of your submission—your platform, your hook, etc.
Okay, now you can stop pretending. That was pretty scary, right? Don’t worry—content is always going to be the #1 concern for an editor. However, it isn’t the only concern. So let’s dive into the other elements of a submission an editor considers when thinking about acquiring a book. Continue reading
I recently had the pleasure of hosting an open call for submissions through the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). In one month, I received over 800 submissions for picture books, middle grade, and YA.
I wanted to make sure I gave each book the proper time and attention, but 800 is a lot! I usually know within a few sentences of the email submission whether or not I am going to keep reading, which means first impressions are absolutely vital. In the end, I only brought about 10 manuscripts before my acquisitions board. For those of you with math skills like mine (meaning I had to use a calculator), that’s just 1.25 percent.
So how do you get into that 1.25 percent? How can you get your query to stand out to an agent, an editor, or a publisher? Well, look no further. I’ve created a handy, five-point system to help you get past the inbox and onto the acquisitions table. Continue reading
The world of querying agents is gray and murky at the best of times. Signings and acceptances are rare, and rejections—when they are sent at all—are generally something to the effect of “your book is not the right fit for me at this time.” Not quite the feedback the aspiring writer needs! So how do would-be authors make their query letters stand out among the hundreds or thousands agents receive each month? Read on for tips and advice on your top six querying questions, from finding the perfect agent to making yourself marketable. Continue reading