The blog for writers

The Book Deal

What 4 top agents desire in a memoir

Sometimes it seems like everyone's writing a memoir. You too? So how can you break out of the pack and and persuade an agent to take a look? Here are four accomplished literary agents, and they’re all selling memoirs. Scroll down to see some of the books they represent. These agents are the … [Read more...]

Can writing a book make you a star? Yes it can!

Just ask my author Lenore Skenazy, whose debut book Free-Range Kids – How to Raise Safe, Self-Reliant Children (Without Going Nuts with Worry) led to her own reality TV show, among many other surprises. We had a lot of fun working on the book together, but I’ll let Lenore tell the story: Here's my … [Read more...]

Wouldn’t you love an agent like this one?

Kimberley Cameron is a great example of how one innovative agent is dealing with the stonewalling risk-averse attitude these days of many mainstream commercial book publishers. “Traditional publishers are rejecting so many quality books we’re submitting, by both debut authors and those with a solid … [Read more...]

Women mystery writers break out of the shadows

The tired old stereotype of a mystery writer as some hard-boiled noir guy with a cigarette in one hand and a tumbler full of whiskey in the other is obsolete. Over. Done. Make way for Sisters in Crime, a nationwide organization of women mystery writers who are achieving commercial and literary … [Read more...]

Eavesdropping for story ideas and other tips from a veteran novelist

Today we have some sage advice for writers from a proven practitioner of the art and craft of literary commerce who’s had a successful career as a writer for more than 50 years. Warren Adler has published more than 32 novels and short story collections, including The War of the Roses, which was … [Read more...]

Prequels build buzz!

Have you heard what some savvy authors are doing to build excitement and attract readers to their upcoming books? They’re writing prequels: tantalizing teasers in short story form that preview the key characters and settings of an upcoming novel. Some prequels predate or provide backstories for … [Read more...]

An interview with yours truly about self-publishing

A while ago I sat for an interview with Brian Felsen, CEO of BookBaby, a service provider for self-publishing authors. He asked a lot of good questions for authors about working with an editor, getting published, and effective book promotion. Here’s the video, in which we talk about how the … [Read more...]

How to find a hungry agent

Here’s a literary agent who’s very specific about the kind of book she'd like to see in her inbox: “I love books with some kind of psychological element, like if the MC has a mental illness or if they can't trust their mind.” Working on anything like that? Or something close? Want to know more … [Read more...]

How winning a literary prize can change your life

“First, it got my book published,” says Kirstin Scott, whose novel Motherlunge won the 2011 Association of Writers and Writing Programs Award. “And with that, the prize gave me readers.” There’s no doubt that winning a well-respected competition can help validate your work with agents and … [Read more...]

Market sizzles for debut authors

“Editors still love a chance at debut fiction,” says Manhattan literary agent Michelle Brower. “If the book is unique and meaningful, the debut author doesn’t yet have a bad sales track record so we can look at their book with all of the rosiness of potential rather than reality” Good news That’s … [Read more...]