14 Tips to Love Writing Again

love writing again

When we think of writing, we often think of the sexy parts. The inspiration of the muse! The poetic prose, flowing on the page! The readers whose lives are about to change! While all that’s well and good, the truth is there’s nothing sexy about the butt-in-chair time required to actually write that book. If … Read more

Editorial Topic: Just One Space

editorial topic

Remember the days when we learned to type in school? “Remember, kids, the way you break up a sentence when you type is by putting two spaces after a period. Got it?” Those days are over. Today, every major style guide, including The Modern Language Association Style Manual, the Oxford Style Manual and the Chicago Manual of … Read more

Three Really Good Reasons You’re Not Writing

not writing

Recently I was chatting with a new friend of mine, a teacher and leader in her field, about the fact that I help birth books for a living. She covered her face in her hands and said, in a muffled voice, “Oh dear. I’m supposed to be writing a book!” She was embarrassed to admit … Read more

Memoir vs. Autobiography

memoir vs autobiography

Both these terms point to a similar genre: Books about one’s own life, written from one’s own perspective. Yet the word “autobiography” points toward a biographical summary of one’s life, written by oneself. It generally begins at birth and continues through the present day, recording one’s accomplishments and failures, trials and successes, over a long … Read more

Twenty-Five Publishers Who Want Your Proposal

book proposal

So. You’ve put the finishing touches on your book proposal. You’ve taken your idea, fleshed it out into an outline, and concisely explained who will read it, what they’ll get from doing so, when they’ll need your book, where they’ll find it, and why you’re the best person to deliver the goods. This is a … Read more

Why You Need An Editor

need an editor

What a fun job I have, getting to walk writers just like you through the process of becoming authors. It’s something I’ve been doing for 20 years. Yep, I was just 23 years old when I walked through the doors at the Hearst Book Group to interview for the Editorial Assistant position I eventually accepted. … Read more

Three Steps to Estimating Your Word Count

feature image for estimating your word count article

Today, we diverge from our regularly scheduled program to bring you a math lesson. Groan. I know. But if you’ve spent any time working on a book proposal, you know that one piece of information prospective agents and publishers want to know requires you to do some futuristic math. Even though you haven’t written the … Read more

Why Protecting Your Book Idea is the Last Thing You Need to Worry About

book idea

Many new authors come to us very concerned about protecting their intellectual property along the road to publication. How do you know that your ideas are safe during the process of editing, sending queries to agents and finding a publisher? This inquiry is no surprise to me. Putting our work out into the world can … Read more

The Power of a High-Concept Book Hook

book hook

Hook you say? What’s a hook? That, my would-be author friend, is the question I am answering in this video! A “hook” is the one- or two-sentence description of what your book is about. And it’s the first thing you want to present to agents, editors and readers. The more high-concept and narrowly tailored your … Read more