Where to Find Professional Editors

As I said last time, if you’re self-publishing, you need a professional editor. But where do you get one? There is no licensing standard for editors. Anyone with a fondness for reading and a bent for grammar can declare themselves an editor and start seeking clients. Many sites exist to pair this sort of freelancer with writers, but beware. At such sites, pricing often becomes a race to the bottom. Continue reading

Digital publishing does not impair sales

Pardon me while I take a break from the Elements of Fiction series to address this article published by the New York Times: “I Was a Digital Best Seller!”

The writer, Tony Horwitz, calls his story “a cautionary farce about the new media and technology we’re so often told is the bright shining future for writers and readers.”

The short version: Horwitz was promised a hefty advance to do a long-form investigative journalism piece about the Keystone XL pipeline. First the financial backer pulled out, and then his digital-only publisher ran into some trouble. Continue reading

Awards for Christian Speculative Fiction

In the run-up to the Realm Makers conference, the Christian SpecFic community has two awards programs going to celebrate our genre. Both awards will be presented at the conference.

The Clive Staples Award is presented by a group of fans led by writer and editor Rebecca LuElla Miller. It is a readers choice award, with nominations coming from SpecFic fans. Continue reading

Writers need professional e-mail addresses

When you’re just starting out, it doesn’t matter what your e-mail address looks like. But when you reach the point of submitting to publishers or even self-publishing, you need a professional e-mail address.

Make that especially if you’re self-publishing.

The self-published author is a businessperson, and needs a businesslike address. So use Wacky Writer at yahoo dot com all you like while you’re going through the rounds with your critique partner or writing coach. But when you’re ready for the big time, you need an e-mail that’s Your Name at yourname.com. Continue reading

Marcher Lord Press sold

Marcher Lord PressThe Christian Speculative Fiction community is a-flutter today over news that Jeff Gerke, founder of Marcher Lord Press, sold the five-year-old company to Steve Laube.

Laube is a literary agent with an appreciation for Christian Speculative Fiction, having represented Bryan Davis, Sharon Hinck, and Tosca Lee. Gerke intends to focus on freelance editing and book production services. Continue reading

New marketing podcast for novelists

My Rating: ★★★★★

Thomas Umstattd of Author Media teamed up with author James L Rubart, owner of Barefoot Marketing, to produce a great new podcast: Novel Marketing.

novel marketingWithin the first hour or so of walking into any writers conference, you’ll hear someone complain about marketing. People bemoan the loss of the “good old days,” when, legend has it, all an author had to do was write a book and everyone would buy it without the author doing any selling.

In Episode 1 of Novel Marketing, Umstattd shoots that down by pointing out that in those old days, very few books got finished, let alone published, so readers had fewer choices. Now, there are millions of choices. Continue reading

The best times to post to social media

Q: I belong to a bunch of social media networks, including Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Google+. When is the best time of day to post my content if I want to get noticed?

A: I have no idea. So I’ll turn this answer over to the folks at fannit.com, who know way more about the topic than I do: Continue reading

Take your book proposal above and beyond

In the past few weeks, we’ve talked about putting your proposal together:

What to include in a book proposal
How to write your author bio
How to write a synopsis of your novel
How to write a synopsis of your nonfiction book

That covers the minimum you can include in your proposal. But here are some extras that can take your proposal the extra mile. Continue reading

How to write a synopsis of your nonfiction book

The synopsis for a nonfiction book differs from that of a novel because it needs to be broken down into more detail. In nonfiction, even if you’re telling a story, as in a history book, you are building a case using facts that need to be aligned in logical order. The nonfiction synopsis will reflect that.

The main thing your nonfiction synopsis must include is a clear benefit to the readers, demonstrating what they will learn from reading your book. Because if you can’t articulate this, you’re not ready to pitch. Continue reading

How to write a synopsis of your novel

The synopsis is an important part of your book proposal. The first thing to understand is the difference between the query letter and the synopsis. The query or pitch letter gives just a teaser of the story. The setup, the primary conflict, and a little about yourself. It’s purpose is to entice the editor to ask for the proposal.

publish book agentThe synopsis is part of the proposal, and it details the whole storyline of the novel. A query letter should only be a few paragraphs. The synopsis can be up to a page. Some editors allow even longer.


The synopsis encapsulates the story as succinctly as possible, while informing the editor about the following elements: Continue reading