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

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 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

What to include in a book proposal

For the last several weeks, we’ve focused on getting ready for a conference. So you go to a conference, pitch your book, and the editor says, “That sounds like it has potential. Send me a proposal with your first 50 pages.”

And your stomach caves in, because you don’t have a proposal.

Agents and editors often say that many of the people they make this kind of offer to don’t respond. I believe that’s because writers are paralyzed by fear and therefore don’t move.

Hear me: It’s better to send a bad proposal than none. Continue reading

How to pitch a book

When attending writers conferences, many people get extremely nervous about meeting with editors and agents. I know I certainly have. It’s understandable. The key to remaining calm when you pitch a book is realizing, first, that agents and editors are just regular folks doing their jobs, and second, that you will get many, many rejections before you get an acceptance. When you start understanding “no” as just another tick on your list of things to do, it gets much easier to move on. Continue reading

Finding the right editors and agents to pitch

One of the most important reasons to attend a writers conference is the opportunity to meet directly with editors and agents to pitch your manuscript. It’s been my experience that pitching in person has a much greater success rate than sending query letters. By “success” I mean getting a request for the proposal.

If you’re dealing with an editor directly, the submission process usually goes something like this: Continue reading