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Posts Tagged ‘tips’

How To Land A Literary Agent: Don’t Bury Your Sales Hook

LiteraryAgentSo the hardest part’s over. You’ve written a book. Congrats! Now, on to a new challenge — selling it. You’ve heard all the self-published success stories, but eBooks and print-on-demand tomes aren’t your thing. You want your writing to be traditionally published. If that’s the case, the first thing you’ll need is a literary agent.

In the latest Mediabistro feature, literary agents give tips for aspiring authors who want to go the traditional publishing route. One thing to remember? Agents and publishers are in the book-selling business, so don’t bury your sales hook:

“As I’m reading [a submission], I’m paying attention to my gut response: Are readers going to enjoy this and want to keep turning the page?” says Rachelle Gardner, an agent with Books & Such Literary Agency. “Then the other side of it is, regardless of my gut response, can I sell this? And could a publisher sell this to readers? And if so, how?” Gardner recommends writers clearly communicate the sales hook in their initial submission. As in, don’t expect the agent to automatically assume that your cozy mystery featuring a stay-at-home mom turned amateur sleuth will be targeted to unfulfilled women in middle America.

To hear more tips on how to get yourself an agent (and a book deal), read: 6 Tips To Land A Literary Agent.

The full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.

Mediabistro Course

Novel Writing: Editing Your Draft

Novel Writing: Editing Your DraftStarting July 16, workshop your novel in-progress with a published author! Erika Mailman's course will function as a workshop, with the emphasis on sharing your work for review and providing critiques for your peers. By the end of this class you'll have up to 75 pages of you novel workshopped and developed patterns to improve your writing. Register now! 

Chris Baty, Founder of NaNoWriMo: “Anyone Can Write A Book”

ChrisBaty

Chris Baty started a writing movement by accident. At the time, he figured it was just another one of his bad ideas and convinced five of his friends to join him in writing a book. Today, there are more than 226,000 participants signed up for NaNoWriMo, hoping to crank out a novel before the month’s end. Here, he discusses the catalyst for his success, what he’d like his legacy to be and why he believes anyone can be a writer:

The NaNoWriMo concept kind of suggests that anyone can write a book. Do you think this is true?
Oh my god, yeah. And I think everybody can write dozens of novels. You look back to the time when we were kids, and if you gave me a stick that I could make into a toy, I was basically good for seven hours. We were all so imaginative at a young age, just sort of running amuck in our imaginations and pretending. All of that is still in us. When we hit puberty, we start to do this thing where we ask, “Am I good at this?” We’re looking around and we’re seeing other people who are better than us at these things. That’s when we start to shut down those parts of ourselves.

For more on NaNoWriMo and Baty’s tips for novel-writing success, read: Hey, How’d You Start A Fiction-Writing Revolution, Chris Baty, Founder Of NaNoWriMo?

– Aneya Fernando

The full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.

Writing Advice From Terry McMillan

Terry McMillan is the New York Times bestselling author of eight novels, including the now-classic Waiting To Exhale. Now, 25 years since her debut, she’s back with Who Asked You?, a multi-generational family saga that is already being applauded by critics. In the latest installment of So What Do You Do?, she tells Mediabistro about creating memorable characters, the challenges of writing from the perspective of an eight-year-old and the pressure of living up to all the hype:

You’re known for writing such authentic characters. How do you keep them all straight?
Well, first of all, it’s not as hard as you would think. If you take [people] that you know really well, and you had to capture them on paper — their gesticulations, how they talk, how they think — from what you know about them, you could do it. But before anything, I do a lot to profile my characters so that I know them. I know almost everything about them, in terms of their educational background, how tall they are, what color they are, what they like and don’t like, what their favorite class was in school, what they’re afraid of, what their biggest secret is, if they lie, if they pay their bills on time, what they wish they coulda, woulda, shoulda done, etc., etc.

To learn more about Terry McMillan’s writing process, read So What Do You Do, Terry McMillan, New York Times Best Selling Author?

Aneya Fernando

5 Job Hunting Tips for Comic Book Artists

DC Comics editorial art director Mark Chiarello headlined a talk at New York Comic Con called “DC: Talent Search.” During the event, Chiarello (pictured) shared some handy job hunting tips for comic book artists looking to break into the industry.

1. Be prepared to pitch publishers at conventions. Bring photocopied samples of your work as well as a portfolio containing original work.

2. Make your editor happy. He explained: “No editor wants a new person coming into the door and being a jerk.”

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Jennifer Weiner Offers Screenwriting Tips

Author Jennifer Weiner introduced her new novel Then Came You at Barnes & Noble Union Square this week . The novel was inspired by the New York Times article, “Her Body, My Baby: My Adventures with a Surrogate Mom.”

Weiner (pictured) explained how she came to be the co-creator and executive producer for the ABC Family television series, State of Georgia. During her time in Hollywood, she worked closely with the show’s writers.

Weiner also hinted at her current projects. Her next book will star a failed Hollywood producer and she is working on a dystopian tale about infertility (a book reminiscent of The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood). Attendees left with signed books and free whoopie pies.

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