before I wrote stories, I listened for stories. Listening for them is
something more acute than listening to them—just waiting and hoping
for one to come out like a mouse from its hole.” - Eudora Welty
Finding an agent
can be both daunting and scary. As the pool of agents seems to grow
from month to month, it is important to know how to evaluate any
agent you might be considering—while that agent is evaluating you.
agents these days will offer you a contract—rather than taking you
on with a handshake. Although those contracts vary from agent to
agent, it is important that any agent contract you sign offer you the
protections you—and the agent—need to develop a successful,
The following list will point out most of those
elements. (1) It will indicate that this agent is your exclusive
agent—or if some of your writings are to be exempt—will specify
what is exempt. (2) It should indicate exactly what services the
agent is going to provide for you—such as finding publishers for
your works, negotiating contracts, keeping you informed of any
activity on your projects—including sending copies of rejections,
making sure your publishers abide by the terms of your contracts,
accepting or rejecting offers as you decide after consultation with
your agent, checking royalty statements for accuracy, and making sure
payments are made on time. (3) The agent will expect you to inform
them and let them deal with any problems that arise between you and
the publisher. (4) The agent will expect you to inform them if a
publisher shows interest in one of your projects. You should not
enter into any kind of an agreement with a publisher on your
own—that’s what the agent is for. Your interference at that point
could jeopardize the agent’s opportunity to get the best deal for
you. (5) The contract should indicate what percentage their
commission will be (typically 15%). It is typical that the royalty
statement will go to your agent (so they can check it for accuracy),
the agent will deduct their percentage, and send you the balance.
This is one reason you want an agent you can trust explicitly. (6)
You want an agent who does not charge set fees, but it is typical
that an agent charge for certain office expenses, such as phone calls
and photocopying. The contract should specify this, require an
itemized list of expenses, and put a cap on how much they can charge
for such expenses without getting your permission. (7) If your agent
involves a co-agent for selling such things as foreign rights, it is
typical that they charge a 20% commission that they split with the
co-agent. (8) And finally, you always want a clause that indicates
how either of you can terminate the contract—such as with 30 or 60
days written notice.
Dayton Book Expo (DBE) is excited about six years of connecting authors and readers! For 2015, we have more opportunities to help you reach your audience including the Book Lovers Journaland promotional support from the Dayton Metro Library.
If you want to meet hundreds of book lovers face-to-face, you'll receive
Nominations for the 2015 Christian Small Publisher Book of the YearAward will close on November 15, 2014. This award honors books produced by small publishers each year for outstanding contribution to Christian life. Nominations are being accepted in 14 categories.
“Book awards are one of the most effective and affordable means of gaining recognition for small publishers and independent authors,” says Sarah Bolme, Director of Christian Small Publishers Association, the sponsor of the book award.
Any small publisher or independently published author can nominate books for the award. Books must be published in 2013 or 2014 by a publisher with annual revenues of $400,000 or less. Nominated books must be Christian in nature and intended for the Christian marketplace. All nominated books must be printed in English and for sale in the United States. Nominations must be received by November 15, 2014.
Christian retailers and book readers will be invited to vote on the nominated titles in February and March 2015. The winners of the award will be the books that receive the most votes.
Complete guidelines, eligibility, categories, and the nomination form can be found on the Christian Small Publisher Book of the Year Award’s website at http://www.bookoftheyear.net.
Christian Small Publisher Book of the Year Award was established in 2007 by Christian Small Publishers Association (CSPA) to bring recognition to quality Christian books by small publishers and independently published authors. Publishers and authors do not need to be a member of CSPA to nominate a title for the award.
About Christian Small Publishers Association (CSPA)
CSPA exists to represent, promote, and strength publishers in the Christian marketplace. The association represents over 100 member publishers producing materials for the Christian marketplace and is a supplier member of CBA. Christian Small Publishers Association can be found online at www.christianpublishers.net.
Q. I have a dilemma based on the
fact that I sent the same article to two different women’s
magazines. One was a major publication and the other a smaller one.
My problem is that the smaller one responded first indicating they
wanted to buy it. However, I’d prefer to sell it to the larger
one—which has not yet responded. Now what do I do? If I withdraw it
from the smaller one—especially if they see it later in the large
one—will I hurt my chances of selling to them in the future? Are
simultaneous submissions really a good idea?
A - I am assuming
that you told both of these publications that this was a simultaneous
submission. If not, you need to let them know that right away. If you
did tell them, then the fact that you reject one in favor of the
other is not a problem—they know that is a possibility when they
accept simultaneous submissions. Your problem now is one of timing.
If you hear from the larger market fairly soon—and they accept the
piece—then you simply let the smaller one know that and offer them
future reprint rights if they are interested. (You would have to wait
until it is published by the first periodical before you can offer
reprint rights.) However, if the larger publication does not respond
in a timely manner, then you may have to simply go with the offer
from the first—an offer you don’t want to jeopardize in case the
larger publication eventually rejects it. Simultaneous submissions do
save a lot of time, but you have to be willing to deal with this kind
of problem if you go that route. You could lessen the problem by
sending the simultaneous submissions in different batches to
publications of similar size in each batch.
Q - I’d like to quit my job and
write full-time. Is it possible for a freelancer to make a career in
writing—and actually make enough to live on?
A - You don’t
say how much you are writing now or what kind of a track record you
have in writing. If you are starting cold—with few or no writing
credits—then the answer is definitely No—keep your day job. Few
people make a living solely by writing. In order to even consider
quitting your current job, you would need to have developed a
reputation as a writer who is good at a particular kind of
writing—such as feature articles (which pays the best) or on a
specific topic of broad interest. You need to be well enough known
that editors come to you with assignments. It helps if you are
contributing regularly to particular magazines or have regular
columns that you write monthly. It’s also a plus if you have books
on the market that are earning regular royalties. In other words, you
must develop a viable career before you make that leap to full-time
We could not be more excited about our upcoming conference and even more so about our keynoters.
Thursday Night/Movie Night
On Thursday evening, enjoy words of wisdom from Hollywood veteran Brian Bird. Brian is known for such works as Touched by an Angel, Step by Step, The Shunning, Saving Sarah Cain and (as one of the writers of) the upcoming The Captive, the true story of Ashley Smith who was held captive in her Atlanta apartment by Brian Nichols, an escaped rapist.
And, even more exciting ... we will have a private showing of the film on Thursday after Brian's keynote address.
Throughout the conference, Brian will also lead a continuing class, From Screenplay to Hollywood, given in four sessions that will cover:
Part 1: How to Make the Audience Fall in Love: It’s all about Act One
Part 2: Which Comes First - Plot or Character? YES!
Part 3: The Hero’s Journey: The Id, the Archetypes and the Mythic Orchestra
Part 4: Adaptation: How to survive the adaptation process when you or someone else is turning your book into a movie
If this is something you think you'll benefit from, then we encourage you to sign up for FCWC 2015 at: www.FloridaCWC.net.
Don't Forget the Scholarships
We have two full scholarships this year. Check them out:
We're already hearing that the advanced critique spots are being lapped up! Don't miss your chance to meet for a half hour with members of our illustrious faculty to talk about your pre-critiqued work. For more information, click HERE.
Contests! Contests! Your Chance to SHINE!
Finally, don't forget our contests. Sign up for the conference now and receive the awards banquet free!
Nazarene Publishing House (NPH) and Beacon Hill Press of Kansas City will be closing as of Dec. 1. The announcement was made in an Oct. 3 pastoral letter to the board of general superintendents.
The general superintendents wrote that they were “deeply saddened” by the decision, but said that all NPH employees, of which there are 60, will retain their positions Dec. 1, with a severance package if they remain as employees through that date.
NPH has served Church of the Nazarene denomination for 102 years, offering holiness literature, music and resources. Beacon Hill Press has published 35-45 trade books a year. NPH has published Sunday school curriculum under the WordAction imprint and music under Lillenas Publishing.
The board also reflected on the “many profitable years” of NPH.
“A great deal of the income that has been generated through NPH has been poured back into the mission and work of the church, even beyond the walls of the House," the board said in the letter. "Recent years have been more financially difficult. Due to shifting cultural circumstances, including changes in the church, NPH has found itself having to adapt to new paradigms in order to maintain financial stability and sustainability. Net profits have decreased dramatically over the last decade to the point that the company was forced to draw heavily on financial reserves to stay afloat. The economic downturn of 2008 only deepened the pending crisis.”
The board noted that with the election of a new leader for NPH in 2012, “plans were laid for yet another change in paradigm for NPH, including the acquisition of a new business unit for NPH.” Unfortunately, the board concluded, “it did not work. It was a miscalculation on many levels.”
In the last year, steps have been taken to “rescue what we could,” the board said. A crisis management team is now in place, and a task force has been appointed “to help envision how holiness material will be provided for the future.”
The letter hinted at a the possibility of a future, new publishing configuration.
“While the current business model of NPH will be closing, this new way will continue to provide the necessary resources to educate and equip our pastors and laypersons around the world. NPH maintains resources that will help give birth to a new, dynamic publishing model.”
NPH is in the process of shipping the December-February curriculum and intends to ship the March-April-May curriculum in December.
Baker Publishing Group named Brian Thomasson senior acquisitions editor. He formerly served as editorial director at Waterbrook/Multnomah and senior editor at NavPress. He will work from his home office in Monument, CO.
My apologies! I just returned from the writer's conference at East Texas Baptist University where I gave a keynote address, and taught four hours of workshops. Just prior to leaving home, I was shut out of the Internet, so was unable to warn you that I would be gone for four days. Anyway I'm back and have no other travel plans for the rest of the year. Am trying to catch up today, so should be back on track sometime today.
you tell the reader that Bull Beezley is a brutal-faced, loose-lipped
bully, with snake's blood in his veins, the reader's reaction may be,
'Oh, yeah!' But if you show the reader Bull Beezley raking the
bloodied flanks of his weary, sweat-encrusted pony, and flogging the
tottering, red-eyed animal with a quirt, or have him booting in the
protruding ribs of a starved mongrel and, boy, the reader believes!”
- Fred East
Q. Can you give me two or three of
your best tips for writers?
The first would be to do some serious marketing research. Use the
Christian Writers Market
identify several potential markets for what you write; read the
market guide listing for each one; copy their guidelines from their
Website (or send for them); read them, using two colors of
highlighters—one for statements that indicate the market is right
for you, the other for statements that would disqualify your writing.
If magazines, get sample copies and read them cover to cover, making
notes on anything you discover. Then start submitting regularly to
each magazine you determine is a fit.
book publishers, copy the guidelines from their Website (study
carefully) and order a copy of their catalog, if available. Check
catalog to be sure they don't already have a book on your topic. Buy
(or borrow) and read two or three books from publishers you are
interested in submitting to. Prepare your book proposal exactly as
they indicate in their guidelines.
second tip would be to attend a writers' conference—at least once a
year, if possible. If you are a beginning writer, you can learn more
about the publishing business in those few days at a conference then
you will by reading a lot of books. You will also start making those
important connections with agents, editors, and other writers—plus
learn so much about your area of writing from the workshops you
attend. If you are more experienced, those connections to potential
agents or editors will be critical to your success. Editors are much
more likely to buy from writers they have met than from complete
strangers. Take every opportunity to speak with editors about your
writing projects. Chances are they will not buy your book on the
spot, but you will be laying a foundation for future sales. Just be
sure to select a conference that will best meet your needs at the
moment. Some conferences offer only instruction (great for beginning
writers), while others have either a limited number of agents or
editors in attendance—or a large number of them. Choose wisely.
third tip is to write! And to write a lot. All the marketing savvy or
conferences attended make little difference if your writing is not
good. It's easy to fall into the trap of spending too much of your
time talking about writing, attending conferences or writers' groups,
immersing yourself in social media, and anything else that keeps you
from the computer. Time spent writing should come before any other
writing-related activities. Never wait for the best time to write—or
until you can get away for uninterrupted time. A writer writes—no
matter what the situation.
“Imagine that you are dying. If you had a terminal
disease would you finish this book? Why not? The thing that
annoys this 10-weeks-to-live self is the thing that is wrong with the
book. So change it. Stop arguing with yourself. Change it. See? Easy.
And no one had to die.” ― Anne Enright
we enter the fall months, it’s natural to start thinking about the
holidays and those holiday pieces you could write. Unfortunately you
are way too late for this holiday season. However, it could be a good
time to come up with ideas for next year.
Many new writers don’t realize how far ahead most
publications start working on future holiday issues. Some work as
much as 18 months ahead. Newspapers
may have a lead time as short as three or four months, but most
publications are working 9-12
If you like doing holiday pieces, I would encourage you
to seek out those publications that produce holiday issues (many do
not). The best way to locate those is using the topical listings
in the Christian Writers' Market Guide under “Holiday/Seasonal.” After you identify some possible
markets for your holiday pieces, you might want to make up a
submissions calendar that indicates how far ahead you must submit to each
Keep in mind that it’s best not to wait until the last
minute to make your
submission to a particular publication. Editors will be nervous about
filling out their holiday issues and will be hoping to find
appropriate material early. If producing holiday materials is one of
your specialties, editors will start watching for your submissions.
Writing Friends--I apologize for getting today's tips to you so late. Had a computer problem and couldn't get into the Internet until this morning. Gremlins at work. Anyway, I'm back in operation with more tips for you.
What if getting more people paying you $3,000 or more for a one-hour speech was actually EASIER than you thought?
Steve Harrison will be interviewing four speakers – who all make a health six-figure income from speaking – on a free webcast this Monday, October 20th, from 7:00 pm – 9:30 pm Eastern (4:00 pm – 6:30 pm Pacific).
Dear Writer, Earlier we sent you an invitation to enter our latest contest for writers which offers a grand prize of $500.00 and $1,000.00 in total prizes. If you’ve already sent your entry, thank you. But if you haven’t entered yet, there is still time before the November 7th deadline for manuscripts. To save time, we encourage sending your entry online. Writing to an editor’s specifications is the first hurdle that any writer must clear on the track to publication. Yet we hear repeatedly from editors that the majority of manuscripts they receive do not match their guidelines and specifications. That’s a huge waste of time and energy for both writers and editors. Writing contests also have exact specifications, and that’s why we encourage all writers to enter contests as often as they can. Contests are excellent professional training experiences.
Get published and read by others
A winning entry can get you published, and often some healthy prize money too. The winning stories in this Kindergarten Story Contest will be published in the January eNews newsletter. In addition, we will publish the winning entries our website.
Win one of five cash prizes
The contest offers five cash prizes: $500 for the winner, $250 for second place, and $100 for third, fourth, and fifth places. These alone are a lot of good reasons to write and enter. To enter our Kindergarten Contest, submit a fiction or nonfiction story about family, friends, life, play, or school—really anything—for ages 5 to 6, up to 150 words. The story should be appropriate for kindergarteners who are just learning to read on their own. It should be fun, use appropriate vocabulary and syntax, and be interesting to youngest readers. Please take care to not write too high for this age group. Know what a five- or six-year-old can and cannot read. Originality and the overall quality of writing will be important. Publishability is the ultimate criterion.
Entries must be received by November 7, 2014
Entrants pay an entry fee of $15, which includes a six-month subscription to Children’s Book Insider newsletter and a six-month membership in the writer’s community CBI Clubhouse. Winners will be announced in the January eNews newsletter.
You may enter multiple manuscripts, but please use an entry form and enclose a $15 reading fee for each one.
The contest’s rules are important. Please read them very carefully. Note the November 7th deadline! Be sure to get your entry in on time. Our online entry alternative is the fastest option. Now warm up your computer and write a $500-winning story a Kindergarten reader would love to read. Get published. Get paid. Good luck! Please click here to enter. You’ll need your Account Number to enter; it is 011879B.
Sincerely, Judy Brunstad P.S. As someone who has reviewed writing competitions for many years, I can tell you that nothing hurts an entry more than exceeding the word limit. Don’t fall out of the running because of this easy-to-meet spec. This contest limit is 150 words. Please remember to count your words before you submit your entry!
I have a very special and time sensitive gift for you.
For the month of October, I and 20+ other book marketing experts (who have collectively sold MILLIONS and MILLIONS of books) are joining together in an online event to share how we'd sell 1,000 books in 21 days, something most authors NEVER DO!
Through Wed. Oct 15th (tomorrow), Ryan Mendenhall of Author's Catapult (the host of the Book Marketing Summit) is letting my subscribers watch the entire 1st week of interviews from the 2014 Book Marketing Summit for FREE.
After Wednesday you'll need to get an All Access Pass for $97 to see these interviews. So act fast!