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Yes Virginia, There are Publishers Who Don’t Require Agent

authorlink.com – Tuesday August 1, 2017

In 1897, eight-year-old Virginia O’Hanion asked her father if there really was a Santa Claus. Not quite knowing how to answer, her dad suggested she write a letter and ask The New York Sun. This prompted the most reprinted editorial in all English-speaking newspapers to this date: Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.

Today, as writers, we often ask the same question over and over, thinking like Virginia O’Hanion, that we possibly we know the truth but aren’t quite sure. Only our question is if there are any big publishing houses that take books directly from authors or if an agent must always connect the deal. For years we’ve been told there is no such animal, but then every once and awhile, we hear of an author who made a deal alone. 

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Publishers who want new readers must challenge their genre boundaries

thebookseller.com – Tuesday August 1, 2017

By now you’ll most likely have heard of The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead.

The American writer's alternate history novel is less a subterranean secret, more a juggernaught of buzz that’s currently crossing genre borderlines with the speed of a runaway express.

Winner of the Pulitzer and the National Book Award, Booker long-listed, lauded by Oprah and feted as “fantastic” by Barack Obama (the last book he read in the White House, and thus allegedly the last book read by a US President to date), The Underground Railroad has just added the 2017 Arthur C. Clarke Award for science fiction literature to its roster of accolades.

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5 Writing Tips From Stephen King's Twitter To Help You Pen Your Bestselling Novel

bustle.com – Tuesday July 25, 2017

It's always helpful for aspiring writers to get advice from their heroes, so whenever Stephen King shares writing advice onlineeveryone takes notice. And Stephen King's latest piece of advice is so short and simple it will have writers across the world scrambling for a pen to make edits to their latest manuscript, and remove Stephen King's least favorite phrase. According to a tweet recently posted by King, writers should never use the phrase "for a long moment."

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Is the ebook a dead format?

thebookseller.com – Monday July 24, 2017

Nowadays, the ebook has a reputation for technological conservatism - so it is easy to forget that there was significant anticipation for the Kindle’s arrival ten years ago.

In a 2009 editorial, The Bookseller declared the device was “a giant leap for all”. The Kindle was frequently compared to the iPod’s transformative effect on the music industry. No wonder - the ebook format promised several advantages. Users could adjust typographic settings for improved accessibility; there was an increased level of portability; and the move to digital distribution promised the ability to purchase publishers’ extensive back catalogues.

But despite the early promise of the ebook, many are questioning whether it has lived up to these expectations. In recent years, the ebook has faced significant backlash amid reports of declining sales in trade publishing. The Publishing Association Yearbook 2016 noted a 17% slump in the sale of consumer ebooks while physical book revenue increased by 8%. Over the last couple of years, audiobooks have replaced ebooks as digital publishing’s critical darling on the back of a rapid increase in revenue. In this climate, several commentators have asked “how ebooks lost their shine.”

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What Does A Book Editor Do? Macmillan's Rhoda Belleza Has Some Insight On The Covetable Job

bustle.com – Thursday July 20, 2017

If you're anything like me, you're a readers who is super interested in book publishing, and what goes on behind the scenes of your favorite books. The books we hold in our hands have all had massive journeys — from the author sitting at their computers or notebooks banging out the words, to you holding that brand new crisp hardback in your hands.

There are literary agents and book packagers and so many more people who get a book from A to Z. But one of the most well known of these people is probably the book editor. These are the people who help take an author's work from good to great — the people who get it ready to hit the shelves (and, hopefully, the bestseller list.) But, whether you're just interested in learning more about the industry or you actually want to break in yourself, you might find yourself wondering what, exactly, a book editor's day to day looks like.

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10 Books On Writing To Read If You Don't Have The Time (Or Money) For A Workshop

bustle.com – Saturday July 15, 2017

Look, I know that in a perfect world every aspiring writer would have workshops full of peer reviewers, and infinite funding for their MFA, and a golden typewriter. But unfortunately, we live in an imperfect world, in which most writers work three or more day jobs and survive off of dry pasta and mug cakes. Never fear, though: even if you don't have the time or funds to enroll in a high-end writer's workshop, you can still pick up a few tips on how to write well. Writers love nothing more than to write about writing, after all. So here are a few books to read if you don't have time for a writing workshop.

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10 Writing Rules You Can (and Should) Break

publishersweekly.com – Friday July 14, 2017

Let me begin by reminding you—and myself, because of certain things we must routinely remind ourselves, too—that there are, in fact, no rules in fiction. Like, none. (Hell, in this context, the word rule should probably even appear in quotes, just as, say, “reality” has since—when?—1920? 1945? ’53? From November 8, 2016 on, for sure.) And also by reminding us that this general rulelessness is almost certainly a big part of what made us want to write the stuff in the first place. (Remember that joyful whoop that would surge through the classroom whenever Teacher announced that the next assignment was to be creative? Exactly.) Why, if we wanted to follow rules we would’ve leapt to become the low-to-mid-level employees that we’ve had to be anyway in order to buy ourselves all the time we need to learn how to not follow any goddamned rules for a change. Because, regardless of what all these rule enforcers like to tell themselves and others, breaking rules really means writing new ones of your own, which, of course, is way harder than simply following the ones other people came up with. But regardless of how you feel about rules, so long as you’re willing to break them now and then, here are 10 that you should absolutely have at:

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Vermont author says writing what you know isn’t always the best practice

mvtimes.com – Wednesday July 12, 2017

Jeffrey Lent takes a hammer to the popular advice for young writers, “Write what you know,” and shatters it. In his new book, “Before We Sleep,” 17-year-old Katey Snow goes on a journey of self-discovery. The story follows Katey, her mother Ruth, and her father Oliver in a tiny Vermont town in the 1960s as they grapple with the aftereffects of World War II.

Lent, who, to maintain transparency, is my uncle, has written numerous historical fiction books including “In the Fall” and “A Slant of Light.” He will be on a panel at “Islanders Write” on August 14, talking about how to write believable characters from a different gender. I sat down with him recently to talk about gender in literature, and why it’s important to go beyond what you know.

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How To Launch Your Freelance Writing Career

forbes.com – Wednesday July 12, 2017

There is lots of content out there about what a great career freelance writing is. And they make it look so easy. You just hook up with an agency, take gigs from job boards, sign up on “bid to write” sites, and life becomes wonderful – you can sit on the beach, just write, and make boatloads of money.

If this is what you think launching a freelance writing career is all about, then you may be looking in the wrong career direction.

Granted, freelance writing is in high demand, has a low barrier to entry and is suitable as a side gig for students or 9-to-5 workers. But, becoming a successful freelance writer and making good money involves lots of work and some lean times before you achieve a good income. Here are six strategies you can use that will build your business steadily.

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Want to know the secret to writing a great crime novel?

irishtimes.com – Saturday July 8, 2017

Can You Keep a Secret? is the name of Karen Perry’s forthcoming novel. It is applicable to the content and action of the narrative of the novel but not to how it was written, or any other novel for that matter. Because there is no secret. No formula, no magic potion, and no short cut to what goes into the writing of a novel. And it doesn’t matter what genre we are talking about. It doesn’t matter whether the novel is a thriller, a mystery or a literary novel. Yes, that’s right, the literary novel is a genre, too. Each genre comes with its own codes and conventions, but that does not mean there is a formula.

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