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Three Essential Books That Will Immediately Improve Your Writing

forbes.com – Monday February 1, 2016

So many business accomplishments are dependent on the quality of your writing. And if you’re serious about improving your writing, nothing will help you more than to closely read, actively underline, and diligently apply the lessons you can learn from these three books.

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The book agent's touch

straitstimes.com – Sunday January 31, 2016

Literary agents are the gatekeepers and tastemakers of the book world, deciding an unpublished manuscript's fate even before a publisher does. No wonder then that Mr Jonny Geller, joint chief executive officer of the Curtis Brown agency, was last year named among Britain's 500 most influential people by long-established society watcher Debretts.

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Want to Succeed in Self-Publishing? Be Realistic: Tips from an Indie Author

publishersweekly.com – Saturday January 30, 2016

After working as a network TV producer and writer for 40 years, Terry Irving finally sat down and wrote his debut novel, Courier. He landed an agent, but when he lost his job at Bloomberg News, he started looking into self-publishing. And then, on the day he was going to make the book available to purchase online, he got a call from his agent. “A British publisher was going to read it on his vacation. So, I halted the mighty CreateSpace presses and in a week, the publisher returned from whatever sandy beach he was relaxing on and sent me a letter so full of praise that I still have it framed and mounted on my wall above my computer so I can read it when I feel down. I got a contract and basked in the glow of being a published author.”

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Breaking into writing: a few thoughts

denofgeek.com – Thursday January 28, 2016

Should you write for free? How do you get noticed if you want to write for a magazine or website? A few thoughts right here...

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Can You Land an Agent or Book Deal at a Writers Conference?

huffingtonpost.com – Wednesday January 27, 2016

Yes! Look, you can't call up HarperCollins and say, "Hello! I've written a great book, could I please speak to Mr. Harper or Mr. Collins?" If you're an unknown quantity, and you aren't sleeping with someone at a literary agency--or even if you are, in some cases--it's virtually impossible to get face time with a publishing professional, be it an agent, editor, or publisher. Your blind query is usually dropped with a plop into the slop of the dreaded and aptly named slush pile, where it is then skimmed over by an eighteen-year-old unpaid intern. The fate of your book, the object of your passion and hard work, is frightfully beyond your control. Luckily, at the best writers conferences and workshops, and even some of the top-drawer bookfairs and festivals, you can personally meet, speak with, and sometimes even pitch to real publishing professionals. We know. We've met amazing writers at all of these places and helped them get book deals.

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Getting Beyond Writer's Block

huffingtonpost.com – Tuesday January 26, 2016

Is there a "Right" way to write? In a word, "No."

What works for you does not necessarily work for another. Getting started is generally the first barrier to overcome. Most individuals get stuck and procrastinate when it comes to writing something longer than an e-mail. They don't want to look foolish or write anything that may be sub-par.

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Who dunnit? Top tips for writing detective fiction

theguardian.com – Tuesday January 26, 2016

From red herrings to maguffins to double identities, Knightley and Son author Rohan Gavin shares the secrets of writing great detective stories.

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A lonely story: the perils of writing in solitude

theguardian.com – Monday January 25, 2016

It worked for George Orwell and Henry Thoreau – but for Adrian McKinty, a retreat deep in rural Australia was a very sad tale indeed.

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Could 'method writing' be the future for novelists?

bbc.co.uk – Saturday January 23, 2016

Could writers benefit from the same tactics as method actors, who immerse themselves in extreme surroundings in order to prepare for a role?

Every February, as the Oscars roll around, movie fans revel in stories about actors who have gone to extreme lengths to prepare for parts.

Daniel Day-Lewis learned to track and skin animals and fight with tomahawks for The Last of the Mohicans, while, more recently, Leonardo DiCaprio plunged into an icy river and sank his teeth into a hunk of raw bison while filming the Oscar-nominated film The Revenant.

Actors going to such lengths has become more common in recent years and a cynic might argue it certainly did not harm their film's publicity, but given the apparent success of their technique, could working in a similarly immersive way also benefit novelists?

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What publishers should do

boingboing.net – Saturday January 23, 2016

You can’t work at a book publisher for more than five minutes without someone telling you what publishers should do. You know, “to survive.” “Be relevant.” Something.

Even literary agents, who should know better, will get in on this action. One of the most prominent agents in New York, seated next to me at an event a few years back, took the opportunity to lecture me through the appetizer course on how book publishers should band together and “build their own Amazon” to sell books. Digital disruption = solved.

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