Hollow Kingdom Book Event at Elliott Bay Books Tonight!

We’re pleased as punch that Kira Jane Buxton, a former Business of Books client, is having tremendous success with her debut novel, Hollow Kingdom–an inventive and unique tale told from the point of view of a foul-mouthed and courageous crow. We’ll be sharing more of Kira’s success story next week, but in the meantime, head over to Elliott Bay Books at 7pm tonight (9/19) to see her in person!


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Changes at BoB headquarters

7FA3062D-8026-480F-8DCD-BD7F0D667304As some of you may know, we have had some big life changes here at B.O.B. headquarters. First, Kerry up and moved to London—after a year in Mexico no less. Now, Jen has happily accepted her first full-time job in more than a decade: She is the new Editorial Director of Sasquatch Books in Seattle.

What does this mean for The Business of Books? Well, we’ll be a little less accessible for the next little bit. But we have faith in you and your DIY skills! To help support you on your path to publication, we’re offering a special on our Publishing Toolkit PDF. Normally $99, we’re offering a special sale price of $59 to make sure you have what you need to keep your book project moving forward. The Toolkit is more than 100 pages of publishing know-how at your fingertips, including a step-by-step plan to writing your proposal, an overview of publishing contracts and royalties, sample queries and proposals, and much more. We highly recommend this invaluable resource for anyone hoping to publish.

In addition, Kerry will continue to take on a limited number of long-distance clients on a case-by-case basis. Contact her at jenandkerry@gmail.com if you are looking for one-on-one help with your proposal, query letter, or submission list.

We will certainly miss doing our in-person talks and writers’ conference sessions, but we continue to be inspired by the hundreds of writers we’ve worked with, a good number of whom have become published authors. If you’re ever feeling stuck, check out some of our inspiring client success stories and know that you could be next. Get out there and submit your work. We’re rooting for you all the way!

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Client Success Story: New author Steve Murphy and the importance of perseverance

52058821-DA8C-4725-9229-BD6A07813915There is no one-size-fits-all publishing path for our clients. Steve Murphy is proof of that. When he took our course, we thought his book—never-before-published memoirs of George W. Quimby, a Civil War scout—had tremendous potential. Even more so after we discovered Steve’s connection to the material (he discovered the diary in 1989 in the attic of his father-in-law, a hoarder).

With admirable perseverance, he found the right home for it, and The Perfect Scout: A Soldier’s Memoir of the Great March to the Sea and the Campaign of the Carolinas was published in January 2018 by the University of Alabama Press. He talked with us about his journey to publication.

Would you share some insights you gathered during your journey to publication?
I conducted a web search to identify potential agents or publishers. I received over 50 rejections, and worked with one agent, who pitched it for 1.5 years to no avail. During the process, I took a Business of Books seminar on how to create a winning proposal, and then hired Jen and Kerry to conduct a 2-on-1 proposal review. They suggested retitling the project to The Perfect Scout. Working with Jen and Kerry was instrumental to my efforts.

Did you seek out professional services or other help along the way?
I engaged some legal services for assistance with copyright issues, contracts and MOU, in addition to taking a Business of Books class.

What surprised you during the publishing process?
The slow pace of the publishing industry! It was seven years from my first serious attempt—and four years after acceptance of the book by University of Alabama Press—to publication.

What’s been the best aspect about getting a book deal?
Actually getting this story to publication.

Did you find any creative avenues for marketing and publicity?
I joined the Puget Sound Civil War Roundtable four years ago. It’s a great place for spreading the word about the book.

What one piece of advice would you offer to burgeoning authors?
Persevere, be patient, never give up.

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No matter the continent, we’re here to help you get published

Uk-USA flagsAs some of you may know if you follow us on social networks, Kerry and her family have relocated to London for the immediate future. But not to fear! We are still very much in business – Kerry has basically opened our European office – and ready to help you realize your publishing goals.

We currently offer our Publishing Toolkit PDF if you are ready to create a book proposal, our popular two-on-one proposal review if you have a proposal ready to go, and expanded consults customized to your needs that will walk you through the proposal process. We can also help you compile a submission list and write a cover or query letter.

For more info, shoot us an email at jenandkerry@gmail.com. We’ve taught hundreds of writers and seen a good number of them become published authors. Check out some of our inspiring client success stories. We want to help you make your publishing dreams take flight!

Write on! Tally ho!

(photo: http://www.businessleader.co.uk)

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Success Stories Make Us Happy!

We’ve been extra-jazzed here at Business of Books headquarters the past few weeks, thanks to the successes of previous clients in Seattle.

This just in yesterday from Victor Rodriguez, who took our proposal-writing class at UW: “I just wanted you both to know; since I took your class, my short fiction has been accepted by three different publishers! I owe that success to you and the art of the well-crafted proposal. Thank you! What you taught us works like a charm.” We all know it’s tough to place short fiction, and we are thrilled for Victor’s success.

Anne McTiernan was in that same class, working on her memoir, Starved. Her book was published recently by Central Recovery Press to terrific reviews; beloved writing instructor and author Claire Dederer says: “Starved is an absorbing, and sometimes shattering, primer on abuse and resilience. Anne McTiernan mines her past to bring up the painful, real details that make this memoir sing—even as it breaks our hearts.” Wow. Congratulations to Anne!

Finally, our friend Geraldine DeRuiter, otherwise known as The Everywhereist, will see her memoir, All Over the Place, published in May. She kicks things off with an appearance at prestigious Town Hall in Seattle on May 4 (Seattle writers, you should totally come! Here’s the link for tickets.) You can read more about Geraldine’s path to publication here on our blog.

Remember writers, the process of finding the right match for your work can feel daunting if not impossible at times. But it DOES happen. Keep submitting and write on!

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Publishing Toolkit NOW ON SALE!

art Toolkit cover_265wideAs part of Small Business Saturday, we are offering our popular Publishing Toolkit at a 50% discount until Saturday at midnight. For $49, get 100+ pages of publishing intel and a step-by-step plan for creating a kick-ass proposal that will make publishers and agents sit up and take notice.

Purchase the PDF Publishing Toolkit here.


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One Day Only: Publishing Toolkit is 50% off!

art Toolkit cover_265wideThe Business of Books is the epitome of a small business: two friends and former colleagues sharing their experience and knowledge to help burgeoning authors realize their publishing dreams. From the beginning, we’ve relied on word-of-mouth recommendations to generate clients and fill our classes. We’d like to give back to our community on Small Business Saturday by offering our ever-popular Publishing Toolkit at 50% off: $49, instead of $99. This happens just once a year, and it’s Saturday, November 26, 2016.

In case you’re new to our services, the Publishing Toolkit is your best DIY resource on your path to publication. It’s an organized, comprehensive PDF of 100-plus pages of our insider intel to help you get published. This essential resource includes step-by-step instructions on how to craft a book proposal that will make agents and editors sit up and take notice, as well as an overview of important contract points, advances and royalties, how to create an author platform, and more. You’ll find worksheets and exercises to get the creativity flowing. It even includes two sample proposals to use as templates! Our clients rave about it.

Buy it as a meaningful gift for yourself or for any writer in your life. Just remember to buy it on Saturday! We’ll post the PayPal link here, on Facebook and Twitter on Saturday morning!


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Write now. Here’s why.

There is always an excuse not to write. Not to finish that book you’ve been working on for so long, or pursue that glimmer of a story idea. Not to bother.


Work. Kids. Stress. Fatigue. Fear. Feelings of inadequacy. THE ELECTION. Whatever else is going on in your life, in the world, that makes the act of writing feel futile, or even impossible.

How can you be expected to write when you are so overwhelmed?

Of course, this is exactly when you should write. The world needs your art. You need your art. The most difficult times are also the most important ones for expressing yourself. Write your truth. Write through your pain, your worry, your anger, your fear. Make yourself do it, if only—at first—to distract yourself for a while. Then remember how writing helps you figure things out. How it makes you see things in a new way. Write to help yourself, to help others, to share your feelings with a loved one or with the world. Write to connect. Write to heal. Write to empower. Write to learn. Write, write, write.

Cheryl Strayed recently shared this quote from James Baldwin:  “You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read. It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, or who had ever been alive.

Go forth and write, writers. We will try to do the same. Let’s encourage and support each other to keep at it. Share your progress in the comments!

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Kerry goes to Mexico! Publishing Toolkit goes on sale!

art Toolkit cover_265wideSummer is wrapping up and it’s likely your thoughts are turning to fall, sweaters, and books (hopefully your own!). Meanwhile, some exciting news is happening here at BoB headquarters. Kerry has decided to relocate to Merida, Mexico, with her family from September 2016–June 2017. She plans to learn Spanish (or at least her kids will!), travel, experience a new culture, and work on her own writing.

But do not fear! Even though she’s freaking out about Kerry’s run for the border, Jen will be holding down the BoB fort here in Seattle, and our popular 2-on-1 proposal reviews will still be available. If you’ve been considering this service, be sure to book early, as our availability may be a bit more limited. If you’d like to know more about these reviews, click here. (FYI: Jen will be teaching an author platform class as part of the Seattle Public Library’s Seattle Writes program on September 17 and December 10. More on those free workshops here.)

We’d also like to get you back in the swing of proposal progress by giving you a special offer. Our essential Publishing Toolkit is 100-plus pages of insider intel, including all sorts of publishing information, worksheets, key book contract info, marketing and author platform advice, and two complete proposals to use as templates. It is the best possible DIY guide for whipping your proposal into shape, and we recommend it to anyone planning to pitch a book. Until Sept. 15, we’re offering the Toolkit as a downloadable PDF for $69.

It’s rare that we put our $99 Toolkit on sale, so don’t miss the window—click here to order!

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New class from Nicole Hardy & Suzanne Morrison!

Some of you may be familiar with authors, writing instructors, and forces of nature Nicole Hardy and Suzanne Morrison. Some of you may have even taken their class, The Art of Getting Started. Well, they’re doing again, and this time bringing all new prompts to the table.

On July 16, this talented and insightful pair with host a one-day workshop designed to get the juices and words flowing. For anyone who’s stuck or just needs to jump-start their writing, this is the perfect way back into your work.

Here are the deets:

The Art of Getting Started Redux, with Nicole Hardy and Suzanne Morrison

In this one-day generative class, we’ll focus on how and where and why to begin. Both instructors will provide writing prompts, short readings, and discussion topics in a five-hour attempt to face down the blank white page. We’ll keep in mind what Hemingway said—“I write one page of masterpiece to ninety-one pages of sh*t. I try to put the sh*t in the wastebasket”—and fill our notebooks to brimming. Who knows what surprises we’ll find as we create the starts (or middles, or ends) of several new pieces.

When: July 16, 11am–4pm
Where: Tulinda Yoga Studio, 618 West McGraw Street, Queen Anne
Who: Suitable for beginning and emerging writers of fiction and creative non-fiction
How much: $200
: BYO, or buy nearby

To register: Send name, phone, and email to beingnicolehardy@gmail.com Payment arrangements will be made upon receipt, via Paypal, Venmo,  or personal check. Your payment in full confirms your registration and reserves your spot.

What to bring: Bring something on which to write, be it paper and pencil or laptop. (Please charge up before coming and bring your power cord, and we’ll do our best to accommodate your charging needs.) Please also bring your mobile coffee mug or water bottle and beverage of choice. And an extra layer always helps keep everyone in the room comfortable.

 Teachers: Nicole Hardy‘s memoir, Confessions of a Latter-Day Virgin, was a finalist for the 2014 Washington State Book Award. Her other books include the poetry collections This Blonde and Mud Flap Girl’s XX Guide to Facial Profiling, a chapbook of pop-culture inspired sonnets. Her work has appeared in literary journals and newspapers including The New York Times, and has been adapted for radio and stage. Her essay, “Single, Female, Mormon, Alone,” was noted in 2012’s Best American Essays. She earned her MFA at the Bennington College Writing Seminars, and serves on the board at Mineral School Artist Residency. Learn more at authornicolehardy.com

Suzanne Morrison is the author of Yoga Bitch (Random House/Three Rivers Press), which was a Crosscut Best Northwest Book of 2011 and has been translated into six languages. A recipient of 4Culture and Artist Trust grants, Suzanne is at work on a new memoir and a collection of short fiction. Her fiction and essays have appeared or are forthcoming in Litro, Salt HillWashington Square, Printers Row, The Huffington Post, and elsewhere. She teaches memoir and fiction at Hugo House and at Veteran Centers through the Red Badge Program. Learn more at suzanne-morrison.com.

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