Category Archives: Publishing Series

Wouldn’t you like to have Jen and Kerry in a binder?

art Toolkit cover_265wideDid you know you could get all of our publishing insight and guidance in one crisp white binder? It’s true!

The Business of Books’ Publishing Toolkit made its debut last year to rave reviews. Chock-full of information on researching your idea, developing the key sections of a proposal, honing your submission list, sending out your proposal, and navigating contracts and the business of publishing, the Toolkit is a resource that can stand in for us and keep you focused and inspired. As one attendee said, “The toolkit has been extremely informative and helpful. It is an anchor that I’ll refer to again and again.”

We’re excited to share this material with other burgeoning authors, namely you. The Publishing Toolkit is $99 plus shipping. This binder provides 100+ pages of insider information and includes worksheets and two actual proposals (rarely seen outside of publishing circles) to guide you on your path to publication. Click here to purchase the Publishing Toolkit through PayPal, or email us at jenandkerry@gmail.com if you have questions. Write on!

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30 Days to a Winning Book Proposal Intensive Workshop Scheduled for 5/18

With our wildly effective proposal intensive, let 2013 be the year that you get a sweet publishing deal! Back by popular demand, we are offering our highly rated 30 Days to a Winning Book Proposal course. We are offering a full-day workshop on Saturday, May 18. We created this intensive program to illuminate each step of the book proposal process, breaking it down into an easy-to-follow 30-day plan. We will cover every aspect of the development process, detail how to write various components, and provide “homework” so you can move your proposal forward efficiently on your own. You’ll leave with a plan for an on-point proposal, ready to send to publishers or agents.

Included in this results-oriented workshop is the Publishing Toolkit: A Hands-on Resource for Burgeoning Authors. This binder is filled with all the notes and materials to develop your successful proposal from start to finish—including step-by-step advice, helpful exercises and worksheets, key information on creating a targeted submission list, and real sample proposals that have sold to publishers.

During this all-day workshop, learn how to build your proposal with a successfully proven 4-part program:

Part 1: Research & Refine Your Idea
Develop a winning book idea that will rise out of the slush pile. You will:

  • Hone a viable nonfiction or fiction idea
  • Learn how to research the marketplace and competition
  • Brainstorm formats
  • Develop a publisher and agent wish list

Part 2: Sell Your Book—and Yourself
Create a killer author platform and marketing plan that will demand attention. You will:

  • Uncover the many strengths and attributes that you can bring to the table as an author
  • Learn how to leverage social media and other venues to build a strong platform
  • Brainstorm a robust and creative marketing plan for your title

(At this point in the day, you’ll have an hour to grab lunch on your own.)

Part 3: Craft Compelling Copy
Focus your proposal with a great title and introduction, and reel in editors and agents with compelling text. You will:

  • Develop a strong opening pitch
  • Learn how to create a complete, detailed outline and on-point sample text

Part 4: Submit Your Proposal
Lastly, create a savvy final package and target the right publisher. Learn how to:

  • Draft an arresting query letter
  • Develop your submission list for agents or publishers
  • Discover the pros and cons of self-publishing
  • Get a basic grasp of advances and royalties
  • Put the final touches on your proposal submission.

Here are the details:
Saturday, May 18, 9:30am-5pm

Hotel 1000, 1000 First Ave., Seattle
$299
Register now

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Why You Should Submit to Literary Magazines

stack-of-magazinesWith all the recent changes in publishing, there’s been increased moaning about how hard it is to score a book deal—especially as a fiction writer without an author platform. We agree; it’s not easy. You need talent, a great book proposal (natch), perseverance, and also the luck to land on the right desk at the right time. But there’s something else that is often overlooked, something that can help your chances of being noticed and signed by an agent or publisher: publication in a literary magazine.

Sure, The New Yorker and Harpers publish short stories, mostly from established writers (though that shouldn’t stop you from trying). But what we’re talking about here are the many well-respected literary mags that pride themselves on showcasing short fiction from all sorts of writers, magazines like Glimmer TrainChicago ReviewPloughsharesZoetropeTinhouse, and Zyzzyva. McSweeney’s Quarterly trumpets the lovely philosophy that they’re “committed to publishing exciting fiction regardless of pedigree.” There are many more to choose from, including a wealth of regional options, from The Seattle Review to the South Dakota Review.

Yes, most literary magazines are small in circulation and have  little (if any) money to pay you. But publication in one ups your literary cred significantly. Remember, these mags are used as scouting grounds for young, hungry agents and editors looking to make their mark. Think about it: You’re new at an agency or publishing house, and you dream of discovering an unknown writer and signing him or her to a book contract before anyone else does. Where’s a good place to look? The pages of these magazines.

So even if you’re knee-deep in your novel, consider whether you have a short story that you can polish to a high shine and start shopping around. If you’re able to get it published, you just might get a call from an agent trying to pitch you, rather than the other way around.

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Filed under Publishing News, Publishing Series, The Business of Books with Jen & Kerry, Uncategorized, Writing/Publishing Tips

Write a Book Proposal that Leads to Publication in 2013

Books+in+a+bookstoreColburn and Worick are full of ideas, and love to brainstorm.

“There’s always room for new book ideas and fresh voices. “We’re taking back the New Year’s resolution as something that’s achievable and does not involve self-loathing.”

We were quoted in an article by Seattle Times columnist Nicole Brodeur back in January 2011, when we were launching The Business of Books. Since then, we’ve helped hundreds of burgeoning authors shape book proposals and learn about the publishing industry. A healthy handful of these writers have since published their books and realized their publishing dreams.

We want this to be the year that YOU realize your dream of publication, in whatever form that may be. To that end, we are offering our 30 Days to a Winning Book Proposal program as an all-day intensive workshop on Feb. 9.

During the day, we will cover every aspect of the development process, detail how to write various components, and provide weekly goals so you can move your proposal forward efficiently on your own. You’ll leave with a plan for an on-point proposal, ready to send to publishers or agents. Included in this results-oriented workshop is the Publishing Toolkit: A Hands-on Resource for Burgeoning Authors. This binder is filled with all the notes and materials to develop your successful proposal from start to finish–including step-by-step advice, helpful exercises and worksheets, key information on creating a targeted submission list, and real sample proposals that have sold to publishers.

If you’ve attended one of our events before, you know that we are committed to getting your book idea out of your head or drawer or flash drive and into the hands of publishing decision-makers, be it agents or aquisitions editors. Whether you are writing fiction or non-fiction, children or genre fiction, our proven plan will move your project forward. In just one month, you can have a savvy, solid proposal ready for submission.

For more information on our all-day workshop, which is $299 (which includes the Publishing Toolkit, a $99 value), check out the description on brownpapertickets.

(photo: itsjessicaslife.com)

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Series continues with “Craft Compelling Copy” on Feb. 15

Two talks in, we are thrilled to see that our attendees are doing the homework and assembling smart and focused book proposals that will soon be ready to send out into the world of publishing. The room is chock-a-block with enthusiasm, savvy, and creativity; we are truly inspired by the abundance of great, viable ideas these folks bring to the table. And we expect to continue to be impressed next week, when we get into the meaty, juicy part of the proposal, such as the sample text.

On Feb. 15, we’ll be discussing how to “Craft Compelling Copy.” Learn to focus your proposal with a great title and introduction, and reel in editors and agents with compelling text. This talk will help you to pique interest with a strong opening pitch, and to knock it out of the park with a complete, detailed outline and on-point sample text. Single tickets are still available here, so join us and move your project closer to publication.

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The latest low-down on the Business of Books

We’ve been busy spreading the word about our talks and workshops. Jen discussed the unique challenges of creating a craft or how-to book proposal at Judi Ketteler’s site, Sew Retro. You can check out her interview here.

Both of us are going to be on Chat with Women this Thursday, May 26, at approximately 8:30am PT. We’re not quite sure what we’re going to talk about with Pam and Rochelle, but if you know us, you know we’ll be entertaining, to each other and hopefully to you! Listen in on KKNW 1150AM or online here.

Most important, come see us at one of our talks. Thursday night, we’ll be talking about The Art of the Book Deal, which will cover all the key points of a contract and how to get the best deal for you and your book. And in June, we’ll help you Navigate the World of Publishing (6/9) and share What Makes a Book a Best-seller (June 30). Come see us and spend your summer fine-tuning your book proposal!

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Laid off? Get published! NWjobs blog highlights our events

One of the things we’ve been hearing over and over from aspiring authors attending our talks and workshops is that they are eager to write a long-languishing book proposal right this second.

Why now? Well, many of them have been laid off because of the economic climate and being motivated, dynamic people, they think it’s the perfect time to realize a dream or dust off that really good idea and get it out in the world.

Michelle Goodman, the talented author behind The Anti 9 to 5 Guide and My So-Called Freelance Life, discussed this and our upcoming events in her Nine to Thrive blog for NWjobs. Check it out and better yet, check out one of our talks and get your own idea off the ground!

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