Tag Archives: book deal

Only a few spots left! Register NOW for our May Class: Craft a Winning Book Proposal

bookstackDue to popular demand, we’ve teamed with with the Queen Anne Writers Studio to bring you our book proposal workshop! To date, we’ve had many students turn their dream of publishing into a reality, and this class is where many of them started. One student even said, “I went from feeling hopeless to hopeful.” Our classes have a tendency to do that to people.

Here’s the thing: You may have a terrific book idea ready to set the publishing world on fire. Alas, without a spot-on book proposal, it may never see the light of day. Don’t let this happen to you! Learn how to create a savvy and professional proposal that will make publishers and agents sit up and take notice. During our 4-hour workshop, we will walk you through the key elements of any successful proposal—including title/subtitle, opening pitch, author bio, and marketing plan—and help you polish each one with hands-on exercises and individual feedback. Class size is small so you and your idea will get plenty of attention.

Make no mistake: Crafting a killer, on-point proposal is absolutely essential to succeeding in the current marketplace no matter what publishing route you take. You’ll leave this workshop not only committed to getting the book deal of your dreams, but with a concrete start to every section of your proposal. Don’t you feel more hopeful already?

When: Saturday, May 14, 1–5pm

Where: Tulinda Yoga Studio, 618 McGraw Street, Queen Anne

Who: Suitable for any writers actively working on or thinking about a book. No matter the genre, where you are in the writing process, or how you’d ideally like to publish, this class will ensure you have the best shot at publication. (While book proposals are expected for nonfiction titles, we encourage all aspiring authors to write a proposal, as it will make their submission—and their book—stronger.)

Fee: $199. You can register via PayPal here. Your payment in full confirms your registration and reserves your spot. Space is limited to 15, so register early.

What to bring: Bring something on which to write, be it laptop or pen and paper. (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. We’ll have coffee, tea, and water on hand.

(photo: craftbuds.com)

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New Services to Help YOU Get Published

publishSpring is in the air, new ideas are blooming, and business is booming here at Business of Books headquarters. Due to popular demand, we’re rolling out some exciting new individual offerings for our clients. As always, our mission is to help you put your best foot forward with agents and publishers—and get the book deal you deserve. We encourage you to check out our services to make sure your proposal, query/cover letter, and submission list are spot on and have the absolute best chance for representation and/or a publishing deal.

NEW! Comprehensive Proposal Development & Consult Package
This new service takes you step-by-step through the proposal process, including a personalized kickoff meeting to set a schedule and parameters for your project, regular check-ins to review progress and keep you on track, and guidance throughout your proposal’s development. It culminates with our 2-on-1 proposal review for a perfectly on-point proposal, as well as a review of your query letter, cover letter, and submission list. $2,000.

NEW! Query Letter, Cover Letter & Submission List Review
Even if your proposal is good to go, you still need a compelling and salable query and cover letter—not to mention the right people to pitch it to. This service entails a comprehensive electronic review and detailed feedback on your cover letter, query letter, and agent/publisher submission list. $499

2-on-1 Proposal Review
This popular service provides our professional advice and concrete revisions to ensure your proposal rises out of the slush pile. You send us your draft proposal electronically; we add our comments and suggestions right into the file. We also provide a detailed overall assessment that covers every section of the proposal. $599

Publishing Toolkit
Are you a DIY type? Do you wish you had Jen & Kerry around as a desktop reference? Then our Publishing Toolkit is for you. This invaluable resource, available as a binder or PDF, will walk you through the proposal process and beyond, including insider tips on submissions, contracts, publisher relations, and more. With 100-plus pages of publishing intel plus exercises, worksheets, and two sample nonfiction proposals, it’s a steal at $99.

Looking for something other than what you see here? We’re happy to discuss the unique needs of your project. Email us for rates and details.

(Photo: adirondackcenterforwriting.com)

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5 Things You Need to Know to Get a Book Deal

During our six years of publishing consulting and 40-plus years of combined publishing experience, we’ve culled some tips that might seem obvious at first blush but are often overlooked in the rush to submit what you are sure is a guaranteed best seller.

Slow down there, boss, and take a breath.

Review our tips and strengthen your submission and chances of a book deal.

1.      Do your homework.
Research other books that could be considered competion, become an expert in your genre and on your topic, visit bookstores or libraries (yes, in person!), and learn which publishing houses and agents specialize in your particular genre or subject matter.

2.      Do think of publishing as a business.
Your book is your baby, yes, but it’s also a product to be bought and sold in a marketplace filled not only with books but other forms of entertainment (apps, movies, music, etc.). It’s critical to be business savvy and approach a publisher with a compelling pitch and attitude that conveys that you are ready to partner with them on a lucrative business venture (i.e. your book).

3.      Do have confidence.
You have got to believe in your idea and your vision! Don’t be shy. Sell it. If you are not absolutely committed to your book project, why would anyone else be? But a note of caution: being confident is terrific, being cocky is not. Don’t claim it’s a “guaranteed best-seller that will outsell The Lord of the Rings Trilogy/50 Shades of Grey/The DaVinci Code;” rather, explain with specifics why your book will perform well for a particular publisher. Is it similar to another book on their list that has done well? Will it appeal to a demographic that the publisher already dominates? The more specific you can get about why you are approaching them in particular, the better.

4.      Do persevere!
Every famous author from Dr. Seuss to J.K. Rowling to F. Scott Fitzgerald has had multiple rejections. Keep going. This is where that confidence and unwavering belief in your project comes into play. We always remind writers that publishers and agents are looking for you, too, and first-time authors get book deals every single day. We have the success stories to prove it—our clients have killer book deals in a variety of genres, ranging from children’s picture books to memoir to fiction to coffee table books to nonfiction.
 
5.      Do write a killer book proposal.
Your proposal is your business plan. Creating a great one is vital to selling your book in today’s market. Contact us at jenandkerry@gmail.com to learn about upcoming events, 2-on-1 proposal reviews, our Publishing Toolkit, and other services we offer to help you write the best possible proposal. We’re here to help your publishing dreams become a reality!

 

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Our new webinar will help you score a book deal; early bird rate ends Friday!

Did you know that it’s important to have a great title and subtitle when you pitch your book to agents and publishers? That’s right. A title that grabs their attention, offers a promise, and has keywords that are searchable online is just one of the many things that a publisher looks for when assessing a book project. Even memoirs and novels are starting to include subtitles to help clarify what the book is about and attract readers who might be shopping online. For example: Wild: Lost & Found on the Pacific Crest Trail. See where we’re going with that?

That’s just one of the tips you’ll learn during our upcoming 2-part webinar. Still not sure if the class is right for you and your book project? A few questions to consider:

  1. Have a brilliant book idea, but don’t know where to start?
  2. Tried self-publishing but would now like to try traditional publishing?
  3. Been shopping a book proposal around with no luck and don’t know what you’re doing wrong?
  4. Want to score a book deal?

If the answer is YES to one or all of the above, our upcoming webinar, Score a Book Deal, is perfect for you! Scheduled on November 12 & 19 at 6pm PST, you can get all of our insider knowledge from the comfort of your home or office. And with 40+ years of publishing experience and 40+ books between us, we have a lot to say!

We’ll walk you through Secrets of a Successful Proposal in the first session and then follow it with What Every Publisher Wants You to Know. No matter where you are in the process or what your concept, we’ll give you all the tools—and the motivation—to create and submit an on-point, salable proposal with confidence to agents or publishers. Read more or register here—and do it quickly for the best possible price! Early bird pricing ends on 10/31.

And don’t worry if you can’t make the live dates. You’ll be able to watch the recording at your convenience for up to a year. We’re nice like that.

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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

Client Mike Curato scores 3-book deal!

Another success story! Our friend and former Business of Books client Mike Curato, a Seattle-based illustrator and designer, has struck publishing gold…and it couldn’t happen to a nicer chap. It all began in January, when Mike won the Portfolio Award at the national conference of SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators). Agents and editors started calling, and many had interest in an adorable elephant named Elly from his portfolio. “I felt terribly unprepared,” Mike confesses about the immediate attention. He quickly decided he needed an agent to collaborate with, and he found one at Sanford J. Greenburger Associates who was both experienced and nuturing. “She told me to take a breath, and that everyone who was interested wasn’t going anywhere,” he says. “That gave me the space in which to write Elly’s story.”

Several rounds of meetings later–with such heavy-hitters as Little Brown, Simon & Schuster, Random House, and Scholastic–Mike and his agent accepted an offer at auction from Henry Holt Books for Young Readers for a series of three picture books starring Elly. “They are so passionate about the character,” he says with gratitude. “It’s exactly what you’d want.”

And now, to work. Mike’s first book debuts next fall. We can’t wait to see it!

If you’d like a sneak peek of Elly and all of Mikes’ work, check out www.mikecurato.com.

And if you’d like to know how we can help you on the road to publishing success, drop us a line at jenandkerry@gmail.com.

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