Tag Archives: writers

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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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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Get Published! A look back at our Willows Lodge retreat

Willows 2016They came, they learned, they polished their already strong book ideas.

Fresh off our Get Published! Writers Retreat at the luxe Willows Lodge, we are in awe and inspired by each and every one of our attendees.

From children’s picture books to memoir to alternative history, these aspiring authors dove in from the get-go, developing book proposals and query letters, and in the process strengthening their projects.

Based on the feedback and the energy in the room, we helped each and every one of them.

In return, they inspired us. Every single time we teach a class or host a retreat, we get invested in helping our clients’ and students’ books be all they can be. Some folks come in with a polished, “finished” manuscript and yet we help them step away and look at their project with fresh eyes, which inevitably leads to a more thought-out and creative submission. Other writers are still kicking around several ideas but almost immediately, they focus in on the one that feels right for them and the marketplace. Regardless of where they were starting from, all left with a proposal-in-progress and the beginnings of a compelling query or cover letter.

As for the two of us, we left more committed than ever to helping writers realize their publishing dreams. To that end, we’ll be scheduling more workshops in the coming months and expanding our offerings to include individual consultations, proposal writing, and more!

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How to Get Seattle’s Talent into Print

Nicole Brodeur 122015We are thrilled that Nicole Brodeur mentioned The Business of Books and our upcoming retreat in her Sunday column. If you have a book idea but don’t know how to get published, come to our January publishing retreat at Willows Lodge. Read the article here.

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Get Published! The lowdown on our writers retreat at Willows Lodge

Willows3We’re thrilled at the early interest in Get Published!, the Business of Books 2nd annual publishing retreat, and we hope you and your book project can join us January 23–24, 2016. The overnight retreat will take place at the beautiful and serene Willows Lodge in Woodinville and features in-depth seminars on specific topics relating to the book business and developing a book proposal. Because of the intimate size, all attendees receive personal attention and direct feedback on their individual projects. The two-day event will cover:

  • All nine elements of a successful book proposal, with hands-on exercises and workshopping that result in a working proposal document by the close of the retreat
  • How to create a targeted book marketing plan and build an author platform
  • Insider intel on the publishing business, including critical do’s and don’ts
  • How to craft an impactful cover letter and develop a targeted submission list

Writers of all genres and levels are welcome. Whether attendees have a glimmer of an idea or a polished draft, our one-of-a-kind immersive workshop will push you to move your book project forward in a significant way—and enlighten you on how the business of publishing really works.

“This retreat gave me exactly what I needed to start getting my writing out into the world,” says 2015 attendee Heather LeRoss. “The combination of insider insights, step-by-step how-to’s and the belief from Jen and Kerry that I could do it, gave me the confidence to put my writing out there and think of myself as an author. Since attending, I’ve had more than 10 articles published and my children’s book is out to publishers for review. Thank you, Jen and Kerry.”

In addition to luxurious accommodations, guests will receive a welcome amenity, meals courtesy of the renowned Barking Frog, and all workshops, as well as our exclusive Publishing Toolkit (a $99 value) to take home.

Book early! Through December 15, earlybird pricing for “Get Published!” starts at $870 per person including tax and is based on double occupancy. Complete details can be viewed on the Willows Lodge website here. After December 15, prices increase $100 per person. To make reservations, please contact Shaina Phillips at 425-424-2965 or shaina.phillips@willowslodge.com.  

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What are the 9 elements every book proposal needs? Join our webinar to find out!

It’s time to get out of the slush pile, people. No lie: It pains us to hear about a good book idea that didn’t get a fair shot because the writer simply didn’t know how to craft a winning proposal. In today’s competitive marketplace, it’s more important than ever to present yourself as a savvy author who knows the publishing biz…and the best way to do this is to write a clear, thorough proposal. This document is your calling card, and your opportunity to convince an agent or publisher to take a chance on you. Make sure it stands out from the piles of paper on every editor’s desk. Make sure it sings.

How? Take “Secrets of a Successful Proposal,” our most comprehensive webinar. In just 90 minutes, we’ll walk you through the nine essential elements every proposal should have, regardless of genre, and help you break it down into manageable pieces. Learn insider tips as we draw on our decades of industry experience to share the secrets of a winning proposal—and take away concrete tools to get your proposal to shine. When you’re finished, you’ll be ready to craft a winning pitch that will set you apart from the slush pile. Click here to purchase the $79 recording, which you can watch whenever you like, and review repeatedly at your leisure!

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Our former student’s book debut

We must admit, we feel a bit like proud parents. One of our previous workshop attendees, the insightful and well-versed Todd Rendleman, has a book coming out in April from Continuum! Rule of Thumb: Ebert at the Movies explores how and why Roger Ebert became the most trusted and influential film critic in America. Listen to the great props his publisher gives him: “Few are in a position to write a firsthand memoir of one of the world’s great film critics, but Rendleman accomplishes just this, smartly intertwining his own coming-of-age cinematic sensibility with a witty critical analysis of his subject. All told, his achievement is noteworthy: he offers a unique view of a celebrated personality, while revealing himself as a writer of insight and dash.”

We remember brainstorming Todd’s book during a “Craft a Winnning Proposal” workshop last year, and it’s gratifying to see his worthy idea make it to the finish line. Like most of our students, Todd is not a writer by trade, but a professional with a passion for his subject and the motivation to put together a killer proposal and get it out the door.  You could be next!

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A book proposal in 30 days? Now that’s a New Year’s resolution!

With the holidays fast approaching, what’s the best gift to give yourself? A chance to be a published author, of course! Give your book idea its best possible shot by joining us starting February 1 for our brand-new, intensive four-part series, 30 Days to a Winning Book Proposal. By month’s end you’ll have a polished proposal that’s ready to submit–and sell. What a way to kick off 2012!

As part of this results-oriented series, we’re excited to include our new 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, and real sample proposals that have sold to publishers.

Here’s the schedule. All talks are Wednesday evenings from 7-9pm at the Hotel 1000 in downtown Seattle.

Wed, Feb 1: Research & Refine Your Idea

Develop a winning book idea that will rise out of the slush pile. This week, focus on finding and honing a viable nonfiction or fiction idea. You’ll learn how to research the marketplace and competition, brainstorm formats, and develop a publisher and agent wish list.

Wed, Feb 8: Sell Your Book—and Yourself

Create a killer author platform and marketing plan that demand attention. Week 2 has you uncovering the many strengths and attributes that you can bring to the table as an author, participating in social media and other venues to build your platform, and brainstorming a robust and creative marketing plan for your title.

Wed, Feb 15: Craft Compelling Copy

Focus your proposal with a great title and introduction, and reel in editors and agents with compelling text. This week’s 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.

Wed, Feb 22: Submit Your Proposal

Create a savvy final package and target the right publisher during the final talk in the series. You’ll 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, and put the final touches on your proposal submission.

We are committed to getting that book idea out of your head and into the bookstores. Attendees are encouraged to attend the entire series, but single sessions are also available. The four-part series price is $299, which includes the toolkit. Single sessions are $79. Tickets are available from Brown Paper Tickets, click here to purchase.

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