Agents

fearless writing

How to Pitch Your Book Fearlessly

I’ve been to a lot of writers conferences, and though some were small and some were large, and some focused on genre fiction and others on literary fiction, they all had one thing in common. I noticed this similarity at the first conference I attended, though I couldn’t name it. I was too distracted,...

What have you always wanted to ask an agent?

Agent Advice Column “Funny You Should Ask” Seeking Submissions!

Are you in search of answers? No, this isn’t some solicitation for a 1970s new-age Human Potential Movement seminar. I’m talking straight answers to your most perplexing writing quandaries—by a well-respected expert, no less: the Irene Goodman Literary Agency’s own Barbara Poelle. Barbara has penned the exceedingly popular Writer’s Digest column “Funny You Should...

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Preparing for Unknowns in Your Agent Search

If you’re on the cusp of trying to get a literary agent, or you’re trying to decide if you need one at all, or you’re right in the thick of your queries, or you have an agent but aren’t making forward progress together, enter our latest “Get an Agent” issue, the October 2016 Writer’s Digest. We...

Karen Sargent

The Query Process: I Want Off This Ride!

Here’s a guest post about the wild ride of the query process from “pre-published” author Karen Sargent. If you have a great idea and would like to contribute a guest post of your own, please send an e-mail to robert.brewer@fwcommunity.com with the subject line: Guest Post Idea for No Rules. ***** Eight seconds. That’s...

The Real Secret to Getting an Agent

By now, I’ve written an introduction to our annual agent-focused issue so many times, I couldn’t tell you the number offhand. And in them all, my editor’s letter has served as a place to acknowledge the daunting task that faces us all when it comes time to prepare submission materials that reflect the heart...

Your Book, Your Rules: Advice from an Agent (Guest Blog)

Who better to ask for advice on how to keep an agent’s attention than an agent? Carlie Webber of CK Webber Associates maintains an excellent blog on all kinds of writing and publishing topics, from how to keep YA novels realistic and interesting to advice on how to make sure your query letters don’t...

How to Edit Your Book in 4 Steps

By Guest Columnist Mike Nappa Mike Nappa is founder of Nappaland Literary Agency, and author of 77 Reasons Why Your Book Was Rejected, available wherever books are sold. * The woman asked a sensible question; she deserved a practical answer. I was sitting on an “Agents & Editors” panel at a writer’s conference when...

Ask a Literary Agent Anything: Here’s Your Chance!

Is there a question you’ve always secretly wished you could ask a literary agent? Maybe you want privileged information … or maybe you want real, tell-it-to-me-straight advice. Maybe something’s been bugging you for a while, but you’re too afraid of sounding like an amateur if you speak up … or you’re too professional to...

Interview With Expert Freelancer Kelly James-Enger

Today I’m talking with author and freelancing expert Kelly James-Enger, whose work has appeared in dozens of national magazines, including Redbook, Fitness and Self. James-Enger says that her success as a full-time freelancer isn’t the result of persistence or luck, but of learning the “secrets” of freelancing. You can find all 101 of these...

Are Agents Just Looking for an Excuse to Reject Your Work?

Q: Doesn’t it seem like agents are just looking for excuses to reject work? —Anonymous A: Actually, the complete opposite is true. Agents don’t want to reject your work, they want to accept it and sell it to any publisher willing to take a chance—after all, that’s how they pay their rent. Agents may...

5 Free E-Books Every Writer Needs

The following resources have been mentioned on this blog, in various forms, since 2008. Now I’m rounding them up in 1 place. [Some links corrected/added on 5/31/11.] 1. 70 Solutions to Common Writing Mistakes by Bob Mayer. A fabulous resource from an experienced novelist. It comes in two parts because the file is so...

3 Publishing Trends Writers Must Stay On Top Of

This week marks the publishing industry’s largest trade show, BookExpo America. This is the first year since 2004 that I’m not attending, but in honor of that show, I’m offering up 3 key industry trends you should stay on top of. (Above: My cat Zelda implores you to stay informed.) 1. Agents Becoming PublishersThis...

Get Your First 1,000 Words Critiqued By Agent

Among the most popular events at writing conferences today are “Why I Stopped Reading” panels, in which brave attendees offer up the opening pages of their manuscripts to participating literary agents, who then read them aloud and explain when and why they would likely lose interest (or, with any luck, not!). The agents follow...

Ask the Agent: Kelly Mortimer

In the March/April 2011 issue of Writer’s Digest, you’ll find Kelly Mortimer featured in my Ask the Agent column. Kelly went above and beyond the call of duty in answering my questions, and I felt bad that I had to cut most of what she had to say. So I promised her that after...

Your Most Embarrassing Moment As a Writer (Part 2)

If you enjoyed my embarrassing story from last week, here’s another one. I was taking one of my very first trips to New York City, to meet with literary agents, in my early years as an acquisitions editor at F+W Media. One of the meetings involved dinner at an upscale Asian restaurant. I’m a...

Ask the Agent Power Panel

This weekend, Writer’s Digest is hosting its first online “power panel” that features 4 agents ready to answer all of your questions related to getting published. The price of $129 comes with: A query letter critique from Writer’s Digest publisher Phil Sexton A 3-month subscription to WritersMarket.com (which includes all listings in Guide to...

5 Key Takeaways for Authors From Digital Book World

Last week, on the heels of the Writer’s Digest Conference, more than 1,000 publishing professionals gathered for Digital Book World to discuss the challenges of transitioning a very traditional business into the digital age. While I didn’t attend the show this year (had to teach!), I’ve read a considerable number of live blogs and...

MASTER Recap of 2011 Writer's Digest Conference

This post is a collection of: Best tweets from the 2011 Writer’s Digest Conference Links to official live blog posts of selected sessions Best recaps of the event by attendees & presenters BEST TWITTER TIPS BY CATEGORYSearch #wdc11 to view all tweets from the event. (Pictured above: Me hunched over at WDC11, tweeting, alongside...

Get Your Nonfiction Query Critiqued By Me

Next week, I’m teaching an online class on landing a nonfiction book deal. The registration fee ($89) includes a critique of your query letter or hook, up to 300 words. If you’re ready to pitch your project or send out a proposal package, this is an excellent opportunity to find out how an industry...

Pitch Your Work at the Writer's Digest Conference

Next week, the annual Writer’s Digest Conference will convene again in the heart of New York City. It includes an extensive pitch slam offering an opportunity to pitch your work to agents (more than 50 are attending)—speed dating style. I’ll also be there to present the following: Your Publishing Options: Should you pursue self-publishing,...

Is It Tougher to Get Published These Days?

Over at Writer Unboxed today, I have a guest post that tries to pin down how much “trouble” the book publishing industry is in, and how that affects writers. It’s a highly complex issue, so my answer could be summarized as, “It depends on who you are.” There’s no doubt, though, that the industry...

My Best Posts From 2010

Here’s the very best advice I offered here at NO RULES in 2010. This can serve as a handy guide, or share this link with writers who might be new to NO RULES. (What a good Christmas gift, right?) Above: my cat Zelda. She approves of this list. Plus I don’t think I posted...