Best Tweets for Writers (week ending 9/11/09)

I watch Twitter, so you don’t have to. Visit each Friday or Saturday (or Sunday!)
for the week’s best Tweets. If I missed a great Tweet, leave it in the Comments. Always
welcome your suggestions on improving this weekly feature.

Best of Best

Great post: “When should I consider spending my own money on having an outside marketing person work with me?”

Should You Self-Publish?

This is good re: self pub “myths” RT @AlanBaxter: @jimchines talks self-publishing

Marketing tips for authors round-up from @TonyEldridge

Stand Alone

It’s becoming more and more common for unpubbed fiction writers to query before the book is complete. don’t even think about it.

Authors: I’m not a fan of prologues–I view them as unnecessary. I really don’t see the point of a preface AND a prologue.

It’s usually the book that’s the problem, not the query, so emailing to ask me how to fix the query won’t help. Sorry.

What should you be doing while you’re waiting for responses to your queries? Writing your next book.

To authors offering a review copy of your book to book bloggers, personalize your pitch based on their reviews & review guidelines.

If “seem” is in the first sentence of your novel, cut it right now. I want to read about things that ARE, not SEEM.

If in your query u sound difficult to work w/ I’ll pass. Even if I like the plot. & when u respond rudely, I think “bullet dodged!”

Keep in mind that that phrase “fiction novel” is a hot button for most editors and agents. They hate it!

A well-written, thoroughly researched conventional query is more likely to stand out in the slush than an “unconventional” one.

What if you started your query letter with a rhetorical question? Would that interest agents? (Uh, no.)

Writing a nonfiction book proposal? Can you identify your idea in 25 words or less? If not, keep trying.

If you go into querying thinking of literary agents as your opponents, you’re more likely to fail to get one.

Don’t try to pitch/query agents via their blog, Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, etc., unless they specifically ask for it.

“…*mentioning* strong feelings [in your writing] only cheapens them.”  —Josip Novakovich

“If your metaphors explicitly draw attention to themselves, your prose will appear labored and mannered.” —Josip Novakovich

“You don’t find the meaning of life, you create it. A successful writer, is a self-fulfilled one.”

Getting Published, Agents/Editors

If an agent doesn’t follow up about a manuscript there is a 9/10 chance we’re not going to read it [from an editor]

What makes your literary agent worry? Great tips for writers, with/without an agent!

How close is that book deal?

Puncturing another writers’ myth: “You have to know someone.”

How Much Editing Can An Agent Do? Asks @RachelleGardner

Crime novelist’s tips on getting published

Craft & Technique

Stephen King’s Top 7 Tips for Becoming a Better Writer (via @featureBlend)

13 writing tips by Chuck Palahniuk

Do you know the REAL reason not to use passive voice?

5 Grammar Mistakes that Make You Sound Like a Chimp

Publishing Biz, Trends, Future of Publishing

What numbers mean when we talk about how many books an author “sells.” Outstanding writing/publishing insights

Fascinating study of the monetary advances that book authors receive before their books are published.

Re-thinking the Publisher/Author Partnership via @PubPerspectives [Bob Miller from HarperStudio]

Good WSJ article on rise of plotted commercial novel/fall of Modernist literary novel

Harlequin revenues up 8.7%, to $225.5M in 1st 1/2 …
Nearly 1/3 of purchases R #author-driven.

Who cares if Steve Jobs is lying about eBooks? Publishers aren’t ready for the iPod of eReaders yet

Scribd says it wants to shake up bookselling: now it’s starting to look like the document-sharing startup might succeed.


Why You Should Help Your Publisher Sell Your Book (via @RachelleGardner)

Have You Prepared Your Book’s Marketing Plan? via @rogercparker

Terrific post from @LoisKelly What marketers can learn from screenwriters.

10 Ways Freelance Writers Can Make More Money via @UrbanMuseWriter

Piracy vs Obscurity

Helpful is always a powerful way to compete.” via @chrisbrogan

Self-Publishing and E-Publishing

The business of digital publishing [via @booksquare]


26 Free eBooks For Bloggers

Resources and Tools

The Editor Unleashed 25 Best Writing Blogs

40 Freelance Writing Blogs

31 podcasts that keep freelance professionals informed

Excellent List of Writing Critique Groups

Thought you’d like to share this tool with your readers (writing prompt tool)

The Writing Life / Philosophical / Inspirational

My Ten-Year Overnight Success via @bakerkline ~ inspiring to keep one writing through the droughts.

Want to be a better writer? Read!


The Last Remaining Ways to Get a Book Deal via @gawker

Just for fun: I stumbled upon a book of The Writer magazine issues from 1892-93! U can download @ end of Alcott post.

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