Ready for a Contract?
Books & Such Literary Management Blog
by Cynthia Ruchti
6d ago
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay Did you think it was a typo? Why is there a question mark at the end of the title of this blog post? Of course, you’re ready! Eager! Trembling with anticipation! Gimme! It’s not a typo. It’s a legit question. Are you ready for a contract for your book project? If emotional eagerness and age of your work-in-progress were not factors, how would you answer? With a quick yes? Hold onto your final answer until the end of this blog post. If you’re writing toward publication–whether traditional publishing or self-publishing–there’s a contract involved. It entails de ..read more
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Ten Things that Make a Thumbs-Up Novel
Books & Such Literary Management Blog
by Wendy Lawton
1w ago
Today, I’ve decided on a very subjective  exploration about what makes me give a novel an unflinching thumbs up. This is not a blog that represents anyone’s taste but mine. Purely personal. I’m guessing there wouldn’t be another literary agent who would duplicate this list, but as a starting point for a discussion, here goes my top ten. Atmosphere I crave a novel with an atmosphere. Whether it is a bog setting in seventh century Ireland, a dust-filled wagon train moving across the deserts, an Italian eatery in Cumbria smelling of a rich ragu that has simmered all day, or the old gothic mu ..read more
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What’s new in the ever-changing world of AI?
Books & Such Literary Management Blog
by Janet Grant
3w ago
Keeping up with developments in the world of AI is challenging. Once ChatGPT released, I read every article I could find. But the sheer volume did me in. So I’ve curated a few articles I found especially elucidating and provided links for you. (Scroll down for the links.) But I did want to summarize a book that wrestles with the bigger concept of humans vs. machines and how to coexist. Ultimately, even though it was published way back in 2018,  it gave voice to so much of what we’re experiencing with generative AI. Entitled Deep Thinking: Where Machine Intelligence Ends and Human Creativ ..read more
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Five Tips to Becoming a Better Writer
Books & Such Literary Management Blog
by Debbie Alsdorf
3w ago
Writing is about putting one word after another, in such a way that the reader will be drawn into the text. But as with all endeavors, becoming a better writer comes with frustrations. Here are five things that I have found helpful on my writing journey. 1. Spend time reading books by other authors In his memoir, On Writing, Stephen King suggests that the real importance of reading is that it creates an ease and intimacy with the process of writing. This ease and intimacy occur on the level of sentence structure, vocabulary and rhythm. The more you read, the more you sharpen your skills and ..read more
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Publishing Timeline
Books & Such Literary Management Blog
by Rachel Kent
1M ago
The other day I received an email from a potential client asking me if I would have an answer for him about representation quickly because he was counting on his book releasing from a traditional publisher this year. He felt that was plenty of time for an agent to shop the project and for it to go through the publishing steps. This kind of request isn’t uncommon, so I would like to take today to give you an idea of the publishing timeline after you find an agent. (And finding an agent can take a lot of time, too!) Remember, these time-frames are all estimates. Every book project is different ..read more
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Tick, Tick, Boom! Raising the Stakes to Raise an Agent’s Interest
Books & Such Literary Management Blog
by Barb Roose
1M ago
It’s summertime, so let’s talk stakes. Not steaks, which we could talk about, especially if you’re planning a 4th of July cookout. Today, let’s discuss an essential ingredient of storytelling that makes the difference between an agent emailing you back after you submit a query or receiving a “Thank you, but no.” Stakes are a story-telling strategy that requires the main characters in the story to negotiate complicated, emotionally-wrenching and even life-threatening risks. Not to be confused with goals, which are the outcomes that the characters strive to achieve, stakes provide a novel’s emo ..read more
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Mourning the Loss of Literary Friends
Books & Such Literary Management Blog
by Wendy Lawton
1M ago
I especially enjoy series fiction because as a character or set of characters is introduced, we follow them through several books until they feel like our own literary friends. I realized that several weeks ago. I’ve read nearly every book Anne Perry has written. I was just finishing the sixth book in Perry’s Daniel Pitt series where he and new bride, Dr. Miriam fford Croft, a forensic scientist a few years his senior, solve a riveting case both in the courtroom and on the autopsy table. Perry fleshed out the characters in this series with such depth and originality that I looked forward to fo ..read more
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A Writer and Career Planning
Books & Such Literary Management Blog
by Janet Grant
2M ago
What does an agent mean when she says career planning is a big part of what she does with her clients? Isn’t that a bit like saying you paddled your boat through Hells Canyon white water rapids? I mean, doesn’t the river ultimately have the real grip on your boat, and doesn’t the publishing industry ultimately determine the course of your career? Yes…and no. Guidance through the Rough Places One of the key ways an agent directs a writing career is helping the writer though the rough places. And there will be rough places. One of my clients, we’ll call her Sarah, sent in her third manuscript t ..read more
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Music and Writing
Books & Such Literary Management Blog
by Rachel Kent
2M ago
Do you listen to music while you write? I came across this article from The Washington Post. It discusses a study that shows that listening to music that you enjoy can help you to focus your thoughts by increasing your “default mode network” (DMN). The DMN is active when your brain is in a state of wakeful rest and you aren’t focused on the outside world, but instead on inner thought. When you are daydreaming you are in a DMN state and your imagination might work best in this state as well. An active imagination helps the writing to flow. If music, even music you like, is a distraction to you ..read more
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The Never-Always Myth
Books & Such Literary Management Blog
by Cynthia Ruchti
3M ago
Among the myths writers often entertain is Never-Always. You may have it embroidered on the fabric of your mind regarding your writing projects or career: No means never. Yes means forever. Be encouraged today. Those are myths, as are other commonly held but faulty premises. Let’s expose them one at a time. Never-Always Myth   If I write a solid, well-told story but have no platform, my work is doomed, right? Or, if I write a great story and have a strong platform, my work is guaranteed to be picked up by a traditional publisher, right? Both are myths. Curious things happen in the writ ..read more
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