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Monday, March 12, 2012

Tips and Advice from the 10th Annual Writers' Fest

I just returned from speaking at the 10th Annual Writers' Fest in Milwaukee. I heard agents, editors, social media experts, and other publishing pros talk about the changes in the industry, and how to succeed as an author today. Here's a roundup of tips and advice from some of the speakers:
  • Looking for an agent? Literary agent Joanna MacKenzie is acquiring YA (young adult), literary thrillers, commercial fiction, women's fiction, and Chicago-based historical mysteries. 
  • Kelly Bale, an editor at Sourcebooks, acquires nonfiction, including memoirs. Sourcebooks publishes a variety of subjects, including fiction, romance, and contemporary women's fiction. Its Landmark imprint publishes fiction including contemporary women's and men's historical novels. 
  • Want to start blogging but don't want to have spend half your life keeping it up to date? Set up a microblog on, suggests parenting and technology expert Sharon Miller Cindrich, author of books including The Smart Girl's Guide to the Internet
  • Do you write YA books? Sourcebooks' Fire imprint publishes YA books, and the imprint is "really taking off," said Bale. Editors there are especially looking for "issue-centered" YA fiction featuring young female protagonists. Sourcebooks' Jabberwocky imprint publishes children's book, including middle grade readers and picture books. 
  • If you use LinkedIn, make sure that your biggest coup is listed first, adds Cindrich. You can include the rest of your amazing accomplishments in your bio.  
  • Have you published a book through POD or as an ebook, but still hope to sell it to a traditional publishers? Well-written books that have garnered lots of attention also interest editors at publishers like Sourcebooks. It isn't a question so much of how many copies you've sold but the amount of interest and buzz it's generated, such as 35 positive Amazon reviews, says Bale. 
Next post, I'll have more tips from the conference. Stay tuned! 

***My new line of ebooks, all branded with the Dollars and Deadlines name, are geared toward new freelancers. I take the same approach that I do with this blog--I give practical, proven strategies and plenty of examples to help you achieve your writing goals. So far the most popular has been Dollars and Deadlines' Guide to Selling your First Article, but Dollars and Deadlines 10 Essential Freelance Templates is also selling well. And if you write for love more than money (nothing wrong with that), you need to read Dollars and Deadlines' 10 Truths Every Writer Who Wants to Get Published Should Know 

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