Saturday, April 30, 2011

Three Free PDF Writer's Books That You Need

Today’s post centers around three free PDF publications. Two deal with writing query letters and the third, by Agent Noah Lukeman, titled Ask a Literary Agent (year one).

A short while back YA author Elana Johnson offered a free copy of her digital eBook titled From The Query to the Call. The free download is still available at her Website.

. This 61 page book is chocked full of tips and straight talk about writing the best query letter for your novel. It covers:

• What queries are and aren’t.
• The query hook, setup, conflict, and consequences.
• Researching agents.
• Sending your query.
• Responding to agent requests or rejections.
• Cover letters.
• Revising for an agent.
• Fielding “The Call”.
• Query Samples.

The second free book titled How to Write a Great Query Letter by Noah Lukeman, President of Lukeman Literary Management Ltd. He is also the author of writer’s aids such as The First Five Pages and How to Land (and Keep) a Literary Agent. This 110 page free eBook covers:

• Chapter 1: Preparation
• Chapter 2: Formatting
• The 4 Formatting Red Flags
• Chapter 3: The 3 Paragraph Rule
• Chapter 4: Your First Paragraph: The Introduction
• Chapter 5: Your Second Paragraph: The Plot
• 3 Common Mistakes to Avoid in Your Plot Paragraph
• Exercise: Creating a Logline
• 4 Positive Traits to Have in Your Plot Paragraph
• Exercise: Refining Your Plot Synopsis
• Chapter 6: Your Third Paragraph: Your Bio
• 4 Common Mistakes to Avoid in Your Author Bio
• 8 Positive Elements to Include in Your Author Bio
• Chapter 7: Fiction versus Non-Fiction (How a Query Letter Will Differ)
• 7 Elements to Include When Summarizing Non-Fiction
• 2 Crucial Elements of a Non-Fiction Bio
• Different Types of Non-Fiction
• Chapter 8: Final Issues to Keep in Mind
• 7 Common Mistakes
• Conclusion
• Checklist: 30 Mistakes to Avoid in Your Query Letter
• About the Author

The final 71 page free eBook, Ask a Literary Agent (Year One) by Mr. Lukeman covers questions and his answers writers have asked him during the first year of his blog. Questions asked and answered:

• * Should my agent let me know which publishers/editors have read my work, and provide me with copies of the rejection letters?
• * I am just starting out and have never been published. What should I put in my bio?
• * My agent is unwilling to sell world rights to my book. What should I do?
• * How does one land a job as a literary agent?
• * Should I revise my work for a prospective agent?
• * Can I fire my agent mid-submission?
• * Should I query an agent with several books at once?
• * Once I land an agent, how long does it take to land a book deal?
• * What is the ideal page count for a first novel?
• * How many agents should I approach?
• * If my agent doesn’t like my next book, should I fire him?
• * Why won’t publishers respond?
• * How long should I wait to hear back about my manuscript?
• * How many copies must a book sell to be considered a success?
• * Will being published by a small press help my career?
• * Can self-publishing damage your career?
• * Is there a market for literary fiction set in a country outside of the United States?
• * Can I be represented by two literary agents?
• * Should I finish the manuscript of my novel before submitting to agents?
• * Do agents really read the first five pages? Or just the first five sentences?
• * What do you look for in a logline?
• * How do I find out what agent represents a novel in my genre

All of the above gems are worth reading, taking notes and applying lessons from these two outstanding authors.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter

I want to wish everyone a Happy Easter and family and friends to share it with.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Reflections of a writer

Sorry for the late blog post. Honestly I have been caught up in my own world of working around my farmstead and correcting problems that have plagued me for years (yes, I said years). First there is this rusty pipe that stretches’ from an underwater cistern down a hill and under the barn to an old fashion pump. The hand pump broke off several years ago and now there is a large hole filled with (you guessed it) water.

Then my water well pump jack malfunctioned and snapped the pump rod. I quickly filled the horse’s water tank and promptly ran out of water. This condition lasted for nine days while I portaged water and pulled the pipe and rods from the well—279 feet down I found the culprit and repaired it. You might ask what this has to do with the above water hole next to my barn. Good question.

During the nine days I spend working on the well; I wandered behind the barn and was surprised to see a dry hole. It took me two days of slinging mud before I found the offending pipe. Needless to say there is now a new hand pump in the middle of the hole. Reflecting on the lesson that I learned—if water stops flowing here it also stops at other places. In other words accidents happen—repair them and make the best use of your time—the same lesson applies to your writing.

I leave you with my reflections in pictures. The first shows what caused them and the second is titled Reflections.

Reflections off my Chicken Coop

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Will Print Books be Replaced by Digital Media?

Today’s post covers the topic, Will print books be replaced by digital media. I look forward to your remarks on this subject.

For the past several years I have read articles hinting that the eBook reader will replace the printed book. My answer then as it is now is maybe. By this I mean that the traditional publisher’s model of printing a hardback novel followed by the paperback must change .Change to what? I foresee a model where most of the hardbacks and paperbacks will be replaced by the trade paperback only. It is clear that the digital book is here to stay and has impacted the overall sales of hardback/paperback books.

When I first began researching how much eBook sales increased the profit of the major publishing companies I noted a surprising trend. All of the major companies reported almost identical digital sales—2 to 3%. Today, these sale figures can’t be ignored because they are now in the 25 to 30% range. Do you see a trend here?

Follow this link to a publishing giant’s article titled Dumping print, NY publisher bets the ranch on apps. It will open your eyes.