The Truth about First Novels and Traditional Publication What authors need to know

What you might hear: "Publishing-house editors don't want to read first-novel submissions." "Literary agents don't want to take on unknown writers." "Publishers only want novelists who have a good track record." "If by a miracle you get a first novel published, it'll sell 500 copies to your friends and relatives." "There's no place for first novels in today's bottom-line-oriented publishing scene." Would it surprise you to learn that not one of these statements is true? Although having a first novel published [...]

By | 2018-03-22T20:23:09+00:00 |Publishing Trends, RDB|0 Comments

The Editorial Department’s Manuscript Evaluation: Then, Now, and Always Getting the substantive and honest feedback your work deserves

Okay, so we all know being a novelist isn't easy. It's laborious, grueling, emotionally taxing, and sometimes an outright torturous journey down an unpaved road. And one thing I hear all the time from writers on the topic of their frustrations is how hard it is to get specific, substantive feedback on a work in progress. At the top of the list is the well-intended but useless rejection letter from literary agents, who are understandably pretty vague about why they have elected [...]

Revise Your Book, Hollywood-Style Novelist, screenwriter, and editor John Robert Marlow shares his take on a secret weapon for manuscript revision

Are you an author who Has never tried using an outline? Likes the idea of outlining, but gave up on it because it was too much trouble—or just didn’t work for you? Uses an outline for initial story planning, but not for revisions? Would rather have a root canal than use an outline? If so, you’re not alone. Let’s face it: traditional outlines—with formatting and structure imposed by programs like Microsoft Word—can be a huge pain, especially when you want to change things. All those indents, letters, [...]

E-Book Formatting Considered Why quality code matters and automated e-book conversion tools may not be your best option

It wasn’t too long ago that the Kindle version of Neal Stephenson’s newest book Reamde had to be replaced. The reason? Customer complaints about errors in spelling, grammar, and formatting. After spending $16.99 to download an e-book, readers were justifiably miffed that it was riddled with mistakes. We imagine this resulted in large numbers of return requests (a customer can “return” a Kindle book, which means it’s deleted from the device’s archive). What we can’t imagine is how a publisher—in this [...]

Evaluating Nonfiction: One Editor’s Approach What can set your nonfiction manuscript up for success ... or doom it to the reject pile

Fiction lives or dies by the author's storytelling and writing skills (and perseverance and some luck). For nonfiction, then, one might assume that likewise, an interesting topic well elucidated will do the job. However, the publishing industry and readers regard nonfiction a bit differently. Subject Matter Publishers generally have certain prerequisites for even considering a nonfiction project. The first of course is whether the subject matter has a market. In other words, they have to think that enough people who can [...]

How Do We Write about The Future Now That It’s Here?

Science fiction, as a genre, has often struggled to be taken seriously. Oh, it’s garnered some respect, a few classics, and a bucketful of noteworthy authors, but how seriously are we expected to take a class of fiction that still doesn’t even warrant its own section in too many bookstores? Don’t get me wrong: Science fiction was gaining in popularity (though not by that name) in the late 19th century, and came admirably into its own over the course of the [...]

By | 2018-03-02T18:35:41+00:00 |Blog, General, SR|0 Comments