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Showing posts from 2011

Speling, Gramor and Punkchuation.

Any successful best-selling author will tell you (for $150 at a writer’s conference) that regardless of how good your novel is, it will never get by that unpaid intern at the literary agency if you didn’t mind your P’s and Q’s and dot all your I’s in the manuscript. Spelling, grammar and punctuation are annoying little deer ticks that try their damnedest to stifle your creative prose with their stops and starts and red and green underlines, announcing loudly to the reading world all your writing limitations. My spelling sucks. I admit it. But I am fortunate to have a spell-checker in my house that not only spells every word correctly but also feeds me, washes my clothes, and makes love to me. You’re probably thinking, where can I get me some of that software, Best Buy? No, it’s my wife I’m talking about for God’s sake. She, (Pamela) has been able to spell any word in the Webster English Dictionary since she won her fourth grade spelling bee without asking the judge to use the word in …

The hated query letters and pitches to agents

When I last left you imaginary readers I said the most common ways to get published are the Query Letter and the Agent Pitch. The intention of both of those gems is to obtain a literary agent who will forcefully shove your book down a publisher's throat like a pit bull in heat.
If you think the odds of getting published are astronomical wait until you try to rope a literary agent.
The query letter is what it says it is, you query an agent with a short description of your novel and they are so aghast with your talent that they sign you up for a mere ten percent commission in the states and fifteen percent overseas. The best query letters are three paragraphs long. The first paragraph is meant to hook the agent into reading the last two and in turn convincing them to ask you to send them your entire manuscript, toot suite.
Don't start the letter by saying you have written the greatest book ever and don't say it will make a zillion dollars and especially don't threaten th…

Why Can't I Get Published?

Well-your writing might suck.
But let's just assume it doesn't. You have written the greatest book ever, a literary masterpiece that would give Dickens an insecurity complex, but for some reason you've received enough rejection slips, cards, and e-mails to wallpaper the Sistine Chapel. Including the ceiling.
Okay. Most writing gurus or New York Times bestselling authors will comfort you by saying, "Hang in there. Keep writing. Persistence pays off for those that keep writing and submitting. You have to crawl before you can walk."
Baloney. You have about as much chance of being legitimately published as you do getting hit by lightning - twice.
It's like the PGA tour. There are only 125 golfers on the tour and these are the guys that not only have extraordinary God given talent but have been playing golf since they were two-years-old. They are the elite and the same goes for authors. Why do you think so many self-publish? That's right, because nobody wants…