Turning Points and Tips from the Writing and Publishing Journey

Dr. Randy Kamen

  I first met Dr. Randy Kamen at Harvard Medical School’s CME healthcare leadership and publishing course and knew I’d met a soul sister. Over the course of several years of conferences, we’ve traipsed through Boston neighborhoods together, teeth chattering while waiting to get into a tiny North End restaurant, staying up late into the night catching up on each other’s lives and families. One of my favorite accessories–a turqoise and orange pashmima–was discovered by Randy at Faneuil Hall during a colder than expected April sojourn. I’ve had the pleasure of witnessing Randy’s evolution as a writer, author, speaker and…  Read more

Have I Let You Down?

Have I let you down? I want to help you get your book done, out there, making a difference in people’s lives every single day—and in your own life, too. However, my conversation with Ian last week made me realize my folly. Ian said, “When I see your newsletter in my inbox.  I often put it aside to read later. I know there’s so much great content and I want to give it the time it takes. The problem is, I often get busy and don’t get back to it, despite my good intentions.” Well, that’s not going to help…  Read more

What Publishers Want: 5 Things a Publisher is Looking For When They Read Your Query or Book Proposal

real fit kitchen book cover

My clients have been busy this summer: 3 client books were published, 3 clients signed book deals, 5 are busy meeting publishing deadlines, 1 book just went on preorder and 1 client won an International Business Award for her book and ebook. Several are appearing in national media–OWN (Oprah Winfrey’s network), the Chicago Tribune, Glamour, Men’s Health and more. Wow, I feel like a proud midwife! Behind the scenes, while editing, I’ve also been shooting videos on how to write a book proposal for a new course–details soon. With all things publishing on my mind, I thought about where you may want to…  Read more

Whom Do I Contact First? Finding an Agent, Getting a Publisher and Sending a Book Proposal…


Are you at all confused about the order of finding an agent, getting a publisher and sending a book proposal? Do you wonder, “Where do I start?” A couple of days ago, Jennifer wrote this comment: Reading through your website and other people’s questions and ideas has been extremely helpful. I am very new to this, however, and I’m unsure of the process/protocol in finding a publisher, editor or literary agent. Is there an order of operations as to who to reach out to first and when?” The first question is easy to answer: First, reach out to a freelance editor…  Read more

How to Get a Publisher: Should I Pitch Them Directly or Get a Literary Agent?

Dream Therapy

98% of the time, my answer to the question of how to get a publisher used to be “Get a literary agent first.” Literary agents bring so much to the table—from their ability to garner several offers at a time, to their understanding of which acquisitions editor might be a perfect match for your book to their ability to negotiate a book deal. In fact, I would still say, if you think you can interest a literary agent, that is still generally my recommendation if you want to traditionally publish. And, most of the time, to get a literary agent and get a publisher—in…  Read more

Get That Summer Magic Working for Your Book


I’m loving the fireflies (they seem to be sticking around much longer this year), picking loads of raspberries in our yard, boogie-boarding with my son, enjoying family dinners on the porch and riding my new bike, though my eight-year-old still beats me in races. Summer is such a precious time; we want to drink in all the pleasures—from the smell of the honeysuckle to the taste of each blueberry. Summer can also be a wonderful time to write outdoors and be inspired by nature—the sounds, scents and sights that can infuse our writing with depth and feeling, as my Writing…  Read more

What’s a Forward? Oops, What’s a Foreword?

What's a forward?

“What’s a Forward?” A forward is the player on a team, who plays in front and helps score. Period. If we’re talking books, the correct question is: “What’s a foreword?” Be sure to spell it right if you’re asking someone to write one for your book! A foreword is an introductory section in a book that establishes the author’s credibility and establishes the usefulness or importance of a book. The foreword helps provide motivation for the reader to buy the book or to continue reading it. The foreword is not written by the author but by either an authority on the…  Read more

How to Write a Foreword

What's a foreword?

I’m sometimes asked how to write a foreword: What goes into a foreword? I’m a big believer in not being overly formulaic, so the following are guidelines for writing a foreword. Feel free to be creative. *  Share how you met the person or how you know them. This “social proof” establishes the connection between you and the author and helps establish the author’s credibility. *  Give a sense of the scope of the problem this book helps to solve. You may use statistics and research to back this up or personal experience and anecdotes. *  Share some specific credentials of the author: that she teaches at Harvard, that…  Read more

“Marketing Terrifies Me”: How to Overcome Fear of Marketing / Sales (for Authors and Others)

marketer of the year award

In preparing for her recent VIP Day consultation with me, a client divulged her immobilizing fear of marketing. She’s not alone. I’ve heard dozens, maybe hundreds, of variations on this theme for years  now. And, if you can imagine yourself saying these words, I want to be clear: It’s probably not marketing you’re terrified of. No. No. No. In a minute, I’ll share how to overcome fear of marketing or sales, but first, here’s my own admission: When Melissa Sones encouraged me to apply for “Marketer of the Year” from the American Business Awards, I felt that clutching fear in my tummy. I…  Read more

How Carol Lambert Got Unstuck, Finished Her Book Proposal and Signed a Book Deal


“Last summer I imagined being 80 years old and asked myself, ‘What regrets would I have?’ Not finishing and publishing my book. That would be a big regret.” Carol A. Lambert’s work on her book and book proposal had slowed down due to a couple of personal transitions. “Life got in the way. My progress was slow, on and off.” When she anticipated the potential regret of not finishing, Carol decided to make the book a priority again. “I felt stuck, though, not as energized. Then I got an email to sign up for the free call Writing in the Zone.” That call inspired Carol…  Read more