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

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

Timeless Tools for the Modern Writer: An Interview With Greg Miller

millers compendium

Last year, my colleague, the hyper-creative, witty and multi-talented Greg Miller, told me he was working on an ebook and asked if he could share an article I’d written as a resource in it. I was flattered, of course, and curious. Recently I had a peek at the book – and it is more inspiring, brilliant, practical and playful than I even imagined when he first shared the idea. Now, Miller’s Compendium of Timeless Tools for the Modern Writer is written and soon-to-be-available. Since Greg’s Kickstarter campaign started Saturday , I thought it the perfect time to share this rich resource with you–give you a chance…  Read more

What Authors Need to Know About Amazon Marketing Tools (Part 2)

Howard VanEs, Amazon Expert

Last week, in  3 Things Authors Need to Know About Amazon, Howard VanEs generously shared the importance of Amazon and Amazon Marketing Tools, what authors need to know about selecting keywords on Amazon (and why this is essential),  BISAC categories (what are they, why you should care and what you need to know) and more. In today’s interview, Howard de-mystifies Amazon marketing tools, including Amazon’s KDP Select Program, Pay per click, Author Central and Kindle Countdown. LT: Why are you excited about Amazon’s marketing tools? HV: Amazon’s marketing tools are very effective at helping authors sell books. No other platform online…  Read more

How Many Websites Should an Author Have?


A client recently wrote me this question, one I hear often enough that I decided to answer here publicly. “How many websites should an author have?” There are different schools of thought on whether an author who is also an entrepreneur should have two websites–one for the business and one for the books. Before I advise you, a bit of a background on SEO is helpful. SEO: Search Engine Optimization. Translation: Getting found on Google and other search engines. My husband Tom Patterson is an SEO Expert and here’s what he taught me: when someone types in a “keyword” or…  Read more

3 Things Authors Need to Know About Amazon

Howard VanEs, Amazon Expert

When it comes to book marketing, I learn half of what I know from my editing and publishing clients. So, when Cathy Turney, author of Laugh Your Way to Real Estate Sales Success told me her book was the #1 ebook sold on Amazon that day, I had to know what she was doing! Cathy put me in touch with Howard VanEs, an expert in both book publishing and book marketing who designed her book, a finalist for a Stevie Award for Best Business Book of the Year and Best Business Ebook of the Year. Howard graciously agreed to share…  Read more