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18 Energizing Practices to Spark Your Writing & Free Your Voice

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Literary Agents Share Nonfiction Publishing Tips

harvard writers panel
This photo is actually of the publishers panel; photo taken by literary agent Albert LaFarge.

At Harvard Medical School’s CME leadership and publishing course a few days ago, the literary agents present shared valuable advice. Here are just a few of the many nonfiction publishing tips they shared:

Linda Konner:  For a prescriptive book, fit it into a program, such as:

Regina Brooks: Be clear about your motivation for writing the book. Regina also stressed the power of merchandizing and extending the content of your book. [Click to Tweet]

Jeanne Fredericks:  Your agent can learn the “Breakeven Point” for your book and negotiate an increase in royalty percentage or bonus for when book sales hit that number. [Click to Tweet]

Albert LaFarge: Cases and stories are your gold mine. Make sure to give particular examples to bring to life your analysis. [Click to Tweet]

Sally Ekus: Put in the time for a strong proposal—don’t rush. And lead with your point of differentiation. [Click to Tweet]

Don Fehr: In response to a question about whether it’s better to publish in the US first or a foreign country, it’s easier to publish in the US first than to publish abroad, trying to break into the US market later. [Click to Tweet]

harvard course julie silver
With Julie Silver, MD at the Fairmont Hotel, Copley Square, Boston, during a quick break

Julie Silver, MD, who moderated the panel: Have your agent negotiate extra books as free copies and generously give books free to key influencers. [Click to Tweet]

The agent panel was one of many features of this in-depth crash-course on becoming a leader in healthcare, a recognized expert and a published author.  In addition to sharing on the panel, leading workshops and making presentations, the agents, acquisitions editors (publishers) and other publishing experts like myself, are available throughout the course to help participants fine tune their book ideas, learn about the many opportunities for reaching and impacting a broad audience and strategically plan their next steps.

To receive information for the 2016 course, send an e-mail to

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Lisa Tener

Lisa Tener is an award-winning book writing coach who assists writers in all aspects of the writing process—from writing a book proposal and getting published to finding one’s creative voice. Her clients have appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, CBS Early Show, The Montel Williams Show, CNN, Fox News, New Morning and much more. They blog on sites like The Huffington Post, Psychology Today and WebMD.

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