I am writing in response to Mary O’Connor’s comment/ question for the writing coach: “What advice would give to someone with a fully formed book about addicted mothers of young children? I don’t know how to frame the format and include my personal story, my professional story and the macro effects of current policy on our culture and future. “Hint – I want to testify before congress, but am not sure of my audiance. Thank you for this resource. I love it. Floundering in upstate Michigan.” Mary, you bring up a very important point. You can’t write for EVERYBODY. What… Read more
I often hear questions about literary agents’ fees and book promotion expenses, such as those asked by Kathi McKnight in response to my last post. I’m sure many of my readers, students and writing coaching clients are burning to know the answers; so, rather than answer them in a comment, I decided to write a new post and address them in detail: 1. Do you pay literay agents up front if they say they want to represent you? No. A literary agent receives a percentage of your royalties. Usually that’s 15%, but in some cases, such as if you already… Read more
Aspiring authors often ask me whether it’s important to have a literary agent. My answer, as an experienced writing coach, is always yes. Recently, that answer really hit home when my client, Dr. Ellen Weber Libby, e-mailed me to say that her agent, Regina Brooks of Serendipity Literary Agency, had not only found her an ideal publisher, but had negotiated several unusual and important items in the contract. But let me step back and tell you just one reason why it’s important to have an agent. Years ago, before I became a writing coach or even a published author, I… Read more
I had been asked to participate on a panel for the Rhode Island Birth Network‘s Second Annual Fall Forum (which took place today) to discuss empowered decision making around birth. Erin Goodman invited me on the panel to share my birth experiences: a c-section in the hospital followed by an empowering and completely natural home birth six years later (at the age of 43). Other panelists included a nurse, two doulas, a medical doctor, another mom and a hypnobirthing instructor. Listening to the panelists I felt moved by each person’s passion, perspective and knowledge about one of the most miraculous… Read more
Sometimes I hear from someone who’s finding it too painful to write their story. Usually, they’re referring to a memoir, but sometimes they’re writing a self-help book that touches upon a painful real life story, or even a novel based on the author’s life.
My best advice is…