Category Archives: Publishing Advice

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The Ploughshares Round-Down: Why Lena Dunham’s New Book is Worth $3.5 Million

When I talk to a new potential client, one of the things we go over is potential advances. Most nonfiction writers get between $25,000 and $75,000; fiction writers, a fraction of that. Everyone who gets more than that did something remarkable … Continue reading

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Indy Spotlight: Hobblebush Books

Hobblebush Books, founded in 1991 by author, editor and publisher Sidney Hall, Jr., is a small press in southern New Hampshire known best for its Granite State Poetry Series and its eclectic list of prose titles. While its poetry series only publishes … Continue reading

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Episodia 2.9: I’m Not a Writer, I Just Play One on TV

I’ve spent the past few weeks preparing for the publication of my first book this fall, and a key ingredient of this process is the “public” part. I’ve been updating my website, beefing up my social media presence, and reaching … Continue reading

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How To Fall in Literary Agent Love

In my last post, I shared with you the checklist I used to put together my own book proposal. It contained all the building blocks I’d become familiar with when working as an editorial assistant for an academic book publisher, plus … Continue reading

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The Ploughshares Round-Down: How To Screw Up A Book Proposal

When I first start working on a proposal or a manuscript with a writer, I tell them I have two stages of advice: breaking things and fixing things. At first, I’m going to keep asking hard questions and recommending big … Continue reading

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A Checklist of Book Proposal Essentials to Go Through Before You Start Schmoozing Agents

In my wildest fantasies, an editor from Seal Press stumbles upon that personal essay I wrote about the awkwardness of babymaking sex—or the blog post I wrote about landing a husband despite being a crazy cat lady, or that other piece I … Continue reading

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The Ploughshares Round-Down: How Publishing Looks From the Agent’s Side

If I were forced to write a mission statement, it would be short and sweet: “Help authors. Have fun.” It’s easy for anyone in this business to lose sight of the fact that we do what we do because we love … Continue reading

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The Ploughshares Round-down: Why “Don’t Feed the Trolls” Falls Short

Over the last two weeks, the internets have exploded with news about terrible comment sections and how to handle trolls. As writers, we know that since comment sections are where humanity goes to die (Ploughshares comments excepted of course), putting creative work online basically means exposing … Continue reading

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How to Charm the Pants Off an Editor with the Power of Your Words

I have to imagine that, within the Ploughshares community, there are just about as many writers as readers: those who love stringing words together, seeing how they taste when they read them back to themselves… Those who continue to look for the … Continue reading

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Indy Spotlight: Red Hen Press

In the past twenty years, Red Hen Press has evolved from a small collective formed by L.A.-based writers to a press with international presence, publishing around 20 titles per year. Red Hen also houses the literary magazine Los Angeles Review, … Continue reading

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