Tag Archives: publishing

The Ploughshares Round-Down: Four Kinds of Editors (and Agents) You’ll Meet In Publishing Heaven

A rule I learned as an editor: when you look at a book’s acknowledgments, the effusiveness of praise for an editor is inversely proportional to the effort he or she put into the book. If a writer goes on and … Continue reading

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The Ploughshares Round-Down: Why Learning To Write Plot Matters

A few years ago, my cousin was just about to graduate from a small state school with an English degree. He told me he wanted to be a writer. I had never read any of his writing, so I was … Continue reading

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The Ploughshares Round-Down: Is It True You Can’t Make Any Money Writing Books?

When I was making the switch last year from being an editor to being an agent, I heard from older agents that I was making a huge mistake. Advances are shrinking, they said. Midlist authors are going without contracts, and … Continue reading

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The Ploughshares Round-Down: How to Make Your Book Popular

As an agent, it’s my job to figure out what’s going to be popular among readers. I’m looking not only for books that editors will like now, but that the rest of the world will like eighteen months from now. … Continue reading

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The Ploughshares Round-Down: Why “Do What You Love” Is Bad Advice

In 2005, Steve Jobs gave a now-famous graduation speech at Stanford University. “You’ve got to find what you love,” he said. “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly … Continue reading

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Episodia 2.1: When Art Goes Public

I like to be alone when I write. When I’m deep into a project, I don’t answer the phone, I don’t respond to emails, and on the most intense days, I don’t even venture outside. Part of what appeals to … Continue reading

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“Let’s Get You an Agent”—An Agent’s How-to for Writers

So—Eric Nelson is an agent with the Susan Rabiner Literary Agency. His own blog, “How to Think Like Your Agent,” is full of quick, no-nonsense advice. Here, he lends our readers a special dose of it: how to get an … Continue reading

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Sending Out Work: The Job Part of the Writing Job

Well, folks, September is here and we all know what that means…literary journals are open for submissions! Yes, yes: time to update that bio, polish up that cover, and put the final touches on your best work. Remember that a … Continue reading

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Betting on First Books

I thought it had been about three years since I sent my first novel out to agents.  Turns out it was six.  Like the rest of the world, publishing has changed since 2007. A lot. Fewer publishing houses, less money, … Continue reading

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