“I don’t want to be the poster girl for dysfunctional relationships,” my client told me. And yet her memoir was about a past dysfunctional relationship. She’d just spent a weekend at a writers’ conference where agents and editors she’d met with had helped her to brainstorm platform-building ideas that included writing articles and posts about the experiences in her memoir.…

So, the Hachette Book Group is acquiring the Perseus Books Group again, 18 months after its first failed attempt to do so. This time it looks like the deal will stick, though. If you read industry news deals or press releases, you’ll see all kinds of positive spin on deals like these. This is the third major publishing merger in…

When you hear the term “indie author,” who comes to mind? Do you think of an author published by a small but traditional independent publishing house, or do you think of a self-published author? Or maybe either/or? As the world of publishing shifts beneath our feet, so does the language of publishing. The term “indie” was at one point reserved…

On Wednesday night, I sat on a panel to kick off this weekend’s San Francisco Writers Conference. Its title was “Celebrating Diversity: Opportunities for Writers of Color in Today’s Publishing Landscape.” Weeks ago, when the panel was finalized and I realized I was the only white panelist, I figured I’d been invited because I identify as lesbian, and because I’m…

I teach memoir, read memoir, and publish memoir. I love memoir, and I’m not alone. It’s a popular genre, the genre of the people. It’s also the most reviled genre—perhaps exactly for this reason. Every few months some literary elitist comes out with a memoir-bashing article, so replete in its criticism and condemnation that it reminds us just how hated…

We all know that books are, in fact, judged by their covers. Because of this, and because the marketplace is so crazy competitive, your cover can make or break your book. But there’s a bit of a rub where cover design is concerned, which is that many authors fancy themselves book designers. But being the expert on your book does…

It's resolution time, and whether you commit to annual resolutions religiously, or you believe they don't merit a special time of year, the year's end provides a unique opportunity to consider where you've been and where you're going. I work with writers who want to publish, which means that the goals we set forth are two-fold: to finish the work-in-progress,…

A funny thing about authors: they’re not a modest bunch. Even the most humble, down-to-earth authors I know have wild expectations about the potential their book has to be a best-seller; to earn out; to change their life. I get it. A lot of authors pin their dreams on their books, and there’s something beautiful about that. And while no…

It’s human nature to compare ourselves to our peers. It starts in grade school, or even earlier among siblings. We look to others to see whether or not we measure up. We do this in school, in jobs, in parenting and in our creative endeavors. Last week a writer I’m working with started telling me about a woman she knows,…

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