Dec 3

What 185,000 words looks like, copyedited manuscript for MAKERS, the office, Clerkenwell, London, UK.JPGphoto © 2009 Cory Doc­torow | more info (via: Wylio)
Found this post through Writer’s Digest at a Guide to Lit­er­ary Agents blog. Go there for the full arti­cle by Guest Writer, Lit­er­ary Agent Mol­lie Glick:


1. An enter­tain­ing but polite and pro­fes­sional tone
2. Mul­ti­ple forms of con­tact infor­ma­tion
3. Proof that you have researched and hand-picked an agent. (If you’ve got a con­nec­tion, were referred by a client or met the agent at a con­fer­ence, make sure to point that out early in your let­ter.)
4. Espe­cially for non­fic­tion: An author bio that demon­strates your plat­form and why you’re the right author for this project
5. A quick, catchy hook or “ele­va­tor pitch”
6. Mak­ing a case for the book’s built-in audi­ence
7. Espe­cially for non­fic­tion: Show­ing why your exper­tise and media con­tacts make you the best author for your project


1. Ask­ing what the agent can do for you, rather than demon­strat­ing what you can do for him/her
2. Ask­ing for a phone call or in per­son meet­ing before the agent has requested one
3. Query­ing for mul­ti­ple projects at the same time
4. List­ing per­sonal infor­ma­tion unre­lated to your book
5. Giv­ing ref­er­ences from peo­ple out­side the pub­lish­ing indus­try (such as say­ing your writ­ers group, your con­gre­gants, or your mother’s next door neighbor’s cock­erspaniel loved your book)
6. Com­par­ing your book to a commonly-quoted best­seller
7. Mak­ing broad claims that you can’t back up
8. A pitch for an incom­plete nov­els. (It’s OK to query with an unfin­ished non­fic­tion project, as long as you’ve writ­ten a pro­posal, but nov­els should be fin­ished before you start con­tact­ing agents.)
9. Overly famil­iar, aggres­sive, or incor­rect salutations

Sep 14

The fol­low­ing video pretty much speaks for itself. There are vary­ing view­points about whether an edi­tor should post his/her rates on a blog/website, but some of you have a gen­uine need to know, and your ques­tions gave me a great oppor­tu­nity to try out using video as a way to answer ques­tions. It was fun to do, though the learn­ing curve (at least for me) was a bit steep! Par­don the imper­fec­tions! (I do like, and I hope you will as well, the “inten­tional imper­fec­tions” of the Ani­moto* back­ground I opted to use — I think they make the whole thing artsy and fun!)

Oh, by the way, for those of you who don’t know me very well yet, the fact that my eyes dart back and forth is NOT because I’m speed-reading cue cards! It’s because I have a con­gen­i­tal con­di­tion called nys­tag­mus that affects the mus­cles of my eyes. Sorry it doesn’t look like I’m mak­ing eye con­tact with you!

Please let me know if you have any fur­ther ques­tions about how I might assist you with your writ­ing. And remem­ber: not just books; I’ll be glad to help with ad copy, school papers, resumes, let­ters, and more.

I invite you to view this and other videos on my YouTube chan­nel, “Final­TouchEdit.” If you find some­thing you like there, please click “Like.” I’d also love to hear from you, so please leave a com­ment here and/or on YouTube. And if you know some­one else who might be inter­ested in learn­ing about my ser­vices (or in see­ing the dar­ling cat video on my chan­nel!), please pass the links/URLs along to them. Thanks!

* http://​cmp​.ly/5

May 19

I’ve been using LinkedIn for sev­eral months now, and I have to say, it is eas­ily my favorite social net­work for pro­fes­sional pur­poses — largely because that is pri­mar­ily what it’s designed for. While Face­book and Twit­ter can also be use­ful for mak­ing busi­ness con­tacts, pass­ing on help­ful resources, and even offer­ing your ser­vices to oth­ers, they are also — as you likely know — widely used for keep­ing in touch on a per­sonal level and, in the case of Face­book, for fun and games. Noth­ing wrong with fun and games, but when I want to learn about someone’s pro­fes­sional cre­den­tials, dis­cuss a busi­ness topic with an online group, and offer glow­ing rec­om­men­da­tions about peo­ple I know oth­ers will love as much as I do… LinkedIn is just the thing!

It’s no coin­ci­dence then that on LinkedIn, in the Writ­ing and Edit­ing Pro­fes­sion­als group, I dis­cov­ered a link to a great arti­cle about Social Media, which in turn led me to a great piece about har­ness­ing LinkedIn for pro­fes­sional use.

Here are a cou­ple of my favorite tips from the article:

  • Be unique: Don’t just list your job title beneath your name; instead, describe in brief how peo­ple will ben­e­fit by con­nect­ing with you and your busi­ness. For instance, the line below my name reads: “Glad to help you put the FINAL TOUCH on your writ­ing to make it the best it can be!”
  • Link your LinkedIn pro­file to your blog. If you look down my pro­file, for exam­ple, you’ll see the head­ing for this very blog post! Read­ers can find my LinkedIn pro­file through my blog, and they can also find my blog through my LinkedIn profile.

Check out the arti­cle for more LinkedIn ideas!

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