Mentoring & Publishing Guidance
Whether you seek to finish your manuscript and can’t think further or want to be traditionally published, to find a hybrid publisher, or to self-publish, I can provide guidance through all aspects of the process. I've organized the stages of work below, from one through four.
STAGE ONE: MENTORING
Going into the market with a well-honed, thoroughly examined manuscript that carries readers along with a sure and compelling voice will greatly increase your changes of seeing your book in print. Whether you’re writing fiction or nonfiction, our work together will help make your manuscript as strong as it can be. I’ll teach you throughout the process, editing and offering guidance on all aspects of craft as needed, supplying a thoughtful reading, and making suggestions on how to further develop your intentions and create a more powerful work. With expert guidance and support, your writing skills and output can reach a higher level. You can submit work to me in sections or as a whole, as you’re writing a first draft or revising. My job is to help writers tell the stories they want to tell. There are always ways of making that story more powerful by improving the craft and further developing the momentum. Big changes are sometimes necessary, and I will recommend them when they are. I know enough about technique to recognize how to help you write the story you want to write. I'll help you build that story into a far stronger one, with an approach tailored to you and your manuscript. What you learn will improve all the writing you do. And the deadlines, email check-ins, encouragement, and insights I provide can ease the isolation of writing.
STAGE TWO: REACHING OUT TO LITERARY AGENTS
STAGE THREE: PREPARING AND PLANNING FOR YOUR BOOK LAUNCH
Writing a good query letter is difficult; it requires seeing your manuscript and yourself from the outside and knowing what sorts of feelings to aim to create in readers. I've developed ways of helping writers craft compelling letters that are more likely to inspire agents to ask to see the manuscript. (My debut novel’s query got manuscript requests from 9 of 12 of the agents I approached.) I'll guide you in creating the query and synopsis, edit them as many times as you’d like, help you select agents to approach and communicate with them, help you choose editors to suggest (if you get an agent), and guide you through the phases of the submission process, including evaluating editor offers. I can also help you develop a structure and content for your author website and get you started on creating your own or create it for you.
The next phases are similar for traditional and self-published authors. I can walk you through the process of bringing your manuscript into print, whether in concert with a publisher or not. I’ll help you make suggested changes to the manuscript, copyedit, respond to book-design suggestions, and work with marketing and publicity departments and/or plan your own outreach. In the year prior to publication, I'll help you choose among the many actions you could pursue, then help you plan and prepare. Tasks can include gathering contacts and other resources, choosing how you'll seek attention, planning events, setting up social media and an author website (which I can help you develop), encouraging pre-orders, writing essays for possible publication to help bring attention to your book, and so much more. Whew!
STAGE FOUR: BRINGING YOUR BOOK TO THE PEOPLE
Now’s the time to celebrate, gather any accolades your book inspires, and enact your post-publication plans--from doing author talks and visiting book groups to continuing to seek publicity and reviews, posting on social media, encouraging sales, keeping your spirits up (because every actual book launch leads to some dashed fantasies), maintaining records of contacts, gathering names for your mailing list, and other things to make the next time a bit easier. Launching a book is a multifaceted and demanding undertaking, but it's less stressful with an ally to help you make decisions and take on a wide array of author-driven efforts. I’ll also serve as a touchstone while you're moving through these experiences.