Book Collage Write Here Write Now (1)

Introducing the “Write Here, Write Now” Podcast Series

Free In-depth Craft Discussions with Today’s Best Writers CLICK HERE to access these exclusive FREE podcasts! Whether you’re a published author looking to take your writing to new heights or just getting started, the insight and experience of other writers is invaluable—especially when the authors offering their expertise are award-winning, #1 New York Times bestselling authors. The “Write Here, Write Now” podcast series produced by the Salt Cay Writers Retreat and Folio Literary Management features some of today’s most accomplished authors ...

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Authors – Are You Auditing Your Royalty Statements? by Karen Dionne

In her article, "Good Agents Audit Royalty Statements," Kristin Nelson (President, Nelson Literary Agency) writes that over the past decade, careful auditing by her agency has recovered over $600,000 for her clients. "Even now, nary an accounting period goes by that we don't recover at least $500 to $3,000 owed to a client." She also states this jaw-dropping fact: A good percentage of agents do not audit their clients' royalty statements. I wanted to know how many of my author friends' agents audit their statements, and how many of these authors also audit their ...

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Fearless Negotiation: An Agent’s Most Important Role for an Author by Kristin Nelson and Karen Dionne

Kristin: Of all the skills a literary agent is required to have, the most important is the ability to negotiate well on behalf of the author client. Authors hire agents to protect their business interests in publishing. In my mind, and other folks may disagree with me, all other skills are kind of moot without this one. This is why a literary agent has a job. To say this another way, your agent might be a great communicator or team builder, give great marketing feedback, have good relationships with editors, have good taste in picking projects (all wonderful ...

think like an agent

Commanding Authority: An Agent’s Negotiation Edge by Kristin Nelson and Karen Dionne

Not all literary agents are created equal. Agent Kristin Nelson and author Karen Dionne have seen the good, the bad, and the truly ugly. In this article series, “Think Like an Agent,” they pool their expertise.  Kristin: In January, one my clients emailed me a great note to kick off the new year. She wrote: “This is going to sound random, but I feel the need to do a bit of effusive gushing to you. As you probably know, authors eventually turn to gossip (about their contracts too) and I recently found out that several writers I know are stuck with joint ...

think like an agent

Think Like an Agent: Agent as Savvy Business Manager by Kristin Nelson and Karen Dionne

Not all literary agents are created equal. Agent Kristin Nelson and author Karen Dionne have seen the good, the bad, and the truly ugly. In this article series, “Think Like an Agent,” they pool their expertise. Kristin: Simply put, a literary agent is the person an author hires to manage his or her publishing career. Literary agent is actually an odd career. It’s the only job in which the the agent picks the client first, and then the client decides whether or not to hire the agent. What other job is remotely like that? None. It’s unique to this ...

think like an agent

What Makes A Good Agent? by Kristin Nelson

For years, I’ve been friends with the Backspace Co-Founder Extraordinaire Karen Dionne. Over the break, she reached out to me to see if I was open to doing the 2016 Salt Cay Writers Retreat in the Caribbean. Like I need to think about that. Conference in a warm, tropical setting? Oh, heck yeah, I’m in. But as we were chatting, we started talking about how writers sometimes want an agent so badly, they are willing to sign with an average or even a below-average agent. Trust me, not all agents are equal. And I said, “Well, writers don’t know what they ...

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Do writers have to “write what they know?” by Suzanne Chazin

Writers are often advised to “write what you know.” The thinking goes that only by experiencing something yourself can you portray it authentically. Here’s what I know: 1. A child’s need for a bathroom is inversely proportional to the distance from one. 2. If you want to discuss something really important with a man, hide the remote. 3. Never enter a swimming pool after a bunch of preschoolers have used it. The same goes for teenagers and your car. If I had to write solely from personal experience, my novels would have all the excitement of a C-span budget ...

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What Do Your Dreams Really Mean? by Mary Kennedy

Dreams are amazing, ephemeral and fun. As a psychologist, I enjoy listening to my clients’ dreams and I’m grateful to have a window into their world. Their dreams teach me so much about their unconscious fears and desires, their most hidden emotions. When I read about the popularity of dream clubs in the northeast, I thought it would be a great idea for a mystery series and I wrote Nightmares Can be Murder, the first in the Dream Club Mysteries (Penguin, Sept 2,2014). A dream club is like a book club except the topic is dreams.  In Nightmares Can Be Murder, ...

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Breaking In: Voice by Karen Dionne

All agents and editors look for different things in a manuscript. For authors hoping to sell their novel to a major publisher, this variety of tastes and opinions works in their favor: one man's trash is another woman's treasure. But one item comes up over and over again: Voice. The reason is simple. Readers are going to have to live with that narrative voice for two or three hundred pages, so the author's voice needs to be as captivating and compelling as possible. Voice is difficult to define in the abstract, but agents, editors, readers, and writers know voice ...