Category : Resources for Writing

  • February 28, 2013

    Thursdays with Amanda: My New Marketing Book for Writers!

    by

    Amanda Luedeke is a literary agent with MacGregor Literary. Every Thursday, she posts about growing your author platform. You can follow her on Twitter @amandaluedeke or join her Facebook group to stay current with her wheelings and dealings as an agent.

    Have you enjoyed our Thursday chats on marketing, promotions, and platform-building? I sure have! But so many times it feels as though I’m cramming info into my posts or even breezing over content. And what’s worse, is it’s become clear to me that this site doesn’t exactly make it easy to dig through my old posts!

    So, I have some exciting news! 

    I’ve written a book ALL ABOUT how to use the Internet to grow an author platform! Here’s a peek at the cover:

    From websites to Facebook to Twitter to Pinterest and more, I cover the essential topics, pulling from some of my best posts while also adding in plenty of new content. Whether you’re a social media newbie or guru, an unpublished writer or an industry veteran you’ll come away with actionable items that you can put into practice now.

    THE EXTROVERTED WRITER: An Author’s Guide to Marketing and Building a Platform releases March 15 on Amazon, BarnesandNoble.com, and Smashwords (for ePub version or all other ebook devices). For now, it will be only available as an ebook.

    If you’d like to recieve a notice when the book is available, sign up for the newsletter here. (It’s not the fanciest newsletter provider, btw. So don’t judge me!).

    Please share this post with your friends! AND if you’ve been a fan of Thursdays with Amanda and would like to offer an endorsement, hit me up at ExtrovertedWriter@gmail.com. I’m hoping to receive testimonies from writers in all walks of life, published or unpublished, who can testify that my Thursday with Amanda tips help make their social media platforms stronger.

    Thank you all, and let me know

    Continue Reading "Thursdays with Amanda: My New Marketing Book for Writers!"
  • October 18, 2012

    Thursdays with Amanda: 10% OFF BLOG DESIGN!

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    Amanda Luedeke Literary AgentAmanda Luedeke is a literary agent with MacGregor Literary. Every Thursday, she posts about growing your author platform. You can follow her on Twitter @amandaluedeke or join her Facebook group to stay current with her wheelings and dealings as an agent.

    This week, for readers of Thursdays with Amanda, we have a SUPER SPECIAL OFFER FROM ELEGANT CUSTOM BLOGS!

    Melanie from ElegantCustomBLogs.com has offered a 10% discount on her blog design services to readers of this blog. Just head over to ElegantCustomerBlogs.com and mention Thursdays with Amanda.(Melanie works on the Blogger platform only).

    Melanie does a great job, and she even designed the website for an author I represent, Melissa Tagg. When Bethany House offered a 2-book deal to Melissa, they specifically mentioned how impressed they were by her web presences. And Melanie can certainly take some of the credit for that! So go check her out.

    Sorry to cut things short today, but I have a conference in DC this weekend and a million deadlines. So I’ll leave you with this thought…

    We talk a lot about putting the right content in our blogs…about catering to the reader, and knowing your audience, and flooding it with links and keywords and yada yada yada. But at the end of the day, a great blog VOICE trumps content every single time.

    In doing your social media critiques, I’ve found this to be truer than ever. When I come across a great blog voice that draws me in and keeps me reading, I don’t think much about whether they’re connecting with the right audience or whether their topics are appropriate. I forget all that and get lost in the beauty of words.

    So while you’re tweaking your content to hit the right reader with the right information that’s searchable and all that stuff, keep voice at the top of your blog’s to-do list. It really is the best way to

    Continue Reading "Thursdays with Amanda: 10% OFF BLOG DESIGN!"
  • March 16, 2012

    What are some good resources for writers?

    by

    Dan wrote and said, "I hear you've taught a couple classes for colleges, and I know you do the occasional conference. For those of us who can't get to another state to hear you, what would be some resources you'd recommend for writers?"

    One of the best things you can do for yourself as a writer is to attend a good writing conference. They have conferences all over the country, usually featuring experienced writers and publishing professionals. It's a great way to meet people, ask questions, and connect with others who are also trying to make it as writers. There's undoubtedly a GREAT conference happening somewhere close to you in the month, as the conference season kicks off (for example, I'm attending the Left Coast Crime conference in Sacramento in two weeks). You'll rarely regret investing in a good conference.

    Another thing to consider is a critique group — a chance to sit down with a small group of fellow writers and compare notes, critique each others' work, and talk books. It offers you perspective from others, and it gets you talking writing with people — something many writers have discovered is hard to find. You can often connect to them online, and many local bookstores will help authors in the area come together in order to network and critique one another. A third resource is one of the online writing groups — one helpful such gatherings is the Yahoo group "The Writers View," but there are numerous others. Most of these groups discuss writing and publishing, and many have a panel of experts to bring some wisdom to the discussion.

    If you're already involved in some of those things, let me suggest a writing course at your local college. It can be a lot of fun to take a literature course or participate in a creative writing class, and the instructors can often give new insight into your

    Continue Reading "What are some good resources for writers?"
  • March 16, 2012

    What are some good resources for writers?

    by

    Dan wrote and said, "I hear you've taught a couple classes for colleges, and I know you do the occasional conference. For those of us who can't get to another state to hear you, what would be some resources you'd recommend for writers?"

    One of the best things you can do for yourself as a writer is to attend a good writing conference. They have conferences all over the country, usually featuring experienced writers and publishing professionals. It's a great way to meet people, ask questions, and connect with others who are also trying to make it as writers. There's undoubtedly a GREAT conference happening somewhere close to you in the month, as the conference season kicks off (for example, I'm attending the Left Coast Crime conference in Sacramento in two weeks). You'll rarely regret investing in a good conference.

    Another thing to consider is a critique group — a chance to sit down with a small group of fellow writers and compare notes, critique each others' work, and talk books. It offers you perspective from others, and it gets you talking writing with people — something many writers have discovered is hard to find. You can often connect to them online, and many local bookstores will help authors in the area come together in order to network and critique one another. A third resource is one of the online writing groups — one helpful such gatherings is the Yahoo group "The Writers View," but there are numerous others. Most of these groups discuss writing and publishing, and many have a panel of experts to bring some wisdom to the discussion.

    If you're already involved in some of those things, let me suggest a writing course at your local college. It can be a lot of fun to take a literature course or participate in a creative writing class, and the instructors can often give new insight into your

    Continue Reading "What are some good resources for writers?"
  • February 8, 2012

    All the news that's fit to print…

    by

    There's always a ton of publishing news going on, and I realize it's tough for most writers to stay on top of it all. The fact is, you DON'T NEED to stay on top of it all. But occasionally it's nice to know what's going on, so you can impress your friends or get girls to notice you at parties. So may I share a handful of things I think you should be aware of?


    1. Barnes & Noble has decided not to carry any books published by Amazon. Books-a-Million made the same decision. That may not be a huge shocker (The Gap doesn't sell clothes from Abercrombie & Fitch), but fascinating none the less, as it sets up a battle between the nation's biggest retailers (and every writer's best supporters). The various sides are turning this into a blood feud. You can read about it here:

    2. And that leads to an interesting discussion on the influence Amazon has in publishing these days. A fascinating story here, on "how Amazon is burning down publishing"…

    3. And our friends at Digital Book World have explored how Barnes & Noble has certain advantages in the book wars:

    4. Meanwhile, over in the UK, there's interesting thinking on the ebook wars:

    5. And back here in the Colonies, somebody noticed that HarperCollins is using the Expresso Machine to make their backlist available:

    6. I found this fascinating — a look at how important covers and complete information are to those who e-publish:

    7. And this gives me hope and makes all the noise of the ebook wars fade away — World Book Night is coming April 25th. If you don't know about it, read this:

    8. This also made me happy — a story about an editor deciding to become an agent:

    9. One of the most intelligent reviews of the current e-book
    Continue Reading "All the news that's fit to print…"
  • January 27, 2012

    From Amanda: How to Format Your Manuscript for Submission and Kindle Upload

    by

    Amanda 2 CropAmanda Luedeke is a literary agent with MacGregor Literary. You can follow her on Twitter @amandaluedeke or join her Facebook group to stay current with her wheelings and dealings as an agent.

    First, I'd like to say I'm sorry for missing my post yesterday. I had some personal things come up and just didn't get around to it. So, we're going to take a slight detour this week, since I know there are a number of people who tune in specifically on Thursdays to hear about building author platform. And, well, we don't want them missing the next installment, now, do we?!

    So for today, I'd like to share links to a batch of really helpful tutorial videos my author, the fabulous Jill Williamson, put together. They cover everything you need to know to format your manuscript for submission.

    Formatting a Manuscript, Part 1: Page Set Up and Text– http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=boP5po6aMDk&feature=related
    Formatting a Manuscript, Part 2: Page Breaks– http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9nU1iv2v95s&feature=related
    Formatting a Manuscript, Part 3: Paragraphs– http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwqvmdWDJto&feature=related
    Formatting a Manuscript, Part 4: Cleaning things up– http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RNOj9ZR88E8&feature=related
    Formatting a Manuscript, Part 5: Page Numbers– http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOuihsC7SyY&feature=related
    In addition to this, Jill put together a series of videos for formatting your manuscript for upload on Amazon as a Kindle ebook.
    Formatting Your Manuscript for Amazon Kindle–PART 1– http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RU2kprKRrGY&feature=related
    Using Mobipocket to Format Your Book For Kindle–PART 2– http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e4szEhEhHy4&feature=related
    They're short and to the point…excellent references for anyone getting ready to do something with that polished, perfected manuscript.
    Do you know of any tutorials to add to this list? Tell us about them!
    And tune in next Thursday when we get back to our discussion on building platforms…the topic? Platform-building blogging. See you next week!
    Continue Reading "From Amanda: How to Format Your Manuscript for Submission and Kindle Upload"
  • January 27, 2012

    From Amanda: How to Format Your Manuscript for Submission and Kindle Upload

    by

    Amanda 2 CropAmanda Luedeke is a literary agent with MacGregor Literary. You can follow her on Twitter @amandaluedeke or join her Facebook group to stay current with her wheelings and dealings as an agent.

    First, I'd like to say I'm sorry for missing my post yesterday. I had some personal things come up and just didn't get around to it. So, we're going to take a slight detour this week, since I know there are a number of people who tune in specifically on Thursdays to hear about building author platform. And, well, we don't want them missing the next installment, now, do we?!

    So for today, I'd like to share links to a batch of really helpful tutorial videos my author, the fabulous Jill Williamson, put together. They cover everything you need to know to format your manuscript for submission.

    Formatting a Manuscript, Part 1: Page Set Up and Text– http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=boP5po6aMDk&feature=related
    Formatting a Manuscript, Part 2: Page Breaks– http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9nU1iv2v95s&feature=related
    Formatting a Manuscript, Part 3: Paragraphs– http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwqvmdWDJto&feature=related
    Formatting a Manuscript, Part 4: Cleaning things up– http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RNOj9ZR88E8&feature=related
    Formatting a Manuscript, Part 5: Page Numbers– http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOuihsC7SyY&feature=related
    In addition to this, Jill put together a series of videos for formatting your manuscript for upload on Amazon as a Kindle ebook.
    Formatting Your Manuscript for Amazon Kindle–PART 1– http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RU2kprKRrGY&feature=related
    Using Mobipocket to Format Your Book For Kindle–PART 2– http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e4szEhEhHy4&feature=related
    They're short and to the point…excellent references for anyone getting ready to do something with that polished, perfected manuscript.
    Do you know of any tutorials to add to this list? Tell us about them!
    And tune in next Thursday when we get back to our discussion on building platforms…the topic? Platform-building blogging. See you next week!
    Continue Reading "From Amanda: How to Format Your Manuscript for Submission and Kindle Upload"
  • October 21, 2010

    What's the latest news?

    by


    Random thoughts on proposals and writing as we end the week…

    I am teaching a one-day workshop in Richmond, Virginia, on Saturday, November 6, at the Sierra Hotel near Short Pump. If you're in the area, I'd love to have you participate. All the details can be found here: http://www.regonline.com/the_perfect_proposal

    My friend and fellow agent Noah Lukeman has some great advice to share on how to write a strong query letter, and he's giving it away as a FREE downloadable book. Check it out at:  www.writeagreatquery.com

    And noted author Harlan Coben had some fascinating things to say about author branding in an interview he did with The Atlantic. Check out his thoughts at http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2007/07/paperback-writer/5988/

    Several folks have written to ask if there is a book-marketing site I like. There is — check out what Rob Eager does at http://www.startawildfire.com/

    And there's fascinating advice on how to make the most of social media here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFZ0z5Fm-Ng&feature=related

    I've had at least a dozen people write to ask what's going on with the various lawsuits among the guys who created the novel The Shack. Frankly, it's a mess. One guy is suing his partners for not sharing the money equitably. They are in turn suing him and claiming they helped write the book. And the publisher is even being sued (though it sounds like all they did was stick the earned royalties into a suspense account until the various other lawsuits could be resolved). It's ugly… and it's coming from people who bragged about how they didn't need an agent because they were all such good friends. Ugh. You can read about it here: http://www.christianretailing.com/index.php/newsletter/latest-etailing/21824-legal-showdown-over-the-shack


    There's something new coming up on the market — "Kindle Singles," a new idea from the folks at Amazon to create and sell e-books under 30,000 words (a size that is almost impossible to sell to a regular royalty-paying publisher). With the advent of e-readers and book-reader phone
    Continue Reading "What's the latest news?"
  • June 16, 2010

    More on the industry

    by

    Mark sent me this: “It
    seems that slowly the CBA is selling out. Is this true? Is it the ABA getting
    greedy? What does this signal for the future?”

    It signals that the general market has recognized the value of Christian books,
    Christian writers, and Christian readers. And, yes, it probably means that more
    CBA houses will be sold (or come under the influence of) large ABA houses. As to the question "are they greedy?"
    — good grief, they're running a for-profit enterprise. If "greedy"
    means "are they focused on making a profit," of course they're
    greedy. But I'd argue that CBA houses, for all the carefully-couched terms
    about having "ministry" and "doing the Lord's work," are
    also focused on profit. So maybe we should view this as a greater partnership,
    rather than a sell-out. Sure, there are some questions to face down the road –
    who will do commentaries and reference tools that aren't necessarily commercial
    but still have value to believers? What happens when a company faces a decision to publish a book at odds with believers? How will
    Christians respond when a company publishes some heretical tome? But, for those
    not in the know, those very questions are faced by some of us every day. Time Warner
    Book Group was a marvelous company that did many wonderful books when I was there (as well as before I came and after I left). We probably
    also published some books Christians would find offensive. But you know what? I
    was not responsible for every decision in the company. I was responsible to do
    good books with solid Christian content that will sell in the marketplace. I
    was comfortable with that role, and I believed in the company. So no, I don't find the blending of Christian and general markets a "sell out."

    Suzy asked, “How do you handle it when
    you have a change of editors (and editor styles)

    Continue Reading "More on the industry"
  • June 16, 2010

    More on the industry

    by

    Mark sent me this: “It
    seems that slowly the CBA is selling out. Is this true? Is it the ABA getting
    greedy? What does this signal for the future?”

    It signals that the general market has recognized the value of Christian books,
    Christian writers, and Christian readers. And, yes, it probably means that more
    CBA houses will be sold (or come under the influence of) large ABA houses. As to the question "are they greedy?"
    — good grief, they're running a for-profit enterprise. If "greedy"
    means "are they focused on making a profit," of course they're
    greedy. But I'd argue that CBA houses, for all the carefully-couched terms
    about having "ministry" and "doing the Lord's work," are
    also focused on profit. So maybe we should view this as a greater partnership,
    rather than a sell-out. Sure, there are some questions to face down the road –
    who will do commentaries and reference tools that aren't necessarily commercial
    but still have value to believers? What happens when a company faces a decision to publish a book at odds with believers? How will
    Christians respond when a company publishes some heretical tome? But, for those
    not in the know, those very questions are faced by some of us every day. Time Warner
    Book Group was a marvelous company that did many wonderful books when I was there (as well as before I came and after I left). We probably
    also published some books Christians would find offensive. But you know what? I
    was not responsible for every decision in the company. I was responsible to do
    good books with solid Christian content that will sell in the marketplace. I
    was comfortable with that role, and I believed in the company. So no, I don't find the blending of Christian and general markets a "sell out."

    Suzy asked, “How do you handle it when
    you have a change of editors (and editor styles)

    Continue Reading "More on the industry"
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