Sunday, January 6, 2013

Query-me-dos and dont's




As an assistant (AKA: Literary agent in training) for a well-respected literary agency in San Francisco, I read a lot of queries.

And by a lot -- I mean hundreds. A week.

One thing I like to remind people of is that rules for submission are there for your benefit. How do they benefit you? I, along with many other agents I'm sure, will only read ones that closely follow the submission guidelines.

If you are unsure what the guidelines are, it is perfectly acceptable to email the agent to clarify.

How to gain brownie points with an agent:

* When sending an SASE -- make it self-sealing.
* Sending work that has been reviewed by several people, other than yourself, for simple errors. 

How to sabotage yourself:

* When mailing your full manuscript, upon request only, do not send in READY POST MAILERS. They tear easily and are a HUGE mess.

* Don't follow the guidelines. If you can't follow simple rules for submission, then clearly you aren't going to follow the rules of your contract, etc. You want to show that you're willing to work with them -- not do you own thing. 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

How public speaking will catapult your business

Think speaking engagements are just for motivational speakers?

Think again.

Anyone can speak and the beauty of speaking engagements is that it immediately brands you as an expert, which is really important and an invaluable tool for building a client list.

Think about your career. What do you do? From that -- what lessons could you speak about? Tips? Tricks? You can be a motivational speaker, too, but it will be more specifically geared toward your profession.

Don't know where to get speaking engagements? Try posting that you're available for speaking engagements or are looking for some on Facebook, Twitter, etc. Someone is bound to have a place. Also, look at your town. What kind of events are going on? Will they have speakers there? You can contact them to find out how to become one.

People want to hear what you have to say. So say something. 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Belief = Ability

Everyone has heard about the concept "if you believe you can, you will." Numerous occasions and examples can be made supporting the power of positive thinking and of the the mind, in general. I would like to take a moment to remind you of this power. It's real and it works. While most people belief this is just hokum, you are merely telling yourself it doesn't work. And guess what? It doesn't.

If life isn't going the way you want, focus on changing your mindset. Nothing will change if your mindset doesn't.