Building Your Author Platform

Spend five minutes with anyone in the publishing industry, and you’ll inevitably hear how important author platform is for selling books. Even the largest publishers—with the largest marketing budgets and the most well-connected publicists—rely heavily on the author’s own platform and connections to make a book succeed. In fact, the larger the publisher, the higherContinue reading “Building Your Author Platform”

I leave these comments in nearly every manuscript I edit

Each of the writers I’ve worked with have approached their books in their own way; no two writers sound the same. And I try to edit manuscripts in such a way that the author’s unique voice continues to shine through. Yet, I find myself making a few of the same comments in most manuscripts. SeeContinue reading “I leave these comments in nearly every manuscript I edit”

Spiritual Books by Black Women

For Black History Month, I’m highlighting a few books by Black women authors about faith, spirituality, and communal thriving. Add them to your reading list! In My Grandmother’s House by Yolanda Pierce The church mothers who raised Yolanda Pierce, dean of Howard University School of Divinity, were busily focused on her survival. In a worldContinue reading “Spiritual Books by Black Women”

The Slow Business of Publishing

Publishing is a notoriously “slow” industry—with long lead times between book acquisition and book publication. For example: right now, at the close of the 2021 calendar year, I’m acquiring books that will come out in late 2023 or early 2024! These long timelines can be surprising to new writers, and to writers who are usedContinue reading “The Slow Business of Publishing”

Please DO write a memoir. Please DON’T try to sell that memoir.

Unlike many publishers (who accept submissions exclusively through agents), Broadleaf books has an open submissions inbox where anyone can pitch their book to us. I check it every week and have found some incredible projects from unrepresented authors. But every week, more than half (and sometimes nearly all) of the proposals I see in thatContinue reading “Please DO write a memoir. Please DON’T try to sell that memoir.”

LGBTQ+ Spiritual Books

For Pride month, I’m highlighting a few books by LGBTQ+ authors about faith, spirituality, and human thriving. Add them to your reading list or gift them to a friend! Worth It by Brit Barron Brit Barron grew up in an Evangelical megachurch in the ’90s, trying to fit neatly inside the boundaries her church andContinue reading “LGBTQ+ Spiritual Books”

What goes in a book proposal?

If you’ve spent any time researching the book publishing process, you’ve likely encountered a variety of perspectives on what makes up a good book proposal. I suppose this post is simply my contribution to the crowded conversation, but, in my view, most advice about book proposals is over doing it. Editors and agents receive dozens—evenContinue reading “What goes in a book proposal?”

The best books do less, not more

One of the most common mistakes for an author is to try and cover too much with your book. This is especially true for first time authors who have experience writing essays, think pieces, articles, etc. but are now proposing their first book-length work. To expand their current writing style to this longer format, authorsContinue reading “The best books do less, not more”

What your publisher will do for you, and what they won’t

I know that the publishing process is often opaque, and many authors—especially first-time authors—don’t know what to expect. Knowing a bit more about what your publisher likely will and won’t do for you will hopefully empower you as you go through the process. Let me start by saying: publishing is a partnership. It is noContinue reading “What your publisher will do for you, and what they won’t”

Making the most out of your relationship with your editor

Whether you’re hiring a freelance editor to help you polish your manuscript before querying or self-publishing, or working with your assigned editor after selling your book to a publishing house, you’ll want to make the most out of that editorial relationship. Let’s go over some of the common pitfalls and advantages to working with anContinue reading “Making the most out of your relationship with your editor”