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5 Surprising Tips for a Nonfiction Book Deal

Today’s guest post is by Lisa Tener.

You’ve probably heard the usual tips about getting a nonfiction book deal, particularly in the arena of prescriptive books:

  • “Grow Your Platform and Showcase it in Your Proposal.”
  • “Engage Your Community.”
  • “Write Something Fresh.”
  • “Showcase Your Credentials.”
  • “Capture a Strong Voice from the Start of the Proposal.”
  • “Include the latest research if there is evidence to back up your methods or advice.”

Those are all important ingredients to interest literary agents and publishers. However, there are additional strategies that many people don’t know that can make your proposal stand out. Continue Reading…

Online Conference for Nonfiction (and Fiction) Writers!

Do you write nonfiction? Or want to? How about a conference you can attend in your PJs and slippers while sitting on your couch?

I love writing nonfiction. If you’re a novelist, you might want to branch out. There are so many terrific writing opportunities for nonfiction material, and it may behoove you to do some article and NF book writing while you are waiting for that novel to sell (or to take a break from the fiction grind).

A lot of these talks and workshops apply to both fiction and nonfiction writing!

The 8th annual Nonfiction Writers Conference returns May 2-4, 2018. This event is completely virtual; attendees participate via phone or Skype. Continue Reading…

Beginnings and Endings for Your Memoir

I’ve been sharing excerpts from my new book The Memoir Workbook. Today we’re going to consider the starting and ending points for your memoir.

Your memoir obviously needs to start somewhere and end somewhere, and since you’re not writing an autobiography with the purpose of detailing your entire life, you need to spend time thinking about the time frame.

One writer suggests: “Start anywhere. Because no matter where you start, you’ll end up where you’re meant to be.” I disagree. From my experience in critiquing and editing hundreds of manuscripts, including memoir, if you start anywhere, you may wander off to Shangri-la and find yourself stuck in a snowdrift—not where you’d planned to go.

As with any journey, you need a specific starting point that will actually get you to your targeted destination.

Your memoir may cover three days of your life or it may cover thirty years. You could be writing a gripping story of the time you got trapped in a hotel during a tsunami or the year you spent living abroad. The duration is contingent on the particular story you aim to tell.

This is why it’s important to know your purpose in writing this particular memoir and your themes.

Since your memoir is going to pull from various anecdotes in your life to support your theme or topic, you want to determine what event in your life is best to springboard your story. Continue Reading…

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