Pitching, Querying, and Proposing at MWA St. Mary’s County Chapter – September 2015

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As an active member of the Maryland Writer’s Association, I am thrilled to present at the St. Mary’s County Chapter meeting in September. On September 28th, 2015 at 7PM, please join us at the Leonardtown Library for my frequently requested talk, “Pitching, Querying, and Proposing: How Authors Go from Shy to Sold.” Find out who really decides what gets published, how to approach them without getting the proverbial door slammed in your face, and what these gatekeepers expect from you besides your very best work.

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Doctoring the Doctor to Make Whole Pet Healing More Accessible

whole pet healing

Recently, I had the opportunity to work with 30-year veterinarian Dr. Dennis Thomas on his new book, Whole Pet Healing: A Heart-to-Heart Guide to Connecting with and Caring for Your Animal Companion. As the proud owner of five rescue cats, it is easy to say that I am a true animal lover. Dr. Dennis Thomas found me on the list of editing professionals recommended by his publisher, Hay House.

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5 Ways to Reignite Your Old (Manuscript) Flame

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Has it been a while since you worked on your book? Don’t beat yourself up about it! The distance you’ve gained since the last time you sat down with this material is very valuable in giving you a fresh perspective. Now that some time has passed, you can return to it with renewed vigor and insight—sometimes you’ll be pleasantly surprised by your own brilliance, and at other times, you’ll be embarrassed by how bad a passage is! You’ll catch errors you never noticed before, and you’ll be better able to match your progress to your original concept or outline. Here are some tips to help you take advantage of this unique vantage point.

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How to Avoid Getting Scammed by Publishing Services, Pt. 1

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I’m sure you’ve heard of them or seen their aggressive advertising campaigns. Author House, Xlibris, iUniverse, Trafford Press…the list goes on.
What you may not know is that about two years ago, a law firm in New York filed a class action lawsuit against Author Solutions, the parent company of the above-mentioned outfits. If you’ve used the services of one of these companies, you may want to check it out and see if you qualify for joining the lawsuit yourself.

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Unbeatable Help for an Unbeatable Mind

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It is always a pleasure to work with retired Navy SEAL commander Mark Divine. When he approached me about working on the third edition of his book, Unbeatable Mind, I knew I would enjoy this project as I’ve enjoyed others like 8 Weeks to SEALFIT and The Way of the SEAL.

Mark self-published the first two editions of Unbeatable Mind, a book describing the powerful principles on which he founded the SEALFIT Academies and Kokoro Camp. Before releasing a third edition, he called me in to evaluate his material and restructure the book into a more polished product that better reflected the kind of progressive systems he uses to teach these concepts to his students.

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Keep This Toss That: An Exercise in Organization

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I have always admired those rare humans who live in homes devoid of clutter. Of course, I have also questioned whether they are truly human, because clutter often seems like a fact of life. In my house the rule is to stop clutter from ever crossing the threshold and this method has definitely helped keep my order-loving heart happy. But how to systematically tackle the detritus of life that can’t seem to help but wash up periodically?

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Ally Offers An Introduction to Developmental Editing — April 2015

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This April, I had the opportunity to teach an Introduction to Developmental Editing audio conference for Copyediting. Developmental editing is a great tool that an author can use to maximize their book’s potential. Teaching Copyediting.com’s audio course gave me the chance to help publishing professionals understand the basics of developmental editing, when it’s needed, and why they might add it to their repertoire.

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Start with ICAN: An (e) Book Doctoring Project

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Recently I had the pleasure of working with professional firefighter Joel Anderson, founder of the My FIRE Point empowerment system, to create a free opt-in gift (also sometimes known as a “lead magnet”) for visitors to his website. I loved Joel’s concept right away: His work focuses on what he calls your FIRE Point, the place where your personal strengths intersect with your passion to ignite and maintain your inner fire. The My FIRE Point system has four pillars: Foundation, Integrity, Relationships, and Excellence. The first pillar, Foundation, is where Joel and I concentrated while working on Start with ICAN.

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What The Heck is a Platform and Why Do I Need One?

Build your author platform to stand out from the crowd

If you want to take your business to the next level and pursue book publication, whether with an agent/publisher or through the independent route, you have to think beyond the content of the book itself. Sure, that’s where your creative side will go first…because after all, when you’re thinking about writing a book, it’s natural to focus on what that book will be. But is you keep your focus there only, you’re missing a key piece of the publishing success puzzle.

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A 3-Part Strategy for (Positive) Change in Your Book Publishing Results Step 2: Save Time

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You thought publishing a book would bring more business to your doorstep so you wouldn’t have to spend so much time marketing your services. But since you published your book, you’ve been killing yourself, working harder than ever to promote both your business and your book. In the first part of this series, I revealed the three most common areas authors should focus their energy and resources on if they aren’t getting the results they want from their book, whether that means your query letters keep generating rejection letters or that your book is out there collecting digital dust on the virtual shelves.

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