Archive for February, 2010

Make Every Word Count When Pitching to Agents or Acquisition Editors

February 28, 2010

“Make Every Word Count When Pitching to Agents or Acquisition Editors”
by Writing Career Coach Teresa

You have spent months, perhaps years, writing and rewriting your project/work.  And, you’ve decided to pursue either an agent (who earns his/her commission when he/she sells a client’s work to a publishing house) or an acquisition editor (whose job is to buy authors’ works for the publishing house he/she works for). Let’s say you’ve done your homework and have compiled a list of agents or acquisition editors who specialize in the kind of project (commodity) you wish to sell.

An agent or acquisition editor receives hundreds of pitches/query letters each week.  What can you do to catch these folks’ attention?  Use the right bait.  Make every word count.

Whether you’re pitching in person, over the telephone, through an E-Mail, or by old-fashion mail, keep this in mind—the pitch (bait) has three components:
•    who needs your project
•    the unique qualities about your commodity
•    why you are the perfect author for this work

Here are 4 examples:

Genre: Self Help / Relationship / Marriage

The 50% and 60% divorce rates, for first and second marriages respectively, are a wake-up call for the United States 55.2 million married couples.

Through my book, I empower couples to get the marriage they’ve always wanted.

The Marriage Meeting Program: 45 Minutes a Week to Guarantee the Long Term Relationship You’ve Always Wanted shows how to conduct a weekly meeting that increases intimacy, romance, teamwork, and smoother conflict resolution.

A proactive, preventive approach is crucial. Regardless of how good a relationship is, there is always a need to keep it on track and room for it to grow. The Marriage Meeting Program’s step-by-step approach makes it easy to conduct the meetings. Follow-up studies show a 20 to 80 percent increase in marital happiness for couples who implement the program.

I am Marcia Naomi Berger, a psychotherapist, writer, speaker, workshop leader, and instructor of a class for therapists and counselors at the University of California Berkeley Extension. http://www.marriagemaven.com

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Genre: Memoir

There are more than 38-million boom-generation women in this country.  Through my book, I show middle-aged women how to cope with family and social pressures while dealing with their own mortality issues.

My memoir, Oldham Street, is about my journey from east coast to west bearing the pain of a son in prison, the long slow death of my father, the end of my counseling career and a ten-year relationship.  I knocked on a lemon-colored door on a short block in San Francisco.  In the next twelve years, the woman who opened that door, along with the other quirky characters in the neighborhood, inadvertently joined me in a process that brought me home to myself and into a comfortable role as the matriarch of my tribe.

I am Lynn Scott:

  • author of A Joyful Encounter: My Mother, My Alzheimer Clients, and Me (a memoir about the abundance of spirit that I found among my Alzheimer clients).
  • contributor to eight anthologies of fiction, memoir, and poetry.
  • a guest on OPRAH and other talk shows trying to educate others about the mental disorder causing child molestation.

http://lynnscottbooks.com

http://lynnscott.wordpress.com

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Genre: Women’s Fiction

Recent survey data indicates that 22% of the 55,000,000+ married women admit to having an extramarital affair. STAYING AFLOAT is the story of one of these women –although she wouldn’t have admitted it if she hadn’t gotten caught.

Crystal Scott is a stable and stalwart, stay-at-home wife and mother, aiming only to run an efficient home, care for her children and avoid confrontation.  Whatever her private thoughts are, she keeps them to herself.  But when her husband loses his job and shows no signs of looking for another, fault lines in their marriage are exposed.  She’s forced to re-enter the workforce, and when her dazzling, dynamic boss takes a personal interest in her, she slips into territory that most women have fantasized about, even if they don’t want to admit it — she morphs into a sex-starved adulteress.

I am Judith Marshall, author of the award-winning novel, HUSBANDS MAY COME AND GO BUT FRIENDS ARE FOREVER. I’ve been writing for thirteen years and am a member of the California Writers Club and the Women’s National Book Association. In addition, I am the President of Human Resources Consulting Services and a member of the faculty of the Council on Education in Management, for whom I teach a number of public seminars on a variety of HR-relates topics. I’m currently working on my third novel, BITTER ACRES.
http://judithmarshall.net/

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Genre: Women’s Fiction / Humor

39%  of the 68 million women employed in the U.S. work in management, professional, and related occupations. Through my book Katie Carlisle, I show women how to hold onto their integrity, humor, and vision . . . in spite of having to fight sexism in the corporate world.

Katie Carlisle has been lucky enough to have a mentor (her boss) who has taken her to a point where her promotion is pretty well guaranteed.  Only then everything goes wrong.  Her beloved mentor leaves the company under a cloud; his successor is a man whom Katie hates and fears; and a downward spiral in her fortunes starts.  This is the story of a smart woman’s struggle to hold onto her integrity, humor and vision in spite of the tumult around her—and her eventual triumph.

I am Margaret Davis.  I have a doctorate from Stanford University in Sociology, with a specialization in the structure and behavior of formal organizations.  I have had two non-fiction books published in my field.  Katie Carlisle, a humorous spoof on everyday life in a large corporation, is a work of fiction.  Yet, as many of my readers have commented, “Everyone who has ever worked in a big company will relate to and love this book.”

I am also the author of Straight Down the Middle, a family drama involving a young mother’s efforts to do what is best for her child while trying to come to terms with her own sexuality.
http://margaretdavisbooks.com/

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Writing Career Coach Teresa will help you practice your pitch
at WNBA’s  “Meet the Agents, Editors, & Publishers”
on March 27, 2010   http://wnba-sfchapter.org

Teresa LeYung Ryan is:
*   Board member at WNBA-SF Chapter since 2004
*    Author with agent and NY publisher
*   Writing career coach
*    Past president of California Writers Club-SF Peninsula Branch
*    Library advocate

Writing Career Coach Teresa is the author of  Build Your Name, Beat the Game: Be Happily Published (a 22-day workbook for writers to build their names and attract attention and fans before and after publication).   http://WritingCoachTeresa.com

As a community spirit, Teresa LeYung Ryan uses her novel Love Made of Heart to:
• shed light on stigmas suffered by immigrant women, men, and children
• advocate understanding of mental illness/traumas to the mind
• help survivors of violence find their own voices through writing
www.LoveMadeOfHeart.com

Under the Weather Writing Career Coach

February 21, 2010

In spite of my being very careful not to shake hands and later rub my eyes, I caught a virus earlier in the week.  Turned out to be a pleasant week though, nursing the cold or flu, whatever it is.

Tuesday I went to my half-time day job and got all caught up with voicemail and email.
Wednesday I knew I had to stay home and not push myself.  So, this week I missed a memorial, a Chinese meal with my aunt & uncle to celebrate Lunar New Year, and the Women’s National Book Association event at Castro Valley Library.  However, I had a chance to “chat” with a pal in Australia on Yahoo; I’m not a speedy typist but that worked out fine.

It’s Sunday. Rain is lovely. Got up around 9:30am.  Prioritized my work for next week.

I’m drinking green tea, watching old  movies on YouTube and working as the writing-career-coach.

Colleagues and friends made my day:

Margaret Davis, author of Straight Down the Middle, with her email acknowledging receipt of the CD of photos (of her beautiful book launch) I created for her.

Mil Pribble emailed to tell me about Chinese in Mendocino County.  Mil said: “…a very well done mostly pictorial account, published last year by Arcadia Publishing,  (Available through The Temple of Quan Tai in Mendocino.)  It was assembled and written by Lorraine Hee-Chorley, a friend of mine who is the great grand-daughter of  John Song Lee, aka Joe Lee, who in the early 1850s organized a  flotilla of seven junks and attempted to cross the Pacific, intending to land at Monterey.”

Kate Farrell, author of Girl in the Mirror www.girlinthemirror.info and Workshop Leader www.wisdomhasavoice.com , says the Redwood Branch of California Writers Club http://www.calwriters.org/ has grown so big that they had to change meeting place to Flamingo Conference Resort & Spa in Santa Rosa, CA

Pal Olga offers her home to host a private party.

My hubby started a new job a month ago and he’s studying for a course, so, it’s not like I’m missing weekend outdoor fun.

So, I’m working (with Carole Lombard movies on YouTube as inspiration), pumping vitamin C, and resting.

Webpages getting my immediate attention:

http://www.americanshortfiction.org/

http://savingcinderella.ning.com/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/glenn-close/mental-illness-the-stigma_b_328591.html

It’s almost 4:00pm; time to rest a bit. Being under the weather is nothing to “sneeze” at.
Happy Writing!  Happy Name Building!

Writing Career Coach Teresa

Creator of  Build Your Name, Beat the Game: Be Happily Published (a
http://WritingCoachTeresa.com

As an author and a community member, I use my novel Love Made of Heart to:
• shed light on stigmas suffered by immigrant women, men, and children
• advocate understanding of mental illness/traumas to the mind
• help survivors of violence find their own voices through writing

http://lovemadeofheart.com/Love-Made-of-Heart-journey-of-an-adult-child-of-a-mentally-ill-parent.html

High Concept High Energy After San Francisco Writers Conference

February 15, 2010

Writing Career Coach Teresa here, waking up at 7:30am on Feb. 15, 2010 (day after the 3-day ultra motivating San Francisco Writers Conference). I invite everyone I talked to at SFWC to comment on this post and let the world know that you were there this weekend. Click on the title of this post to get the comment box.

Talking Tagline Coach Elisa Southard & Writing Career Coach Teresa and audience having fun at SFWC

Talking Tagline Coach Elisa Southard & I presented on the first day at 9:00am. “Build Your Fan Base Before & After Publication” What fun we had!  We coached everyone to craft a purposeful talking-tagline to hook attention; this simple yet powerful tool helps writers communicate with agents, acquisition editors, booksellers, endorsers, media, prospective fans…with ease.

When the talking-tagline is used to link your name, I call this union the mission statement. So, when you comment on this post, be sure to show your full name, your website/blog address (the URL), and your mission statement.

Thank you, Michael Larsen & Elizabeth Pomada, a.k.a. publishing- community angels, for inviting Elisa and me to present at SFWC, seven straight years.   Every year, we get to catch up with colleagues and receive  inspiration from each other. High energy.  High professionalism. Graciousness.

What woke me this morning was a high-concept for a book that would be perfect for colleagues Elisa Southard, Deborah Grossman, Barbara Santos, me, and my agent Stacey Glick. Top secret for now.

I’ll be writing more posts about SFWC. For the time being . . .

Here are some websites I recommend to help further your writing career.

Elisa Southard, my marketing coach http://breakthroughthenoise.com/
Women’s National Book Association    http://wnba-books.org/ I’m a board member at the San Francisco Chapter http://wnba-sfchapter.org/
California Writers Club http://www.calwriters.org/ I’m a past-president at the SF Peninsula Branch http://cwc-peninsula.org/

If you didn’t get a chance to attend our session on Friday morning “Build Your Fan Base Before & After Publication” you get get the CD or MP3 from http://www.vwtapes.com/sfwriters2010.aspx
If you didn’t get a chance to go to the conference bookstore (Brenden from BookShop West Portal was there) to get Build Your Name, Beat the Game: Be Happily Published (my 22 minutes for 22 days workbook for writers to build their names before and after publication), please go to my website http://WritingCoachTeresa.com

Happy writing!  Happy name-building!

Writing Career Coach Teresa
http://WritingCoachTeresa.com

2010 Resolutions for Your Writing Life

February 8, 2010

What are your 2010 resolutions for your writing life?

Click on the title of this post. Then scroll down and fill in the boxes.

I’m cheering for you!

Sincerely,

Writing Career Coach Teresa

Build Your Name, Beat the Game:  Be Happily Published

http://WritingCoachTeresa.com

March 23, 2010

Dear Anne M. Baxter,
Thank you for taking photos for me at California Writers Club. And for following up by submitting your comments to my blog.

For your children’s books, I recommend the talented agents at Andrea Brown Literary Agency  http://andreabrownlit.com/agents.php
I saw Laura Rennert at the San Francisco Writers Conference in February when she and Robert San Souci http://www.rsansouci.com/ were on the same panel. I’m a big fan of Robert’s children’s books; and, if I were writing children’s books, I would be honored to be represented by Laura Rennert (she is agent and author)  http://www.laurajoyrennert.com/

To identify prospective agents or acquisition editors for your historical novels for adults, read acknowledgment pages of your favorite historical novels (authors usually thank these folks); also go to: Association of Authors’ Representatives “AAR” to find agents for specific genres http://aaronline.org/Find

Use search engines to find authors’ interviews; after you find names of agents or acquisition editors, use search engines again to find their websites; then study their submission guidelines.

Go to: http://WritingCoachTeresa.com Click on “Teresa LeYung Ryan’s Events”
I’ll be glad to answer questions at any of my events.  I’m also available for private coaching or group-coaching if you round up 2 or 3 colleagues.

Cheering for you and your books!
Writing Career Coach Teresa

“When you make your name synonymous with the themes/subject matters/issues in your writing, you are building your name/career/platform. You too can be happily published.”

http://WritingCoachTeresa.com has resources for writers

Haiti More Than an Earthquake

February 3, 2010

Yesterday February 2, 2010 turned into a strange yet motivating day for me as a writer.

A dear friend said yes to driving down to Palo Alto with me to attend the 7:00pm Other Voices TV  “Why Did Haiti Collapse? More Than an Earthquake” at Community Media Center.  I got onto North 101 instead of South 101, so, lost 15 minutes there. Then, relying on MapQuest wrong directions, we lost another 20 minutes. Asking people for directions to 900 San Antonio Road [Community Media Center] led us to the Jewish Community Center instead.
So we did “follow the numbers.”.  I drove to the 800 block of San Antonio and got onto the side of the street with even numbers and headed in the direction of higher numbers than 800.  900 San Antonio Road was tucked away in a strip of buildings partially hidden behind a sound wall.

We made it!  20 minutes late but we made it!  Paul George of Peninsula Peace and Justice Center http://www.peaceandjustice.org was moderator.  His articulate speech on KZSU 90.1 FM http://kzsu.stanford.edu/ on February 1, 2010 had propelled me to attend this program.
The 2 panelists gave compelling eyewitness accounts and the audience learned how we can really help Haiti right now (right now to help lessen the suffering).

Seth Donnelly, a longtime Haiti solidarity activist, has visited Haiti many times, assisting grassroots projects and documenting human rights abuses by the UN occupation forces, was a calm eloquent speaker.

Walter Riley, a longtime civil rights attorney, peace activist, and Haiti Solidarity activist, was in Port-au-Prince when the devastating earthquake struck Haiti.  For three days, he and his family aided in the frantic rescue efforts and witnessed the scope of the devastation.  Walter is the Chair of the Haiti Emergency Relief Fund.

What did I learn from Mr. Donnelly and Mr. Riley?  Many organizations are raising money. Great. Is that money really going to the Haitian grassroots agencies? Is the money to buy food, medical supplies, and building material waiting for red tape (supplies and materials sitting on tarmacs while Haitians are dying)?  Apparently, Haiti’s grassroots (women’s groups being a huge component) are the ones who can help most effectively because they’re right there helping neighbors; they know their infrastructure. What else did I re-learn?  Natural disaster on top of abject poverty = brutal suffering. Medical personnel, disaster relief workers, and compassionate souls are all heroes.

Channel 27 Mid-Peninsula, California http://www.communitymediacenter.net/

Haiti Emergency Relief Fund   http://www.haitiaction.net/About/HERF/HERF.html

I don’t have the means to write big checks; I do have a big voice as a writer though.

Writers, keep on writing!

Sincerely,

Coach Teresa

http://WritingCoachTeresa.com

Writing Career Coach Teresa’s February 2010 Resolutions

February 1, 2010



Dear Mary Knippel  http://openuptoyourcreativity.com/,
Thank you for an empowering day (Saturday, January 30, 2010) at the Creativity Workshop for Women’s National Book Association.

I had a good time with the dozen fellow writers as you led us in “Decide, Declare, Design Your writing life for 2010!”

I’m a writing career coach who helps my clients build their names/platforms by identifying the themes in their books (pre and post publication).  I thought I would put all my energy in promoting my new workbook the first half of this year.   Not.  While creating my vision board at your workshop, the message [ that I need to continue using my novel Love Made of Heart to shed light on stigmas on mental illness ] appeared “loudly and clearly”  in words and pictures.   My new mission statement:  I, Teresa LeYung Ryan, use my novel to shed light on the secret agonies suffered by women with mental illness.
Thank you, Mary and WNBA colleagues!
Sincerely,
Teresa LeYung Ryan
a.k.a. Coach Teresa
Creator of Build Your Name, Beat the Game: Be Happily Published
http://WritingCoachTeresa.com

Coach Teresa here with my resolutions for February 2010:

  • Finish up January resolutions
  • Attend “Other Voices TV: Why Haiti collapsed – More than an earthquake” A conversation with Seth Donnelly and Walter Riley (Paul George as moderator) on Feb. 2nd at Community Media Center in Palo Alto  http://www.peaceandjustice.org/.
  • Meet with Kim McMillon playwright, first mentor; Elisa Southard http://breakthroughthenoise.com/ to rehearse for our session at San Francisco Writers Conference
  • Present at SFWC with Elisa Southard on Feb. 12, 2010 and help attendees at Ask-A-Pro and Book Doctor consultations on Feb. 12 & Feb. 13  http://sfwriters.org/;
  • Celebrate Chinese New Year 2010 with cousins;
  • Celebrate Plant the Seeds of Greatness Month;
  • Submit comments to blogs relating to women and mental illness.

Contact WNBA colleague Elizabeth Maynard Schaefer, author of Write Out of Depression (who was also at the Jan. 30th workshop) regarding creating a workshop together  http://writeoutofdepression.blogspot.com/