Two Agents Answer Your Questions

Wendy Lawton

Blogger: Wendy Lawton

Janet Grant let the cat out of the bag yesterday about our new book, The Inside Scoop. I decided to follow up and tell you a little more about the process and the book.

The Challenge. We were challenged by a group of our agent colleagues three or four years ago to create our own DIY book so each of us could fully understand the process.

The Hard Work. We started trying to pull the book together more than two years ago when Janet and I spent a week on Edisto Island, South Carolina. The thing that is in shortest supply is time so it wasn’t until Books & Such intern, college student, Olivia Butze, came onboard to help us whip it into shape that the book began to be a reality.51eJ4i3LWxL

The Deadline. And, as so many of you know, a deadline makes all the difference. Janet and I head down to southern California to teach two days of publishing insider info at Scripps University in a couple of weeks and they ordered a copy of The Inside Scoop for each student taking one of our six sessions. That’s a deadline!

The Editing. I can’t tell you how many times Janet and I read the manuscript. Separately. Together. Separately. Comparing. Reshuffling. Adding chapters. Dropping chapters. I don’t want to think how many evenings and weekends were devoted to this. But despite the fact that Janet is one of the finest editors in the business, we knew we had to hire a professional editor for The Inside Scoop. We picked our friend and Janet’s client, Janet McHenry. You’d be surprised how much she found. (Don’t ever skip this step!)

The Cover. We wanted a unique cover, different from all the writing books currently on the market. We’ve observed cover designers for a number of years. We wanted the best, so we went to FaceOut Studio. They were designers of some of our favorite client designs over the years. Note to self: Get a better jpeg of the cover! 

The Interior Design. We also wanted a distinctive page design. After looking around, we went to Katherine Lloyd at The DESKonline.

The Publishing Process. When it came to getting The Inside Scoop online as an ebook and getting the print book available, we already had the best resource in place. Ginny Smith is our Books & Such publishing guru. When our clients get the rights to their books back, decide to publish online or create an audio book, we simply hand them over to Ginny and she makes the magic happen seamlessly.

The reason I shared this with you is that these steps are ones you may tread at some time in your career, whether you publish traditionally or indie. But let me share a little about what’s inside the book:

Insider publishing tips revealed

 You yearn to get published, but the journey looks perilous and complicated. Don’t give up! Two literary agents break it all down, dishing up pointers for you. In an easy, step-by-step format, learn how to take your concept from the seed of an idea to a published book.

  • What’s right for you–DIY or traditional publishing?
  • Should you get an agent or go it alone?
  • How does an agent or an editor know if an idea is dead on arrival?
  • Which elements make a proposal stand out?
  • What does silence mean from an agent?
  • What takes an author’s book marketing efforts from wasted to meaningful?

Avoid the pitfalls on the path to publication. Learn the dos and don’ts, the ins and outs, from two insiders willing to tell it like it is.

And that’s just the beginning. We would be honored if you took the time to read The Inside Scoop and chose to leave an honest review on Amazon.

22 Responses

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  1. Terrance L Austin says:

    Amazing post! Thank you Wendy.

  2. Thank you for the inside scoop on “The Inside Scoop.” What an out-of-this-world opportunity for Olivia. Congratulations to all!
    *Someday, tell us about the chapters dropped. How did you decide?

  3. Can’t wait to read it. Grateful you pushed through.

  4. Jordan says:

    This sounds like an excellent resource, and I love the cover design. Can’t wait to read it!

  5. This sounds like it will be an immensely helpful tool for aspiring writers! I’m looking forward to reading it for myself.
    *I enjoyed reading the process you and Janet went through, Wendy. It’s fun to read how you and Janet navigated the publishing process yourselves. I imagine it added more realism to the book, and a greater depth of experience for you to share with your clients.

  6. Congratulations to all three of you on the accomplishment of this project; I’m certain that it will provide help, inspiration, and guidance to many writers, as you have so ably done through the years in this forum.

  7. Wendy, thank you for the inside scoop! And that’s just another reason you all are so loved … because you are honest and real. You could make it appear that this process was so simple to you after years in the business … but you are real. Thank you.

  8. It looks fabulous! I especially love the cover.

  9. Carol Ashby says:

    Wendy, I just visited Amazon and looked inside your book. Even though I’m self-publishing so we can keep rights and use my books to support missions, I put it on my shopping list to get when I have >$35 to order. You put in lots of material that should be just as valuable for indies like me as for people seeking traditional publishing. Thanks for pouring your time into making something to help us all.

  10. Congratulations and thank you, Wendy and Janet.
    I couldn’t wait to read your new book, so I bought the e-version last night and stayed up past my bedtime digging into it—and loving it.
    Seriously, you two, you’ve demonstrated the power behind having an online presence (especially a blog). Because I’m a regular reader of Books and Such, I already knew your advice is sincere and relevant; buying your book was a no-brainer.
    May your book baby prosper and plant of seeds of hope.
    Blessings ~ Wendy Mac

  11. Gabrielle Meyer says:

    Congratulations to you and Janet. I’m excited to get my copy and dig in. I’ll be sure to leave a review.

  12. Jerusha Agen says:

    Thanks for sharing the inside view of The Inside Scoop, Wendy! Fascinating to hear your journey to getting this book published. I didn’t realize that Books and Such has a staff member to help clients wanting to publish online after getting their rights to books back. And I was surprised that you and Janet hired an editor for your manuscript! That’s a testament to how important that step is. I’ve ordered the book and am eagerly waiting for it to arrive! Congratulations on the release!

  13. Sounds fantastic. And LOOKS very eye-appealing. Can’t wait to read it. Thanks for pooling your years of experience so we can all benefit!

  14. Love the cover and know I’ll love the content too!

  15. Lara Hosselton says:

    Janet and Wendy, thank you for sharing the details of your writing journey. I especially enjoyed reading about your editing process. The decision to hire an editor highlights your dedication to make sure a manuscript is thoroughly prepared before presenting it to a publisher.
    *I love the cover design and can’t wait for my copy to arrive.

  16. What a fabulous resource!! I know countless writers will benefit greatly from this collection of wisdom and experience.

  17. Anne Riess says:

    I love the cover. Can’t wait to read it!

  18. Elaine Faber says:

    Peel back the cover and look inside. Clever cover indeed. Expect the info inside the book just as fun and interesting.

  19. Amanda Dykes says:

    Congratulations to you and Janet, Wendy! So like you both, to not only share your wisdom, but to travel this road and give us helpful glimpses of your choices along the way. Thanks so much– and I’m celebrating you both, and this wonderful resource you’ve created!

  20. This is awesome! Congratulations, Janet and Wendy! Can’t think of a better team to write a book like this. 🙂 Definitely will be going in my Amazon cart!

  21. Mary Kay Moody says:

    So glad to learn of this book, Wendy. I’m eager to read (and learn from!) it.

    Thank you and Janet for your efforts, your dedication to your clients, and commitment to quality. Hope you’re taking some time to enjoy.

  22. This will be a much-needed, valuable resource to many. Glad you persevered!