With the changing publishing industry and so many opportunities to self-publish electronically, it seems more writers are striking out on their own. I don’t know about you, but I find myself asking the question: Do I need an agent?

At the recent Frontiers in Writing Conference, I was on the faculty with Hilary Sayers, former fiction acquisitions editor for Kennsington Publishing Company. She has been in the industry for many years and is a wealth of information about the industry. I asked her “Do i need an agent?”

Her answer: In spite of the fact that I have books published with small publishers and have plans to release some self-published books using Nook and Kindle to broaden my availability to reach my market, Hilary said I still need an agent. The advantages of getting an agent include their connections in the industry and ability to get your book in front of editors in the big publishing houses. Most of the big houses cannot be penetrated without an agent. In addition, an agent knows all the ins and outs of the business. They are professionals at negotiating contracts and can get the best terms available for their clients. Getting an agent to represent you is still very much a part of the process to full success in publishing.

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It Doesn’t Get Any Better than This!

Just wanted to share my latest news! First, I met with a group of women that wrote a flash fiction book with me. I joined their fun and Janda Raker, one of our group, thought it would be a great idea to make our 100-word stories into a book and submit it to a publisher. Yesterday, we hit pay dirt with Joan and Steve Neubauer of WordWright.biz, Inc. publishing company in Alpine, Texas. They are going to publish one with an option of a second. Don’t know the title yet but we will be signing the contract with them in about a week or so. We are sooooo excited! It will be released just before Thanksgiving so we will hit the holiday season sales.

Second, Joan and Steve are the ones that I pitched my novel, Escape – working title. They were interested last year and I did a major rewrite for them cutting the book from approx. 95,000 words to 51,000 words. We discussed the changes and they offered me a book contract to publish it! Score! I would have gotten up and danced if I didn’t have a broken foot. I’ll be signing that contract in the next week or so, too. We are shooting for a release before Thanksgiving with this book as well.

My husband and I enjoyed Asti last night to celebrate. I’m not sure this is really sinking in yet. That means three books released in 2009!

Third, my novella, Rebekah Redeemed is now in all the Hastings stores in Amarillo as well as signed copies at the Mardel Christian & Education store in Amarillo at Western Crossings shopping center.

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Reading and Writing

As a reader, I’m always looking for a new author and love to find a series where I can really follow characters. When I finish a series, it’s like leaving a friend behind and I miss them.

As a writer, I’m challenged to create characters that will do the same for my readers. I try to analyze characters from my favorite books and become aware of plotting as I read, but the best books just pull me in and I forget to analyze as I go. If anyone else has that challenge, then I think a good solution is for us to be a reader first and then go back through the book and figure out what it is that captivates us, keeps us turning pages, and fall in love with a character. I challenge other writers to do that with their next book and come back and let me know what you think.

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Signed Book Contract

Well, the book contract for Rebekah Redeemed is signed and in the mail!! I can hardly wait for the release after the first of the year. I’m working away on my marketing plan fine points – planning to put it in the Virtual Book Tour and network, network, network.

I had a great Thanksgiving last week with most of our family and have been working away on my other writing projects and ghostwriting. Never a dull moment.

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Book Contract in the Mail

I’m doing a happy dance today! The publisher who I sent my Christian fiction novella, Rebekah Redeemed, sent me an email today saying that he really like the book and is sending a contract. It will be on the shelves Spring 2009. I almost have whiplash it’s coming together so quickly.

This is the first book of a series called Touched by the Saviour.