The Secret to a Great Book Proposal

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The Secret to a Great Book Proposal

One of the things I noticed in my years as an acquisitions editor is that sometimes book proposals don't capture the personality and passion of the author. They are dry and sterile, and they don't really say much. Oftentimes, in-person meetings end up in book publishing deals easier than if only the book proposal is submitted.

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Free E-Book Offer: GET PUBLISHED!

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Free E-Book Offer: GET PUBLISHED!

What aspiring authors really want to know is, How can I get my manuscript accepted and see my book in bookstores around the country and maybe around the world?

This frequently asked question has inspired best-selling editor and writer Jevon Bolden to write and publish her new book, Get Published: Seven Secrets to Getting Your Manuscript Accepted. This simple, easy-to-read guide demystifies the publishing industry for new writers.

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Guest Post: 5 Tips for the Christian Writer by D'Andrea Bolden

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Guest Post: 5 Tips for the Christian Writer by D'Andrea Bolden

Today’s post is written by a sister, not by blood but by spirit. We share the same family name, and we are still investigating if we are related. The truth will be revealed soon enough. We have been circling around in the same web community for some time. She writes. I write. She publishes. I publish. I thought it was past time for us to join forces and bring some hope and inspiration to writers out there.

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Writing to Felt Need vs Real Need

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Writing to Felt Need vs Real Need

It's not always easy to translate a public persona into a compelling concept. This is a common challenge for many authors, especially nonfiction authors. Being able to identify the difference between real needs and felt needs can mean the difference between a good book and a great book.

One way to overcome this is to know why your core audience engages with you.

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Fit Matters: Q&A on Finding the Right Editor for Your Book

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Fit Matters: Q&A on Finding the Right Editor for Your Book

Recently, I had a great exchange on Facebook with author George Pearson. An author of two books and currently working on a third book, his books are written for the Christian market. However, the criteria George and I discussed for finding the right editor for his work is applicable for authors of various genres and topics.

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Book Talk: The Book Itch by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson, illustrated by R. Gregory Christie

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Book Talk: The Book Itch by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson, illustrated by R. Gregory Christie

I also had a chance to give a book talk on a special book that I recently read--The Book Itch: Freedom, Truth, and Harlem's Greatest Bookstore. It's book that represents my desire to see publishers publish more diverse books to more fully represent kid readers of various backgrounds. It is also a book that touches on my favorite period of American history--the Harlem Renaissance. And it represents one of my favorite places to hang: the local indie bookstore.

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2016: Reading in Review

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2016: Reading in Review

My personal reading this year has been specifically targeted toward reading more ethnically diverse books. I am on a mission to figure out who I am going to be as a book publishing professional in light of what I see in our American culture. (You can read more about my mission here.) With all the gathering of stories, characters, platforms, ideologies, and perspectives, I don’t have words yet for how I feel like I have been shaped, emboldened, or propelled by what I’ve read.

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To Be or Not to Be Politically Correct—A Consideration of Words and Language

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To Be or Not to Be Politically Correct—A Consideration of Words and Language

Not too long ago, I was editing a book in which I chose to use the words enslaved people instead of slaves. A person reading over the material asked, “Why not just say ‘slaves’?” I thought it was a good question, though I didn't imagine being asked about it. I know why I chose it. It was not a second thought to me. I also understood why the person asked, and it was completely innocent. But it got me thinking about how some people would actually take issue with the word choice—enslaved people—thinking, "Here we go with all this political correctness."

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Graduate School Musings: Finding My Place in the Quest for Many Stories

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Graduate School Musings: Finding My Place in the Quest for Many Stories

Currently the official canon of American Renaissance literature (defined by F. O. Matthiessen as literature written between 1850 and 1855) includes no women and no people of color. Across the US and the world that include American Renaissance, or the like, as part of their curriculum study this time period with only the perspectives of white men. But both women and people of color wrote landmark, culture-shifting works during this time that embody the very meaning of renaissance. I aimed to uncover and explore their works.

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Women's History Month Profile: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie—Writing to Power

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Women's History Month Profile: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie—Writing to Power

Adichie tells the story of a Nigerian family under the oppression of a fanatically religious father. The story is told through the sensitive eyes of fifteen-year-old Kambili. The wealthy and privileged family consists of father, Eugene; mother, Beatrice; elder son, Jaja; and younger daughter Kambili. They are members of the Igbo tribe and live in Enugu. Despite his tyrannical rule over his family, Eugene is known an upstanding businessman and kind-hearted, generous philanthropist who gives to widows, pays tuition for over one hundred poor children, and funds the efforts of his local Catholic church.

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Scholastic Book Fairs: My First Month in Review

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Scholastic Book Fairs: My First Month in Review

The move from twelve years in adult Christian publishing to mainstream children's book publishing was pretty monumental. The only place I've left after years and years of being there was home. Oh and when I moved away from the town I grew up in to come to Florida for the job I held for twelve years then left for this new thing at Scholastic. Yeah, pretty monumental for a tiny person like me. What may seem like everyday, noneventful occurrences not worth talking about are quite the opposite for me.

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7 Steps to Prepare You for Your Next

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7 Steps to Prepare You for Your Next

When one season ends and you are looking ahead to the next season, how do you prepare? What happens in the in-between? I don’t know if we spend enough time in that in-between space. Sometimes we were so ready for the last thing to end that we don’t pause to consider the implications and lessons that accompany both seasons.

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