Why publishers and agents reject book proposals

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Why won’t they publish your book? Since agents and publishers rarely take the time to respond to authors they won’t be working with, you may never know. But I know. Here, in order of frequency, are the reasons you may be getting rejected — or just getting ghosted — by agents and publishers you’ve contacted. … Continued

How much should you lie, er, exaggerate in your book proposal?

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Honestly, I’m in favor of the absolute truth in nearly all things. However, when it comes to a book proposal that you send to publishers and agents, you are describing a book that likely doesn’t yet exist. (You didn’t make the rookie mistake of writing the whole book before pitching it, did you?) You are … Continued

Rewrite or self-edit? How to decide without bias

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It’s time to revise a previous draft — of a blog post, a report, a book chapter, or any factual content. You’re dealing with feedback from others, or maybe just your own better insights into what you wanted to say. Should you tinker with words — self-editing — or rewrite from scratch? How cognitive biases … Continued

How long should you make your book chapters?

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How many chapters should there be in a nonfiction book? And how long should they be? Let’s break it down. Unless you have a heavily graphical book, the best way to measure chapters is by word count. Pages will vary based on the tools you’re using to write, fonts, line spacing, margins, and page layout, … Continued

5 reasons why kaizen continuous improvement is bullshit

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This graphic sums up a popular meme. The supposed idea is that if you improve 1% every day, then you will be 37.7 times better by the end of the year. What a win! After all, that’s how compound growth works! This idea comes from the Japanese concept of kaizen, which is a management philosophy … Continued

Nichelle Nichols and the integration of the fans and nerds

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Nichelle Nichols, best known for playing Lieutenant Uhura on Star Trek, died yesterday. Most of what you’ll read about her celebrates her rule as a trailblazer for Black actors on network television, and what that did for America’s perception of Black people. I’d like to talk about what her appearance meant for me, a sheltered … Continued

The Putrid Pivot: Why Facebook and Instagram are about to get much worse

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Meta had an earnings call this week. Revenues and profit are down. The metaverse division lost $2.8 billion in a single quarter. And Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said, regarding the payroll, that there are “probably a bunch of people at the company who shouldn’t be here.” Here’s why that’s bad news for people using Facebook … Continued