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Writing Books/Credentials for fiction?


An agency asks on its website writing credentials with its query. I thought that was unusual as most agencies will judge your writing by the sample chapters sent and/or story and not credentials. What does this mean?

Dear Demetrius:

Unfortunately agents and publishers want to know if anyone else has taken a chance on you and published your writings.  If you don't have any writing credits then think about what areas of expertise you have that you used in the book.  For instance, if you are a nuclear physicist and your protagonist is also a nuclear physicist then your credentials are that you know the language you used and the events you described in relation to nuclear physics is accurate.  And so will the editor/publisher.  So it isn't just writing credits they want but what areas of expertise you brought to your book even if that's only that you did an enormous amount of research for it to make it accurate even though it's fiction.

Sell yourself, Demetrius, tell them why you and only you could write the book you want them to represent.  It's another of those impossible things you have to do that will go away as soon as your first book is published.

Good luck!


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Liz Aleshire


What is a book proposal and why do I need one? Do I need a book proposal for both nonfiction and fiction books? How do I write a book proposal? What are the required components of a book proposal? What is an overview? What is a synopsis? How do I find out what other books are available on my topic so I can make my book different? How do I pitch to an agent/publisher? What's a query letter? What's a 30-second commercial?


I am the author of four nonfiction books: Private Lives of Ministers' Wives (with Rev. Sherry Taylor,New Horizon Press, New Jersey, 1991)and currently working on a second edition; Bugs: Stingers, Suckers, Sweeties, Swingers (a FRanklin Watts Frist Book, Chicago, 1993); The Confident Collector Identification and Price Guid to Quilts (with Kathleen Barach, Avon Books, NY, 1992); and, Official Price Guide to Quilts 2nd edition(with Kathleen Barach, Random House, NY, 2003.) I've taught How to Write the Book Proposal for the past ten years at the week long International Women's Writing Guild annual summer conference, and, at the Manchester Community College Continuing Education program. I've taught in many local continuing education programs in central Connecticut. Five authors have sold books using my methods for writing the book proposal. I have spoken at the Big Apple Conference, an IWWG event held in NYC; both Connecticut chapters of the Romance Writer's of America other writing conferences

Internation Women's Writing Guild, past associate member American Society of Journalists and Authors

Books for New Horizon Press. NJ; Franklin Watts (Now Scolastic)Danbury, CT; Avon Books, NYC; and, Random House, NYC

B.A in Economics from the University of Connecticut

Past/Present clients
Carren Strock, author Married Women Who Love Women; Doris Larson, travel writer, Ohio; MaryLou Streznewsi author Gifted Grownups.

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