Writing Books/What Next???


10 years ago I wrote my first novel, and then did nothing with it. I have the complete second one in my head and 1/2 of the 3rd. It has really been bothering me lately, like it is time to do something with them.  I just need some direction. Where do I start, do I look for an agent? Any advice would be wonderful. Thanks so much!

Dear Jeanie:

If I were you, I'd take a look at that first novel.  Read it over and see if it still holds up.  Maybe there's some things you'll want to change.  If not then:

Search the web for fiction synopses.  There are many out there for different genres. Study the ones written in your genre.  Then, write a snyopsis for the first book.  Then:

Go looking for an agent.  (other authors might tell you to skip the agent and sell it to a publisher on your own.  I am not good at this, don't want to do the leg work it involves and I'm perfectly willing to pay the 15% fee the agent charges to do all that for me!)  At this site alone there are many answers from most of the experts, including mine, about finding an agent.  So scroll through the answers out there on Ask the Experts.  Follow all the rules and start querying your first novel to agents you pick out.  Then:

While you wait to hear from those agents, start writing the second book.  If the process of finding an agent to represent you takes some time, you may finish the second book and start the third.  It's good to mention in your query letters to agents that you have two more books you're working on.  It shows you're not a one book author.

Good luck, Jeanie!  Write again if I can help with anything else.

Liz Aleshire
Private Lives of Ministers' Wives

Writing Books

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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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