Blogs

How many pages do you give a book?

Tonight, my husband turned to me as we were reading and asked, "How many pages do you give a book before you give up?"

Good question. I wish I had a set number. Why DON'T I have a set number? I've read many books for far too many pages only to stop reading 3/4 of the way through, wishing i'd just stopped and moved on weeks earlier, when i was still in the opening pages.

My husband was at page 50 of the book he was reading. It was an award winner, and he'd been looking forward to reading it. But he was bored by it.

In the (Scholastic Book) club

When I want a good book recommendation in the world of YA and middle grade, I always ask one of my best friends, Sarah Hartley. As Senior Manager of Book Clubs at Scholastic Canada (she started as Editorial Assistant 13 years ago), she's chosen more than 15,000 books for the book club catalogues that go out to grade schools across the country every month. So she knows more than a thing or two about what makes a good book.

What makes a good book?

What an agent wants

One of the key components in getting published is getting an agent. It can be the most difficult part of your career as a writer. Today I'm talking to SAMANTHA HAYWOOD, who's been an agent for over ten years. She works with the Transatlantic Agency in Toronto.

What was your career path to getting to where you are now?

Part 3 of Indie Author Love, featuring Heather Wardell

Today I'm talking to indie author Heather Wardell, author of 16 self-published novels.


What was your first book?

HW: "Life, Love, and a Polar Bear Tattoo", which is still a free ebook (and has had over 385,000 copies downloaded!)

When did it come out?

HW: December 31, 2008, at about 5:30pm. (I'd promised myself I'd do it by the end of 2008.

Did you try to go the traditional route first - agent, publisher - or did you prefer to self-publish?

Indie author love Part 2

Today I'm featuring Part 2 of 3 parts on indie authors.


Samantha Stroh Bailey is the author of Finding Lucas, which she self-published in 2012. Unlike Lydia Laceby, who I talked to yesterday, and many self-published authors who love the freedom and control self-publishing offers, Samantha has experienced the self-pub route and come out on the other side preferring to have a traditional publisher. Here's why.

Indie author love

Today I'm featuring Part 1 of a 3-part series where I ask the same questions to three indie authors -- Lydia Laceby, Samantha Stroh Bailey and Heather Wardell. These three ladies are all self-publishing success stories, but their stories are quite different. Here's Part 1.

Lydia Laceby is the author of Redesigning Rose, which she self-published in June 2013.

Indie author love

Today I'm featuring Part 1 of a 3-part series where I ask the same questions to three indie authors -- Lydia Laceby, Samantha Stroh and Heather Wardell. These three ladies are all self-publishing success stories, but their stories are quite different. Here's Part 1.

Lydia Laceby is the author of Redesigning Rose, which she self-published in June 2013.

Part 2 - Q&A with bestselling author Kate Hilton

Yesterday I featured Part 1 of a 2-part Q&A with Kate Hilton, best-selling author of The Hole in the Middle. Originally Kate self-published the book. Then an agent contacted her, and six days later sold the book to HarperCollins. Penguin Random House has since bought the book and will publish it in January 2016 in the US.

Q. If you had known what you know now, would you have self-published or done something different?

First she self-published, then she became a bestseller

Another common question I get asked by aspiring authors is this: How do you know when to give up on trying to get an agent or publisher to take interest in your manuscript, and instead go the self-publishing route. So today I'm featuring the biggest success story by an author I know personally (since I do not know E.L. James, author of Fifty Shades of Grey), Kate Hilton. Kate originally self-published her first novel when she couldn't find an agent to represent her. Three weeks after she self-published, an agent contacted her. Six days after that, HarperCollins bought her book.

To Market, to market

One of the most common questions I get asked when I tell people I'm an author is "Where can I buy your book?" I suppose it's a legitimate question, like, I might say, "Out of the trunk of my car." Which wouldn't be the worst thing I could do -- that's how author Lisa Genova first sold her now bestseller (and inspiration for the soon to be widely released film starring Julianne Moore).

But it's easier to sell more books if you don't have to rely on driving around the city, shouting that you've got books in your trunk, hoping someone wants one. But once your book is written, how does anyone find out about it? Marketing.

Today I’m talking to Erin Creasey, the Sales & Marketing Director at ECW Press. Erin’s been at ECW for almost seven years.

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