JB’S JOURNAL FOR WRITERS

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PITCH AN AGENT

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JB’S JOURNAL FOR WRITERS  will return to a bi-weekly schedule in August. I am scheduled for surgery in late August and haven’t any clue what the impact will be on the schedule.

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JB’s Journal for Writers is a weekly newsletter dedicated to the writer who never has enough time and is crushed by information. The journal highlights important information to help writers sell books.

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EDITOR’S COMMENT ON BLOG MAILING LIST 

Please send me an email if you want to add your name to our mailing list. In appreciation, a courtesy download of SETH will be made available in either epub for your reader or as a pdf file. Just indicate which you would prefer. Thank you.

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HEADLINE

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HOW TO PITCH AGENTS AT A WRITERS CONFERENCE by Jane Friedman

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EDITOR’ S COMMENT: Summer conferences are a magnet for authors to learn and have the opportunity to pitch to an agent. Jane offers the usual advice on how to approach the pitch and avoid being nervous. What I liked was she went a step further and discussed putting the pitch into its proper perspective. It is not a make or break moment and there may be a lukewarm or no response from the agent. Good article for anyone with a pitch on the horizon.

 

 

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FEATURED ARTICLE

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MYSTERY CLICHES: ARE THEY BORING YOUR READERS? by Elaine Viets

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EDITOR’S COMMENT: Oh, this is a fun article and nails it. How to sink a book in one easy lesson. For example, the everyday dad who suddenly acquires Seal abilities to save his family.  The cozy librarian discovers a critical clue in plain sight and overlooked by the police. The author raises an important point on avoiding mystery cliches.

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FROM THE EDITOR’S DESK

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SUCCESSFUL BLOGGING: HIRING A SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER by Lydia Oyetunji

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EDITOR’S COMMENT: This is an important article for every author. All writers need a team behind them. Spouse, beta readers, and fans immediately come to mind. Professionals are also important and do not require taking out a second mortgage. The author discusses the role of the manager along with the goals in hiring a manager. Perhaps most important, how to interview social media candidates. Can’t say enough about the value of this article.

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RAISE A QUESTION, EARN THE BACKSTORY by Kathryn Craft

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WHY YOUR PROTAGONIST SHOULD HAVE A PAST “WOUND” by C.S. Lakin

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EDITOR’S COMMENT:  I know I promised I would give character development a rest. But these two articles are too good to pass up. Kathryn talks about the danger of switching to the backstory and losing the reader. She suggests raising a question in the backstory the reader wants to be answered. Interesting thesis worth reading. C.S. Lakin uses the movie Taken to illustrate the point the MC needs a past history (wound) that is the motivation for the story. Both articles are excellent material for character development.

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SEVEN MISTAKES YOU’RE MAKING WITH YOUR BOOK PROMOTION by Joanna Penn

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EDITOR’S COMMENT: The social media arena is filled with seven of this and ten of that. I suggest this article is important for any author six months out from a book promotion. Joanna talks about the importance of book covers, reviews, and pricing. Promotion mistakes are also covered.

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 WHAT’S THE BEST TIME TO PUBLISH OUR BOOK by Steven Spatz

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EDITOR’S COMMENT: How many times has this question been asked. “I tell you, October is the best month to publish.” “No,” Mary said. “That is the worst month.” Steven outlines his opinion on the best months for the different genres. He goes a step further and discusses simple ways to boost book sales. The article may help any author struggling with a release date.

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 BONUS

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SEVEN COMMON MISTAKES REGARDING AUTOPSY REPORTS by Judy Melinek

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EDITOR’S COMMENT:  Whoa. This article changes the tenor of the Journal. Any mystery writer needs to keep this article close at hand to avoid mistakes. The author is a forensic pathologist and knows her stuff. I have had some personal experiences in this area and I appreciated the information. For example, there is a difference between homicide and murder.

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SETH EXCERPT FOR YOUR READING ENJOYMENT

“I liked Seth.

The book and the man.”

Ray Simmons

READERS’ FAVORITE

 

During the intermission, the agent followed Angel to the bar. She wore a black sheath dress with fake diamonds around her neck and wrist. Red lipstick accentuated her olive-toned face. Pedra, still clutching her bag, stood at Angel’s side. They waited to enter the women’s lounge.

The agent was professional, but his eyes betrayed him. Standing away from the lounge, Angel caught his eyes watching her when he moved for a better view. He even looked like an agent. Non-descriptive face, plain dark suit. The suggestion of a slight bulge in his left breast pocket. She had never seen him before.

Mistake. Big One.

Angel found him. Now he had a face. Her plan had a better chance to succeed if he was unaware she’d made him.

Time to disappear.

The agent watched Angel enter the lounge. He never saw her leave nor did he notice the woman who left the restroom with an older woman.

Angel had covered her long black hair with a short auburn wig and changed into an elegant pinstriped pantsuit with kitten heels. Her face, highlighted with tortoise shell rectangular glasses and neutral-colored lipstick, didn’t hold any interest for him. In minutes, Pedra had aged into the older-looking woman.

The agent continued to search for the woman in the black sheath dress. The one with diamonds around her neck. Meanwhile, Angel slipped out of a side door into a taxi.

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"You are only here once. Make it count. Touch the lives of others." -JB Morris