Monthly Archives: February 2014

Book Trailer Effectiveness

The importance of book trailers can’t be understated. Video has proven effective in boosting blog followers and selling products of all kinds. Books can connect with more readers when a trailer is created for that particular book.

They don’t have to be fancy. Even a simple trailer can increase a reader’s likelihood of buying by 5 times. Sales can increase as much as 64%, and 90% of viewers find videos useful when making their purchasing decisions.

For help with your trailer, contact Kristen Eckstein at Imagine! Studios. Tell her Laine Cunningham sent you! She does a fantastic job for all my clients.

New Book Awards

Bookslut has launched a new award that intends to right past wrongs.

The editor feels that the Pulitzer and the National Book Awards have often (if not always) gone to the wrong book. The reason is because it takes years if not decades for a book’s true impact to be felt.

You can submit your own nominations for books published in 1963 that truly deserve an award by emailing the editor at

How Many Agents Should an Author Query?

Authors who are interested in submitting to a traditional publisher often ask about the best route. I recommend that authors query agents first. Whenever you approach a publisher yourself, you are closing the door for an agent to submit on your behalf with that publisher. So spend some time looking for an agent before you submit to publishers.

The question then becomes, how many agents should I query before shifting to publishers? Generally I recommend no less than 50. It is actually more difficult to get an agent than a publisher these days. Because they can do so much for an author, though, it is worth the effort.

Authors who have been picked up by traditional houses often recommend 80 queries! This is because an agent’s opinion can be as subjective as that of an acquisitions editor. So don’t give up after a dozen or so. If finding that number of agents sounds too tiresome, consider an agent list tailored to your needs. Writer’s Resource offers lists generated anew for each person (and even each book) that average 60 to 80 agent names. Some lists produce over 100 names for authors working in popular categories. Visit the website and look at the Agent tab for more info.

What Makes an Author a Professional?

Recently author Brian Klems offered his opinion on the difference between professional authors and amateurs. He pointed out that patience is one difference, which fits with one of my top tips: be persistent. Publishing is not a race. No matter whether you’re indie or with a traditional house, marketing and outreach take time.

Another difference he noted was focus. It’s fine to work on several projects at once but something at some point has to be finished…otherwise the author will never have anything to send out. Whenever clients ask me about how best to achieve success with a work they’re writing, I tell them to finish the manuscript. Once it’s in a fixed format, any problem can be fixed. Until it’s on the page, it is very difficult to address problems, even ones you know are there. Finish first, then shift your focus to fine tuning the draft.

Book Agent Info

Some top agents will be at the Houston Writer’s Guild Conference April 12 in Houston, TX.¬†Eddie Schneider of Jabberwocky Literary, Pooja Menon of Kimberley Cameron & Associates, and Jennifer Udden of Donald Maass Literary will be on hand to hear author’s pitches.

If you need help with your spoken pitch, a query letter, or other pitch items, connect with me today!