As an acquisitions editor for a major publishing house, it’s my job to review book proposals from aspiring authors. But over the years, I’ve met dozens of writers who want to assemble a book proposal but don’t know where to begin.
If you’re sitting down to crank out a proposal for your book, start by identifying the angle.
My favorite question to ask writers is this, “What is the boldest statement your book has to make?”
This tells me what you’re angle is. And when I read proposals, this is the gem I’m looking for above all else.
If you’re a newbie, you may be wondering what the heck an angle is, anyway. No, you don’t need to find your high school protractor and compass to develop it. Read More
Students in the Write Brilliant Academy often ask, “Should I publish with a Christian or mainstream publisher?”
I love this question because it means our members are thinking ahead, planning for a bright future, and living a life worth writing about.
But rather than just give you my opinion, I asked Christopher Ferebee, a literary agent, to weigh in on this important issue…Read More
His articles have been viewed by tens-of-millions, showcased on some of today’s hottest talk shows, and featured on national news stations worldwide.
Jarrid Wilson is author of multiple books including Wondrous Pursuit as well as a friend of the Write Brilliant Academy. In this week’s Write Brilliant Quick Tip, his shares will make a measured difference in your online writing and platform—and how to to do it…
Shelby Spear used to read Guideposts stories to her children. “One day mommy will have a story published in this magazine,” Shelby told her kids.
That was 16 years ago.
In July, Shelby Spear’s article, Inked With Love, appeared in Guideposts magazine.
Shelby, who writes at ShelbySpear.com, became a student of the Write Brilliant Academy in 2015 (formerly Writers Boot Camp). Before she joined the Academy, she was sharing spiritual devotions on a personal blog, writing for her parish newsletter, and dabbling in writing a book.
Shelby submitted a story to Guideposts back in 2010 which was rejected. “I read it again recently and realized how much Write Brilliant Academy taught me. My writing was awful.”
“I learned so much that almost every aspect of my writing changed,” she says.
“Learning to zoom my prose, snuff the fluff, cut out the adverbs, apply word magic, and craft proper story structure fall on the short list of lessons implemented.
I also realized I was writing to an audience of everyone which really meant no one.
Through the Academy, my confidence skyrocketed and within four months I was getting multiple articles published on several on-line sites. For pay even!”
One of the big game changers for Shelby was the instruction to create a consistent brand for a platform across all social media channels and personal blog using her full name.
She logged into her GoDaddy account during the live training and purchased shelbyspear.com. She then set up her Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest accounts named “shelspear’.
All her platforms have grown.
By focusing her attention on Twitter, she’s seen her followers grow by 4,400%. That’s not a typo.
How do you increase your traffic by 1000%?Read More
Ever sit to write but the words feel stifled? Or the inner critic roars its ugly head?
You’re not alone. I do too.
Every writer must develop their own technique to overcome the inner critic that whispers that you, your story, your words, somehow aren’t good enough.
Which is why I decided to ask one of the most delightful writers I know to share her secrets to overcoming perfectionism in writing.
When I read Shauna Niequist’s writing, I feel like I’m sitting with a best friend.
When I read Present Over Perfect, I laughed, cried, and felt awe. Shauna is a gift and I’m proud to call her my friend.
You’ll glean bountiful wisdom from her writing advice:
Years and years ago, someone gave me a piece of writing advice that I still use almost every day, more than a decade into my life as a professional writer. I don’t even know who told me this—I wish I did, because I would send them beautiful flowers or bourbon, my eternal thanks for a trick I’ve been employing near constantly.Read More
“Do I have what it takes to be a writer?” asked one of the students in the Write Brilliant Academy.
While surfing online she stumbled on an agent’s website that said…
“Most people should not be encouraged to write.”
Those words sent her into a spiral of self-doubt and second-guessing. I soon followed into a spine-tingly death spiral myself.
Those. Are. Scary. Words.
Then I remembered….Read More
Do you ever wonder what a professional editor is looking for when they’re reading your writing? The best editors are worried about you and what they need to do to make you look stunning.
But editors aren’t fairy tale magicians. They can’t transform your rotting pumpkins into royal stage coached. The harder you make them work, the less likely they are to want to work with you again.
We want to give you a peek inside the mind of a good macroeditor and the everyday battles.
Wait. What’s a macroeditor?
That’s the person who handles the big picture of your manuscript. These editorial brilliants fly at 30,000, 20,000, even 10,000 feet, and attempt to avoid the brambles and weeds of the microeditor (also known as the copyeditor or grammar police). Impressing them is easier than you think.
Here are 5 simple writing tips to astonish your editor:Read More
After I decided to master Pinterest in 2015, I doubled my following in 12 months. The next year, I tripled it. Today, I have more than 30,000 people following my Pinterest. For those of you playing along at home, that’s a whopping 650 percent increase of followers in less than 22 months.
Even better, the social network now directs thousands (and sometimes tens of thousands) of views to my blog every day.
As I’ve learned, growing your Pinterest following is easier than you think. Anyone can do it—and yes, that means you.
Here’s the secret sauce for establishing a strong Pinterest game:Read More
Have you ever tried to learn another language? Maybe you’re onto your third or fourth. Once you hit a certain age, linguists say that acquiring additional languages is difficult.
As in no bueno.
Okay, if we’re honest, our first language can be hard, too. We struggle to imagine what it’s like for those who are learning English as a second language. If that’s you, bravo!
The BBC’s Matthew Anderson helped us remember this when he shared a little-known “rule.”Read More
Meet Ryan Sanders. He’s innovating the way we get published.
Ryan Sanders wanted to write a book ever since he was in high school. After an English teacher praised an essay he wrote comparing Dead Poets Society to Jesus’ passion week, Ryan knew that writing was in his bones.
Ryan enjoyed writing, the problem was that Ryan had no clue where to start. He was happy as a writer; frustrated with publishing.
"Jonathan and Margaret are two of the best writing coaches in America, and I've learned much from them over the years. Their Write Brilliant program will help you grow deep roots and a wide reach. Do not wait to sign-up!"
– Gabe Lyons
Bestselling author of Good Faith and founder of Q
"I highly recommend Jonathan and Margaret's program for writers of any level!"
– Jennie Allen,
bestselling author of Nothing to Prove and founder of IF:Gathering
"The firehose of information I absorbed through Write Brilliant transformed the way I write. Jonathan and Margaret bring a combined breadth of knowledge and a straight-shooting style that helped me clarify my target audience, expand my platform, and get practical about what it takes to dedicate myself to my craft. I learned more in this one course than in all past conferences, books, blogs, and videos I’ve engaged. Write Brilliant is a one-stop-shop for taking your writing to the next level."
– September Vaudrey,
author of Colors of Goodbye
"In all my years of leading organizations, I've encountered dozens of how-to programs, but none of them has been more effective then this one. I should know. The Write Brilliant strategy gave me the boost of confidence I needed to create two books on leadership. Whether you want to author a book or just create a blog, make sure you don't miss this fantastic course."
– Brad Lomenick,
author of H3 Leadership and former director of Catalyst