Thursday, September 14, 2017

September Update!

As a writer, I spent years putting all my eggs in one basket, thinking this novel or that novel was going to hit the bestseller lists and just let me sit back and enjoy the ride.

Nope! As far as I'm concerned, in today's competitive market, it helps if you diversify. That means not relying on a single project to make your dreams come true, but finding more than one outlet for your creativity.

This summer I've been working on screenplays, a great new thriller I'm really excited about, and Book 2 in the HUNTER'S MOON trilogy. I've got so many stories whirling around in my head right now, I'm not sure what's real and what's not! My sleep patterns are all screwed up, too (sometimes I'm writing in the middle of the night!). And often, I'm not even sure what day of the week it is. (Thursday, right? Yeah. Thursday.) But I actually enjoy working on different stories. I personally find it gives me more energy and creativity.

But I plan to pick up the blog again this fall! I've got lots more to share about what it's really like getting a book deal (it's like a survival guide to the New York publishing world), including a special two-part post called HOW TO FIND AN AGENT (Really), because when other writers hear I've been traditionally published by Big 5 houses, that's the question I hear more than anything else: Yeah, but how did you find an agent in the first place?! This post has so much great info, I'm really excited to get it out there! Plus I have lots of interviews I want to do. Man, have my writer friends had an exciting and successful summer! I'm so proud of them!

Marcee Corn, the author of the wonderful memoir UNCLAIMED BAGGAGE and the great new thriller ALWAYS THADDEUS, is in England where she'll be feted at some wonderful book-signing events. One of UK artist James Mackenzie's paintings graces the cover of ALWAYS THADDEUS and he'll be appearing with Marcee, with an exhibit of his work, too. (There are some author links below!)

Always Thaddeus

Annelisa Christensen won the Readers' Favorite bronze award for her incredible historical novel THE POPISH MIDWIFE. She'll be traveling to Miami in November to claim her prize and schmooze with all kinds of agents, editors and writers at the Miami Book Fair. So exciting!! Huge congrats, Annelisa!
The Popish Midwife

Theresa Snyder, the prolific author of more than twenty great books, in all genres from memoir to fantasy, has also recently signed an agreement with an L.A. production company to produce an animated film of her acclaimed series, THE FARLOFT CHRONICLES. Farloft is one special dragon and he's gained the most incredible fans over the years. It seems he's about to stretch his wings to reach an even wider audience - on the screen! Big congrats to Theresa, too!
James and the Dragon

I've got lots of other interviews I want to do as well, with talented indie and traditional authors, like M.J. LaBeff, Kerensa Jennings, Ellie Douglas, Linda Abbott, B. Adrian White, Gordon A. Wilson, and others. Plus I want to blog BOOK DEAL SECRETS chapter by chapter, just so you can be prepared for your big break in the publishing world.

I'm also going to be officially launching my Writer's Coach sideline business. I've helped quite a few authors over the years, both clients and colleagues, and I'm excited to expand this part of my career. (Details below!)

And of course, as always, I'll be writing, writing, writing, too! So if I thought I had a busy summer, it's going to be an even crazier fall!

Anyway, I've missed you!! Thanks for stopping by! Subscribe to the blog if you want to be first in line to read HOW TO FIND AN AGENT (Really). I'll post it soon. btw I've had quite a bit of feedback from other writers about this post and I think it's going to help you a lot. Because it's not just about you finding your agent - it's about your agent finding you!

In the meantime, here are some links to peruse!
Annelisa Christensen's Script Alchemy
Kerensa Jennings'
Ellie Douglas'
Linda Abbott's Ten Days In Paradise
B. Adrian White
Gordon A. Wilson's
James Mackenzie's

For potential coaching, please email telling me a bit about yourself, your Work-in-Progress and your goals as a writer. Please put Writer's Coach or something like that in the subject line so I don't lose you! The first 15-minute consultation is free - just to see if we're a good fit - and can be done over the phone, by email, or Twitter DM. Whether you need creative help, advice about agents or the publishing world, general feedback, or a supportive shoulder to cry on (because this crazy business is never easy!) I can help!

Thanks again for stopping by! Happy Writing and see you soon!

Monday, June 5, 2017

BOOK DEAL SECRET #1: Take Responsibility for Your Career

Most of us dream about getting a book deal with a major publishing house. I've had two book deals with Simon & Schuster/Atria and MacMillan/St. Martin's Press, and I was really surprised by how different the reality was from my lifelong fantasies. That's why I've shared the whole process, step by step, in BOOK DEAL SECRETS: How To Succeed With New York Publishers, An Insider's Guide For Authors.

Last time I talked about the Four Stages of a Book's Life. I was going to discuss agents today, but that's for next time. Because I almost forgot the most important  BOOK DEAL SECRET of all:

#1 Take Responsibility For Your Career!

Before I got my first book deal, I thought the process of getting published would be streamlined and simple. You hand your manuscript over to somebody else and presto! A few months later, you get a launch party and your book is plastered across shelves all over the world. But it doesn’t happen that way. 

Remember the four stages of a book's life from Selection to Promotion. There are a lot of steps involved in each stage of the process. It takes about eighteen months from signing the contract until your book hits the shelves and there are a lot of other people involved along the way. 

Unfortunately, mistakes can happen!
You might make them. Others might make them. But you can’t afford mistakes, because most new authors don’t sign multi-book deals. This means you’re only going to get one chance to make your first book succeed. 

When it works out, a traditional publisher can do so much for your career. But you have to earn that support first. If your first book doesn’t sell, you can’t expect your publisher – no matter how wonderful and established – to stick with you. This is a sink or swim business. So you have to be strong. You have to be smart.

And you have to know how to swim! 

That’s why it’s so important for every writer to take responsibility for his or her own career. The good old days of lounging around waiting for inspiration to strike, while everyone else does the dirty work, are over – if they ever existed at all!

As authors, we must learn to fend for ourselves. The sooner we embrace that fact, the more easily we can settle into productive routines and not be held hostage by our emotions or unrealistic expectations. 

But this isn’t bad news!

I know from experience you’ll be a more successful writer – and a much happier person – if you take responsibility for your own career.


Thanks for stopping by! Why not order the complete BOOK DEAL SECRETS today? The book is full of information other writers are telling me they can't get anywhere else. It's the book I wish I could've read before I signed my first book deal. btw if you're on the fence about traditional vs. self-publishing, BOOK DEAL SECRETS will help you decide what's best for you! Good luck!

Next time, the free excerpt is BOOK DEAL SECRET #2: Trust Your Agent (Or At Least Pretend to!) ;) It covers everything you need to know about dealing with agents! Because it's a tricky part of the job. Subscribe to the blog to follow along, or check out the e-book now.

Monday, May 29, 2017

The 4 Stages of a Book's Life (Free Excerpt!)

I've had two book deals with some of the biggest publishers on the planet: Simon & Schuster/Atria and MacMillan/St. Martin's press. 'Getting published' was nothing like I dreamed it would be. It's probably not what you're dreaming of either. It'll help so much for you to be prepared. That's why I've written BOOK DEAL SECRETS: How to Succeed With New York Publishers, An Insider's Guide for Authors. It's available on Amazon!

If you're a writer, I'm so excited to get this info to you! It's the book I wish I could've read before I signed my first book deal. It'll also help you decide what's best for you: traditional or independent publishing. Being a hybrid author myself, I can tell you they're two very different experiences. btw if you missed the introduction, here it is!
The Four Stages of a Book's Life

Before I move on to the nitty-gritty of your first book deal, I want to talk about the overall life of any book. Regardless of the type of publisher you work with – Big 5 or boutique – there are four stages every book has to go through. These stages may take longer at some houses, and they often overlap, but they’re all vital to the success of your book.

The four stages are:

1. Selection
2. Revision
3. Publication
4. Promotion

Even self-published authors will have to move through these same four stages. The big difference is that as an indie writer, Selection is not about a publisher choosing your book, but your decision what to write about in the first place.

In both cases, Revision refers to editing, one of the most important aspects of creating a great book; Publication also entails the distribution of physical books or e-books; and Promotion includes Marketing and Publicity.

So whether you published with Doubleday in 1917 or are self-publishing with Amazon/KDP in 2017, your book must pass through these four stages. 

Both of my book deals, several years apart with two separate houses, were surprisingly similar. I don’t believe this is simply because publishers are rooted in the past. I think it has more to do with how long it takes to publish a book properly. It’s a lengthy and complicated task to get right. You’ll have a real advantage if you’re prepared for each step, because none of them are easy, even at a big publisher.

The process is so complex, I’m going to take you through it chronologically. I think it’s the easiest way to prepare you for the incredible adventure you’re about to go on. It will also help you ‘visualize’ exactly what it’s like to get a book deal.

You’ve probably heard of the effectiveness of visualization to achieve your goals. From world-class athletes to bestselling self-help gurus, visualizing what you want is a useful tool to materializing your dreams. Even Einstein called imagination the “preview of life’s coming attractions.” So this book will help you feel more confident and in control of the publishing process – rather than lost and confused, as I was most of the time. 

BOOK DEAL SECRETS is chronological, feel free to skip around the chapters. You may be more interested in editing or cover design than submissions or contracting at any given time.

Eventually, however, I’d recommend reading every chapter. A few minutes reviewing the contract process could save you thousands of dollars and help you nab your next book deal. In fact, it could save your whole career.

In the meantime, however, absorb as much as you can. Learn as much as you can. Read each section as many times as you need to. Once you sign that contract, you’re on a real rollercoaster ride and you don’t have any control over it.

A Wild Ride

Even though this is one author’s perspective, I think you’d have a hard time finding a writer who had a wilder ride than I did in the New York publishing world. A lot of great things happened to me – and a lot of terrible things happened to me. So this book will give you a wide spectrum of possible experiences on your book deal. 

However, I’m not going to mention proper names in the book! I want to protect the privacy of the people I worked with as much as I can. I respect – even care a great deal for – all of them. They’re some of the best agents and editors in the business, responsible for some of the biggest hit books of the last twenty years. I was lucky to be able to work with each of them.

And I bet you can ask any of those people and they’d have to agree: “Oh yes, Sheri McInnis … she really did have a wild ride, didn’t she? No wonder she’s writing a book.”


Thanks for checking in! Why not order the complete BOOK DEAL SECRETS today?
Remember, big editors and agents are signing successful independent writers to seven figure book deals! It will help so much if you're prepared! Good luck!

Next time, 'Take Responsibility for Your Career!' ;) Subscribe to the blog to follow along, or check out the e-book now.