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Upcoming Event

Saguaro Books Author Takeover Event on Facebook

by Saguaro Books

Find out what Saguaro Books is all about and the books we publish

SEPT 30, 2017

 

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Rules Beginning Writers Should Never Break

We often talk about the “rules” of writing for kids citing proper page lengths and

story types for different age groups. A better term would probably be “guidelines”;

these rules exist only to tell you what, in general, editors like to see in the

manuscripts sent to them. And, of course, for every rule there are numerous

exceptions. But while we’d all like to think our book is strong enough to override the

guidelines, this is usually not the case. Here are some rules that shouldn’t be broken

until you a best-selling author:

 

Write Within Designated Word Lengths

No editor is going to turn down a terrific book just because the text length falls

outside the average guidelines. If your young adult novel is complete in 100 pages,

there’s no sense padding the manuscript simply because most YAs are longer. But

length guidelines are there for a reason — publishers have determined about how

much text kids of different ages can read, and so it behooves you to try to stay as

close to those guidelines as possible.

 

Don’t Provide Testimonials in Queries

It’s nice to have lots of neighborhood kids read your manuscript and give you

positive feedback, but your potential editor doesn’t want to hear about it. Frankly,

editors don’t give much credence to testimonials from readers who may be family or

friends of the author. Also, don’t clutter up the query letter with ideas for why

children need your book or what they’ll learn from it. This is up to the editor to

decide. (One exception: You’ve written a nonfiction book and can show that there

aren’t any other books in print that cover the same subject.)

 

Keep your query letter tight, brief, and to the point. Provide an intriguing plot

synopsis or nonfiction outline, relevant information about yourself, and enclose a

self-addressed, stamped envelope. Sell your book, not your reasons for writing it.

 

Don’t Write a Series Before Selling the First Book

I’ve critiqued many manuscripts from authors who say, “I’ve got six more books

written with these characters. Should I mention that to the editor when I submit my

manuscript?” My answer is always no. Unless an editor is specifically looking for new

series proposals, and the books were written from the start to form a series, this is a

bad idea. Realize that series are created as a group of books that are bound

together by some sort of hook; in fiction, it might be a club the main characters

form, a neighborhood they all live in, or a cause they champion. In nonfiction, it’s a

topic (natural sciences, biographies) and an age group. Rarely do you see picture

book fiction series. What does happen is a character may become very popular with

readers and the author is asked to write another book featuring the same cast.

These fiction “series” actually grow slowly one book at a time.

 

So, unless you’ve conceived your books as a traditional series and are able to

send a thought-out series proposal to the editor, stick to selling one book. When an

editor sees you have numerous manuscripts featuring the same characters and

similar plots, she may feel that you’ve spent too much writing new material and not

enough time revising what you’ve already got. And remember, each book — series or

not — must stand on its own. It needs a strong beginning, well-developed middle,

and satisfying end. No fair leaving the ending unfinished with the intention of

continuing the story in the next book.

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The Coelacanth

Hurry! Goodreads Giveaway ends in about 15 hours

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Goodreads Giveaway

Giveaway ends in 3 days.

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Building Your Author Website in Five Easy Steps

  1. Buy Your Domain

This is where it all begins. Once you purchase the perfect domain name for your author brand — preferably featuring your name or pseudonym — you can really get to work!

  1. Find Your Host

Your domain is your address, but the host is your house. Before you can begin construction, you need to find the right one for you. There are many, including WordPress, GoDaddy and Yola, to suggest a few.

  1. Locate Your Platform

Chances are, you’re not an experienced web designer, which is why you should find a solid, user-friendly platform for your site.

  1. Create Your Website Content

At the minimum, you want an appealing home page, an “About” page, a “Contact” page and a “Books” page (to promote your work).

Of course, your author website isn’t complete until it has a landing page where people can sign up for your “lead magnet” offer (and get added to your email list)!

  1. Start Blogging

The other essential section you want on your website is a blog, which will keep things fresh and attract new readers from all over the web, leading them down the path to your email list.

 

 

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VOLUNTEER READERS NEEDED

Saguaro Books, LLC

Low pressure—read and react. Ideal for individuals still in college or at home with children or family, looking to add experience within the industry to their resume. Also perfect for new or emerging writers looking to learn about the industry. Please indicate your strengths and background: BA/BS in English or Creative Writing a BIG plus.

Visit www.saguarobooks.com

Contact: Ms. Mary Nickum, CEO, mjnickum@saguarobooks.com

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A GIRL NAMED MARY

A GIRL NAMED MARY, the early life of the girl who would become the Mother of Jesus–a book, perfect for Christmas giving.
www.agirlnamedmary.net

A Girl Named Mary 3D Book Cover-1

A Girl Named Mary

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