contests, on the grind

That pub’ life: Publishers Marketplace #AuthorToolboxBlogHop #blog #Wednesday #amwriting

Querying writers, listen up! You’ve probably got a handful of go-to online resources that allow you to obsess, internet-stalk, and hyper-analyze literary agents’ actions that might reveal your odds of getting signed.



Well, have you checked out Publishers Marketplace? This month’s Author Toolbox Blog Hop post (brainchild of my critique partner and marketing extraordinaire Raimey Gallant) is devoted to my favorite publishing resource, and with also a tiny, teeny, squinch of self-serving.


Last month I mentioned that I achieved one of my crazy-head-spinning, life goals of getting a literary agent! But, not just any agent. A total dreamboat, in-my-wildest-dreams agent, Jill Marr of the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency! *cue squees*

Then, thanks to her ninja agent skillzzz, three months later I had a 2-book publishing deal with Thomas & Mercer!! ‘Surreal’ doesn’t begin to describe my summer or my feelings of epic joy.


I would not have known that Jill was my dream-agent or that Thomas & Mercer was my dream publisher, had I not been clued in to Publishers Marketplace. This platform contains publishing data across the entire industry: agent, publisher, publishing advance, projected publishing date, editor, history of deals and ergo likelihood of future deals. All the way around, Publishers Marketplace allowed me to best strategize what agents I would query, and which publishers I would follow.

As a major proponent of Twitter pitch contests, I believe a querying writer MUST know the agents to whom she is querying. There are so many vanity publishers out there, trying to make a buck (or several hundred) off of beginning-writers who might not be aware of the pitfalls. Publishers Marketplace allows us to figure out who is selling, who is working hard to sell, and who hasn’t sold books in years, to whom we can then entrust our manuscripts.

In a nutshell, Publishers Marketplace comes at a cost ($25 per month) but it’s worth it. If you’re not ready to query, you can afford to hold off. Or, you can be like me, and check it for years before you actually get a pub deal, for inspiration and motivation, to reassure yourself that one day you too will be listed in your own little PM blurb.



“Debut author Elle Marr’s THE PARIS TWIN, in which a woman receives a call that her identical twin has been murdered and travels to Paris to collect her belongings, but there she finds a note: “Alive. Trust no one.”, to Megha Parekh at Thomas & Mercer, at auction, in a two-book deal, by Jill Marr at Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency (world).”

For more educational and motivational blog posts check out the Author Toolbox Blog Hop lineup, here.

Are you looped in to Publishers Marketplace? What do you consult for big-dreams-writing motivation?

contests, New ideas, on the grind

Pick me! Pick me! (#PitchWars Mentee Bio)

Hello! Bonjour ! Hola ! I’m an ex-ex pat whose creative writing got kickstarted while living in France, and continues to be honed in Los Angeles. (This is where you, Madame/Monsieur Mentor, come in)


Whatever your mentoring style, I’m ready. I’m one of six kids, so I know how to compromise, and I’m a younger sibling so I know how to suck it up and do things I don’t really wanna.


Reasons why you should PICK ME: 

1) I used to teach English in France, so I have a way with syntax.


Deux) I speak French and can tell you all the words to Lady Marmalade.

3) I’ve been researching all kinds of thrillers (my entry’s genre) and basically anything I can get my hands on lately. These are the books I’ve read in the last month: Stephen King’s On Writing, The Girl on the Train, Dark Places, Sharp Objects, Harlan Coben’s Back Spin, Carrie, If I Stay, Beautiful Disaster, Losing It. I get how important it is to read outside of your genre and am willing to think outside the conventional box.

4) I bake. A LOT. I stress bake so that I can stress eat (if need be). See recent GIF of me, below:


Let me know your fav cookie AND I’LL MAKE IT FOR YOU.

5) I will work so hard and revise like a madwoman until my MS is perfect. Really. I’m also half-Chinese so this may or may not be a video taken of me as a diligent child.


So, mull it over! I love love love editing and my MS just needs that dash of something special. We could be great, you and I, the start of something beautiful! Hope to hear from you soon!