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How to Write & Sell Your First Novel

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Overview

Even the most famous novelists had to start somewhere. Now you can make your start—successfully—with this book.

Literary agent Oscar Collier and successful freelance writer Frances Spatz Leighton team up to give you practical, specific advice on how to write your first novel and get it published. You'll find 100 expert tips, including:

Solid...

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Overview

Even the most famous novelists had to start somewhere. Now you can make your start—successfully—with this book.

Literary agent Oscar Collier and successful freelance writer Frances Spatz Leighton team up to give you practical, specific advice on how to write your first novel and get it published. You'll find 100 expert tips, including:

Solid Writing Instruction

  • choose the kind of novel you want to write
  • make characters, dialogue and plot work together to keep your reader (and prospective editor) turning the pages
  • determine how many characters your story needs
  • establish a daily writing routine that works for you—and gets your novel finished
  • revise, edit and prepare your manuscript for submission
Expert Marketing Advice
  • the pros and cons of using an agent—and how to represent yourself if you so choose
  • contract negotiations
  • publicity and self-promotion basics
Actual Case Histories
  • Conversations with Five New Novelists, a chapter dedicated to enlightening and inspiring interviews with newly published authors
  • valuable insight into the working methods, attitudes and specific strategies superstar novelists used to get published—to help you start building your own success
"This book should inspire many yearners to start writing and stop talking about doing so. It is rich with tactical, down-to-earth information on how to write novels and content with agents and publishers."
—Howard Cady, former editor-in-chief of Little, Brown; Putnam's; and Holt, Rhinehart & Winston
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
That first novel hurdle is often the most difficult -- but Oscar Collier is here to help you through the process, from the writing to the marketing of that crucial first novel.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780898797701
  • Publisher: F+W Media
  • Publication date: 7/28/1997
  • Edition description: REVISED
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 6.05 (w) x 8.95 (h) x 0.83 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction
1 The Heart of It 9
2 Mainstream? Crime? Literary? Science Fiction? What Kind of Novel Do You Want to Write? 22
3 Do I Start With the Characters or the Plot? 39
4 Four Steps Are All It Takes 54
5 Profanity, Sex Scenes and Other Puzzlers 72
6 Gearing Up and Writing It 83
7 Editing Your Manuscript 95
8 Selling and Contracts and Money, Oh My! 113
9 The Publishers and Editors 137
10 They Weren't Always Superstars: How Six Famous Novelists Got Started 150
11 Writing About What You Know 166
12 Collaborating With an Expert 185
13 Genre Novelists 200
14 From Businessman to Novelist 219
15 Chasing a $50,000 Advance 230
16 Conversations With Five New Novelists 236
17 Final Checklist: Seven Do's and Seven Don'ts for First Novelists 250
Further Reading and References 252
Acknowledgments 255
Index 257
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2004

    Easy read, and inspired me to do something amazing!

    I read the other reviews on this book, and agree with one point, if you have no idea about how to begin writing a novel this is not a good place to start. If you have it almost completed however, there are some ideas in here that are worth their weight in gold! The author mentioned that somehow one needs to find publicity for their book. I took this thought and have created a town sponsored literary contest to get the community involved in the book and to get 30 children to read my novel before sending it to the publishers. It's written in a format that you can read after you have been reading or writing or working all day, and gave me some ideas that the 10 other books like this that I read couldn't have touched. I liked reading how other authors found their way, and some of these things have given me inspiration to try some of the unorthodox methods suggested in the books. Hey guys - they work! I wrote an upbeat sort of query letter just to test the speed of the 'Emergency Publishing System' and sent my query letter to an agent in NYC (that mentions a four week turn around for responses). Someone called me in less than 90 minutes. All evidence to the contrary about that 4 week period! If you are clueless how to write a book take a writing class. If you want to see if you really need an agent and are a good business person yourself - then wow is this a good read. Good Luck with your book! See you on the best-seller list! :)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 4, 2001

    The One Book You Should Own if You Are a Writer

    I've read more than a few good books on writing; several are quite inspirational. The difference here is that this book is practical. I wrote my first novel following the guidelines set forth in Collier and Leighton's book, and I sold it to a major publishing company. Inspiration is great; inspiration plus methodology is better.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 2000

    Nice idea, too much fluff

    I would recommend trying another source if this is the ONLY book you will read on becoming a successful writer. Too much fluff and stories of the author's dealings with clients and their success stories. These are nice stories but not helpful to the aspiring writer on the how-to's of creating fiction.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 4, 2000

    Good writing textbooks, bad writing textbooks.

    This book isn't your answer to overnight success. It assumes you know some basics of fiction writing which aren't presented here. Before reading this one you better get something much more basic and practical. As a published author I fould little value in this book.

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