The Sell Your Novel Tool kit [NOOK Book]




Writers often spend years perfecting their first novel—then hit a dead end when it comes to getting it published. Learning to market your novel ...
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The Sell Your Novel Tool kit

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Writers often spend years perfecting their first novel—then hit a dead end when it comes to getting it published. Learning to market your novel will make it stand out from the thousands of other books clamoring for the attention of an ever shrinking number of publishers.


In this book, Elizabeth Lyon offers the wisdom of more than twenty years of experience as an author, book editor, writing instructor, and marketing consultant. Step-by-step, she details what editors want, what questions to ask them, and how to develop a marketing strategy. You will learn:


·         How to categorize your novel, and the sixteen ways of describing it

·         Nine ways of selling your novel

·         Descriptions of the jobs of literary agent, editor, and writer

·         Examples of actual story synopses, and successful query letters—in all the genres

·         How to prepare sample chapters

·         Thirty questions a writer needs to ask a prospective agent

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781101153499
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 12/3/2002
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 1,033,964
  • File size: 5 MB

Meet the Author

Elizabeth Lyon, a regular speaker at writing conferences and retreats nationwide, has been a contributor to Writer’s Digest and is a mentor, editor, and teacher for many writers. The author of Nonfiction Book Proposals Anybody Can Write and The Sell Your Novel Toolkit, she lives in Eugene, Oregon.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xiii
Introduction xv
Chapter 1 How Novels Get Sold 1
Eight Ways to Sell Your Novel 1
The Ninth Way 4
The Challenge of Sales 5
Breakthrough: "Investing in People" 8
Chapter 2 Beginning your Marketing Tool Kit 11
Overview of Publishers 11
Product Lines 17
The Jobs of Literary Agent, Editor, and Writer 20
Coping With Trends 24
Money Matters 26
A Foot in the Door: "Getting an Agent; Firing an Agent" 30
Chapter 3 Ready to Market? 33
First--Finish 34
Diagnostic Checklists 36
Writer's Critique Groups 36
Professional Editors 37
Categorize your Novel 39
Sixteen Ways to Describe your Novel 43
Tempting Titles 53
Breakthrough: "Long Deserved; Long Overdue" 55
Chapter 4 Dissecting the Synopsis 57
Content 58
A Model Synopsis 59
Style 65
A Foot in the Door: "Learning Through Critique" 71
Chapter 5 Studying the Synopsis 77
Nine Synopsis Applications 77
Medical Thriller 84
Historical Mainstream 91
Horror 97
Generation-X (off-beat mainstream) 102
A Foot in the Door: "Running the Writer's Iditarod" 108
Chapter 6 Dissecting the Query 111
Queries Defined 112
Lead 113
Model Query Letter 114
Body 122
Closing 128
Style 129
Types and Uses 130
A Foot in the Door: "Overcoming Marketing Block" 133
Chapter 7 Successful Queries 137
Literary--Contemporary 138
Literary--Generation-X, Magical Realism 145
Mainstream--Historical & Biographical 147
Mainstream--Historical 150
Mainstream--Historical Epic 152
Mainstream--Contemporary Christian 157
Mainstream--Contemporary, Adventure 159
Mainstream--Contemporary, Gay/Bisexual 162
Mystery 165
Suspense 167
Speculative Fiction 170
Fantasy 173
Romance--Regency 177
Romance--Western Historical 182
Children's 9-12 184
Breakthrough: "Don't Tell Me What I Can't Do." 186
Chapter 8 The Sample Chapter Tells All 189
Which Sample Chapters? 189
First Chapters--Expectations 190
First Pages--Expectations 192
To Prologue or Not to Prologue 195
Mechanics of Format and Submission 196
Breakthrough: "Every Minute Counts" 200
Chapter 9 Researching Publishers and Agents 202
Setting Up Your Own File 203
Publishers' Specifications 205
Directories 205
Trade Journals 208
Classification of Literary Agents 209
Databases, Acknowledgments, & Word-of-Mouth Opinions 213
Breakthrough: "Bring the Body and the Mind Will Follow" 215
Chapter 10 Systematic Marketing 218
Your Marketing Target 219
Executing Your Plan 221
Taking Stock 231
Breakthrough: "The Power of Persistence" 231
Chapter 11 Goodbye Rejection: Hello Re-direction 233
The Re-direction Process Defined 233
Consciousness Raising 101 235
Dreamcrushers 236
Four Types of Rejection Letters 238
Personal Re-direction 243
Breakthrough: "The Ideal Writer-Agent Partnership" 246
Chapter 12 Choosing the Right Agent for You 248
30 Questions to Ask the Agent You May Hire 249
Red Flags in the Author-Agent Relationship 257
Breakthrough: Writing from Soul" 259
Chapter 13 The First Sale and Beyond 261
Negotiating Your Own Book Contract 262
Agent or Lawyer for Hire 264
Agent-represented Negotiations 265
Shaping Your Career 267
Second-book Queries 267
Managing Success 269
Appendices 271
Sample Author/Agent Contract 273
Resource Directory 276
Index 289
About the Author 297
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 10 of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2003


    Ms. Lyon provides a no-hype, surprisingly detailed overview of how to get your novel in shape and make sure it gets noticed in the ever-shrinking market. She reveals the larger pattern of how your writing fits into the publishing puzzle and she provides a nicely detailed map of how to take advantage of every opportunity. The outstanding sidebars invite the use of sticky tabs for quick reference checks when you are burning the midnight oil on a contest submission deadline or a come-on from an agent.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2003

    A must read

    This is one of exactly two sensible books (that's one per decade) I've read about writing and selling fiction.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 17, 2003

    Practical help for first-time novelists

    This book is pitched at new novelists, and provides a very readable, practical and comprehensive guide to all aspects of promoting that first novel in today's highly competitive market, including both methods of self-promotion and the use of agents. The sections dealing with the use of synopses will also assist first-time novelists to tighten up the structure of their work before approaching agents and publishers. A valuable marketing took for new novelists and those who have cause to advise them.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 18, 2003

    A Must-Have Resource

    I've learned so much from Elizabeth Lyon. I keep my copy of the Sell Your Novel Toolkit within arm's reach because I find it indispensable whenever I'm ready to market my manuscript, no matter what part of the process I'm involved with. From Lyon's book, I've learned how to write a query that catches the attention of the recipient, how to write a synopsis, how to format, and what I need to submit. I've also learned what to do if I get a rejection and what to do if my manuscript is accepted. I feel that Lyon has a sincere interest in helping writers achieve their dream.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 17, 2003

    Toolkit delivers the goods!

    I jumped into the 'Sell Your Novel Toolkit' right away, pulling out information I needed immediately, then went back and read the entire book beginning to end. Ms. Lyon has done a superb job of packing all the tools a novel writer could need into her beautifully written 'Toolkit.' It's been my guide through each step of marketing my fiction. The amount of research packed into the appendices alone is worth the cost of the book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 29, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A good desk reference for writers.

    This book is one of the best I have read on writing queries and synopses. It is geared to the beginning writer, but seasoned writers will benefit from this as well. I liked the fact that Elizabeth included a small section on personal encouraging/discouraging letters. It will truly give you a boost to have this handy guide for your writing projects. I recommend this novel for every writer's bookshelf.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 16, 2003

    'Toolkit' Is The Writer's Bible

    Thanks to Elizabeth Lyon's 'Sell Your Novel Toolkit' book, I was able to complete a novel, write an effective query letter and synopsis that got much positive feedback from agents, obtain creditable agents, and ultimately sign a book deal with a major publishing company. I sincerely give Lyon's 'Toolkit' book credit for my success, and recommend that ANY writer looking to be published purchase this necessity! It is the path that will guide your career through the journey to success!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 16, 2003

    Awesome Book!

    You can put this book to use right away. It's well organized, crisp, and complete. Don't do as I did and wait until your novel is complete before reading it. It will help you from day one of your project. I had just finished my first novel, AnaPaul, and was trying to understand how to begin markeing it. This book was a Godsend. It was just what I needed to move forward. Lyon's insights into writing, publishing, and marketing are just invaluable. I had really been struggling to get my arms around the publishing landscape. Her book allowed me to very quickly categorize my book, see how it fits into the publishing universe, and put together a synopsis. It's a great investment. John

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2009

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    Posted December 25, 2008

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