Secret Agent Sleuthing

Reality Coaching for Writers

In this episode we discuss how a writer’s coach can help you find and land a literary agent.

  1. Recognize how a writer’s coach can increase your chances to find a literary agent.
  2. Gain practical advice for creating a successful agent engagement pitch.
  3. Gain insights as a former agent and avoid common writer pitch pitfalls.
  4. Adhere to submission guidelines and enhance your industry knowledge to optimize your chances for success.
  5. Understand an agent’s preferences, genres, and expertise.
  6. Dive deep into meeting a felt need and comprehending your target audience’s expectations.
  7. Develop a compelling elevator pitch to capture an agent’s interest.
  8. Follow practical advice on crafting an ideal 200-250-word query email with a proposal.
  9. Recognize the importance of marketing elements—word count, title, and a brief bio—in your query letter.
  10. Acknowledge the crucial role of genre interest and a solid platform in creating book excitement.
  11. Be aware of the perceived cynicism in the publishing business and manage expectations.
  12. Explore platform building for non-fiction writers through articles and blog posts.
  13. Avoid downtime periods in December and July for agent submissions: follow industry rhythms.
  14. Seek guidance from a writer’s coach on when to pitch and understanding industry dynamics.
  15. Show appreciation through thoughtful gestures, like sending gifts or expressing gratitude. Maintain positive relationships and avoid burned bridges in the publishing industry.

Eddie Jones and Diana Flegal offer personalized coaching for writers. For more information, check out:

Banned By Amazon, Learn how Surfer / Author Laurel Senick Found Her Niche Market

Reality Coaching for Writers

In this episode we talk with surfer and author, Laurel Senick about the ways she has maximized her “niche market” to drive the sales of her fiction title, Foam. #nichemarketing #fictionwriting #LaurelSenick #surfergirl A shout out to #kellyslater for a staring role in the film version of Laurel’s next novel.

Here are some of the tips we learn from Laurel in this episode.

  1. Embrace reality and avoid fluff in your writing.
  2. Choose a title that resonates with your target audience and is easy to spell.
  3. Be adaptable with your book title, as it may evolve during the writing process.
  4. Seek feedback from others on your book title to ensure it’s appealing and memorable.
  5. Be aware of potential challenges with online platforms and have contingency plans in place.
  6. Connect with relevant organizations and influencers in your niche for targeted marketing.
  7. Consider releasing your book strategically, such as tying it to a significant date or event.
  8. Utilize local opportunities for book signings and events to connect with readers directly.
  9. Leverage local media outlets for coverage, especially around the book’s release date.
  10. Build relationships with local businesses and explore unique collaboration opportunities for book promotions.

Eddie Jones and Diana Flegal offer personalized coaching for writers.
For more information, check out:

Lessons for Writers from Tim Scott’s Failed Presidential Bid

Reality Coaching for Writers

In this episode we discuss how writers can learn from Tim Scott‘s failed presidential bid.
1. Money Matters But Not In A Good Way.
2. Every Story Needs a Villain
3. Pleasant and Up-beat Characters Need Flaws (and to Admit Them)
4. You Can’t Become a Best Seller if You Never Give Readers a Chance
5. Focus On How To Make the Reader the Hero, Not You.

Here is a Summary of Tips for Writers From This Episode

  • Maintaining a fresh perspective is crucial for writers, avoiding regurgitating old ideas. Tim Scott’s sudden withdrawal from the presidential race is used as an analogy for writers losing their way.
  • Writers, like political candidates, can get distracted from their mission and original voice. Writers need to stay committed to their mission and not let negativity and competing voices alter who they are and the message they are called to communicate.
  • Money doesn’t guarantee success; a fresh voice and a unique perspective are essential, and no amount of money can compensate for a lack of it. Without a fresh solution to an old problem, spending money will only deplete your bank account.
  • Authors may get distracted by external influences, losing their originality in the process. Think outside the box. Take a chance on new tools that weren’t available years ago.
  • Focus on establishing a connection with readers before seeking endorsements, reviews, or even book sales.
  • Writers need to avoid playing too nice with the problem they promise to solve; having a clear adversary or problem to address adds depth to the narrative. Writers should be unapologetic about addressing problems and not shy away from naming issues.
  • The hero in a book should be the reader impacted by the content, not the author.
  • Avoid making the narrative about personalities and avoid naming names. Focus on addressing problems and offering solutions.
  • Authors can build connections by asking readers what they need and offering small, tangible actions.
  • Authors need to balance visibility and genuine connection, showing up when necessary but also offering help.
  • In promoting books, authors should aim to give rather than solely asking. Trust that God will provide increase. If an author must ask, ask the audience how he or she can improve their product, pitch, and approach to helping others. Encourages authors at book signings to come prepared with the Holy Spirit’s fullness, focus on helping and encouraging people, even if it’s beyond selling books.
  • Do not give up too early. God has all the time in the world: we should trust he knows when he will provide the harvest. The great mistake many of us make is giving up too soon. Tim Scott quit before the first vote was cast. Writers give up on a book and series and career before giving Jesus a chance to work his miracles.
  • Revisit old books and find fresh ways to promote them. Leverage existing content and turn that material into promotional content.
  • Find creative ways to stay engaged. Our words, guided by the Holy Spirit, can have a long-term impact if we work until the end.

#TimScott #SenatorTimScott #TimScott2023 #TimScottForAmerica #ConservativeLeadership #GOP #RepublicanParty #UnitedStatesSenate #SCSenator #TimScott2024 #AmericanPolitics #ConservativeVoice #LeadershipMatters #Election2024 #PoliticalLeadership #USPolitics #ConservativeValues #SenateCampaign #TimScott2024 #SouthCarolinaSenator #RepublicanLeader #ConservativeSenator #PoliticalFuture #VoteTimScott #ConservativeMovement #TimScottForPresident #SCPolitics #RepublicanValues #PublicService #PoliticalVision

Eddie Jones and Diana Flegal offer personalized coaching for writers.
For more information, check out:

How Can Your Reader Become the Main Character of Your Nonfiction Book?

Reality Coaching for Writers

In this episode we suggest nonfiction writers:

* Make the reader the hero of your non-fiction book.
* Introduce the reader as the main character and identify their desires and goals.
* Present an inciting incident that showcases the problem the reader needs to address.
* Use the author’s motivation as a logical call to action for the reader.
* Create empathy by introducing a vulnerable character in the book.
* Connect with readers emotionally to enhance their engagement with the content.
* Set realistic expectations for readers in your non-fiction book.
* Address problems and challenges readers may face and provide actionable steps for them.
* Show how the reader will change and grow throughout the book.
* Emphasize the role of hope and transformation in the reader’s journey.
* Address the “moment of Maximum Angst” in your book where readers may feel like giving up.
* Provide the truth and the author’s authentic perspective.
* Offer hope during the reader’s toughest moments.
* Share encouraging case study stories and focus on positive outcomes.
* Encourage aspiring writers to share their ideas and information with the world.

Eddie Jones and Diana Flegal offer personalized coaching for writers.
For more information, check out:

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Narrative Nonfiction with Craig von Buseck

What makes narrative nonfiction so powerful? In this episode of Reality Coaching for Writers, we talk with published author, Craig von Buseck about his newest book, Telling the Truth: How to Write Narrative Nonfiction and Memoir, and how science backs up the fact humans are wired to respond to stories. #nonfiction #writer #storytelling

Key Points in this Episode

  • Craig mentioned the importance of “gravitas” in storytelling and encouraged writers to consider the weightiness of their stories.
  • The conversation delved into historical events, such as the Balfour Declaration and the role of key figures like David Lloyd George, Arthur Balfour, and Winston Churchill in shaping the history of Israel.
  • The discussion highlighted the significance of storytelling and how it helps people find meaning and wisdom in their lives.
  • Mirror neurons were mentioned, indicating that our brains are wired for stories, and stories help us learn and make meaning in our lives.
  • The importance of simplicity in storytelling and focusing on the highlights rather than getting mired in minutiae was discussed.
  • The conversation touched on the challenges of selling memoirs in the Christian market, where there is a preference for God-centered stories over personal ones.
  • Craig mentioned the need to incorporate fictional techniques of plotting and structure into non-fiction storytelling to engage readers effectively.
  • The importance of excellence in writing, especially when bearing the name of Christ, was emphasized.
  • Overall, the discussion centered on the power of storytelling, the need for simplicity, and the role of structure and excellence in writing.

Eddie Jones and Diana Flegal offer personalized coaching for writers.
For more information, check out:

There is a Solution to a Novelists’ Common Problem

A Visit with Zena Dell Lowe

A great conversation with Zena Dell Lowe on how to ensure your character is actively driving the action in your story.

Key Writing Tips for You to Consider

  • The solution to every story problem starts with awakening your passive character. Active characters should be the ones making decisions, picking paths, and driving the action of the story.
  • Active characters should have something to lose. Every choice they make should increase the stakes in the story and leave your character with a greater risk of loss.
  • Your main character should be observant and notice things in her surroundings and with the characters around her.
  • Your main character should recruit allies and put together a team to accomplish their goals.
  • Active characters influence the events of the world, even if they are not in charge. If your character is not in charge in the scene, find a way to give them the microphone so they are in charge.
  • Your main character should have a super power.
  • When your main character faces challenges, have him or her seek inspiration and support from other characters in your story. However, remember that your main character should ultimately be the one to figure out the next steps or solutions, taking the lead in the narrative.
  • Ensure that each scene in your story has an emotional shift before cutting away to another part of the plot. This emotional progression is essential for making scene transitions effective and engaging for your readers.

Zena will be teaching a class at the Florida Christian Writers Conference, covering topics like story structure, character development, and visual images adapted for fiction writers. She offers valuable insights into storytelling, drawing from her experience as a screenwriter, producer, and actor. Zena’s teaching approach helps writers understand and apply key storytelling principles.

For more info on Zena Dell Lowe check out:

Eddie Jones and Diana Flegal offer personalized coaching for writers.
For more information, check out:

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