Thursday, October 24, 2013

Writing Your Non-Fiction Book Proposal

Stymied about how to write a book proposal for your non-fiction book?

The following websites provide guidance:

Check Publishers' websites. Most of them (particularly those that take unagented submissions) have a "For Authors" or "Submissions" link that will give details of what that publisher expects in a proposal, and you'll see various formats different publishers expect.

Helpful print books:
Author 101 - Best Selling Book Proposals by Rick Frishman and Robyn  Freedman Spizman (ISBN 1-59337-412-7)

Nonfiction Book Proposals Anybody Can Write by Elizabeth Lyon (ISBN  0-399-52827-X)

Good luck! Let readers know about your success by leaving a comment on this post.

Monday, October 21, 2013

What You Should Keep in Mind While Finding an Agent

You're finally ready to think about getting an agent. Whether you've received recommendations, met one or more agents at writer's conference, or are completely clueless, as I was before I earned the title of "author"  there are things you should know.
 Author Link  is an excellent website where you can learn a great deal about the publishing industry, and you'll find a link to literary agents under Author Resources. Each listed agent supplies detailed information about their services, free.
Writers researching for an agent for the first time won't go wrong by checking to learn if the agent they're considering is a member of the Association of Authors's Representatives . Membership means  the agent is aware of a professional code of ethics. However, non-membership certainly doesn't imply an agent isn't ethical, dedicated to their clients, and perfectly suitable in every other way.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Understanding and Using Memes to Promote Your Book

For authors looking for a creative way to promote books, The Blood-Red Pencil, October 15, 2013, blog post , Use Memes to Promote Books, makes good points about understanding a meme, creating one, and how to make it effective. In addition, the blog post includes a link to PicMonkey to help get you started, almost painlessly.

Dani Greer posted the blog, and is founding member of The Blood-Red Pencil. Blog followers are invited to include a brilliant, one-line quotation from their book when leaving a comment. Don't miss good information by skipping the comments.

Be sure to honor The Blood-Red Pencil "All Rights Reserved", bookmark the blog, and consider subscribing.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Mystery Removed From Writing a Good Book Proposal

Excellent information about writing your book proposal is provided by Rachel Toor. She is an associate professor of creative writing at Eastern Washington University's writing program in Spokane.
The Reality of Writing a Good Book Proposal, and the sequel, How to Write a Good Book Proposal, the Sequel, by Rachel Toor.

Her Web site is She welcomes comments and questions directed to

Monday, October 7, 2013

How Referencing Can Promote Your Books

It's always a thrill to find your book referenced by a writer, and doubly so when it's in prestigious media, such as the instance below.

On August 22, 1883, the Northern Pacific Railroad (NPRR) drove the last spike to complete transcontinental mainline at Independence Creek, Montana Territory, which lay about 50 miles west of Helena, Montana and about 30 miles west of the Continental Divide.

Two hundred plus years later, in 2012, "Verily
the Road was Built With Chinbaman's Bones: An Archaeology of Chinese Line Camps in Montana", by Christopher W. Merritt, Gary Weisz, and Kelly J. Dixon, explores facts about the Chinese labor employed in the construction of the NPRR, and draws conclusions about the impact of those unheralded workers on the future of our country.
"This was really a great collaborative effort, as Gary Weisz (retired from the railroad and a true citizen historian/archaeologist) had all the site information and was able to provide such a great wealth of knowledge, and Dr. Dixon and I worked up the archaeology context and history. Gary made sure we kept on track with our historical overview!" Dr. Merritt said.
First published November 9, 2012 by Springer Science+Business Media, NY, and reprinted December 2012, Vol. 16, No. 4, in [link will be imbedded here] "International Journal of Historical Archaeology" , the official publication of the Society for Historical Archaeology (SHA).[no need to download]

Their article abstract says,
"Construction of the transcontinentals required massive numbers of laborers who lived in temporary "line camps" along the railroad grades. A sample of spatially and ethnically segregated Chinese line camps along the transcontinental Northern Pacific Railroad in the Rocky Mountains of north-western Montana provide historical and archaeological examples of the Gilded Age's pervasive racist mistreatment of the Chinese, culminating in Chinese exclusion laws."
Dr. Kelly J. Dixon is an archaeologist and Associate Professor of Anthropology at University of Montana Department of Anthropology. She specializes in archaeologies of the American West, with her published research representing case studies from the past several centuries. Her research interests are integrated with undergraduate and graduate student projects and include archaeologies of adaptation, colonization, colonialism, global change, landscapes, landscape transformations, human-environment interactions, boomtowns, extractive industries, marginalized populations, and text-aided approaches to archaeology.

Dr. Merritt also was teaching at the University of Montana Department of Anthropology at the time, but has since taken other employment.

An article of this scope required considerable research, dedication and planning. Gary Weisz's background equipped him with specialized and unique knowledge that suited the task perfectly. Beginning in 1967, he worked for the Northern Pacific Railroad (Signal Department) from Paradise Montana to Sandpoint, Idaho, and quit working for the Burlington Northern in 1977, and afterwards worked various jobs until he retired.

"I worked with Art and Lyle Younker. In 1967, while headquartered in Thompson Falls, a couple of older railroad employees pointed out several Chinese camps occupied in 1882-1883. I visited the Thompson River camp at that time and later began locating additional camps and documenting and researching the artifacts left behind," Weisz said.

"I guess you could describe me as an avocational archaeologist and historian who takes his hobby very seriously. Throughout the years, numerous professional archaeologists have generously shared their expertise with me and provided guidance as my research progressed. A number of Universities have graciously provided professional papers and reports for my research library. This has been an ongoing learning experience for me and acceptance into the archaeological community has been very gratifying," he said.
Weisz also does archaeological research on the Kalispell Indians, Coeur d' Alene Indians, and fur trade era artifacts from this area. Weisz was born in Sandpoint, Idaho, where he still lives. He and Archaeologist James C. Bard PhD., Senior Principal Investigator at SWCA Environmental Consultants, Portland, Oregon, will be presenting "Weaving the Threads: A View of the Overseas Chinese in Northern Idaho" This paper will be presented at the "Chinese Railroad Workers in North America Project-Archaeology Workshop" to be held at Stanford University October 10th through October 12th, 2013. Various papers by individuals will be presented during the course of the workshop.
"I am pleased with that!," Weisz said.
 I learned of their article while searching my name on, because my books, "Behind These Mountains, Vols. I, II & III" are referenced in "Verily the Road was Built With Chinbaman's Bones: An Archaeology of Chinese Line Camps in Montana".

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