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What do agents really want? A unique voice, storytelling ability, likeable characters and believable dialogue, says Danuta Kean.

Yesterday I taught my first Guardian Masterclass of the year on how to pitch your book. A question students always ask is: what exactly do agents want? It is easier to answer than you might think. Of course everyone in publishing would say ‘voice’, by which they mean the character and personality of the writing. Agents want a voice that is unique, fresh and engaging. If you remain unclear what that means, the best way to understand is to read, read and read contemporary books.

magazine Publishing Talk Magazine #03, Nov-Dec 2012 - NaNoWriMo
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November can mean only one thing: it’s NaNoWriMo time!

Whether you’re doing NaNoWriMo this year, saving your writing marathon for another month – or against the whole idea – there’s something for you in this issue.

We have two bestselling authors who used NaNoWriMo: Elizabeth Haynes and Julia Crouch; plus bestselling indie author Linda Gillard, who challenges the idea that churning out verbiage for an entire month has to be a good thing. Writing coaches Tom Evans and Sarah Salway are here to boost your productivity, and Jon Reed looks at some digital tools to help you write.

Blogging
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We’re all familiar with blog-to-book success stories. But what about blog-to-sitcom? Regular readers will remember Emily Benet. She won the 2010 Author Blog Award in the Published Author category, which was announced at the Publishing Talk tweetup at the London Book Fair. Her début book, Shop Girl Diaries, began as a weekly blog about working in her mum’s unusual chandelier shop.

Marketing How to Promote Your Books with Pinterest
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Are you on Pinterest yet? The latest social media phenomenon has crept up on many of us – yet the statistics show that pinning is winning. Pinterest is already the third most popular social network after Facebook and Twitter, according to a 2012 report by Experian. It has an estimated 13 million users. It is the fastest site ever to break through the 10 million unique US visitors mark according to comScore. And it now drives more referral traffic than Google+, YouTube and LinkedIn combined, according to a Shareaholic study in January 2012. All of which is reason enough to take an interest in Pinterest. But what is it – and how can you use it as a publisher or an author?

magazine Publishing Talk Magazine #02 Sep-Oct 2012
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Issue 02 of Publishing Talk Magazine is all about having adventures – and writing about them! Who wouldn’t want to do that for a living?

In this issue, Carol Drinkwater offers her top tips for travel writing, Steven Lewis explains why travel writing is the ideal genre for self-publishing and Isabel Losada tells us about the exotic locations she writes in. Ben Hatch shares his adventures in the Twittersphere – and around Britain in a Vauxhall Astra – in our new Social Media Success Story feature.

Marketing How to Tweet your Blog
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One of the best ways to use Twitter is as a way to promote your blog – which in turn promotes your book, your writing, or your publishing business. Twitter is by far the biggest driver of traffic to my blogs because an automatic tweet is posted whenever I publish a blog post – without even having to log in to Twitter. This tutorial will show you how it’s done, using Twitterfeed.

Social Media
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How do we organize our bi-monthly BookMachine tweetups alongside full time jobs? Well, doing this has only become possible in the last few years, and all thanks to social media. We spend just 2 – 3 hours a week on promoting our events, here are the top five free tools that help us out.

Careers
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Looking for a job in publishing? As with all social networking, when it comes to job searching there are some big ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’. Twitter on its own is unlikely to find you a job: you may see jobs advertised (and you’ll need to respond quickly if you do), but it should be used as the means to finding a job, and your personal marketing tool.

Suzanne Collier of www.bookcareers.com shares her top ten tips for using Twitter for your job search.

Around the Web
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Today, authors have an amazing advantage. Not only are there millions of bloggers whose collective audience is larger and more engaged than that of the traditional press, there are also millions of consumers who are one click away from sharing your work with their friends on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Power to the people!

If you can make it easy for people to share and get excited about your book, you won’t need to spend big bucks or hope you make the list of some old newspaper that no-one really reads anymore.

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