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Steve's Topics

I saw that publishing all over the world was deeply constrained by

self-censorship, economics and political censorship.   - Julian Assange

TOUGH LOVE FOR WRITERS. An extended master class that that includes the topics below, and more. See more, here.


What Billy Joel Taught Me About Writing: Musical genius Billy Joel has sung and preached for decades, about the perils of life on the road as a professional musician. What you might not know, is that book writers face many of the same struggles. Let's talk about it.


Bad Words: Eliminate These Words and Phrases From Your Writing.  Many writers reflexively write the same way that they speak, and this could be a big mistake. Learn how to avoid these red flags that could get you tagged as an amateur.

Do you need an agent?  With the rise of technology, you can do everything yourself. But should you? Do you possess the requisite knowledge, skills, and contacts? An experienced agent can do more for you than you might think.

Rejection-proof Submissions: Why You're Not Getting Published.  Have you sent off your manuscript to agents and editors, only to be rejected again and again? Learn the things they won't tell you; discover the most common problems, and how to avoid them. Hint:  It may have nothing to do with the quality of your writing or your story.

An Invitation to Victimhood. Have you ever tried to seek out advice to get your book published? If so, then chances are that someone has warned you about the many scams, scandals, and sharks in the business. Let's talk about it, and why you might be overthinking it.

Before You Jump Into Self-Publishing...  In the brave new world of publishing, you have more choices than ever. Are you better off to bypass the "traditional" system? Self-pub offers many advantages, but that (apparent) empowerment is not always a good thing if you don't treat it like a business.

Let’s Read That Publishing Contract. After years of struggle, you’ve finally landed an offer from a publisher. Awesome. Should you accept it? Do you even understand it? We will look over a typical contract, line by line. What’s good, what’s bad, and what’s worth fighting for.

What is a "Christian" writer? You're a Christian, and you feel called to write. Great! So where do you start? Learn how to balance your craft and business with your ministry, and avoid the (very common!) unhealthy attitudes.


The Quintessential Query. When you submit your work to an agent or publisher, you'll probably need to send a query. It's the most important single-page document that you will ever write. Learn the ten essential elements that can help you get to a yes.

What NOT to Say to an Agent or Editor. No how matter how good your story, or how awesome your execution, it might not be enough. You still have to sell this thing. Learn what to say, and (very importantly) what NOT to say, when pitching your book.


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