Thursday, October 27, 2011


I believe the most effective way to go into NaNoWriMo is to pre-plot your book, this way when you are writing over a thousand words a day you have a roadmap to follow, and hopefully a more polished first-draft to work from come December 1st. 

Adams Media purposely fast-tracked Martha Alderson's THE PLOT WHISPERER to pub in October with NaNoWriMo writers in mind. 

I am not simply hawking my client's book here....I met Martha by taking her 2.5 hour workshop on plotting, I then went to her 5 day retreat on plotting....and let me tell you her techniques, wisdom and well yes, secrets, have helped many of my clients and absolutely influence how I evaluate manuscripts.

Don't take my word for it, you can watch Martha Alderson's  27 STEP PLOT VLOG SERIES!
Order from Amazon
Order from Barnes Noble

Plotting Made Simple, from the Plot Whisperer. When it comes to writing bestsellers, it's all about the plot. Plot is where most writers fall down - and they have no idea how to get back up. But with "The Plot Whisperer", celebrated writing teacher and author Martha Alderson shows writers how to breathe life into the most moribund of stories - one scene at a time. Alderson provides a plotting primer that's as easy to implement as it is to understand. With this foolproof system, writers of all genres can learn to devise a successful storyline that: tells the story in the best way; builds suspense; incorporates effective sub-plots; ties up all the loose ends; and, keeps the reader turning pages. "The Plot Whisperer" is the ultimate guide to writing page turners that sell.

Martha Alderson has worked with hundreds of writers in plot workshops, retreats, and plot consultations for more than fifteen years. Her clients include best-selling authors, New York editors, and Hollywood movie directors.

I want to also share WHAT I THINK MAKES A BOOK SELL so that you can SELL your NaNo book in 2012!

It is NOT how fabulous your website or blog is. It is NOT how many facebook or twitter friends you have, how many publishing links you forward or put on said website, blog, facebook and twitter. It is not how much editors and agents like you, though being a pain in the arse will NOT help you in any way, shape or form.

What sells a book is THE WRITING coupled with an ORIGINAL, COMPELLING CONCEPT! 

You have heard that great writing will rise to the top and find its way. Yet we all know that not all great writing sells. There is marketing and sales to contend with, and even in my 2 short years of being an agent I have had quite a number of books that editors loved and sales and marketing told them that it would sell, but just not enough....and the books are still not published. Breaks my heart. Breaks the editors' hearts. And oh, the author. So very unfair. BUT, publishing is a business and fair is not the leading part of the equation here. 

But couple GREAT WRITING with an ORIGINAL AND COMPELLING CONCEPT and you are 75% there. The rest is luck, timing, bizarre unknown factors that none of us understand but we kill ourselves trying to, and kismet. When HARRY POTTER, TWILIGHT, WIMPY KID, 13 REASONS WHY, etc were brought to acquisitions meetings and given the green light, publishers made an educated guess that these books would sell. They make those educated guesses on other books (and in some cases pay big advances and pump marketing dollars into them) that are equally fantastic but for some mysterious reason never find their audience. I worked in marketing for a couple of decades and this is just how it goes. What made the Pet Rock, Silly Bands, Chia Pets, Fuzzy Wuzzy was a Bear Soap, etc sell? Don't know.

Is it all word of mouth? Is it superior product--maybe yes in books, but in Pet Rocks? What do you think?


  1. I discovered Martha Alderson through your blog and I think she's amazing. I've watched her youtube videos and learned so much. I was thrilled when her book was finally released. It's so much easier to reference a book than 27 youtube videos.

    I think word-of-mouth is more powerful than ever.

  2. After you mentioned the Plot Whisperer at the NM conference, I watched the 27 videos and learned so much. I can' wait to have the book beside me to guide me while I'm writing during NaNoWriMo. So excited! <3



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