Giving It to You Straight

Articles written by Lisa Martin, Ph.D. – LITERARY AGENT


While reading over reports written by my daughter’s classmates, I became aware of how many people take it for granted that Wikipedia is a dependable reference source. After all, the typical researcher is directed to Wikipedia by using a search engine, and immediately discovers it is an encyclopedia. So it must…
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The Internet

As we all know, the Internet is notoriously unpredictable and unreliable. However, millions of people rely with certainty upon information found on websites and blogs. Should we trust everything we read on the Internet? Should we believe all statements written by so-called advocates or self proclaimed experts, without considering the motivation…
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What Defines a Writer?

There seems to be an ongoing discussion of what qualifies an individual to be considered a writer. Any person that pounds out words on a computer is writing, but does that actually constitute a writer? Webster’s Dictionary defines a writer as “one who performs the act of writing, a professional scribe,…
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The Power of Words

As communicators and creative wordsmiths, we sometimes take for granted the actual intensity and forcefulness of the spoken or written word. Words formulate perceptions, awareness and expectations. They develop emotional bonds and guide how we rationalize our thoughts. Since what we think affects behavior, there’s a strong relationship between the words…
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A week doesn’t go by without another hopeful, yet frustrated writer asking me what it takes to be published by a commercial publisher. My answer is always the same: persistence and the capacity to learn. Persistence, the strength and skill to move beyond adversity and thrive is an invaluable trait. For…
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The Importance of a Platform

As mergers and downsizing continue to cause unexpected changes in New York publishing houses and independent publishers are becoming more prevalent, an author’s platform is essential for an individual looking to be published. A platform describes who the author is in relation to the subject-matter. Related educational degrees, certifications, speaking experience,…
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Query Letters

Every day, literary agents are bombarded with query letters from hopeful writers, many claiming to have the next New York Time’s bestseller. Even small agencies are inundated with requests for representation, often written by inexperienced individuals who have put little to no thought into what they are sending. There are not…
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A Literary Agent’s Responsibilities

You can ask fifty people, “What is the responsibility of a literary agent?” and you know what? You will get 50 different answers. There are no set rules or regulations that apply to literary agents, and I’m often amazed at what writers expect. A literary agent is a professional business representative…
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