Interview with the Institute for Writers


Marni McNiff

Marni McNiff asked me some basic questions about how LHP works recently so I thought, why not make it a blog post?

Marni: What are your needs for upcoming manuscripts?

Victor: We’re looking to expand our “101 Tips” series which has so far addressed the needs of people with books for Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), survivors of abuse, and people in recovery from addications and eating disorders.  .

What’s the best way authors can make sure the pacing is working in their mss?   Read the book aloud to a friend, if they are bored they will tell you

What’s the one revision step authors should never skip before submitting?   Use your word processor’s built-in spelling and grammar tools at the very least.

What are some of the biggest mistakes you see from author/illustrators?  Failure to write a storyboard to go with a story

Is there anything an unagented author can do to stand out in the slushpile?   Have endorsements ready when the manuscript is submitted

How do you feel about an author writing outside their culture?   If they can prove they did their homework, I can be OK with that.

What are realistic expectations for an author after getting an offer from you?   Six to nine months before they will have a copy in hand of their published book

Do you Google writers before publishing them?  No, but we check prior work on Amazon, that’s what matters.  I’m not keen on being sold a book that was ALREADY self-published two years ago but the author found “marketing it was too hard”.  I’ve actually signed a contract and found out much later that this was a reprint and not a new book

What is the most important part of a “platform” for an author?  An existing and effective monthly newsletter of interested readers

Does it matter if the author’s social media audience isn’t the target buyer for their book/s?   Not really

Do you ever charge authors in order to help subsidize the publication of their books?  NEVER

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