From The Publishing Wizard . . . Guest Post By Molli Nickell



Molli Nickell

Some of you attended Molli’s query seminar a few months ago. Remember? I was in the Keys, following along on my phone while my wife drove… Anyway, the seminar was chock full of great ideas on how to get agents to pay attention to your query letter when submitting. I also had the pleasure of meeting Molli in the flesh before that, at a Florida Writer’s Conference. She’s quite a character, and an amazing resource! She was in the biz for a long time, so she has suggestions you’ll want to know when you are pursuing the traditional publishing route.

Here are few, from Molli:


Dear Writer,

A brand new year.

A refreshed launch for your quest to become a published author.

Your first step? Land an agent!

What do agents really want from you?

Same thing they have always wanted: salable manuscripts to $ell to publishers. Period. It’s business. Period.

The need for marketable product increases as multiple avenues of publication, from ebooks to audio books to podcast book readings, expand the marketplace and create a gadzillion new opportunities for writers.

Let’s assume you have crafted a fascinating story, and revised your query over and over again, but still haven’t located an agent to guide you through the publishing maze.


Five basics probably are in play.

You may not understand how to:

1)  Write a compelling email SUBJECT line that will motivate agents to click and open your emailed submission.

2) Format a device-and-agent friendly email submission.

3) Write a query letter that tells the core of your story.

4) Assemble a query submission packet according to industry


5) Self-edit your work like a pro and revise away ALL writing mechanic errors.

My heartfelt desire continues be to help propel you toward achievement of your publishing goals in 2016 . . . agent, book contract, and shelf space at Barnes and Noble.

-Molli Nickell

Virtual office hours 24/7


WHY YOU SHOULD LISTEN TO MOLLI: she is a former publisher, Time-Life editor, UCLA writing instructor, speaker, and 6x published NF author. She guides clients through the publishing maze as they learn to craft effective marketing documents which include a compelling email subject line, quick-read query letter, and professional book proposal. Her book, “WRITE RIGHT: Don’t shoot yourself in the foot” teaches non-fiction and fiction writers how to mature their work from “rookie” to “pro” to “published” before they launch their agent quest. (We did a little post on her before, too – Click HERE for that.)

Plus, I like her.

Some of you will be pursuing the trad publishing route, but most of you (and me) should query agents and publishers just in case. It doesn’t hurt and it might help! Molli is your key for that.



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Dan Alatorre is the author of several bestsellers and the hilarious upcoming novel “Poggibonsi: an italian misadventure.” Click HERE to check out his other works.



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