An Interview with Rachelle Gardner [Video]

If you are serious about book publishing, you have no doubt found Rachelle Gardner’s blog. That’s how I first discovered her. I immediately subscribed and have been reading her posts ever since. I also follow her on Twitter.

Please forgive the echo on Rachelle’s side of the recording. That was my fault. I am still learning!

Rachelle is a literary agent. She is part of the WordServe Literary Group based in Denver, Colorado. Prior to becoming an agent, she served in a variety of publishing roles.

She has been an editor and ghost writer with eight published books to her credit. She has also worked in licensing, international sales, and marketing.

In this fourteen-minute interview, we discussed:

  1. The advice she would give to new authors who are looking for an agent
  2. The most common mistakes new authors make in approaching agents
  3. Why it is important for authors to go through the process of preparing a formal book proposal
  4. Whether or not building a platform is critical for fiction authors
  5. Why authors should still consider publishing with a traditional publisher when so many self-publishing options are available

We only scratched the surface. If you are an author—or would like to be one—her blog is must-reading. She daily discusses publishing topics from the author’s perspective.

Question: Which of Rachelle’s comments stood out to you? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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  • http://www.wizardofotin.blogspot.com otin

    Rachelle’s blog has been like a school course for me.  She has been very helpful.

    I came over from her blog.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Cool. Welcome!

  • Sherri

    I subscribed to Rachelle’s blog a couple of months ago and read it every day.I appreciate that she has a balance of reality and encouragement. It was great to see her start “vlogging” and nice to put a voice with the face, so I really enjoyed this and was once again educated and encouraged. Thanks for doing this. 

  • Wendy Miller

    Excellent interview, Michael. I have a great deal of respect for Rachelle.
    Question five intrigued me because of what Rachelle said about how the decision to self-publish is such a hot topic. I’m still looking to jump that traditional hurdle by engaging in an exceptional partnership in this business. I appreciated how Rachelle compared self-publishing to building a house. It helped continue to put that option into perspective.
    Thanks for this shared wisdom from two powerhouses in the industry.
    ~ Wendy

  • Debbie Baskin

    Thanks for posting this interview. 

  • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

    Publishing is a hard gig! I’ve learned so much about the publishing business from subscribing to both of your sites. I think the main myths in the business are…

    1. If you get published, you’ll make lots of money
    2. If you get published, people will flock to bookstores to buy your book
    3. Self publishing is an easy alternative to traditional publishing

    I used to believe in all three of these. Chris Brogan has a great post entitled Writing a Book – Making Money that really puts the publishing business in perspective from the monetary side. As far as self publishing goes, after spending a year self publishing my first book, I can tell you that it requires a lot of knowledge about editing, formatting, graphic creation, and typology. Then you have to deal with the fact that the average self published book sells under 100 copies on average.

    Should you go through the process? By all means… just realize you won’t get rich, people will not flock to bookstores to buy your work, and the real joy in the whole endeavor is holding your finished work in your hands.

    The good news… that joy is definitely worth it!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for your insights, John. It might be worth making a distinction between DIY publishing where you do absolutely everything and “supported self-publishing,” where you hire a “general contractor” to manage these processes on your behalf. Our own WestBow Press is a good example of the latter. It»s definitely more expensive. But it really comes down to what your time is worth. 

      • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

        I agree, Michael. Self Publishing has certainly become easier since I published back in 2009. You can now choose how much “support” you want along the way with many publishers. Obviously the more support, the higher the costs, so authors need to take that into consideration. Most people will need some hand holding along the way. There really is a lot to creating a finished and published book.

    • http://www.forward-living.com W. Mark Thompson

      “just realize you won’t get rich, people will not flock to bookstores to
      buy your work, and the real joy in the whole endeavor is holding your
      finished work in your hands.”

      Well said John. I think the average person wanting to get a publishing contract thinks this way. And thanks for the tip for Brogan’s book.

      -Mark

      • Trish Coombes Filipponi

        Mate if you believe that then thats all your gonna get . Im seriosly thinking about paying top dollar and getting it self published. because thats what I think my stories worth. Im tired of writing up prposals that get knocked back . Im better than that . I know of two people whoh have succesfully self published and are doing very with their sales. If you got the funds why not pay for all the services to make your dream come true and if you dont have funds ,go get a loan from the bank. All the best with your publishing endevours . Blessings Trish

    • http://brevis.me Robert Ewoldt

      Sure, people can do all the work of publishing and promoting by themselves, but like any other large project that one tries to do by themselves, it’s probably not going to be as good as if you had hired a professional for the things you weren’t good at.

      People should play to their strengths.  If they’re good at writing, then they should write.  If they’re good at marketing, then they should market.  If a writer isn’t good at editing or marketing, then they should hire outside help for those things.

    • http://twitter.com/jmhardy98 Jim Hardy

      John,

      Thank you for sharing. Chris’s post is very good.

      Jim

  • http://flowerpatchfarmgirl.blogspot.com/ Shannan Martin

    Fantastic interview! I’ve learned so much from Rachelle and had the privilege of meeting her at a conference last month. The feedback she provided was invaluable. She’s as kind as she is savvy. Thanks for sharing!

  • Julie Jarnagin

    I love Rachelle’s blog, and it was great seeing her here on your site. I appreciate her willingness to educate writers on the industry and share her wisdom.

  • http://www.peaceforthejourney.com elaine @ peace for the journey

    A wonderful wealth of knowledge… can never get enough of Rachelle!

  • http://www.jillkemerer.com Jill Kemerer

    What a terrific interview! I’ve followed Rachelle’s blog for years, and it made my day to listen to you both. Great information–thanks!

  • http://marlataviano.com Marla Taviano

    It’s such an honor to be a client of Rachelle’s. I’m telling you, she is everything in real life that she appears to be on her blog–smart, kind, wise, helpful, unselfish, genuine. Her advice to me has always been spot-on, and her encouragement keeps me going whenever I hit a wall. Thank you, Rachelle, for everything!!

    And great interview, Michael!

  • http://www.tracidepree.com Traci DePree

    Great interview. Thanks, Mike.

  • http://www.jeubfamily.com Chris Jeub

    I’ve been following Michelle for about a year, particularly on Twitter. Her advice is pointed and sometimes shrewd — exactly what aspiring authors need to hear.

    Great interview!

  • http://www.forward-living.com W. Mark Thompson

    Very helpful. I’m getting a great education on some publishing tips from your space here. Who knows, maybe one day soon…   :)

  • http://brevis.me Robert Ewoldt

    Good interview!  I thought that it was interesting that she spoke of having an agent and a publisher as a lifelong dream of authors.  I think it’s true.  It’s almost a status symbol, to have a good agent and a good publisher, and to see a well-respected publishing name on the binding of your book.

  • http://twitter.com/RookieWriter David Barry DeLozier

    What a great interview – I will subscribe to Rachelle’s blog this morning.  Very interesting juxtaposition for me: I am an architectural designer, a home builder and multiple  business owner so I am entrepreneurial – all of which supports the case for self-publishing (loved her hombuilding analogy but I was answering yes to all the questions).  At the same time, everything Ms. Gardner said about wanting the validation of an agent and a traditional publishing house for my fiction writing is absolutely true.  My book is not ready to be shopped (I’m a habitual editor/revisionist) but when it is, I will have to stare down these issues.  Thanks for such a great interview.

  • http://twitter.com/jamespinnick7 James Pinnick

    Thanks for posting Michael.

    Even though my query letter was declined by Rachelle earlier in the year regarding The Last Seven Pages, I still respect her knowledge and insight. I was able to tailor the letter and my blog a bit more and land a Christian Literary Agent from the west coast. For that, I’m very grateful to Rachelle. I’m also grateful I get to prove Rachelle wrong for declining the manuscript! :)

    Blessings-

    James Pinnick
    Author- The Last Seven Pages
    http://www.jamespinnick.com

    • http://brevis.me Robert Ewoldt

      Even the best people don’t get it right all the time :)

  • JeffO

    I, too, came over f rom Rachelle’s blog. Great interview, Michael. Thanks!

  • Kwbrayton

    Michael, I’ve been reading your blog for a long while now. I have enjoyed  watching your Chick-fil-A Leadercast Backstage programs very much. So believe me when I tell you that I admire your work and appreciate the people you talk to very much. But I gotta tell ya, this new video format, well, in a word – sucks. Now, it could just be my computer/monitor, but when I tried to watch the clip I ended up listening without watching. It was just too distracting. Your face is squashed and unnatural looking. The video was extremely choppy and herky-jerky. The sound track and video were often out of sync. I’m on a high-speed broadband connection with decent equipment which leads me to believe it’s a problem with the video and not my connection.

    Personally, I’m not a fan of these types of in-your-face camera shots and find them annoying and distracting. I readily acknowledge that others may feel differently. But if you are going to persist in this video format, please hire some professional help and work on this presentation style some more. I know you care about such things which is why I’ve posted this.

    Rachelle had some great things to say, by the way, and my beef is not with her. I trust that you can understand my heart and appreciate where I’m coming from.

    I remain your faithful reader,

    Ken Brayton
    Corvallis, Oregon

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I hesitated to post it at all, mostly because of the audio. I don’t see the herky-jerky problem here. That may be a bandwidth or connection problem. Regardless, your point is well-taken.

      I think I have three choices:

      1. Don’t post stuff like this at all, because it is just too much work.

      2. Do the best I can, but post it any way, because the content is still valuable. (I am learning, by the way. Much of this was caused by a new setup.)

      3. Do it professionally and charge for the content via premium access.

      For now, I have opted for #2.

      I do appreciate your input. I want to make this the best it can be. Thanks.

      • http://terripatrick.blogspot.com/ Therese Patrick

        Continue your option #2.  It is informative, appreciated and entertaining. Thank you.

        • http://brevis.me Robert Ewoldt

          I like that your blog has a multimedia aspect to it. Yours is one of few blogs that I follow that does that (or, at least, produces their own video, rather than citing someone else’s). Keep it up.

      • http://brevis.me Robert Ewoldt

        Even with the echo-y sound quality, I think there was valuable information in this interview.

        • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

          Thanks, Robert. It was difficult for me to decide to post that quality, but I felt Rachelle’s comments were so good, it was worth it.

  • http://www.authorcynthiaherron.com Cynthia Herron

    I enjoyed getting both of your perspectives. The architect/contractor analogy was perfect. When we were building our home, I enjoyed selecting the lighting, flooring, paint colors, etc. To install and do  everything ourselves? We left those things to the experts.

    I can’t imagine navigating the publishing waters without my agent. For some people, that may work great. As for me, I improved my skills, took courses, joined professional organizations, and honed my craft all with the ultimate goal of obtaining a dream agent. It worked! Did it happen overnight? Hmmm…not so much. I worked my socks off, and like you indicated, Rachelle–the sense of accomplishment just arriving at this point is indescribable.

    Thank you both for continuing to tell it like is.

    • http://twitter.com/jmhardy98 Jim Hardy

      I very much agree. It is hard work and the feeling of accomplishment is great!

      jim

  • http://profiles.google.com/jennabcw Jenna Benton

    Popped on over here from Rachelle’s blog. It’s part of my daily reading. Thanks for interviewing her here. Good stuff! 

  • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

    I found her reply to the question on “Why authors should still consider publishing with a traditional publisher when so many self-publishing options are available” most intriguing. Now, I can understand the nuances between the two better.

    And, thanks for introducing her blog to us. I have just subscribed to it in my google reader.

  • http://www.cathrynhasek.com Cathryn

    I agree that the big discussion in the publishing industry is whether or not to self-publish.  In fact, it was a main topic at a writer’s conference I attended this month.  As a Christian writer, however, I feel that to publish non-traditionally would be a barrier to me.  I like to think of my work as discipleship in nature. Therefore in order to bring more people to Christ, it seems to me that having a traditional publisher, with all of their marketing know how and connections, would be the smarter route to venture.  Especially a Christian publishing house.

    Thanks for the head’s up on what is happening around the industry.  Both you and Rachelle are mentors of mine!

  • dpyle

    Popped over here from Rachelle’s blog. What a delight! Excellent interview. I’ve read your blog for about 3 months now, Michael, and it’s on my must-read list each time you post. Thank you for the time, commitment, and tenacity you expend to provide us with relevant, engaging topics. Blessings!

    • http://brevis.me Robert Ewoldt

      Michael’s blog is one of very few blogs that I actually have delivered to my email Inbox each morning. I find that the posts are indispensable.

  • Thyrkas

    I clicked my way over from from Rachelle’s blog. Always helpful, the straight scoop without the hype, Rachelle’s blog is solid gold. Nice to see her on your blog, too.

  • http://www.destanley.com Dustan Stanley

    Thanks Michael! It’s great to hear Rachelle’s view – especially with the echo. Get’s in my head again and again and again. ;-) Seriously, thank you for this video. Love it!

  • http://temporary.rumorsofglory.com/ Lucille Zimmerman

    Can I put in a plug for a great new blog called The WordServe Water Cooler? It’s brand new and some Rachelle (and Greg Johnson’s) clients are posting the most helpful tips for wanna-be authors. 
    http://wordservewatercooler.com/

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I love that idea!

    • http://twitter.com/jmhardy98 Jim Hardy

      Lucille,

      Thank you for sharing. I will add this to my favorites.

      Jim

  • Marji Laine

    Excellent interview. I felt like I was in a class! Thanks so much, Mike, for asking just the right questions. And thanks, Rachelle for letting this eager learner glimpse your insight into the details of the publishing world.

  • http://twitter.com/C_Herringshaw Casey Herringshaw

    Wow, great, great interview. Thank you Mike and Rachelle! I appreciate the time you take as industry professionals to give advice to us just starting out!

  • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

    Rachelle uses a number of helpful analogies to clear up the murk between writing and publishing and self-publishing vs. traditional publishing. The new job analogy helps me understand why I need to know the market and why I need to do more than write a book to get published. Appreciate the interview and the insights. I can see why you follow Rachelle on her blog.

  • http://rockbottomworship.wordpress.com/ Liz Dugger

    Thank you for being a voice in the writing wilderness. This conversation can save people years of wandering aimlessly while thinking they’re headed somewhere. You created a sort of bridge for writers who need to cross over – or as Rachelle said, “make a mental leap” – to realizing writing is only the start. We have to be able to clearly come up with a plan. The thought that stood out most was “if you’re a Christian writer, we already assume God has told you….” (don’t remember exact words) This is challenging stuff. 

  • http://twitter.com/CoachTheresaIF Theresa Ip Froehlich

    Thank you for bringing Rachelle Gardner to us. She offers a big dose of reality that helps writers plant our feet on earth.
    While writers dream about our books becoming NYT bestsellers, many non-fiction writers simply want to get a message out there or share their knowledge.
    I tend to agree with her take on using the traditional publishing route. Having a book accepted by a traditional publisher represents endorsement and accountability. Self-publishing might fit writers who have the right skill sets, including marketing savvy (this is not one of my skill sets.)
    I have just recently signed a contract with my literary agent for my first book that shows parents how to let go of adult children and get on with their own lives. I appreciate having an agent I can trust and who coaches me along the process.

  • http://twitter.com/RachelleGardner Rachelle Gardner

    Mike, I really appreciate you taking the time to do this interview and post it! It was a lot of fun and I love sharing bits of what I’ve learned with others. I’ve been enjoying your entire interview series, so please continue! (Despite technical difficulties.)

    THANK YOU to all the commenters, too. I’m glad I can be helpful.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      You are welcome, Rachelle! You did a great job.

    • Anonymous

      Thank you both for doing this interview. I took away a couple great insights.

    • http://brevis.me Robert Ewoldt

      Rachelle, I agree completely. Thanks for doing the interview.

    • Sue Detweiler

      Rachelle,
      Thank you for being a forerunner as a literary agent and trainer. I learned a lot from this interview and from your blog.

      Michael,
      Once again, thank you for being an incredible resource and a catalytic connector.

  • http://www.christytruitt.com Christy K. Truitt

    I found the proposal segment the most intriguing. Rachelle is my agent, but also a bottomless well of information. She’s so encouraging and nurturing, but also tells it like it is. Kudos, Rachelle!

  • Anonymous

    I am brand new to the idea of seeking publication. I really appreciate the insights from both you and Rachelle. I am aware that living in the digital age likely means my competition to become published will be more fierce than it would have been 100 years ago. However, I am also aware that it means I have access to so much information to help me along the way. I am grateful for the resources!

    I think it was helpful to make it abundantly clear that this is a business.  If I want to break in, I need to do my homework, and ask myself tough questions. I am writing non-fiction. I love the clarity of asking myself whether I have the platform, credentials, and unique idea to make publishing a reality.

  • Clarice G James

    After listening to so many of my writer friends talk about traditional publishing as if it were so “old school” (and out of reach) and self-publishing as the way to take control of your future, I was glad to hear Rachelle confirm what I’ve always thought: you get what you pay for. I’m willing to pay a professional to do the things I’m not built to do. Thanks.

  • Davey

    Mike, thanks so much for that interview! Rachelle and you both have been a huge help to me in understanding better the publishing industry! I came over from Rachelle’s blog today, and am glad I did so. Great information and a fun interview.

  • http://rmabry.com Richard Mabry

    Mike, Thanks for this post. Rachelle shares her wisdom and experience freely via her own blog, and it’s great that you’re introducing your readers to her as well. They will be well-rewarded if they follow her.
    I was most taken by her advice about the advantages of seeking traditional publication rather than going the self-publication or e-pubbing route. It’s a lot of work, but I agree that it’s worth it.

  • Anonymous

    Great interview Mike and Rachelle. Great points and advice. I have been working on my platform and eventually would like to write several leadership books. When Rachelle was talking about the difference between self -publishing vs. a traditional publisher, it really became clear to me that traditional publishing might be the best way to go for me. (In the future) I enjoy everything you write about publishing and building your platform. Thank you for adding value into my life.
     

  • http://twitter.com/suzanneastock Suzanne Stock

    I’m so glad you interviewed Rachelle! I’m an aspiring author who stumbled across her blog a few months back, and it’s been an incredible source of information for me. I’m not sure if she’ll be one of the agents I query when I get to that place with my manuscript (only because of my content and style), but I totally respect everything she has to say. The content of your recent vlogs has been fantastic, Michael!

  • http://elainecougler.wordpress.com Elaine Cougler

    Actually Rachelle mentioned two things that clicked for me:  having a good knowledge of what competitive titles for my book might be out there, and having a fan page of Facebook.  I already subscribe to her newsletter but seeing her on video was excellent.  Always good to put the face with the name.
    Michael, I, too, have just started doing video interviews on my blog so I was interested that you are new at it as well.  It’s all a learning thing, isn’t it?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Actually, I was doing pretty well until I upgraded to Max OS X Lion. That seems to have thrown everything off. I’ll get there!

  • http://beckfarfromhome.blogspot.com/ Beck Gambill

    Fabulous interview, thanks for sharing this! I love Rachelle’s blog it’s full of practical advice. I think the conversation to self publish or attempt a traditional publish was most helpful to me. I’ve gotten a bit bogged down in knowing which way to go with my novel and her thoughts were very helpful.

    I recently released a small ebook entitled Sister to Sister; A Mentor’s Handbook on my blog. http://beckfarfromhome.blogspot.com/2011/08/get-copy-of-my-new-ebook-sister-to.html But for my novel I don’t think that’s the direction I want to go.

    • http://twitter.com/jmhardy98 Jim Hardy

      Beck,

      Thank you for sharing and I wish you the best of luck.

      Jim

      • http://beckfarfromhome.blogspot.com/ Beck Gambill

        Thanks Jim!

  • http://twitter.com/jmhardy98 Jim Hardy

    Great interview. I will start following her blog. Thank you for the insight.

    Jim

  • amy sorrells

    My favorite portion of this interview is when Rachelle compares “building a book” with building a house. Having just painted my entire downstairs, I know I’m pretty good at taping and fixing nail holes, using a roller, and getting paint all over my dogs. But I also I know for certain I’m not up to–nor qualified for–installing toilets or cabinets or hooking up an HVAC system.

    I also echo Rachelle’s points about how the art of writing is so different from the business of publication. I think the neatest thing I’ve learned to date about the publishing industry is how all the industry professionals I’ve come across value the author’s original art, and have hearts and passion for making that art shine.

    Many thanks to both of you, for this interview and for just being you! You inspired my walk toward publication nearly five years ago when I discovered your sites, and you both continue to do so today!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Amy. I appreciate you dropping by and commenting.

  • http://vvdenman.com/ V.V. Denman

    Don’t apologize for the echo. It’s great. Makes Rachelle sound like a movie star.

    • http://temporary.rumorsofglory.com/ Lucille

      Rachelle IS a movie star!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_YAXZX6HS4WQEU5N76MQDS4GNPU James Mckay

    Great Interview. Thanks for providing such practical information. I’m thinking about self publishing because I’m 72 (quite healthy though), and wondering if publishers will shy away from investing in someone my age. I have a novel I feel great about, plus several more in the making. I would love to hear any thoughts.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      No, I do not believe publishers will shy Seventy-two is the new 55. ;-) The guy is having some to say and saying it well. Thanks.

  • http://www.susantornga.com Susan Tornga

    I am a long-time follower of Rachelle’s blog.  I enjoyed the more personal interaction of the video on your blog.  Thank you for hosting her.  Good information.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you so much for this post.  I have to say I am a bit overwhelmed by the whole process, but I’m trying to do my homework and above all PRAY and TRUST!  I’m confused about researching the market, I’m not sure where my book fits.  I think it is fiction young adult, but I don’t know how to get more specific…do you have any advice?  I write about religion and politics both on my blog (tcavey.blogspot.com) and my novel.  

  • Eileen Astels

    The video doesn’t seem to be working. I was really looking forward to seeing and learning from it, too!

  • Eileen Astels

    I got it to work! Needed an add on. Thanks so much for this interview. Very informative and I really liked Rachelles words on making the mental leap from writer to published author. It’s a scary transition for many!

  • Jody Day

    I found the comments about the importance of building a platform very helpful.   I do read Rachelle’s blog and fell like I am getting valuable instruction.:)

  • Uwe MaDonna Maurer

    Great interview…Rachelle’s blog is always full of great advice.  Loved the comparison of self-publishing to building a house…how much do you want to do yourself? Great way for unpublished writers to think through it all in a different light. 

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  • Maray Ann Weakley

    I am a follower of both you and Rachelle. Her blogs are generously rich in information. I transfer them to a folder for reference; she covers every area–often just when I need it. Good analogy of the contractor to build your house. Clearly impresses the importance of going for a traditional publisher.
     
    I have studied book proposals from various sources including yours and hers. All helpful, however, I find I have to revise the format to the specs of nearly every agent who requests a proposal. Wish you all could standardize that process. The content is the same, but the format and depth varies considerably.

    I heard Allen Arnold (Thomas Nelson Publishing) last night at B & N. I never miss when one of your representatives speaks. Appreciated his advice to keep your day job if you are a new author; he shared realistic facts on what to expect monetarily. As new writers we have the gleam of fame in our eyes and it is good to hear the plain truth.   
    Thanks to you and to Rachelle for encouragement and information to writers.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks. The process is a little more standardized with non-fiction. Most of the market uses my proposal format. Fiction is a different matter. I’m glad you got to hear Allen. He is terrific.

  • Anonymous

    It”s a very interesting blog… and your work!!! no words to describe it. I am very new to the whole thing and thank you !

    Analyst Cv

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  • http://www.indiebusinessblog.com Donna Maria Coles Johnson

    I enjoyed this interview. I follow Rachelle on Twitter and enjoy her blog, so it was fun to get a chance to hear from her in this way. thanks!

  • Dorcas

    What a great interview! I had come across your website a couple of months ago as I was searching for a WordPress theme for my website and just thought it was an excellent resource.  Today I was doing some research and found Rachelle’s website and to my surpise there was your interview! I feel very blessed to have come across your websites.  I am learning so much.  Keep up the great work!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1161983753 Karen A Einsel

    I loved the interview. A lot of really helpful insights and it was nice being able to see and hear Rachelle. 

  • Gillian Marchenko

    Great interview!  I appreciate you both Mike and Rachelle (oh, and I was sent from Rachelle’s blog :).

    http://www.gillianmarchenko.com

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  • John Young

    Mike I loved the interview and find your gut instinct on what is interesting is still dead on.
    She has her act together and I sense she’d love to bring the next great book to market, but at times, in the media world of positive spin, some bottom line facts get left out. It’s implied every author needs an agent to get in the door, and some publishers have now resorted to walking no further than their lobby to consider an acquistion. There are lots & lots of agents out there. I’d have been curious to  know how many titles she picked up and pitched AND the success ratio of inked contracts in the past year. I’d have loved  hearing  just one or two titles released  that might be impressive in his line of success. We have a lot of authors. We have a lot of agents. We have lots of publicists. But not get the results their websites imply. Sometimes I get lost in the sales pitch and miss knowing the A list agent, and A list publicist. I know the A list authors real well.       

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      She may have covered this on her blog. You can find Rachelle’s list of clients here. Thanks.

  • Amy Simpson

    Thank you so much for taking the time to do this! I will be attending my first ever ACFW conference this month and am keeping my fingers crossed that I get an appointment with Rachelle to pitch. Both of your blogs have been invaluable. It really takes the edge off of being a newbie!

  • Nancy Diekmann

    I’m one of those writers who dreamed about walking into bookstore, being able to pick up my book from the shelf, and randomly tell someone “I wrote this.” 

  • Dingheng0932

    Thank you to share! Well-written article!
    http://www.christianlouboutin-cheapest.org/

  • Marlene Nord

    This was great. thanks!

  • Lucy Abelson

    As a self published author I appreciate Rachelle’s comments.  – I would certainly have gone with a traditional publisher had I found one and certainly being self published means I have to use a lot of ingenuity to sell books like out of the back of my car. However, although I would be classed as a commercial writer rather than literary, I don’t like to think about markets when I write because I don’t want to become cynical or machine like. I have an idea of my type of reader, someone who listens to Classical fm in the UK. That’s the mood. I often think of Milan Kalundra saying everyone has an audience and there are 4 types.  Writers and actors have an unknown audience but people who like to entertain, give parties have an audience of people they know. Other people have an audience of 1, such as a husband or wife – But the most dangerous audience to have is some one person who is dead… 

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Stephany-Slater-Robinson/1560141251 Stephany Slater Robinson

    My internet it slow, so this was a duplicate response which I’ve now deleted! Sorry. I’ll just add that these agents and publishers ROCK!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Stephany-Slater-Robinson/1560141251 Stephany Slater Robinson

    I know my comment is abit behind, but I barely watched this video today! I loved every echoing detail of this video and thought the light on Rachelle’s face was perfect! More so, her face lit up with every question. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve shared her words in the area of self-publishing every time someone asks me why I haven’t gone for an E-book. It would be a kind of death for the stories that I’m dreaming will take a timeless, hardback form! Keep up the great work Mike & Rachelle!

  • http://myendofthedeal.com/ Brian Seidel

    Michael, as a youth pastor I have used things that had a drawback (like an echo) because the content was worth putting up with the quality.  That is most definitely true with this interview.  Thanks for posting it, it was helpful for me!

  • http://twitter.com/Suzannesan Suzanne Hill

    Great and informative information.  Thank you.

  • Tomas Caulfield

    I’ve just learned more in 14 minutes about how to get a book published than I’ve known for the past 4 years, sice I started writing my novel. Thaks Rachelle.

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  • Nancy Griffin

    I enjoyed the interview very much,and found it to be very informative. This will help
    prepare me with my search for an agent at the beginnig of the new year. I will most definately go to Rachell’s blog.

  • Michael Mulligan

    I like the point about building a platform…proving to the publisher that you know your market and have what it takes.  I took a gazillion notes on this interview to learn what this writing business is all about.  Thank you, Michael and Rachelle, for sharing your words of wisdom with a newbie.

  • http://www.springmemarketing.com/ asenath

    This is fabulous! Worth the echo! and I think I may change my mind on becoming a published author.

  • http://deltakitchenfaucets.thekitchenfaucet.net/ JamesH

    They were doing a research work on publishing in the school. Shame I did not find this  post earlier.

  • Ezekush

    I have been strugling to find an agent for over a year now and would like to self publish as it surely takes the hassle out of agents rejecting you because you are a no body.

  • PeggyHat

    Rachelle – I enjoyed your video with Michael Hyatt.  Your comments about why as author should still consider ( or hope to engage) a literary agent and tradtional publisher resonnated with me.

    As a new author I know “it means something” and I want to “attain the dream.” Thank you for sharing your insight.

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  • garr reynolds

    This was really good – thanks for this, Michael.  Fantastic interview!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Garr. I appreciate you stopping by.

  • Brenda Way-Walters

    I went to a Pastors and Leadership Conference in Orlando, FL and was introduced to Dupree and Miller’s staff that works with Bishop TD Jakes.  This segment of the conference was for those who were writing a book and wanted to get it published, they mentioned that we should go to Rachelle Gardner’s internet research blog and listen carefully.  I have subscribed to her blog  recently and in one day I have learned so much about publishing my non fiction book.  Its a lot of work and I have only just begun, though the book has been in the writing process for years.  I wish I could adopt her and bring her home.  Thanks so much Ms. Gardner for caring and sharing.
    Brenda

  • http://www.facebook.com/gabrielle.meyer.39 Gabrielle Meyer

    I’m a little late in commenting, but I just found this wonderful interview by googling Rachelle’s name! I’m a big fan of her blog and read (and comment) faithfully there. I’ve learned a great deal from her insightful perspective and common sense approach. As I listened to her advice today, many things stood out to me, but I think what really applies for this stage in my writing is to learn as much as I can about the publishing world, what it takes to make the shift from aspiring author to published author, and build my proposal like a business plan.

  • Bmnation

    Thanks for this video.  I learnt a lot and I am very much encouraged to pursue traditional publishing as I am definitely not extremely business minded.

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  • Rebecca Vance

    I discovered Rachel’s blog when I first decided to get serious about writing. I am working on my debut novel now, and I read her posts daily. She has been a tremendous help. I also follow the blog of one of her clients who swears by her and told me that when my book is ready, I should consider her.  I came over from her blog and it was great to hear her speak. You can see the passion that she has for her work. I really like that. 

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  • Mandy_storm

    why is it always complicated

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Because if it were easy, everyone would be doing it. And if everyone were doing it, it wouldn’t have any value.

  • http://memoironthefly.com/ Elizabeth Westmark

    This interview came at precisely the right time to put my feet on the right path in 2013. Thanks for showcasing Rachelle Gardner in this space. I’m grateful to you both.

  • Ron Stephens

    I’m trying to figure out Rachelle’s accent. I hear Canadian in there – subtly, very subtly. I hear “neutral” Ontario pronounciations, and I hear a flat “A” sound in words such as “thaat”. But  it’s nice listening to her, wherever she came from. Ron Stephens/Detroit

  • Marc

    I’m a little confused… I just heard Rachelle say you should have an agent in your corner to help you through all the issues of publishing, and that you should not pursue self-publishing, but what other course do you travel when no agents will take you on? I agree with everything she said about researching the biz, and understanding all that comes with becoming an author, but it is nearly an impossibility to garner an agent or a publishing deal even though I am personal friends with several who are best selling authors, grammy winners, emmy winners, etc., whose people refuse to even talk with you upon their recommendation. Everyone wants a best-selling author in their corner. I always ask, “how many best-selling authors were one time unknown, unpublished authors?” This is my quandary, and I am not sure how to get a book deal. I know I could get that if I sell millions of CDs, like my friends Mark Hall of Casting Crowns or Matt Hammitt of Sanctus Real. Or if I starred in a feature film that won an Oscar it would be a slam dunk… I feel like I have a better chance of winning the lottery than having a literary agent sit down and talk with me. Any help accomplishing the impossible would be appreciated.

  • Althea Baldwin

    Rachelle, I thoroughly enjoyed your online video giving vast knowledge and information for new authors. I’m a new author as well as a devoted Christian, and you blessed me so much with your spirit and the information you provided me. I would love to reach out to you to ask questions concerning my very first publishing experience. As I pray, I would love to have guidance to make sure I’m on the right track.   Please respond if you will to my email address at alb370 @bellsouth.net
    My name is Mrs. Althea Baldwin.

  • Tony Archuleta

    “partnering with an advocate” seems to be the best approach when getting started, in the creating, marketing and selling of my book.  It is my first work and I want to find a publisher with integrity to join me in getting profitable.

  • Gil Michelini

    Great interview and with all due respect to the expertise both you have, I did not heard a slam-dunk argument for corporate publishing or for employing an agent. Maybe there isn’t one and maybe as there are 250,000+ books published each year there are 250,000+ situations.

    Her general contractor (GC) analogy was great but I know that I can take my plan for my house to a number of GCs and can select the one I like. I do not have to grovel to them or hope and pray that they will find 5 minutes to talk with me 6 weeks from now. Michael, even you have written several times that agents are busy, well so am I.

    As for what a publisher brings, I hear over and over that they bring nothing to first authors in market except their name on the spine and their influence with booksellers, and that only lasts a few months. It is up to the author to let the world know about the book. This is true with corporate publishing or self publishing.

    Okay, I am done. THANK YOU for the interview. As you can see it, got me thinking and I leave with many questions in search of answers. God bless!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      These are all good observations, Gil. I don’t think there is a right answer. It comes down to your own goals, objectives, and platform. Do what works for you!

  • Cassandra Pressley

    I have self- published a book titled, “Grand Mom’s Mole,” I guarantee that children will love this book. Although I have sold some books, I have books in my hand that I paid for myself to sell. I would like to make the transition to a traditional publishing company.

  • Cassandra Pressley

    I wish I had sawt you out earlier.

  • http://www.kristenwitherspoon.com/ Kristen Witherspoon

    This was very enlightening—especially the part about not coming to the fore front of queries with “thus sayeth the Lord that I needeth to write this book.” Appreciate you guys posting this!

    Found you through Mary DeMuth and Rachelle’s blog. :)

  • Pilar Audain Reed

    I love this woman! A Godsend. Which comment of hers did I enjoy the best? Every SINGLE one.;-)