Thursday, August 23, 2012

Your Book: The First "Line" of Success

3L Publishing has a new book in development titled Vengeance is Now. It's in development so I can't disclose the details of the book, but the author ran the opening chapter by me. When we're closer to publishing it, I will share the very first line of the book, but what I want to say is the author clearly understands how to capture the reader's attention right there smack on page one. New and emerging authors often fail to understand the critical point that you lose your reader (and your chance with a publisher) almost literally on page one. When we evaluate potential manuscripts to publish, the first thing we do is look at chapter one. If you can nail it in the first line of the book -- you are truly gifted. I can't wait to disclose his first line, because it would make it easier for you to understand why I'm so impressed. What always shocks me are authors who submitted their sample chapters with the caveat: the first chapter is the weakest. What?! Your first chapter is the grabber. The first chapter is the beginning of the slow build and pull into the story. Why would you make it your weakest? Your chances of finding a publisher are greatly diminished. I know in all fairness I should give a book more than a page, but truthfully if an author hasn't nailed it right in that opening then it's not likely to get much better, and my time is precious. So, do two things to help the success of your book: Make sure the opening is amazing and make sure the first chapter is an incredibly well-written chapter that sucks the reader right in. If your first chapter is the "weakest link," so to speak, please stop and put forth your best effort. Do not submit it to a publisher in that condition. You have one chance to make a great first impression, do it right.

If you have a fiction or non-fiction book you would like to submit, please send a sample chapter and summary to Before you submit, I encourage you to look at my website at

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