The Secret Library Podcast

The truth about writing books. By speaking to authors and other book lovers, I'm diving into the mystery that is the book world today. From writing to editing to publishing and all that goes into the creation of a book – all of it is open for discussion on the show.
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The Secret Library Podcast





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Now displaying: November, 2016
Nov 29, 2016

This week, we have a letter from Dal, who is interested in learning about book proposals...

I share how book proposals work, and recommend a guide that will help her get all the way through its creation, should she need one at all. Listen up to learn if you need a proposal and how to make that happen. 

Show notes | Sponsored by Pretty by Post

Nov 24, 2016

Theresa Reed is the Tarot Lady.

As a tarot lover, I was delighted to learn that Theresa Reed was coming out with a tarot book- and that it was also a coloring book. So cool! And so many things we could talk about on the show. Coloring book creation, picking the images to use, what it takes to create a coloring book? We go into it all. 

Speaking with Theresa was a complete treat. We talk tarot, different learning styles, why mindset is the most important part of reading tarot AND even dive in to how Theresa uses tarot to plan her year and her creative projects. This one is a super fun episode that is both practical and goes into the woo- my favorite combination!

Show notes for Episode 26 with Theresa Reed:

  • Why a coloring book? (2:20)
  • Learning hands on (5:00)
  • Choosing the images for the coloring book (7:15)
  • The process of producing the coloring book (12:00) 
  • Working with a team (17:45)
  • The full production timeline (18:30)
  • Having a consistent approachable style (20:00)
  • Talking smart vs. talking to help people (20:45)
  • Learning to become a good tarot reader (23:00)
  • Yoga, meditation and tarot as a team (25:00)
  • Challenges of being a professional tarot reader and support that helps (26:45)
  • Learning to detach and let go (28:15)
  • Boundaries (30:00)
  • Using tarot in the writing process and planning out the year (31:00) t
  • Tarot & astrology for business (35:30)
  • On planning the year in October (38:20)
  • On Theresa's nightstand (40:30)
  • Musical Oracles & song recall (43:30)

Full Show Notes with Links | Sponsored by Muse Monthly

Nov 17, 2016

Getting an agent can be intimidating.

It doesn't have to scare you away from meeting the right person. Terra Chalberg of Chalberg & Sussman talks to us this week from inside the literary world. I am so grateful for her generosity and willingness to share her process of connecting with authors and choosing who she'd like to work with as an agent. This conversation is a must-listen for anyone considering going the traditional publishing route. If you've ever wondered how to get an agent and what it takes to get your manuscript into the hands of someone who can help you get your book out there, this episode will give you the guidelines.

Learn how to query an agent so they'll read your message rather than deleting it right away. Learn what you might be doing that turns agents off immediately. AND learn something you can be doing right away that will help agents find you. (It's not what you think- I was surprised, and delighted, to learn how Terra finds many of her authors.) Get ready to understand the agents' world a whole lot better. I know it will help you understand next steps so much better.

Show Notes for Episode 25 with Terra Chalberg:

  • Themes in looking for stories (2:45)
  • Going from film to publishing (3:30)
  • Film vs. publishing and taking risks on new stories (6:40)
  • Starting Chalberg & Sussman (7:15) 
  • Becoming an agent (8:45)
  • Publishing contracts (11:15)
  • How to get your foot in the door with a query (& how to lose an agent right away) (12:30)
  • Knowing that an author and a book is the right fit (14:45)
  • Tips on connecting with potential agents (17:00)
  • The importance of having a platform (19:00)
  • Where Terra finds a lot of authors (so cool!) (19:30)
  • Why blogging is still worth it (20:15)
  • Questions to ask an agent you're considering working with (22:30)
  • The editorial process with an agent (25:30)
  • Timing on when to get an agent (26:15)
  • Next steps once you're working with an agent (27:15)
  • The inside story on publishing houses (28:30)
  • Books Terra is excited about (29:00)
  • Book trends and rising to the top (32:00) 
  • Becoming a runaway bestseller (33:00) 
  • Upcoming books Terra is excited about (35:40)
  • Making time to read (37:00)

Sponsored by Muse Monthly

Nov 10, 2016

Are you in a media bubble?

I knew I wanted to have Meghan Dowell on the show when I met her. We talked about how our access to media and reading changes who we think we are. I was hooked. We talk about everything from print media to bookless libraries to the #syllabus movement that expands study to social media. If you're ready to get your mind blown by all the possibilities for reading out there, you'll be pumped this week. 

As someone who could stay in school forever and be perfectly happy, I was more than delighted to learn about how universities collect books and how they address the unique needs we have for learning today. If you are into Google and a good old fashioned book, you'll be pumped. Get ready to take your reading to the next level. 

Show notes for episode 24 with Meghan Dowell:

  • The ability to find books and how libraries are organized (1:45)
  • The difference between public and academic libraries (2:30)
  • Collecting for academic libraries and the Hashtag Syllabus movement (3:00) 
  • DIYing a degree and making the ivory tower more available (7:15)
  • Librarians on Jeopardy? (8:45) 
  • The path to being an academic librarian (10:00)
  • The romantic notion of the library vs. tech evolution (14:00)
  • Evolution of the library catalogue and collecting electronically (15:15)
  • Collecting books with space limitations and print vs. digital (16:45)
  • Libraries without books (17:30)
  • Device debates (18:30)
  • Book hoarders anonymous (19:30)
  • The impact of algorithms and information access on personal image (20:30) 
  • How our search choices put us in Filter Bubbles (23:00) 
  • The existential crisis around being an informed reader with all that content (28:30) 
  • Picking books as a librarian aware of all those books (30:30) 
  • Finding books we wouldn't have found otherwise (32:30) 
  • What Megan is reading now (35:40) 
  • The blue book librarian joke (37:15)
  • How many books are Americans actually reading annually? (38:45) Mentioned: Research on the length we want to read
  • On finishing books and letting them go (40:00)
  • On spoilers and knowing the endings (41:30) 
  • Pairing books with drinks (44:20) 

Sponsored by Muse Monthly

Nov 8, 2016

Marissa writes in this week because she's taken the plunge into the spiritual world, but it sounds a little bit like she's drowning in it. I talk about my own experiences with spiritual practice in this episode, and you can find links to my suggested books in the show notes.

Sponsored by Pretty by Post

Nov 3, 2016

Heidi Fiedler has worked on over 300 Children's Books.

Can I just say 300 books? 300 titles! As Heidi made clear on the show, she did not write all 300 of these books. She has emphasized that children's books are shorter than adult books. Even so, she's been a developmental or series editor and was involved with significant aspects of all 300. We have a lot to learn from this lady.

Whether you are into writing children's books or not, her insights on structure and planning out books for continuity, plot, and to keep things engaging and exciting are essential for any writer. We also explore the ways visual elements and words have to work together in all books, not just those for kids. 

Show Notes for Episode 23 with Heidi Fiedler:

  • 300 Books ?!? (1:45)
  • Trends in children's books and the need for narrative (3:30)
  • The visual element (4:15)
  • The incredible number of books out there and how to stand out (5:00)
  • Non-fiction in children's books (5:30) 
  • The evolution of children's books (7:45)
  • The blurring of the genre lines and the end of dry writing (8:45)
  • Reading to learn and the experience of reading for kids (9:30)
  • Heidi on writing her own books (11:40) 
  • Brainstorming and making an idea into a book (13:30)
  • Thinking about the effect a book will have on the reader (15:15)
  • The tension between thinking about the reader and forgetting about them to keep writing (17:00)
  • The editor/writer tension split (18:45)
  • Book Mapping as a planning tool & fix for continuity and plot holes (20:00) 
  • Lists to make while working on a project (27:15)
  • Reflecting on your own work at the beginning & getting feedback (28:00)
  • The importance of reading aloud (29:15)
  • The collaboration between illustration and text for children's books (30:00)
  • Submitting a children's book to a publisher (31:15) 
  • Having control and giving up control as a children's author (34:00)
  • The connection of writing and Instagram (for writers who don't get twitter) (35:30)
  • The visual and its impact on print books and building the writing & reading community (38:00)
  • Covers and the impact on sales(41:00)
  • Writer and editor costumes and modes (43:30)

Full show notes with links | Sponsored by Muse Monthly

Nov 1, 2016

This week's letter comes from Kristy, a self-confessed serial dater who'd like to settle down a bit and get to know herself. Listen up to get my full thoughts, and check out the show notes for the books I recommended to Kristy.

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