Networking: Starting a Conversation

A question I get a lot about networking is how to get a conversation started. I did a post last year with tips on how to network at an industry conference or event, but I thought I’d give some examples of how some actual conversations I’ve had at NACDA the past few days have started. The first new person I…

Six Life Skills I Learned from Sports

In honor of the 40th anniversary of Title IX, I’m republishing something I wrote years ago about what I learned by playing sports. Originally published by me November 8, 2010 on ItsaSwingandaMiss.com: After a discussion with a friend who didn’t grow up playing sports, I realized how much sports shaped who I am today.  I honestly believe I wouldn’t be…

I’m heading to NACDA!

I’m a few hours away from flying to Dallas for the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics convention. It might be the best networking opportunity I’ve ever had, as a number of affiliated organizations hold their convention in the same place, such as NACMA (National Association of Collegiate Marketing Administrators) and CABMA (Collegiate Athletic Business Manager Association). I anticipate…

A Look Back at Conference Realignment 2004-2005

Conference realignment is nothing new. In 2004 and 2005, 16 schools moved from one FBS conference to another. Earlier this week, I wrote a piece for ESPN detailing how those schools have fared financially (and even academically) since their respective moves. Those who know me know I love Excel spreadsheets, and I had quite a […]

Workshop Wednesday – June 20, 2012

Each Wednesday I randomly select a cover letter sent in by sports job seekers and critique the letter. If you want to know more about how it works or how to send in your cover letter, see this post. I have left comments open, but I will only approve comments with respectful questions or comments. Please note, names and companies have…

How reality tv impacts my reality

I’ve always known that my physical surroundings can greatly impact my productivity, but I’ve only recently noticed how other things can creep in and leave their mark. Even before I worked at home full-time I did a lot of work at home – from blogging to writing my books to doing work I brought home. I found it was nearly…

Writing Non-Fiction: Building a Platform

I’m contacted by a lot of you aspiring to write non-fiction, so I’ve resolved to start blogging more about my experiences. I have two non-fiction books coming out next year, and I’ve had two very different experiences with my books. My book on collective bargaining in baseball is with a smaller publisher who focuses much of its work on academic texts, while my book on the business of college football is with a large publishing house with many divisions.

Although the experiences have differed to a degree, one thing they have in common is that I had to write a proposal for each. The one aspect of a proposal I think many aspiring non-fiction authors don’t understand is the author platform. In my proposals, this came into play in both the Author Bio and Marketing Plan sections.

These sections are where you prove to the publisher that YOU are the person who should write this book. Not because you’re excited about the subject and really, really want to…but because you are the person most qualified to write this book.

Jessica Faust over at BookEnds, LLC (a literary agency) does a great job of describing the basis of the author bio:

We don’t really care if you went to Harvard or not. We care whether or not you can sell this book to thousands of people. Therefore, who are you and what makes you an expert on this subject, and, most important, what gives you a national platform? Do you give workshops? Presentations? Do you teach at Harvard (much different than having attended)? Have you been featured in national magazines, on TV or radio? Do you have a number of major media contacts interested in your subject?

I can’t tell you how many people email me saying they want to write a non-fiction book on [insert any sports subject here], but who have nothing more than an interest in the subject. Unfortunately, it’s not enough.

That being said, it doesn’t mean you can’t build a platform.

Looking for a Critique Partner

Many of you know I have two non-fiction books coming out next year, but I haven’t been as vocal about the fiction manuscript I’ve been working on the past few years. That’s probably because the non-fiction books have found publishers and the fiction manuscript has not.

I recently decided to do a complete rewrite of my fiction manuscript. It’s a story I love, and I’m not ready to give up on it yet. That being said, I see where the first draft of the manuscript failed.

What I need now is a critique partner – someone to tell me I’m headed in the wrong direction before I’m 75,000 words into it.

I’ve both been a part of a critique group and had individual critique partners. The biggest problem I ran into was having people critique my work who do not read or write women’s fiction, my genre of choice. The second largest problem I ran into was critique partners who only gave positive feedback. While I can always use some of that, I need some bitter with the sweet. I genuinely want to improve my writing.

So, I figured I’d try this – a public notice that I am looking for a critique partner for my women’s fiction manuscript. Here’s what I’m looking for in a partner:

What is it like to be a woman in sports media?

Last week, I answered the question I get asked most by students looking to work in sports: should you go to law school? This week, I’m going to tackle the question I get asked almost as much: what are the advantages and disadvantages to being a woman working in sports media? Let me start the conversation off by saying two…

Workshop Wednesday – June 13, 2012

Each Wednesday I randomly select a cover letter sent in by sports job seekers and critique the letter. If you want to know more about how it works or how to send in your cover letter, see this post. I have left comments open, but I will only approve comments with respectful questions or comments. Please note, names and companies have…

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