Posts Tagged ‘agents and publishers’

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Coach Teresa, How Do Writers & Authors Rebuild Their Lives?

June 28, 2011 was a delightful display of authors rebuilding their lives.

Birgit Soyka and I (Teresa LeYung Ryan) were the featured authors at our Women’s National Book Association-San Francisco Chapter event at BookShop West Portal in San Francisco.

Birgit Soyka and Teresa LeYung Ryan celebrate Rebuild Your Life Month at BookShop West Portal - photo by Teresa's sister Maria

Birgit Soyka rebuilt her life, leaving Germany and coming to California. Motorcycle racing there and motorcycle racing here – two different worlds. Read her book To Drink the Wild Air.

I, Teresa LeYung-Ryan, rebuilt my career after Love Made of Heart was published by Kensington Publishing Corp. New York.  I discovered that I had an eye as an editor–helping other writers identify the themes and archetypes in their stories, so, I became a manuscript consultant.  Then when my clients reported that agents and publishers passed them by because they (the writers) didn’t have platforms and fanbases, I became a writing career coach for them.  And, I published Build Your Writer’s Platform & Fanbase In 22 Days: Attract Agents, Editors, Publishers, Readers, and Media Attention NOW

Neal Sofman, the owner of BookShop West Portal, had to rebuild his business. Remember A Clean Well Lighted Place for Books? Those bookstores were owned by Neal.  To survive hard times, he had to close those stores.  Closure of one dream, invitation to another dream. BookShop West Portal in San Francisco is thriving.

Neal Sofman & BookShop West Portal get support from WNBA's Teresa LeYung Ryan & Birgit Soyka--photo by Leigh Anne Lindsey

I thank everyone who stepped out on rainy June 28, 2011 to support BookShop West Portal, WNBA, Birgit Soyka and yours truly Teresa LeYung-Ryan. May everyone who wants to rebuild her/his life do it joyfully.

Thank you to Neal, Kevin, Loretta, Jose, Jess at BookShop West Portal, Leigh Anne Lindsey, Birgit, Birgit’s friends, my sister and my friends Jonathan, Paula, Michelle Tapia, Miss Lauren Jung, bookstore loyalists and everyone there that evening.

And, remember, “Reach out, not stress out, when building or rebuilding your platform and fanbase!”

Writing Career Coach Teresa LeYung-Ryan (who helps writers build their platforms and fanbases) celebrates "Rebuild Your Life Month" at BookShop West Portal photo by Maria


Lauren Jung and Michelle Tapia read scene from Love Made of Heart photo by Teresa LeYung-Ryan's sister Maria


Maria and Jonathan support BookShop West Portal



Paula, Michelle, Lauren, Teresa LeYung-Ryan, Jonathan support BookShop West Portal photo by Maria



authors & publishers Leigh Anne Lindsey & Teresa LeYung Ryan cheer for Women's National Book Assn & BookShop West Portal



Neal Sofman & BookShop West Portal praised by Author & Writing Career Coach Teresa LeYung-Ryan photo by Maria


Teresa LeYung-Ryan

Manuscript Consultant

Writing Career Coach

author of Love Made of Heart

author of Build Your Writer’s Platform & Fanbase In 22 Days: Attract Agents, Editors, Publishers, Readers, and Media Attention NOW

Dear Birgit,

I had so much fun celebrating “Rebuild Your Life Month” with you, my friends and yours at BookShop West Portal! I too blogged See you and Jacqueline on Thursday July 7, 2011 at San Francisco Public Library-main branch, Stong Conference Room 6:00-7:30pm for WNBA meet-up!

Cheers from Writing Career Coach Teresa LeYung-Ryan

Coach Teresa, did you write an article about plotting a writer’s platform for Plot Teacher Martha Alderson?

Martha Alderson, plot teacher, published my article especially written for her:

Here’s Martha’s introduction:

Teresa LeYung Ryan

I met Teresa more than twelve years ago, before either of us were published. When Teresa’s book, Love Made of Heart, a story about a daughter’s journey to self-forgiveness, was published by Kensington Publishing NY, she gave me credit for teaching her about the difference between front-story and back-story. As she promoted her book, she generously continued to give me credit and, in so doing, helped launch my plot teaching career. I’ve been grateful for her help ever since.

Now, Teresa has crafted a book for writers interested in building a platform for themselves. Early in our careers, the need for a fiction writer to have a “platform” was not great. Today, it’s imperative for all writers to establish a platform for themselves. In her new book, Build Your Writer’s Platform & Fanbase in 22 Days Teresa gives easy to follow steps. I asked her to share some of her thoughts and ideas on building a writer’s platform.

Know Where Your Protagonist Is Going, Plot Your Story; Know Where Your Career is Heading, Plot Your Platform

From Plot Master Martha Alderson you have learned how to plot your story. Now, you might be asking “What is a platform?” and “Why do I need to plot one?”

On page 1 of my workbook Build Your Writer’s Platform & Fanbase In 22 Days, the definition of platform: “Making your name stand for something—to attract targeted consumers who are likely to buy what you have to sell.”

Celebrity authors and best-selling authors have platforms. Authors who want to attract agents and publishers need platforms; authors who want to be their own publishers need them too.

Martha says: “Plot is what happens to the protagonist because of the dramatic action . . . . when the dramatic action changes him/her at depth over time, the story becomes thematically significant.”

The operative words are “at depth” and “over time.”

Just as your protagonist is transformed, so can your platform.

Years ago, when my publisher (who had found me through my agent) offered me a contract, I had 18 months to “think about my platform” (it would take 18 months for my book to go through the channels– from the day I sign the contract to the day when my book would be in bookstores—18 luxurious months to make my name stand for something).

Today, most authors will never experience that luxury. Why? Because even when an author lands an agent, the author’s manuscript or book proposal is often rejected by publishers if the author cannot show that he/she has a fanbase/platform.

You might be saying “I don’t need publishers. I’m going to self-publish.”

I say “Wonderful! Whether you want to sell rights to a publisher or be your own publisher, “invest” in yourself. Grow your fanbase now. Plot your platform. Know where your career is heading the way you know where your protagonist is going. And please… reach out, not stress out.

3 Tips to Get Started–Make Your Name Audible, Visible, Memorable:

1) When you introduce yourself at parties, meetings, conferences . . . enunciate your full name; the person you’re chatting with could be a future fan
Show your full name on name badges and sign-in sheets. If you have a pen name, and you want people to remember you by that name, use your pseudonym. Your phone’s outgoing message—announce your full name.
2) What does your name look like in your email address? Is it something obscure like “cba94111” ? You’re professional, make your email address professional. Here are mine: “Teresa LeYung Ryan” (as a writing career coach); “Teresa LeYung Ryan” (as author of the novel Love Made of Heart)
3) What does your signature block look like? Show your full name. Also, if you like adding quotes in your signature block . . . instead of quoting other people, quote yourself. Show email recipients (even family members and friend) something memorable.

Teresa LeYung Ryan, author/writing career coach
“I use my workbook to help writers gain a competitive edge. A platform is not something you stand on. It’s something you stand for!”

Teresa LeYung Ryan,
“I use my novel Love Made of Heart to inspire adult-children of mentally-ill parents to speak openly about the stigmas and to gain resources for their families.”

Thank you, Writing Coach Teresa!

This is a sample of the ideas Teresa has to share with you in her new book, on her blog, and on her website. She, along with Elisa Southard — author of Break Through the Noise, has presented every year at the San Francisco Writers Conference to prepare writers for their pitch sessions with agents and publishers. She has helpful information for writers serious about their writing careers.

Thank you so much, Plot Teacher Martha!

If you’d like to read Martha’s interview of me as a novelist, go here:

Did you know that you can pre-order Martha’s new book via Amazon? (will be shipped October 2011 or sooner) The Plot Whisperer: Secrets of Story Structure Any Writer Can Master


Cheers to fiction and nonfiction writers!

Happy platform & fanbase building!

Coach Teresa LeYung-Ryan

Click on book cover to go to Amazon

Teresa LeYung Ryan

Career Coach for Writers


Manuscript Consultant

  • polish your manuscript by identifying the themes and archetypes;
  • market yourself to agents and publishers;
  • map out your career.

Teresa edits women’s fiction, mainstream fiction, memoirs, children’s and young adults’ fiction, and short stories.

Some comments from her clients:

Teresa is not only a lovely writer and a wonderful person, but also an enthusiastic, inspiring, and thorough mentor. Her far-reaching knowledge, networking expertise, and organization ensure that an aspiring writer will have the strongest foundation possible to launch him/herself on a successful career.Pat Windom

Teresa, . . because of you, the story has grown. You make me dig deeper and it brings more life to the story. E. Hartshorn

Teresa, . . . I even see myself succeeding and being put into print and making money with my writing ability. I am so grateful to you. D.Warner

Teresa LeYung Ryan is:

  • Member-at-Large at Women’s National Book Association-SF Chapter;
  • Past Co-Chair of Group Mentoring at California Writers Club-San Francisco Peninsula Branch;
  • Past President of California Writers Club-San Francisco Peninsula Branch;
  • a 2004 recipient of the Jack London Award for her services to California Writers Club;
  • Speaker and instructor.

Teresa LeYung Ryan uses her mother-daughter novel Love Made of Heart to advocate compassion for mental illness and to help survivors of family violence find their own voices.

In Love Made of Heart, protagonist Ruby Lin is forced to look into her past when her mother shuts down her own painful world. The story explores the complex bonds between mothers and daughters, the choices we make when our hearts are broken, and the choices we make when our hearts are healed.

  • archived at the San Francisco History Center;
  • recommended by the California School Library Association;
  • recommended by the California Reading Association;
  • used in Advanced Composition English-as-a-Second-Language classes.

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