Posts Tagged ‘Dystel & Goderich Literary Management’

Coach Teresa LeYung-Ryan says: “What is a Writer’s Platform, Why Do You Need One, How Do You Get One?”

The blog posts from Dystel & Goderich Literary Management and Fuse Literary are examples of the level of support that experts give to writers so that you can navigate this dynamic world of publishing.

So, you have a finished manuscript. Oh happy day!  Celebrate!

What next? If you want your book to be more than a personal legacy for your family and friends, there are two sets of tasks to perform on your writer’s journey.

·         Hire an editor who has experience editing your genre.

·         While your editor is busy at work, you are also busy at work taking care of the business side of being a writer. If you haven’t been building your platform, it’s time now (before pitching and sending queries to agents and acquisition editors at publishing houses).

The focus of this post is on platform-building.  What is a writer’s platform? Why do you need one? How do you get one?

The question: “What kind of platform does this author have?” (asked by agents and acquisition editors)  = “How many books can this author sell right now, on her own/his own?” At this point, your manuscript (a polished one) becomes a commodity (whether your book is fiction or nonfiction).

Of course if you are already a celebrity author or a best-selling author, the agent can pitch you to acquisition editors with ease, and in turn, acquisition editor can pitch you to the sales team and publisher with ease. The publisher will then offer you a big advance (because they know that your fans are likely to buy your book); they’ll make money, you’ll make money.

However, what if you do not have a huge fanbase? What can you do to attract the people who have the power to help you and your book go far and wide?

The answer is: Making your name stand for something—to attract target consumers— who are likely to buy what you have to sell (from page 1 of my workbook Build Your Writer’s Platform & Fanbase In 22 Days).

Let’s take a look – making your name stand for something –  that “something” is the core theme in your book. If you do not know what your core theme is, hopefully members in your critique group and the editor you have hired will know. You need to know what your book is about.

Example:  the core themes in my novel Love Made of Heart are: daughter-mother relationship; mental illness; family violence.

The core theme in a book is the bait that attracts your target consumers. The target consumers are your fans.

Fact:  Your loyal fans (people who care about you) are likely to buy what you have produced.

Fact:  Your prospective fans (people who care about what you care about / the core themes in your book) also are likely to buy what you have produced.

1.    You know who your loyal fans are. However, do you know how to articulate your themes to them so that they can broadcast for you? I say: “You can ‘train’ them.”

2.    How do you find your prospective fans? I say: “Reach out, not stress out. Help them find you.”

You can accomplish both… through the appearance of your platform statement.

I reiterate: “Make your name stand for something—to attract target consumers— who are likely to buy what you have to sell.”

Example (for my fiction and narrative nonfiction): My name is Teresa LeYung-Ryan. Through my books and monologues, I encourage adult children of mentally ill parents to speak openly about the stigmas.

Another example: My name is Teresa LeYung-Ryan. Through my novel Love Made of Heart, I help survivors of family violence speak openly about the stigmas.

Example (for my how-to books):  I am Coach Teresa LeYung-Ryan. Through my workbook Build Your Writer’s Platform & Fanbase In 22 Days, I teach writers how to attract attention from agents, editors, publishers, media, book buyers, and readers.

Where would you showcase your platform statement?

Email signature block; business card; website; blog; YouTube channel; press releases; social media; query letters; book proposals; your bio; photo file names and photo captions . . .  Where else?

Learn more.  On Sunday, August 28, 2016, 2:00-5:00pm -

Join me (Coach Teresa LeYung-Ryan Build Your Writer’s Platform & Fanbase In 22 Days) and Valerie Haynes PerryWrite the Book You Want: Be Your Own Coach   and Luan Stauss--owner of and book buyer for Laurel Book Store in a three-hour workshop -


for you and your friends who identify yourselves as serious writers

at Laurel Book Store (near the 12th St. BART station in Oakland, California)

We will address the following topics:

  • Build your name, platform, and fanbase to hook attention before publication
  • Maintain clarity, self-confidence, and motivation to bring your own book into being
  • Expand your knowledge of the moving parts that comprise the publishing industry and make savvy choices

Register online: $25.00 SKU: EVENT828

I cheer for you!

Reach out, not stress out. I wish you a joyful writer’s journey!


Coach Teresa LeYung-Ryan


Friday November 29, 2013

Author and 22-Day Writing Coach Teresa LeYung-Ryan thanks Stacey Glick, John Scognamiglio and the Folks associated with Kensington Publishing Corp.

I thank powerhouse agent Stacey Glick

Stacey Glick, VP at Dystel & Goderich Literary Management

who found insightful acquisition editor John Scognamiglio

John Scognamiglio of Kensington Publishing Corp.

at Kensington Publishing Corp. 

who guided my mother-daughter novel Love Made of Heart to the Sales Team, good-energy publisher Laurie Perkin, president Steven Zacharius, Debbie Tobias was Sales Director, Lou Malcangi was art director, by the way . . . booksellers do judge a book by its cover, Libba Bray, who is now a New York Times bestselling author of young adult books, for book jacket copy, Jacquie Edwards for copy editing, marketing team, production team, Jessica in Sales, Michelle who was Webmaster,and EVERYONE at Kensington and their associates, especially Nancy Suib & Anne Shulenberger, and Kensington Publishing Corp.’s superstars Lydia Kwa, Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston, Mary B. Morrison, Mary Monroe, Carl Weber . . .

If not for these people, I would not have had the opportunity to experience the publishing industry from the author’s perspective . . .  which then gave me the credentials to talk about “who” really is the most qualified person to build the author’s platform and fanbase.

I thank you all!

Love Made of Heart (mother-daughter love story) by Teresa LeYung-Ryan













Love Made of Heart  is:

  • a 2002 nominee of the Asian American Literary Award
  • recommended by the California School Library Association and the California Reading Association
  • used in college composition, women’s studies, and advanced composition English-as-a-Second-Language classes
  • read by students at Stanford University, U.C. Berkeley, San Francisco State University, City College of San Francisco, City College of Sacramento, Lowell High School, and many other wonderful institutions
  • archived at the San Francisco History Center


Teresa LeYung Ryan  uses her novel Love Made of Heart to:

  • celebrate the immigrant experience
  • inspire adult children of mentally ill parents to speak openly about the stigmas and find resources for their loved ones
  • help survivors of family violence find their own voices










author & 22-Day Coach Teresa LeYung-Ryan cheers for dear friend/colleague Margie Yee Webb (producer of FEMME: Women Healing the World) at the movie screening in Sacramento, CA











Reach out, not stress out.


Author & 22-Day Writing & Fanbase-Building Coach Teresa LeYung-Ryan




Love Made of Heart Turns 9 Years Old October 2011

To celebrate my novel’s anniversary . . .

Last Thursday I was at San Francisco Public Library for a Women’s National Book Association meeting to shoot one-minute videos of WNBA members and guests so that they can use them to promote themselves. So, there I was, Writing Career Coach Teresa, demonstrating how to create a short video, express yourself, and not have to be in front of the camera.

I am still overjoyed that my novel Love Made of Heart is in public libraries and also archived at the San Francisco History Center.

In this video, I re-declared that I use Love Made of Heart to inspire adult children of mentally ill parents to speak openly about the stigmas and find resources for their families. Also, I encourage everyone to get a library card.



Look what I received in the mail !


card to Teresa LeYung-Ryan from Teacher Sheryl Fairchild and her delightful students


sweet messages to Teresa LeYung-Ryan from Sheryl Fairchild's wonderful students


Bette Davis stamps used on envelope sent to Teresa LeYung-Ryan from Ms. Sheryl Fairchild of San Francisco State University. Protagonist Ruby Lin in Love Made of Heart had found her role models in characters portrayed by Bette Davis and Joan Crawford. So sweet of Ms. Fairchild and her students to think about the details! Thank you from the bottom of my heart, and that's no pun.

Ms. Sheryl Fairchild’s wonderful students in First Year Composition at San Francisco State University had asked me these questions when I visited them last month.

Our Conversation with Teresa LeYung Ryan

Nicole:  I would like to ask her why she wanted to share her story to the world?

Erin:  I’d like to ask why she used Hollywood movie starts as Ruby’s “voice”  . . .   why she wrote certain characters like Mrs. Nussbaum or Emily into the story and if they represent someone she knows in her life.

Allison:  I would like to ask her if the events that she described in the novel are synonymous with her real life or if they just represent different things that have happened to her.

Stephen:  Was the story of her mother having mental illness true or was it completely made up?

Rozlynn:  I would like to know more about Ruby’s brother John, he’s a very mysterious character in the novel.

Heather:  I would like to ask her if she wrote her story to help people dealing with similar domestic violence issues or people that have someone with mental illness in their life, feel like they aren’t alone, or if she wrote the story for therapeutic reasons of her own.

Kerri:  How long did it take for her to be comfortable with writing this story?

James:  I would like to know if she overcame her past through therapy or was it a different source that was able to help her like a friend or lover?

Jonathan:  If Teresa’s view on men has changed when going from a traditional Chinese man . . . to her new marriage of 7 years that she talks about on the back cover.

Ashley:  What challenges did you face writing the book? What advice would you give aspiring writers?

Kyndal:  Did she ever find out more information about her grandmother?

Reyanna:  I would like to ask about Ruby’s grandmother. We never really know what happened to her and why she left America. Was it because of the harsh trials immigrants suffered? Also, I would like to know about Ruby’s brother as well. She never mentioned much about him or the grandmother.

Questions for Teresa from our worksheets:
o    Why did you want to share your story?
o    Have you gotten in contact with your brother?
o    Why did you choose not to use any Chinese language in the novel?
o    Why did you use a paper that Emily wrote to tell Ruby’s story at the end of the novel, rather than having Ruby tell the story herself?
o    Why did you choose that specific ending?
o    What did you find out about your culture as you were writing this novel?
o    Is your husband Chinese?
o    Did you ever talk to Vincent again?
o    How did your family react to your writing the book?

The Essence or Meaning of the Novel:
In Our Own Words

*     Do not dwell on the past, if you do, you cannot move forward with the future.

*     Forgive, but do not forget what you’ve learned from that experience.

*      Cannot judge people right away (such with Vincent)

*     Tradition vs. modern

*      Substituting fictional characters’ lives for Ruby’s – the life she wished she had

*     “Different kinds of love”

*     Culture – Culture’s clashing

*      Childhood – How the things you see as a child sculpt your life and views: violence at home,
family values/traditions, family relationships

*      Communication – If it exists or doesn’t

*     Family ties – Loyalty vs. independence

*      The book Love Made of Heart shows how someone’s troubled past affects their present life.


What a lovely way to celebrate the birthday of Love Made of Heart !  I’m overjoyed. I’d like to believe that my mom is giggling on Cloud Nine. Thank you, Ms. Fairchild, Allison, Ashley, Chris, Colin, Erin, Heather, Henriikka, James, Joelle, Jonathan, Kerri, Kyndal, Luis, Niki, Reyanna, Roxanne, Rozlynn, Stephen, Teja, Zenia for reading Love Made of Heart and asking thoughtful questions. YOU all are love made of heart!


Because of Martha Alderson’s plot coaching, my novel Love Made of Heart was transformed into a page-turner. The story grabbed Stacey Glick‘s attention, then Kensington Publishing’s John Scognamiglio‘s [ Thank you to Stacey and all the folks at Dystel & Goderich Literary Management!  Thank you to John and all the folks at and associated with Kensington Publishing NY ].  Fast forward… Love Made of Heart is:

  • used as required reading in colleges and universities
  • available in libraries
  • archived at the San Francisco History Center
  • attracting a steady flow of readers/fans
  • being my passport to speak out for those who cannot speak for themselves.
  • linking my mission statement to Glenn Close’s BringChange2Mind and NAMI‘s.  I use Love Made of Heart to inspire other adult children of mentally ill parents to speak openly about the stigmas and find resources for their families.

None of this would have happened if Martha had not taught me how to plot the front-story.

Thank you, Everyone (starting with first Critique Group members Cat, Theresa Stephenson, Evelyn Miche, Olga Malyj . . .) who have played a role in sending Love Made of Heart into the world. You all have my deepest gratitude.

Martha’s new book The Plot Whisperer is inspiring me to write another novel.


Coach Teresa

Teresa LeYung-Ryan says: “Reach out, not stress out, when pursuing your dreams!”





Literary & Trademark Attorney Robert G. Pimm says “Creative People Make Great Clients”


I had met Bob Pimm at a writers conference. Was it the Jack London Writers Conference?  Or the East of Eden Writers Conference? Bob had delivered a helpful session– “Anatomy of a Book Publishing Contract.”

I was already a published author at the time.  My contract with Kensington Corp. NY had been reviewed by my agent Stacey Glick and the in-house attorney (both at Dystel Literary Management, now Dystel & Goderich Literary Management).

I was so impressed with Bob’s presentation that when I found out he was also an expert in trademark laws, I sought his advice for registering my Love Made Of Heart.

Check out Robert G. Pimm’s website and benefit from his resources page.

Contracts are written in “complex languages” (not to mention keeping track of renewal dates and proof of use–with trademarks) so be sure to seek an expert’s advice.

Bob Pimm’s areas of expertise include:

Literary and Publishing Law

More than 20 years experience in the book industry working with authors, publishers, book distribution, book production, book retailing and literary agency.

Entertainment Law

Serving visual artists, playwrights, filmmakers, producers, and performers. Currently Book Publication Chair of the American Bar Association’s Forum on the Entertainment and Sports Industries and former Editor-in-Chief of the Forum’s quarterly publication, Entertainment and Sports Lawyer.

Intellectual Property Law

Registration and management of copyrights and trademarks, licensing of intellectual property, rights of privacy and publicity, and management of trade secrets for arts and technology.

Corporate Law

Formation of California C-Corporations, S-Corporations, Limited Liability Companies, Partnerships, Non-Profits and ongoing management issues for arts and technology companies.


Writing Career Coach Teresa LeYung-Ryan who says: “Reach out, not stress out, when pursuing your dreams!”

Build Your Writer’s Platform & Fanbase In 22 Days



In the summer of 1999, I took 2 three-week leaves-of-absence from my full time day job to plunge into what I knew would be the final rewrite of my novel Love Made of Heart (the story inspired by my mother–a beautiful woman who suffered mental illness all her life).  Three writers (Luisa Adams, Martha Alderson, Susan Canale) read that draft and gave me the most helpful criticism.  I made the improvements.  That summer I queried about 60 agents. By autumn, four agents asked for an exclusive read… I followed protocol.

In December that year, Stacey Glick of Dystel Literary Management (now Dystel & Goderich Literary Management) gifted me with these words: “Teresa, you’re a talented writer.  I would like to represent you.”

An agent’s advocacy doesn’t guarantee landing a publisher.  After receiving 22 rejections from all the acquisition editors she pitched to, and another seven months had passed, Stacey had incredible news.  It’s now April 2001, editorial director John Scognamiglio of Kensington Publishing NY had called Stacey Glick; Kensington wanted to make me an offer–to buy the publishing rights of my novel.  Laurie Perkin was the publisher; Debbie Tobias was Sales Director; Lou Malcangi for lovely book cover; Libba Bray (who is now an author of young adult books) for book jacket copy; Jacquie Edwards for copy editing; everyone who helped in the publishing process. I’ll show my “Acknowledgments”  in Love Made of Heart as another blog post.

Fast forward (I had to deliver more rewrites) . . . eighteen months later on October 1, 2002 the hardcover edition of Love Made of Heart made its debut.  I had so many people to thank. And so many presentations to deliver.

In October 2003 the trade paperback edition of  Love Made of Heart was released.

The trade paperback edition has the same striking book cover as the hardcover.  The trade paperback has my Author’s Note to Reader that the hardcover edition doesn’t have.

Author’s Note to Reader

Thank you for letting me share Ruby Lin’s story with you.  Many readers have asked me what the characters in the novel have done for me.  My answer is this: I’ve learned that behind every face is a compelling story.

Please remember me as a writer who says YES! to compassion for mental illness and NO! to domestic violence and child abuse.

Who is Mrs. Nussbaum?  She lives in all our hearts.  Just as we have the “child within,” we also have the “wise elder within.”  May you always embrace your compelling story and allow your Mrs. Nussbaum to embrace you.


Teresa LeYung Ryan

Love Made of Heart book cover


Build Your Writer's Platform & Fanbase In 22 Days Since 2007 I’ve been a writing career coach.  Since January 2010 I’ve been known as “22-Day Coach Teresa”   The new edition of Build Your Writer’s Platform & Fanbase In 22 Days: Attract Agents, Editors, Publishers, Readers, and Media Attention NOW is available through Amazon.  I created the fun workbook to help fiction and nonfiction authors gain a competitive edge.  Whether you want to be your own publisher or sell rights to another publisher, attract readers and more readers now!

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