Lynn Johnston


Literary agent repping journalists, thought leaders, fire breathers, truth tellers, healers, teachers, moms, dads & more. They're good people. She/Her

New York, NY

Lynn Johnston Literary

Lynn Johnston @lynnjohnstonlit · May 30

Bethany C. Morrow @BCMorrow

Friendly reminder: if you're tweeting in support, it's always a capital B.

#Pubtip: since it’s non-standard (for now), make sure your publisher knows in advance to keep “Black” capitalized in copyediting. This came up as an issue on a book I rep.

Lynn Johnston @lynnjohnstonlit · Mar 2

Anne Tibbets @AnneTibbets

Great article about literary agents and how they help clients avoid contract pitfalls - in Forbes >>>…

Contract terms I see a lot now that are my pet peeves:
-Charging index fees against the advance instead of royalties
-Next book option tied to publication instead of D&A

Lynn Johnston @lynnjohnstonlit · Feb 28

I've changed a straight title to one more literary & vice versa; elevated a chapter title to the book title; cherry-picked a line from the ms; even took my then-4th grader's suggestion. Titles can come from anywhere.

Lynn Johnston @lynnjohnstonlit · Feb 28

Q: How important is the title when pitching to publishers?

A: Don't overlook the value of a great title You don't always need it but the right title can orient readers, stake your proposition on a crowded shelf & establish your voice.

Lynn Johnston @lynnjohnstonlit · Feb 28

Q: Why are there fewer books now with one-word titles like Quiet and Blink.

A: You want a SEO-friendly title for Google & Amazon, which is hard with one word. Better to find a title that gets your book as a top result.

Lynn Johnston @lynnjohnstonlit · Feb 28

Q: Will the publisher change the title of my book?

A: Sometimes. If you love the title you pitched, make sure your editor knows this. Ask upfront what the publishing team thought of it. You often can get mutual approval for the title in the contract.

Lynn Johnston @lynnjohnstonlit · Feb 26

#Pubtip If you need more time (life happens), ask for an extension asap so the publisher can adjust the schedule. If you don't get more time, aim to turn in even a rough draft. You likely will have another pass after the editor reviews it.

Lynn Johnston @lynnjohnstonlit · Feb 21

Authors have options beyond the traditional or self publishing:
-Indie publishing
-Hybrid publishing
-E-book only
-Original audiobook

Lynn Johnston @lynnjohnstonlit · Feb 3

Once you agree on the main points, commit it in writing so both parties are clear about what to expect. Include termination terms in case the collaboration doesn't work out (future thread). #pubtip

Lynn Johnston @lynnjohnstonlit · Feb 3

3) Cash: how you split income. The author can guarantee the writer a set fee no matter how much (or little) money the book makes. The parties can split the advance and/or royalties. Decide if there's a cap to the writer's earnings. I've seen many variations.

Lynn Johnston @lynnjohnstonlit · Feb 3

If it's truly a 50-50 collaboration, the copyright can be in both names. Keep in mind, both parties will need to agree on any decision, which gets tricky if the book has a long life since 2 separate sets of heirs may need to agree in the future.

Lynn Johnston @lynnjohnstonlit · Feb 3

2) Copyright: Regardless of the credit, who owns the material? Often the writer is a "work for hire" & the copyright is in the author's name only. This is the person making decisions about what happens to the property (foreign rights, tv/film).

Lynn Johnston @lynnjohnstonlit · Feb 3

1) Credit: the name(s) on the cover of the book. If it's ghost writing, only the author's name is credited. If a co-writer will get credit, decide on the order & how the names are to be separated. E.g."and" or "with." Let your publisher know the credit line.

Lynn Johnston @lynnjohnstonlit · Feb 3

If you're thinking of working with someone to help write your book, agree on the terms BEFORE you get a publishing deal. Can't stress this enough. Here are the main deal points, what I call the 3 Cs of Collaboration.