I'm Phil Sexton, publishing professional and content strategist. I help people get published by teaching them how the industry works and how to position their work for the best results before and after publication.
Services I offer include:
- Book proposal critique, including annotated feedback and recommendations for improvement (recommended for those interested in securing a traditional publishing agreement)
- Book proposal creation, for those who want to hire a professional to create an effective nonfiction book proposal for them
- Fiction and nonfiction cover cover design critique, including detailed feedback on strengths, weaknesses and recommendations for improvement (recommended for indie authors)
- Nonfiction developmental editing (recommended for both indie and traditionally published authors)
- Editorial assessment, with special focus on positioning and marketability (recommended for both indie and traditionally published authors)
- Query letter critique, including detailed feedback and recommendations for improvement
- Book business consultations, for who desire a greater understanding of what nonfiction editors are looking for, how they think, and how to improve your odds of success
In this role I oversee all book acquisitions and product development for Media Lab Books. I'm also responsible for profitability and success of the book program overall. Media Lab Books specializes in nonfiction works, many of which are brand-driven developed in partnership with licensors such as Disney, Hasbro and John Wayne Enterprises.
Media Lab Books is a distribution client of Macmillan Publishers, one of the largest publishing houses in North America.
In this role, I led the editorial, design and marketing departments for several publishing divisions that produced books, magazines and online content, along with robust e-commerce and online education businesses. Content areas of specialization include writing, publishing, how-to, humor and general reference.
Divisions under my purview included Writer's Digest, one of the nation's largest and most respected brands devoted to writing and publishing, Sky & Telescope, The Writer's Store, and Digital Book World.
In this role, I was primarily devoted to helping authors improve their work, learn the business of publishing, and get their work published. I was responsible for Writer's Digest books, magazines, online education, writing services, conferences, writing retreats and more.
Responsible for book sales for twelve different publishing divisions (400+ titles per year), including Adams Media (now owned by Simon & Schuster). During this time I was a key advisor to the company's publishers and helped determine book acquisitions across all divisions.
High level sales experience to accounts such as Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, Walmart, Books-a-Million, Baker & Taylor, Ingram and many others.
Happiness. Contentment. Peace of mind. These are the qualities of life that people long for today, even as they seem harder than ever to attain. In Happier Every Day, author and yoga instructor Paula Munier details a simple yet comprehensive approach to cultivating happiness, including the most recent data and discoveries, all distilled into layman’s terms. Readers will also find 100 practical... read more
Any man who has ever aspired to become a better, more self-sufficient and honorable person will benefit from reading The Official John Wayne Handy Book for Men, a tough little handbook, perfect in size for taking on-the-go, but eye-catching enough to adorn a place of pride on one’s bookshelf.Filled with step-by-step advice and real-world examples, it illustrates dozens of essential skills, inc... read more
Sother Teague, one of New York’s most knowledgeable bartenders and Wine Enthusiast's Mixologist of the Year (2017), presents a brief history of both classic and lesser-known spirits with modern-day wit and old-school bar wisdom, accompanied by easy-to-mix drink recipes you’ll soon commit to memory. Better than bellying up to some of the world’s best bars with a veteran bartender, this series o... read more
“Sure I wave the American flag. Do you know a better flag to wave?” ―John WayneA true American to the end, there was nothing John Wayne loved more than his country. In John Wayne: Made in America, John Wayne’s patriotism is explored through photos, his personal letters and mementos, and more memorabilia from the Wayne family archives. Carefully curated by the editors of the Official John Wayne... read more
"...A unique and absolutely invaluable toolbox for any author..." ~Kate White, New York Times best-selling author and former editor-in-chief of CosmopolitanUnlock the secrets to superior plot twists! The key to keeping people on the edge of their seat--from memoirs to thrillers and stage plays to screenplays--is filling your stories with unexpected twists and turns. By integrating Plot Twists,... read more
Get the Knowledge Without the College! You are a writer. You dream of sharing your words with the world, and you're willing to put in the hard work to achieve success. You may have even considered earning your MFA, but for whatever reason--tuition costs, the time commitment, or other responsibilities--you've never been able to do it. Or maybe you've been looking for a self-guided approach so y... read more
For many, wine can be an overly complex, intimidating and – dare we say it – mysterious topic. And while it’s true that there are things about wine that can be overwhelming for beginners, Find Your Wine skips such topics in favor of a simple flavor-related focus that puts the reader’s personal preferences at the forefront, enabling them to buy and talk about wine, discover what they like, and ... read more
This eye-popping book, packed with color and wonder, will transport young readers into the world of My Little Pony, specifically, the Sugar Cube Corner Bakery where fan-favorite pony Pinkie Pie works for Mr. and Mrs. Cake, the two pony bakers who create all of the tastiest treats in town. Pinkie Pie will give readers a “tour” of the bakery, during which readers will learn all about baking. She... read more
The Writer's Lab provides writers, journalers, and creatives (anyone with a desire to write, really) with a medium for playing around with prose, poetry, etc. There are no rules here - only creative prompts and plenty of room for writing, sketching, diagramming, and planning stories, essays, and more. The "Lab" is loaded with fun exercises that foster creativity and a love of writing, along wi... read more
This fun, adventurous guide will show kids how to explore, play and create in new and exciting ways. Inside they’ll find guidelines for writing secret codes, building a spyglass, walking silently, identifying animal tracks, tying knots, detecting secret doors and passages, reading maps, building explorer kits for various environments, learning foreign language basics, and much more, all with t... read more
A slow cooker is the busy cook’s best friend - with a little bit of prep, you can let dinner simmer away so you can focus on other things instead of babysitting the stove. And now you can use your Crock Pot Express to make that same meai fast as well! Get Crocked Fast & Easy Slow Cooker Recipes is the ultimate cookbook for busy families everywhere. With clear, concise instructions for slow coo... read more
Engage with the Next Generation of Writers! Wattpad is an online storytelling community where users can post their writing, such as articles, stories, novels, fan fiction, and poems. This platform offers writers the chance to connect directly with readers, fans, and story enthusiasts. With the ability to release stories and chapters one at a time, authors can receive continual encouragement an... read more
Hook Your Audience with Unforgettable Storytelling! What do Luke Skywalker, John McClane, an da lonely dog on Ho'okipa Beach have in common? Simply put, we care about them. Great storytelling is making readers care about your characters, the choices they make, and what happens to them. It's making your audience feel the tension and emotion of a situation right alongside your protagonist. And t... read more
A Mystery Writers of America Edgar Award Finalist for Best Critical/Biographical Work Discover the secrets to crafting an unforgettable mystery! To piece together the puzzle of your mystery novel, you need patience, resilience, a solid understanding of the craft, and a clear blueprint for combining the plot, characters, setting, and more. And while patience and resilience must come from you, t... read more
Engage Your Readers with Emotion While writers might disagree over showing versus telling or plotting versus pantsing, none would argue this: If you want to write strong fiction, you must make your readers feel. The reader's experience must be an emotional journey of its own, one as involving as your characters' struggles, discoveries, and triumphs are for you. That's where The Emotional Craft... read more
Enthrall your readers, love the process, & become the writer you are meant to be! Writers are given a wealthy of opportunities to cultivate a successful writing life, break out, and find an audience for their work. Yet so many writers, from beginners to veterans, find their careers stuck in neutral. The solution is simple: Just write. Write yourself past fears, doubts, and setbacks, and use yo... read more
Enthrall Your Readers! Suspense is one of the most powerful tools a writer has for captivating readers--but it isn't just for thrillers. From mainstream fiction to memoir, suspense creates the emotional tension that keeps readers on the edge of their seats. Mastering Suspense, Structure, & Plot is your hands-on guide to weaving suspense into your narrative. Award-winning author Jane K. Cleland... read more
The Must-Have Guide to Humor Writing Bring on the funny! With Comedy Writing Secrets 3rd Edition, you can discover the secrets of humor writing that will keep your readers rolling in their seats. Learn the basics of joke construction, as well as in-depth comedy-writing techniques that you can apply to a variety of print and online markets. If your aim is to make 'em laugh--and make a career in... read more
Build an Exceptional Plot, One Scene at a Time!Think of your favorite story--the one that kept you turning pages late into the night, the one with a plot so compelling, so multilayered, so perfect that you couldn't put it down. How can you make your own plots--in your novels, short stories, memoirs, or screenplays--just as irresistible?Plot Perfect provides the answer. This one-of-a-kind plott... read more
Monsters are more than things that go bump in the night...Monsters are lurking in the woods, beneath the waves, and within our favorite books, films, and games--and there are good reasons why they appear so often. Monsters are manifestations of our fears and symbols of our society--not to mention they're a lot of fun--but each should serve a purpose and enhance the themes and tension in your f... read more
Don't limit your fiction - LIBERATE ITAll too often, following the "rules" of writing can constrict rather than inspire you. With Story Trumps Structure, you can shed those rules - about three-act structure, rising action, outlining, and more - to craft your most powerful, emotional, and gripping stories.Award-winning novelist Steven James explains how to trust the narrative process to make yo... read more
Do you envision celestial cities in distant, fantastic worlds? Do you dream of mythical beasts and gallant quests in exotic kingdoms? If you have ever wanted to write the next great fantasy or science fiction story, this all-in-one comprehensive book will show you how. Writing Fantasy & Science Fiction is full of advice from master authors offering definitive instructions on world building, ch... read more
In this fun, fascinating and full-color guide, the fan-favorite heroes of Big Hero 6 introduce young readers to the most fascinating, unusual and downright mind-boggling concepts from science, technology, engineering and math – and of the critical thinking skills they’ll need to become super-brain superheroes in their own right!Jam-packed with answers to hundreds of fascinating “why?” and "how... read more
This incredible book provides aspiring young Supers and Supers-in-training invaluable guidelines for becoming a hero. From safely wearing a cape (or better yet, not wearing a cape at all) and identifying villainous traits to evading an Omnidroid and building a utility belt, this book provides young readers with all of the recommended tips and techniques they need to make their suit, unmask vil... read more
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Veteran, still-passionate editor/proofreader of nonfiction and scholarly works. Emphasis on the social sciences and allied fields.
Twenty years' experience in commercial fiction and non-fiction for such publishers as HarperCollins, Virgin, Harlequin and Little, Brown.