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Posts Tagged ‘traditional publishing’

The Top 20 Articles of 2016 for Aspiring Authors

This has become a bit of a tradition: every December since, well, 2015, I’ve looked back at the year and compiled a “best of” summary of the Top 20 articles, news, and resources for writers who are working toward publication. Making the jump from writer to published author means entering a whole new world of business, and it’s important to do your homework and understand the landscape. The Trends This year, as I went back through my tweets and notes, two things became clear: It was a hard year to pay attention to publishing. National and international news took precedence. Maybe because of all the crazy stuff happening in the rest of the world, it was not a big year of publishing changes. (Anyone want to dispute that? Am I forgetting some major change of policy, player, or approach here?) Self publishing is still growing, filling all of the corners […]

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5 Ways to Make a Writers’ Conference Work for You

I know I need an agent, but I don’t know where to find one. I don’t know how to start building an author platform…I don’t even know what a platform is! I should join or start a critique group, but I don’t know any other writers! Sound familiar? Aspiring authors and curious writing bystanders say things like this to me a lot, and my answer is always the same: Get Thee to a Writers’ Conference! Although writing a book can be a solitary, introverted activity that you can do without bothering to put on pants, publishing a book is a community activity. Writers’ conferences are the places where we network, visit, and meet the next generation of authors. There are hundreds of multi-day events for writers all over the country and around the world. They’re organized for writers in a particular region, or for a specific genre of writing. Some conferences […]

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The 20 Must-Read Articles of 2015 for Aspiring Writers

Every month or so, I have the chance to stand in front or a group of people and talk about how to get published. How does a writer go from a manuscript to a published work that readers can buy? One of the points I regularly make—one of the facts I think is critically important and often overlooked—is that a writer has to take the responsibility to understand the publishing industry. You need at least a general idea of how the sausages are made. After all, you wouldn’t decide to open a restaurant or a widget factory without doing your homework about the regulations, the competition, and the best practices affecting your industry. So why would you think that you can just mail off a manuscript and not understand what happens next? So, in the spirit of educating, and giving in to the inevitable lure of a year-end “best of” list, here […]

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You Take the High Road, I’ll Take the Higher Road…

A few days ago, a question came to the email group for the Northwest Independent Editors Guild, a network of professional freelance editors who are both thoughtful and have very good grammar. A member asked the question that plagues many modern authors: should I self publish or seek a publisher? More specifically, this editor wanted to know why there was so much antagonism in the discussion. “I have never heard anyone complain at all about self-publishing photographers or artists of any other kind. But the notion of a self-publishing author seems to make some blood boil: What’s behind that? What does a traditional book-publishing experience offer the writer, and ultimately the reader, that a self-publishing experience takes away?” I thought her comparison of writers to “self publishing” photographers or artists was an interesting one, and it did cast a positive light over the discussion. The emails started to fly, based partly on this fabulous article about The Martian […]

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Do you need a literary agent?

“It’s time for me to get an agent,” the writer told me. “I’m tired of trying to market my work all by myself.” While I sympathize with the tired feeling, I had to break it to him that an agent wasn’t going to relieve him of his marketing responsibilities. Whether you have a publisher, an agent, or you’re on your own, making yourself visible to readers will always be your job as the author. So then why would you need an agent? If you want to be published by a large or mid-sized traditional publisher, you need an agent. Those houses usually look to agents as scouts and gatekeepers, sorting through the thousands of “slush pile” submissions to find the handful of quality, timely projects that a publisher will support each year. On the other hand, if your book would be better with a small, regional, or university press, then […]

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Latest Post

  • It’s Up to You to Get Noticed (Before You Self Publish #5)
    If you want to self publish, you will have to work to get noticed. Here we are at last, on the final point of this blog series “Before You Self Publish.” So far we’ve talking about the importance of thinking like a CEO, the danger of releasing a book too soon, the value of print, and the importance of the...
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