alg: (Default)
Recently, one of my clients asked me what my recommendations were for someone starting out in the publishing industry. Here's the answer I gave her:

My big recommendations about publishing are:

1. Educate yourself.

2. Stay polite, even when dealing with someone who may not be polite to you.

3. Be open to hearing ideas, but keep hold of your own vision.

4. Be persistent! Don't give up after the first few rejections; it can take years to get published.

...These are the same things I've been saying to people who want to be professionally published for years. Sometimes I rephrase the advice, but it's basically stayed the same. E-book, comic book, print book, whatever -- these four pieces points hold true!

Is there any advice that you wish someone had given you? Or advice that's held true as you navigated the murky waters of publishing?
alg: (Default)
Every week I check my website stats, and every week I see that people hit my website by searching some variation of "Is it easier to get an editor or an agent?" But I don't have an article specifically about that -- so I decided to write one.

As with everything else in the publishing industry, experiences with getting an agent vary wildly. Some people never get a rejection letter. Some people try forty agents before finding one they fit with. Some people never get an agent. Some people get an agent and stick with that agent for a while, but find that they don't really get along, and so they switch (and, like that old saw goes, it's easier to find one if you already have one). Some people never get an agent, or eventually give up having an agent entirely, finding that their career is stable enough that having an agent isn't worth it. Honestly, I think the number of people doing that last thing is dwindling in this era of fighting tooth and nail for every slot on every list, even in category/series romance.

It's a similar situation with editors -- some people find the right editor right away. Some people get a new editor for every book. Some people never find an editor, and decide to hire a freelance one and self-publish.

It is pretty much equally difficult to get either one to take your book on. You've heard my advice about how to get the attention of editors and agents a million times: Write a good book. (For value of good, you can also insert: timely, marketable, scandalous, rare, edgy, personally appealing to the particular editor/agent.) Write a decent query letter. Be professional.

I know what your next question is. You want to know: Is it better to get an agent first?

No one can answer this for you -- you have to make your own decisions based on what you know, and what you think is best for yourself, your manuscript(s), and your career.

If you submit your book to publishers and one likes you right away and takes the book on, that's pretty awesome, and you're set -- your book now has a 98% (ish) chance of being published. (There are things that can happen between signing a contract with a publisher and getting your book on the shelf. They're rare enough that I wouldn't worry about it happening to you, as long as you're working with a reputable publisher.)

Once you have a publishing contract in hand, you can then make a list of your dream agents, and go down it, contacting each one and saying, "Hi, this is Sydney Bristow, and I've written a book called My Life With Spy Daddy, and I have an offer to publish it from Alliance Publishers as a hardcover in their Livres Disparus list. I'd like to know if you'd represent me for this deal, and possibly future ones." Plenty of people get agents this way. In fact, I can even think of a couple of people who called agents who'd previously turned down their manuscripts, and the agents agreed to take them on once they had the contract in hand. I know that seems shady/annoying, but it's just business.

(I will pause here to say that I really do think the majority of authors need agents, especially once a house has made an offer. Agents provide a number of extremely important services to authors. Agents act as go-betweens, helping to smooth the way for authors and editors, especially when there's conflict about something. Agents are knowledgeable about the way publishing contracts work -- if you're taking the contract to someone not familiar with the industry, there's every chance they'll miss something, even if that person is a lawyer. Agents are skilled at negotiation, and know how to get the most out of the wheeling and dealing. Agents organize the money and keep track of the royalty statements. Agents can put pressure on a publishing company to live up to the spirit of its agreement with an author. Agents have connections -- not just in North America, but also in other hubs of the publishing world, and even smaller markets! Hey, don't knock being translated into Russian, German, Japanese, Spanish... A sale is a sale, and agents are uniquely equipped to make these sales. Agents have their down sides, too, don't get me wrong -- but I am of the firm belief that the up-sides outweigh those down-sides.

If you disagree, that's okay! You can write a blog post at your own blog about it!)

I've said it before, and I'll say it again -- publishing is subjective. Sometimes an agent falls in love with a book that zie can't get an editor to take on for love, money, or favors. Sometimes an editor loves a book that three hundred agents turned down. Heck, sometimes an editor loves a book that she can't convince her publisher to take on, and she mourns it even ten years later. Uh, not that I have any experience with that last one or anything!

The flip side of this is that if you get an agent first, a lot of doors open to you that may have previously been shut. Some agents have a lot of clout and/or know editors and publishers really well. Those agents can take your manuscript and say to an editor, "Remember when you told me you wanted a science fiction novel set in the near future featuring a female CIA agent who falls in love with a female Russian SVR agent? I've got that for you." Agents spend a lot of time cultivating their relationships with editors and publishers -- partially for this exact reason. For sure, when I was acquiring, there were agents who'd send me manuscripts, and I'd pretty much drop everything to read what they sent, because usually it was exactly my taste and exactly what I was looking for. No one's 100%, but the agents who pay attention can come pretty damn close.

Of course, there are also agents out there who don't know the editors, who don't have the same taste as the editors, who don't pay attention to what the editors and publishers are looking for, and who don't have the influence or relationships to make a scenario like that work. I certainly have met more than my fair share of agents who sent me Western historicals with notes about how they were sure I'd want that book for the romance list; once, an agent counseled her client to send me lingerie with the author's version of the manuscript's "cover" screen-printed onto it. Make sure to do your research on the agents before you submit to them, and use your brain and common sense -- that will, hopefully, help you have a much smaller chance of running into those agents.

Something to keep in mind when making your plans is that many agents will be reluctant to take on a project that's already been sent around to the major New York houses. If you've already been rejected by nine out of eleven of the editors an agent immediately thinks of when reading your manuscript, that agent's job has just been made a whole ton harder. Even if that editor never personally looked at your book -- the assistant read it and rejected it, or the editor sent it out to a reader or got a report from an intern and rejected based on that -- the editor will very likely remember at least the title, and be annoyed to see the book again, especially if it's within a year or two of the first submission.

I hope this helps people who are starting to think about where to send their manuscripts! Feel free to ask questions in the comments; as usual, I will not talk about specific agents by name and I ask that you don't name names in your comment -- but I'm happy to give you advice on your specific situation (and I know a lot of readers of this blog would be happy to jump in with advice, too!).
alg: (Default)
I find reference material, manuals, and guidebooks to be thrilling. Dictionaries of all sorts (I still fondly remember the ridiculous dictionary of rhymes I had throughout high school, which I sometimes used my freshman year for the torture of my teachers by writing rhyming epic poems instead of essays), handbooks, whatever. Recently, since I've been taking on more and more freelance work of various sorts, I decided to set aside some money every month to acquire more and more reference books.

When I worked at Tor, I had a huge number of reference books, taking up two or three shelves. I thought it only fair to leave them for the company's use when I left, since the company had paid for them. A partial list of what had been on the shelves behind my desk:

(I actually took the Web 10 and Chicago 14 with me when I left, because those were mine, handed down to me from Jenna Felice, and good luck prying them from even my cold, dead hands. They are currently wrapped in bubble wrap in storage, though, until I can clear out more space on the bookshelves here.)

I will be honest: the only materials I ever actually used for anything were the dictionaries and the CMS (usually as backup for when someone was arguing with me about whether or not it was appropriate to use "phase" as a synonym for "faze" and other ridiculous things) -- and Europe: A History. (I also had an amazing copy of the OED that ran in DOS, which was often useful when editing historical novels for the information it provided about when words came into common use and how their meanings changed over time.)

However, I found the shelves full of reference materials to be infinitely comforting.

I have boxes of reference books in storage right now, most of them from my undergraduate religious studies courses. Compilations of origin stories that professors put together from decades-old mimeographs, anthologies of essays about modern-day nuns, feminist critiques of religious institutions, at least two books about the Sumerian language and culture, and a bunch of different versions/translations of the Christian Bible, the Qur'an, and the Torah, amongst other things. I didn't use most of that stuff when Kat and I were writing Salt and Silver -- but I liked having access to it, just in case I needed it!

Most recently I've acquired the following:

And... well, I haven't used any of them, because I've been copyediting and proofreading for 10+ years and I can spell embarrass, mischievous, occasionally, supersede... I know most bad breaks on sight, have a firm grasp of punctuation (both the "proper" use of it, and the "common" use for making text flow easily for the reader), Americanize Australian and British manuscripts with ease, and when querying my private clients, I go out of my way to cite reputable websites instead of or in addition to the usually expensive or hard to find reference books, so it's easy to look at the context of what I'm talking about and acquire more information instead of having to take my word for it.

Nevertheless, I have read them -- for fun, because I am a nerd. And whenever I sit down to edit, copyedit, proofread, or polish, I have these reference materials around me. Just in case.

What do you keep around? What's your favorite text to reference when writing or editing?
alg: (Default)
I know people are always nagging you about formatting your manuscript. This is going to be another post about that. However, this is not a post about Manuscript Formatting 101 (12 point Courier New, double-spaced, with 1" margins all the way around, your name and the title of the book in the upper left hand corner, and the page number in the upper and lower right hand corners). No, this is a post about the other parts of formatting. The parts that no one seems to ever talk about! This is even in easy to follow bullet points. Come on, you know you love bullet points!

  • Emphasis. Here are the basic rules of emphasizing things in manuscripts:

    • Don't put anything in italics; if you have properly formatted your manuscript (in 12 point Courier New), italics are going to be difficult for the reader to easily see.

    • Don't emphasize things by using bold. When was the last time you saw something emphasized in bold in a printed book? Pretty much never.

    • DO emphasize using underlining. In most word processing programs, you can easily do this using the keyboard command CNTRL+U or CMMD+U. Editors, copyeditors, and typesetters all read underlining as italics. I know it sounds weird to you, but trust me: this is the secret language of manuscripts.

    • When something is underlined for another reason -- like, say, you want someone's thoughts to be italicized in the final book -- and you want to emphasize a word within that already-underlined text, just drop the underlining. You've seen that in books, too. Example:

        Manuscript format: I wish I was as rich and handsome and smart as Dwight, Jim thought. Dwight is never at a loss for words.

        Final book format: I wish I was as rich and handsome and smart as Dwight, Jim thought. Dwight is never at a loss for words.

    • The punctuation immediately following an underlined sentence, word, or phrase should also be underlined.

  • Don't start your chapter halfway down the page when you are writing the book. Oh, you can if you want to, but it involves a lot of carriage returns (pressing ENTER/RETURN over and over again), and it means that if at any time you need to reformat your manuscript, it's going to do something funky when the manuscript reflows. (Reflowing on your computer is when the file recalibrates its page count for five minutes while you play Plants Vs. Zombies.)

  • DO use the "Page Break" function in your word processing program. Wherever a chapter ends, just hit "insert page break" and then start your new chapter right there at the beginning of the next page.

  • DO use the pound sign (#) to indicate a scene change. There is no need for six carriage returns every time you change a scene. Even worse is when you forget that you'd only been using five, start using six, then switch back to five... The pound sign (#) is a symbol to the publishing professionals that there's a scene change, and there's no need for anything else to indicate it. Additionally, many editors (acquiring editors, content editors, production editors, copyeditors...) can look at a manuscript that is properly formatted and tell how long the finished book is going to be, or how many signatures it will need. Just from looking at the page count or stack of pages of a properly formatted manuscript. Those six carriage returns at every scene change will definitely throw that estimate way off!

  • Don't bother putting two spaces after every period. That is a holdover from typewriters. If you're using a fancy typeface, it might be useful or necessary, but you are using 12 point Courier New, I am sure, so it's not.

  • Anything you want to put in quotation marks that is already in quotation marks should be in single quotes instead of double. For example:

      "Dwight says the name of the song is 'Endless Love' and the name of the episode it's in is 'Dwight Will Always Beat You'--but I think he's lying," Jim told Pam.

  • Titles of songs, short stories, and episodes of television shows should always go in quotes. Names of albums, complete books, and television shows should always be underlined.

  • When using the em-dash, do not put spaces around it. DO turn off your auto-complete. In a properly formatted manuscript, the auto-complete em-dash is difficult to see. You want your em-dash to be two hyphens used together, like this: --

  • Ellipsis rules:

    • When using the ellipsis, turn off your auto-complete. In a properly formatted manuscript, the auto-complete ellipsis is difficult to see and hard for the copyeditor to mark properly. You want your ellipsis to be three periods, either one after the other, or with one space in between each. For example: ... OR . . .

    • If the ellipsis is within single or double quotes, there should not be a space between the final dot and the quote mark.

    • In general, there is no need for extra punctuation after an ellipsis. ...? and ...! should be used extremely sparingly. ..., should never be used at all.

    • Sometimes an ellipsis that ends a sentence will have an extra dot at the end to indicate a period. It is up to your aesthetics whether you'd like to embrace that.

  • The indent of the first sentence of a paragraph should be 1/2" or 0.5". While technically you can do this by hitting the space bar five times, please just use the tab key. Some word processing programs even have a way you can set your body text to automatically indent the first line of every paragraph.

...This entry brought to you by The Committee to Make Everyone's Lives Much Easier. Feel free to ask questions in the comments if you are so inclined.
alg: (Default)
Last week, someone commented to ask me to write a post about how to find an agent. And I have to admit, my first response was a very uncharitable, "SERIOUSLY??!!??!! Let me google that for you!"

After that, though, I thought about how lots of people want someone they trust to explain things to them. They don't just want to click through to some website written by someone who they don't know. They want the answer from someone who is going to be honest about it, with no politics or sneaky tactics.

Well, I will always be honest, no bullshit -- although, obviously, my experiences and perceptions are going to color my advice.


How To Find An Agent.

First, I have to say that if you are starting from zero, and you don't know anything about the publishing industry, please educate yourself. I have personally written many articles and blog entries about the publishing industry, many of which you can find by reading through the back entries of my blog, or posted on my website. Back when I first started, not too many people in the industry were writing blog entries where you could ask questions -- but there are tons now. Everyone's got a blog or a Twitter or both.

I am of the opinion that it is very important that you not try to find an agent when you are still at Publishing 101. At the very least, you need to know what to look for to know if someone is taking you for a ride. There are a lot of unscrupulous scam artists out there, and if you get caught up by one of them, that can have a worse effect on your writing career than diving in without an agent.

Rule number one is that money flows toward the author. If an agent tells you that zie will take you on if you pay them $X up front, it's a scam. If the agent tells you that zie will take you on, but your manuscript needs to be professionally edited and only that agent's editing service will do, it's a scam. If the agent works in any capacity for the publisher to whom zie wishes to sell your book, be on high alert -- no one can serve two masters.

The exception to rule number one: An agent, when offering to take you on, may have it written into the contract that if your relationship lasts X number of months, submissions, or rejections without a contract, that agent will begin to charge you what amounts to a handling fee of $X per manuscript. This used to be very common in the days of copious paper submissions; postage and photocopying costs do add up. However, in these days of e-submissions, keep a keen eye on where your agent is submitting. You are well within your rights to ask for an accounting of to whom your agent is submitting, where that editor works, and which format the manuscript was submitted in -- and a copy of the rejection letter.

When in doubt, do more research on the agent. There are many places to research the quality and reputation of an agent. The best place to go is Preditors & Editors. Another good place is the advocacy group for whichever genre you write in. Romance Writers of America, Mystery Writers of America, Science Fiction Writers of America, Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, Western Writers of America... I mean, the list goes on, and as far as I know, they will help you out even if you don't live in the USA.

If you seriously can't find any information about your agent out there already (and that should be a clue to you), then try making a post on the Absolute Write forums. I recommend this only for people who are past Being On The Internet 101. I also recommend you do it under a pseudonym instead of your real name -- there are a lot of agents and editors and authors who read those boards, and you can get a reputation. (Also, people search their own names to see what's being said about them, so if you make it a habit of calling people names, thinking there are no repercussions for what you say on the internet, think again.)

There are many ways to find agents. First, what are you writing? Not all agents handle the same work. There are some agents who are focused on science fiction and fantasy, with very rare exceptions. There are some agents who are very well known for doing mystery, or romance, or nonfiction, or YA.

Once you have a genre, there are several ways you can go.

You can go into a bookstore and look at the dedication and acknowledgements pages of the books that are the most similar to yours. For example, if you are writing a paranormal romance novel that is very similar to Salt and Silver by Anna Katherine (heh), then you would see that the author thanks "her agent, Diana Fox"; a quick Google search would turn up [personal profile] dianafox, and you are on your way to following those submission guidelines (and mentioning, "I am querying you because you represent my favorite paranormal romance, Salt and Silver by Anna Katherine, and my book is very much in that style."). If a particular book does not have the agent's name in the front matter, check the other books by that author, or the author's website.

Another way to do this is to look at the websites of the advocacy group for your genre, and see what information about agents is there. Many groups have a list of agents available. Often these lists are only available to their members; if membership doesn't require publication and you have the cash to write off at tax time, give it a shot. It's good for networking and information, if nothing else.

Of course, there are always books/websites like Writers Market. It's fee-based, though, and it doesn't give you any kind of leg up. Seeing "I found you through Writers Market" in your query doesn't make an agent more likely to want to buy your book, so start with the places that are free.

Again, I am going to recommend Preditors & Editors as a great free resource available to anyone who has the internet.

Go through the list. Get yourself a list of agents who are recommended or whose name(s) you like. Next you have to do research. Find that agent's website or blog. Read about what they represent, what they are looking for, what they like to read, what they hate. Go back through their blog or Twitter -- very likely there will be clues about what they loathe or love in cover letters and submissions.

Yeah, it's work. You thought getting an agent would somehow be easier than writing a book? Wrong! Suck it up. If you aren't willing to do the work to find the right agent, what do you expect is going to happen? That's right -- you're very likely going to get shafted.

There is a similar website -- which is to say, a website with agent lists -- called QueryTracker, and although it is free, it requires you to sign up for the website and log in if you want to use it. I don’t know how helpful it is, but you can look into it if you feel inclined.

Another place to do research on agents is Publishers Marketplace. Do a search for the name of the agent, and see that agent's page. Not all agents have one, but many do. They list projects the agent has recently sold, or ones that are forthcoming from publishers.

(Publishers Marketplace also has a pay feature, which includes options such as “deal search” which will tell you what people are selling and buying -- agents and editors. If you have twenty bucks to spare, you can try the pay features for a month, and see if you think it’s worth it.)

Note: If you can't find any information on an agent that is recent, or if the agent hasn't updated a blog/website/Twitter in several years, that is a clue that perhaps it's not the right agent for you. Go ahead and query, but you might not hear back!

So now you've picked four or five agents to query. This is the time to follow the submission guidelines. If you do not follow the submission guidelines, chances are very good that your submission will just get trashed.

Write a decent query letter. Get someone to proofread it for you, or use your computer's text-to-speech function to read it out loud to make sure the words all make sense together. Spell the agent's name correctly. Spell your name correctly. Spell your book's title correctly. Make sure you include the genre and word count and whether you've finished the project or not. (If your book is not finished, stop trying to find an agent and go finish it. Seriously.)

Do not ever lie in your query letter. It is not worth it. You will eventually be asked to show proof that the things you claim about yourself and your book are true. If they are not true, you will be rejected. If you've already been published, there will be a scandal. Sometimes scandals sell more books -- other times, scandals mean you will never sell a book again. Don't risk it. Just be honest.

Here is what it comes down to, though. The secret handshake that is sure to get you an agent: Write a good book.

Yeah, that's it.

Except sometimes for value of "good" you can insert other words -- which sucks, because genuinely good books should get published and sometimes they don't.

Words that will sometimes substitute for "good": timely, marketable, scandalous, rare, edgy, personally appealing to the particular editor/agent

Sorry. It's true. It's also much easier to get an agent if you know someone (or know someone who knows someone) who can call in a favor, or if you are famous (even if you are mostly or completely untalented as a writer), or if you have some kind of marketing connections (like, your mom is Oprah or your dad is Regis, and you can get yourself on all the talk shows), or if you already have a book deal and are in need of someone to negotiate the contract.

That last one is how quite a few people get agents -- and you can look at it as distressing, or as proof that agents are not the end-all, be-all, blah blah gatekeepers of the publishing industry. Sometimes a book is rejected a million times by agents, but picked up by an editor anyway. (Sometimes a book is fiercely coveted by agents, and nevertheless rejected by every editor.)

It's also pretty easy to get an agent if you are already a super famous bestselling author, but you're looking to switch to a different agent for whatever reason.

For more advice: I know it's been a few years, but I still recommend Miss Snark's archives; if you are of a certain sensibility, you will probably enjoy her writing style, and as she was (and is) an agent, her advice is certainly mostly spot on.

Many agents keep blogs non-pseudonymously, and they are pretty easy to find if you know how to navigate the internet. If you are new to the internet, I suggest Googling literary agent blog, and reading through what pops up. Do not just read one or two. Every single agent is different. If you want a real overview, read a bunch of them!

Things I will not do so do not ask: recommend an agent, recommend any of my agent friends go find you, talk about my experiences as an editor with any specific agent, write a blog post on how to write a query letter

Additionally, the comments section of this post is not the place to exchange gossip or information about any agents by name unless that particular agent is in the comments section talking about hirself. Any comment naming an agent will be deleted.

However, if you have questions about anything in this post, or something I did not cover, please do ask.
alg: (Default)
Note: This entry is cross-posted from Kat and Anna: Writing as an Editor at the blog.

This morning Kat and I did a lecture thing at the New England RWA conference in Framingham, MA. It was called “Writing as an Editor” but we ended up not actually talking about the writing and instead discussing stuff like what a production editor does and how to prepare yourself for your inevitable awful copyedit. We also were distracted by our own pain about how Salt and Silver ended up being treated by our publisher.

One of the things we wanted to discuss and did not get around to is the difficulty of writing with a loud internal editor. It is really difficult to turn that editor off and just put the freaking words down on paper (or, in our case, type the freaking words into the shared Google document). Everyone who has a loud internal editor learns a different way to turn it off. I wish I had any super-effective tips or secrets to share—but I don’t. You just have to get past it, one way or another.

The way I personally silenced my inner editor most of the time was by making a deal: I would write for X words or hours, and then edit to fix.

(Anna: “Kat, how did you silence your inner editor while writing?”
Kat: “Panic.”)

Kat says that having a deadline was very reassuring—and that while writing, she felt confident in our backups. Me, our editor, our copyeditor, the proofreader, the production editor, our agent…

I too found it extremely reassuring that if I missed something in my own edit, Kat would be there to catch it. One does not necessarily need a co-writer for this—just a trusted critique or proofreading partner. It is much easier to fall backward blindly when you know someone is there who will definitely catch you—or at least cushion your fall.

Something to remember is that all authors feel the same. Seriously, you are not the only one who has ever had these problems, even if it feels like it sometimes. It’s very comforting to know that author and editor problems are actually universal—and if you as the author are annoyed with something to do with the book, probably the editor feels similarly, or can actually reassure you that your insecurities are not based in our reality.

We also talked at the presentation about a list we made up of things that authors can do that will make easier the lives of everyone involved in making the book—but we didn’t really go into each of these things in detail, so here’s the annotated list.

Things Authors Should Do: A list )
alg: (Default)
I was so appalled the other morning when I read a blog post that had been linked on Twitter in which unsolicited submissions were described as "junk mail." I was pretty on board with the rest of this particular post. But it lost me with this statement. (I'm not linking, because I'm not calling this person out. This person is just the latest in a long line of people who talk about slush like this; the proverbial straw breaking the camel's back.)

The phrase was used in an analogy -- like, imagine if, on top of dealing with your, you know, "real job," you also had to deal with 30,000 pieces of junk mail every year.

Unsolicited submissions are not junk mail, and if an agent -- or editor -- allows unsolicited submissions, then, in fact, unsolicited submissions are part of the job.

We use "unsolicited" to mean that an author can send anything to an editor or agent at any time. It does not have to be specifically requested. Lots of editors and agents do not accept unsolicited submissions; those editors and agents do not have slush piles (physical or virtual). They have things they have requested from authors they've met or spoken to some way or another.

However, if you want to split hairs -- and I almost always do -- any "unsolicited submission" is actually, technically, solicited. Agents and editors who accept unsolicited submissions want those submissions.

I have personally never pulled anything out of my slush pile that made it to publication. I've certainly pulled things out of the slush that warranted a second (or third) look, and I've sent revisions letters, and I've requested other manuscripts by authors who I found in the slush. I know a lot of editors have found really great stuff in the slush. Many authors, particularly in the romance genre, started out in the slush. You know whose first published book was an unsolicited submission? Nora Roberts.

It's important, albeit sometimes tedious or irritating for the people who have to go through it. Yeah, sometimes it's really bad. Sometimes it's literally written in crayon. Sometimes it's clear that the author didn't do any research about the editor or agent to whom they are submitting ("Dear AGENT" is a clue; I used to sometimes get cover letters addressed to editors at other companies, amongst other telling details.)

Regardless: It is not junk.

Of course, I wrote a bunch of blog posts years ago about how editors and agents technically don't get paid to read submissions. Unsolicited submissions are almost never a priority, because there are money-making things to be done first. Clients, authors, meetings, manuscripts that need to be edited, conferences that need to be attended, etc. Yes, it sucks for authors who send in unsolicited submissions that they are on the bottom of the to do list. That's how it is, though. Life is hard.

Just because unsolicited submissions are not urgent or directly connected to money-making doesn't make them junk mail.

A separate issue is the behavior of the people submitting their work. Do I even need to write a blog post about this? Don't be a rude jerk. Everyone's got a life, and being an asshole isn't going to further your career aspirations in any way.

And, hey! The same goes for editors and agents. Being jerks to aspiring authors isn't nice -- or, if you're the kind of person who doesn't care about being nice: being a jerk to an aspiring writer isn't good business practice and will get your name up on the Absolute Write boards (amongst other places) as a jerk faster than you can say, "Oops, I have acquired a reputation for being an unethical, mean, rude, underpants-showing ass!"

I agree that it sucks for authors, because writing is such a personal thing. (And, hey! Business is also a personal thing. What did Michael Scott say? "Business is always personal; it's the most personal thing in the world.") So when an agent or editor says they'll get back to you in six months, and then you never hear a thing, it hurts. It's rough. It's not just being outright rejected -- you're being ignored like you don't even matter.

You do matter.

I'd really like it, though, if aspiring authors could remember that agents and editors work really hard, and aren't perfect. Sometimes they lose their patience. Sometimes things fall by the wayside. Sometimes they say that they're going to get back to you on your submission in two months and it takes eighteen. Seriously. It really does suck for everyone involved.

Anyway, I'm off point. The point is: unsolicited submissions aren't junk mail, and seeing them referred to that way (by someone who ostensibly should know better) really upset me.

What do you think?
alg: (Default)
I am not particularly interested in hosting any kind of discussion about the Macmillan/Amazon e-book fiasco from January. I'm biased, anyway, because I used to work for Macmillan, Salt and Silver was published by Macmillan, and I have a particular dislike for Amazon in general (specifically because of AmazonFAIL, although of course there are also other things). On the other hand... $15 for an e-book? Seriously? LOL NO.

However, I noticed while reading through some old links that there is a fundamental lack of understanding on the part of some of the people who participated in the discussion(s) about publishers and money. I was pretty flattered that in many of the discussions I read, people brought up my article "Profit & Loss/Profitability & Liability : How Books Make (or Don't Make) Money"*...

If you haven't bought/read it, I suggest you do, even though the numbers are somewhat out of date at this point.

I'm not going to go through a P&L again, especially because when it comes to something like this, an operating contribution P&L (the kind most publishers use) is only useful to a point -- but I think perhaps a refresher course in the cost of making books is in order, yes?

This is pretty basic, and it's been about three years since I've seen production charts for book costs, but the practicalities stand.

For any book, all of the costs per book fluctuate depending on how many copies of the book are going to be printed/shipped; some of the total costs flux, too, but others are quite set.

Flux costs: paper, printing, binding, shipping, warehousing, copyediting, proofreading, cover decoration (foil, emboss, etc.), coop/in-store marketing, author's advance

Set costs: art, in house acquisitions/line editor, other in house people costs, copy writing, publicity, ad/promo, ARCs, typesetting, design

E-books, it is argued, should be cheaper to produce than paper books, because they do not require paper, printing, and binding (this is only partially true), and they also don't require fancy cover decoration (yup, but they still require cover art!), and they don't require warehousing except for the 2 MB the file takes up on a hard drive (okay).

However, they still need to be licensed from the author (that's the advance), which means an editor needs to spend time finding the book, reading the book, determining whether or not the book will sell, involving other people in that determination (the production staff has to give cost estimates; marketing, sales, ad/promo, and publicity will sometimes get involved if the book is going to be A Big Deal; other editors will be asked their opinions and possibly even read the book before it's acquired; depending on the company, there might even be an editorial meeting in which the book is discussed), negotiating the contract with the agent, talking to the contracts department about the terms of the contract, writing an editorial letter, going over the edited version of the book, filling out all production and art paperwork, meeting with marketing and sales and ad/promo and publicity and art to determine various things to do with the book, walking the author through whatever freakout or weird author things are going on, getting reads on the book for quotes from other authors, writing copy of various kinds, making sure the ARCs of the book are going to the correct reviewers, double checking everything to do with the book from the proof pages to the cover text... and anything else that might come up regarding the book before it's published and after.

E-books also still need covers and cover art. They still need to be typeset (albeit it's easier, what with everything being electronic now). They need to be copyedited, proofread, designed, sent out for reviews and quotes...

On an average midlist book, here is the bare minimum of people who will work on it:

- Acquisitions editor/line editor (often the same person)
- The editor's assistant
- Contracts assistant
- Production editor
- Whoever signs off on the deal -- usually an editor in chief or publisher
- Art director
- Artist
- Cover designer
- Typesetter
- Book interior designer
- Copyeditor
- Proofreader
- Publicist
- Ad/promo assistant
- Art assistant who designs advertisements
- Marketing assistant
- Copy writer
- Sales assistant
- Salesperson who literally goes around the country having meetings with booksellers (including e-book sellers)
- Accountant
- Royalties assistant (the person who actually writes the check the agent/author receives)
- CFO (the person who actually signs the check the agent/author receives)
- CFO's assistant (someone has to write out the address on an envelope, and there is no way the CFO will do it!)

...It's pretty likely that more people than this will work on a book, especially if anything at all goes wrong at any time during the process. All of these people need to get paid -- some of them are salaried (which means that in addition to their salaries, the company is also on the hook for things like insurance and payroll tax), and some of them are hourly or have set per book prices.

Plus the company has to front the money for the advance, lay out whatever the in-store marketing and publicity advertisement costs are, and, with an e-book, there are people who are trained in making e-books. You think Macmillan just installs Adobe Acrobat and hits "Print to PDF" in Quark or InDesign once the book is "finished"? HAH. No.

The complexity of getting these people paid is one of the reasons why operating contribution P&Ls are so popular -- they don't take into account the myriad people costs (with the exception of copyediting and proofreading).

Even without the people and paper costs, the amount of money spent to make a book is pretty staggering. I think it's staggering, anyway, and I spent seven years dealing with it, doing P&Ls and negotiating contracts and working this stuff out. I am still breathless every time I look at the real costs. (Every time an author writes a blog post asking, "How come I can't have a full page, full color ad in the Romantic Times?" I always wonder if that author has gone to the RT website and read their ad rates. A one time ad, in full color, on a full page, is (as of today) $3,475. That is more than many authors get paid as an advance!)

On a $6.99 paperback, in general, the publishing company can expect to make about $2.80 (give or take, depending on their deals with distributors) for every copy sold. Out of that $2.80 comes the author's royalties (usually about $.56). Out of the remaining $2.24, the publisher has to pay for all that stuff listed above. And then, one hopes, the company turns a decent profit so that The Man (damn the man!) can live a glorious jet-set life of glamour, have a beautiful brownstone on Central Park, and eat at Le Bernardin every night.

Here, have some average costs for a 400 page mass market paperback:
Art: $3,000
Typesetting & Design: $1500
Proofreading: $400
Copyediting: $700
Advertising & promotions: $2000

Just this stuff adds up to $7,600. The publisher has to sell at least 3,393 copies to break even. And that is not counting people costs.

Assistants make anywhere from $20,000 to $30,000 per year. (When I was hired as an editorial assistant in 2001, I got paid $25,000/year.) Full editors make slightly more than that. People in other departments usually make more than editors. (I was embarrassed when I found out that one of the assistants in another department made more than one of the editors in editorial.)

I saw someone on LiveJournal suggest that perhaps people in publishing are paid too much money for the work they do. Really? Think of it like this: the year I made $32,000 was also the year I worked 80 hour weeks every single week and didn't take a vacation. (This is about average for someone trying to hustle in the editorial department of a major publishing company.) That's about 4500 work hours in a year, which means I made $7/hour. Before taxes. After taxes, that comes out to more like $6/hour.

So I'd've made more money working the cash register at a Taco Bell -- in fact, the year after that, I averaged more money per hour working the cash register at a vegan fast food restaurant, and at the restaurant, I got a shift meal.

Personally, I would not pay $15 for an e-book. I also wouldn't pay $9.99 for an e-book -- especially when I could get the paperback for $6.99. I think the whole idea is ridiculous. However, I also think that $7.99 for a paperback is ridiculous.

Truly, I sometimes think paying for anything is pretty awful, and would prefer to live in a world where everyone gets what they need for a happy life -- art included.

However, since we do not live in Zoobilee Zoo, let's at the very least try to be sensical. It is true that not having to pay for paper, printing, and binding can knock anywhere from $2 to $.50 off the cost of making a book -- but:
(1.) paper books still get made and must be paid for; and
(2.) if more people buy e-books, while fewer buy paper books, the cost of making the paper books goes up; and
(3.) even though paper, printing, and binding are a large part of the cost of making books, they are not the only costs, and getting rid of some of those costs doesn't mean that the books don't have to be paid for somehow.

Ultimately, it comes down to this: Is it worth it to you? You are the consumer. Do you think $15 for any particular e-book is worth the money? If not, hie thee to or wherever you pirate your books from. Or, oh, I know! GO TO A STORE OR A LIBRARY. Yeah, that's not practical for some people -- but it is for others. Heck, if you live in a place where you feel e-books are your only option because there are no stores, e-mail your best friend who lives in a metropolitan area, and have that person buy a paper copy and ship it to you. It takes longer than buying an e-book, though, so download a few awesome books from Project Gutenberg to read while you are waiting. Those are DRM free, you know, and available in more formats than just Kindle.

* I was less thrilled that it was copied and pasted in its entirety in several places, but that's only fair, I guess, since sometimes when I want to listen to "How Can We Be Lovers" by Michael Bolton, I will load it on YouTube instead of just buying the MP3 from iTunes. This is just Michael Bolton's karmic revenge -- which, by the way, is probably what I will call my Jem & the Holograms cover band.
alg: (Default)
I was going over the question post earlier, and I realized that a lot of your questions are about specific situations -- my book is unique, my book is 250,000 words but it's really good!, how do I figure out what the genre is of my book if it's a romantic literary mystery with science fiction elements?, if field X is my background, how do I get into publishing? ....

These are really good questions, but they are hard to answer specifically without more detail -- and I've already answered them all in general. I mean, just because you don't like the answer doesn't mean that if you ask the question phrased a bit differently, the answer is going to change. Sure, once we get down to specifics, those specifics are going to be different from the generalities based on lots of different factors -- like the quality of your writing. Who your friends are. Who is going to give you blurbs, where you want to live, what your skills would bring to the publishing industry, how focused you are on writing to make money vs. writing as an art...

So I'm not sure how to answer a lot of them. I'm going to keep thinking. For now, y'all should feel free to start a new question thread in this entry. Specific questions? General questions? Stupid questions? Sure. Stupid questions usually get answered first, then general questions, then situation-specific questions, fyi.

Hm.... So today is a Monday, huh? It's been very Mondayish so far, although [ profile] erratic0101 had his assistant bring me a cup of coffee -- grande soy no foam no whip pumpkin spice latte. Hell yeah! While drinking said coffee, I am entertaining myself by reading the responses over here. Submissions just cannot compare to the stuff over there!

The most important part of this entry: This past weekend I saw the full-length version of D.E.B.S. and. Whoa. Whoa. What else can I say? If you like spies, girls kissing, movies that are funny, and wacky sidekicks, I recommend finding yourself a copy. I think it's my new favorite movie.

Questions answered in the below comments:

- One thing I've not heard mentioned before in the publishing business, until now, is the "where you want to live". Could you explain this in a little more detail?

- If you have a trilogy you are interested in marketing, is it preferable to wait until all 3 books are written, or can you finish the first, and start marketing it while writing the 2nd?

- What's the ideal way to impress a Tor (or similar book publisher) art director?

- The book is unique, and as far as I know I am the only writer to put something together like this...
alg: (Default)
Selling Books with GLBTQ Characters

Why can't you sell your "gay" book into the mainstream? Here are some thoughts on it.
alg: (Default)
What you've all been waiting for!

P&Ls and how books make (or don't) money: part the second: the hardcover to mass market profitable/neutral book

In which I explain how we figure out how much money to pay authors for their advance, and also in which I explain how sometimes books make money and sometimes they don't.

A few quick notes:

1) Please read "P&Ls and how books make (or don't) money: part the first: the mass market original complete failure".

2) These really are all real numbers. Please do not try to pick a fight with me about them. I don't have much influence over the way my company does business. I can't get you a job designing covers. I don't care about how your print on demand vanity press works. This is all just an example of models that I know about (and have experienced).

3) The publishing world is a tough place. This is an article about the business. If that's not what you're here for, move along. Try an entry about fanfic, or poetry, or food.

P&Ls and how books make (or don't) money: part the second: the hardcover to mass market profitable/neutral book )
alg: (Default)
I had a really interesting experience this past weekend. I was at the Silicon Valley Romance Writers' business conference thingie, and I did a 45 minute Q&A. I was asked:

What are the things that make you cringe during a pitch session?

My answer was twofold:

1. When someone sits down and says, "I submitted something to you a few weeks ago and I want to talk about what you thought."

Jeez! There is pretty much no way that I am going to remember your submission, if I have even read it yet, which is, frankly, unlikely. I mean, that is just absurd. Not to mention that even though I personally tend to go through my submissions myself (even if/when I have someone act as "first reader" on some), lots of other editors do not.

As I have said before, more than once, we are not paid to read submissions. Assistants are paid to read an editor's submissions (at least partially, anyway) -- editors are paid to edit. Editors are paid to make their companies money. Okay, yes, it is totally more complicated than that, and I am not being fair or realistic -- but come on. It's neither fair nor realistic to expect (a) that I would have even read your submission yet, or (b) that I'd remember it.

2. When someone sits down and says, "I don't have anything to pitch to you -- I just wanted to meet you."

By doing this, that person is taking time away from someone who could be pitching to me. If you want to meet me, hook up with me at the bar like everyone else. We'll do tequila shots, I'll show you pictures of my cats, and by the end of the night (or drink), you will have one of my business cards, and an invitation to send your work to me if it's the sort of thing I acquire.

And if you don't know what I acquire, Google my name.

(To use an example that isn't me, if you buy Hilary Sares a drink, and she gives you a card, and you're not sure that what you write is what she acquires -- well, Google her name, and you will see that the first link is to a bio where it says plainly what she's acquiring. Hell, the worst that can happen is that she sends you a form reject, right?)

To sum up, in the words of [ profile] jaylake: Don't be an idiot.

The interesting thing that happened to me, though, was this: people who I remembered from the panel, did exactly the above things, even after I'd said not to.

And not one person did tequila shots with me at the bar later, although I did have several delightful conversations over a vodka collins (with cherries and olives, thank you).
alg: (Default)
Today. Today I ate lunch at my favorite Italian restaurant, Novita. I have been going there for years, seriously years already, and I always order the same thing, which is pasta with red sauce and a glass of white wine. I know, I know, sacrilege. Don't tell my Italian grandma. The best part about ordering the same thing every time is that I always get the extra fresh basil on my pasta without having to ask for it, and my white wine is always pinot grigio, and the waiter always smiles extra big at me.

Also, I tip really really well.

Today. Today my author Kassandra Sims told me a bunch of funny stories about staying with her mom in Ohio, and then posted a journal entry in which she said:
I have no great insight into my own "creative process". I MAKE THINGS UP. That's pretty much the whole process right there. I make things up, and sometimes the result is good, and sometimes it's self-indulgent crap. Hopefully those two sides even out.

Today. Today I am wearing all my Slytherin stuff: green eyeshadow, green jewelry. Green beaded bracelets and a green Monet necklace from the Met. If anyone feels like buying me a gift, feel free to hook me up with this totally Slytherin necklace that I desperately want. I also want this watch. I am greedy and I love the Met store.

Oh, and hey! I will answer a question:

[ profile] burger_eater said: During his "Longshot" talk [at Writer's Weekend '05], Jim Butcher said that publishers keep one or two slots open every year specifically for new authors. Aspiring writers don't have to be better than Tim Powers, they just have to be better than all the other unpublished writers out there. He said. I'd never heard that before, so I'm looking for confirmation or refutation. Miss Snark was stumped on this one. Does Tor have spaces in their schedules specifically for new writers?

Read more... )

The second part of [ profile] burger_eater's question was: You said that listing publications on a query was a good idea, unless the publication was from a really small market which would make the writer seem small potatoes. Now, I'm not going to ask you for specifics (unless you want to slam some short fiction markets--in that case, go ahead) but where's the cutoff line for past publications that are more regrettable than commendable? Is it the SFWA criteria for pro markets? Half-penny a word and below? Never published a story that was later chosen for a best-of-the- year anthology?

Read more... )

Remember: the worst that can happen is a form rejection.

If you have a specific question about stuff that I talk about in this entry, feel free to ask it! If you have a question that's unrelated, please go to this entry and ask your question there.
alg: (Default)
What happened earlier with my mail made me think of two things:

(1) We need interns for the fall (Sept. - Dec.) and spring (Jan. - June). People who want to be interns should go look here. You must be receiving school credit in order to intern with us. Yes, it sucks. No, we can't waive that rule for you. Sorry.

(2) All the questions people have about readers. Information about readers. )
alg: (Default)
Profit & Loss/Profitability & Liability: How Books Make (or Don't Make!) Money

A basic outline of what happens when an editor buys a book and wants to publish it. This is very much a basic look at publishing and publishing finance, with some explanation of terms commonly used by the marketing and sales departments.
alg: (Default)
Good morning! I have gotten several pokes from a lot of you, asking where I've been. Do y'all post every day? What is up with this? Anyway, I've been off dealing with real life (particularly sticky lately), plus gearing up to launch the Winter 2007 trade season at Tor, buying a bunch of new books, working until all hours of the evening, all that fun stuff.

Oh, and watching The Evidence. The conceit is boring, but Orlando Jones? In purple pants? He is very very dapper. He is a dapper crime solver! Where is the bad? I have no patience for the pain of Rob Estes's character, but Orlando Jones makes up for it. DAPPER CRIME SOLVER. Those are really the only words I can use.

To keep me fresh in your mind, here is Q&A. Please keep in mind that it is 8 AM and I have no coffee yet.

Q: How does one get started in publishing? (question from [ profile] jadzia325)

A: One gets started in publishing by moving to the city The Company Of Your Dreams is located in, and submitting your resume. If you want to work for Tor, you come to the New York area. If you want to work for a company out of Boston, move to the Boston area. If you want to work for a company out of Los Angeles.... you get the picture?

I guess I'd recommend reading -- I know that Holtzbrinck's HR publishes our open positions there. I think there are a few companies posting to too.

Internships are really helpful, especially because a lot of the time people who think they want to be in the editorial department actually want to be in the marketing department or something (and vice versa), but most places don't only hire interns. You will, of course, have to start at the bottom. That means making around $25,000 - $30,000 per year. That's not a lot of money, and it's very difficult to survive in NYC on that salary, and it only gets harder.

A lot of people who come in to interview for entry-level positions (and sometimes even higher) have very unrealistic expectations. Entry-level is seriously only one step above an intensive internship. You read slush and do filing and write cover copy and chase your assigned editor(s) down to make sure s/he (they) get everything done on time and every once in a while you have to get the coffee, take notes at a meeting, dress up pretty to impress someone -- really! 95% of your time is slush, filing, and data entry.

We don't actually expect people coming in at entry-level to have experience. That is why it's called entry level. I've helped hire a bunch of people for Tor's editorial department, and what we expected from them was a willingness to learn and a commitment to books and enthusiasm.

I don't know how other companies do it and what they look for. When we am hiring people, we almost immediately dismiss the ones who have only ever done things related to "literature" -- we are a commercial fiction house, and we want people who are versed in commercial fiction. We also tend to ask people about what magazines they read. You can tell a lot about a person based on their magazine interests. And we want to know what people do outside of books... I can't remember exactly, but one of the reasons we hired [ profile] claireeddy's assistant was because her resume was so interesting -- cocktail waitressing (she can multi-task!) and professional ballet (she is good under pressure!) and something else.

It was a smart resume and a clever cover letter. She made a good impression on us during the interview process, and she wrote some really good sample cover copy that wasn't perfect but showed a hell of a lot of potential. We said, "YES SEND HER YES!!!"

(That's because Claire and I tend to talk in caps lock.)

Of course, that said, we at Tor tend to hire our interns. [ profile] 2muchexposition and I are prime examples of that. I was Jenna Felice's intern, just as Liz was mine. I can think of at least two other interns right off the top of my head who were also hired, but they were publicity interns, plus the art department has hired their last intern, too. And I have an intern right now who I would love to hire.

That's the best way to show off your skills -- go to a school in NYC and get hired as an intern for the company you'd like to work for, and show them that you're a damn rock star and they'd be fools not to find a place to put you.

Anyone who has gotten a job at a publishing company who would like to share how they did it, please feel free to post your experiences in the comments, and I will link to them up here! More information is good!

ETN: Many people have posted their experiences in the comments:
[ profile] safirasliv talks about Ballantine/Del Rey here;
[ profile] indigosarah talks about academic publishing here;
[ profile] claireeddy talks about the response to writers who want to work in publishing here;
[ profile] zingerella talks about editing textbooks in Toronto here (with bonus info from [ profile] tnh on trade publishing in the comments over there);
[ profile] madrobins talks about her jobs as [ profile] tnh's and Tom Doherty's assistant at Tor, and also about working in comics, here;
[ profile] castiron talks about academic publishing here;
[ profile] gloryhunt talks about being a Tor intern and moving into academic publishing here;
[ profile] barbarienne talks about getting a job in production (as a text-design manager) here;
[ profile] deannahoak talks about her career in publishing here;
[ profile] readwrite talks about his career in publishing here.

I am not going to keep linking -- but people may keep posting, so make sure you scroll down!
alg: (Default)
I think RWA is (generally speaking) a great organization. I think a lot of times it's extremely helpful. I think RWA has done much to help romance become a genre that's taken seriously. I think RWA refuses to be shunted aside by people who say, "Oh, it's just women." I think that is awesome.

However. The number one thing I see from RWA members that makes me cringe is this "Pro" thing. Really. Stop it. I don't care that you have a pro pin. It doesn't actually make you a professional at all. In fact, I sort of mentally groan and roll my eyes and think to myself, "Great, yet another person who has no idea what she's doing."

It's not your fault -- RWA encourages you to think this is important. That's fine. But here's a reality check: it doesn't matter. If you're sending me a proposal, I care about your words a lot, and your publishing history/contacts a little bit, and your RWA status not at all.

(If you don't know what I am talking about, here's a quick definition: RWA offers something called a "Pro pin" to its members who have finished and submitted a manuscript. Since 999 times out of 1,000 (999,999 times out of 1,000,000?) a first-time submission won't get published, you can prove that you are a "pro" by showing them your rejection letter. Seriously. I have run into more than one person who writes and submits a crappy ms. just for a pro pin, and more than one person who thinks that a pro pin means something to editors. It does not. Obviously.)

cut for cats and books. )

Things I have tried and failed at in the last few days: to set up a "real" blog using movable type (that shit is hard!), Trackbacks, PB Wiki ([ profile] scratchyfishie and [ profile] 2muchexposition both have one, but I can't figure out what to use it for!), the Xvid codec, the DivX codec, and to teach myself to compress video files without losing too much quality.

I have, however, suceeded at eating a lot of burritos, listening to a lot of Kane, watching a lot of Supernatural and Criminal Minds and Grey's Anatomy and The Evidence, and planning out what I am going to do with my life, which includes opening a roadside truckstop diner with my friends where we will serve pie.

In conclusion, Christian Kane is hot. There's not much more I can say about that.
alg: (Default)
Today at the dentist, I had a different dentist who was hideous to me, and I went back to the office in tears. Luckily, I work with people like [ profile] pnh and [ profile] tnh and [ profile] claireeddy, and they took excellent care of my emotional and physical state.

I have a long list of things to do, but first I am going to give you some information.

How to do a Castoff -- A step-by-step guide to getting an accurate character count -- and how to estimate how long your manuscript will be as a bound book!

I hope you guys will now relax a little bit about how to do a character count, and also how the length of print books get figured out. No more sitting up nights, rocking back and forth, muttering to yourself and biting your nails because you can't remember how many pages are in a signature or what front matter is! Anna to the rescue!


Mar. 17th, 2006 01:59 pm
alg: (Default)
Genre as a marketing category!
Publishers and editors do not think about genre the same way authors do. Here's an explanation.

... Now I write an ode to spinach:
are green
i wish i had more
of you than
what I ate
(yum yum yum)
at five in the morning,
you are
(my sunshine and)
the perfect delivery method
for salt and
alg: (Default)
Good morning! I have been awake since six am, and wow! It is a beautiful day. I have the windows open, and there is a wonderful cold breeze blowing in. My bedroom window faces Manhattan, which means it faces the water, even though I can't see the water, and I get wonderful breezes -- although when it's freezing outside and the wind chill is, like, negative seventy-million, it's not so much fun.

(All I want this morning is a cup of coffee and a Danish. Wow, how bad do I want a Danish? Pretty badly. Instead I had a crescent roll. Not quite as good, but what's a girl to do?)

I want to thank again everyone who provided me with links and stories on Monday -- that was awfully nice of you guys and I really appreciate it! I am well on my way to recovering (especially now that my dentist has called in a new prescription for me, and I have much stronger painkillers, phew).

Now that I can focus for longer than 500 words, I am ready to write more about demystifying publishing.

I am really glad that these entries are helping y'all. And I am flattered that so many people are reading them -- I know I tend to be pedantic and long-winded, so it's amazing to me that you guys can get through these entries. *g*

I do want to remind you that these answers are by no means universal. Remember the first rule: Don't be an idiot.

Publishing is Hard!

Writing is an art, but publishing is a business -- and here are a few basic suggestions on how to navigate that business. Complete with explanations of various departments within a publishing company, and how they all work together to make your book. And, of course, my witty and charming commentary!

Thanks for reading; I hope this has helped at least some of you!


alg: (Default)
anna genoese

November 2015

15 161718192021


RSS Atom

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags