Sunday, November 13, 2011

New authors: How to break into publishing

A talentened friend of mine is wrapping up his phd in religious history. His dissertation has promise as a mainstream book, but he knows nothing about the publishing industry. He emailed asking for advice on how to get started (eg, how to approach editors.)

I started by telling him you don't approach editors: you start with an agent. Pretty soon I'd filled a page or two laying out the basics of breaking into this biz, and figured it could help some of you. (I get asked this a lot.)

The email felt like a good draft of a post I've been meaning to put together for a couple years now. But as you might have noticed, I've tried to keep myself from the blog the past year to focus on my next project.

So rather than let this languish in draft form indefinitely, helping no one, I'm just going to post it here as sent, complete with uncaps, fragments and gramatical mistakes. (Minus a few personal details). I think you'll get the gist.

Fiction authors: your process is very similar, except you have to write the whole novel and have that ready to send instead of the book proposal.

I hope this helps some of you writers trying to break in. To find it later, I'll add it to my Advice to Writers page.

The email:

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Survey Says Library Users Are My Best Customers

Finally, a study about libraries illustrating what most of us authors have learned from our readers. The PublishersWeekly piece:

Survey Says Library Users Are Your Best Customers             
Groundbreaking new study shows value of libraries to the book—and the e-book—business

This is wonderful to see documented--though I'm curious to read the full study, because frankly, this piece presented a lot of wonderful conclusions with almost no data to back it up. Hopefully the data is there in the full piece.

I have seen incredible evidence of the power of libraries since Columbine came out in 2009. I hear from