Over on LinkedIn, Lou Adler posted an article about getting the right people in the right kind of job. Based on his history of creating job descriptions for employers, he developed a model that states “there are only four different jobs in the whole world.”
What he means by this is that there are four types of jobs: Continue reading
Since the earliest days of mechanized publishing, when Herr Gutenberg was putting ink to paper in what for the time was a staggering pace, there have been printers and publishers and, as noted earlier, these were usually two different people. The publisher paid the printer to produce the book, and the publisher made his money on sales of the book. If the author was lucky, he got a cut, too, but for a long time, especially in the states, this was iffy. No one likes to admit it these days, but a big portion of the profits of publishers in the 19th century came from bootleg copies of books by British authors like Charles Dickens. Continue reading
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A common piece of rhetorical advice is usually phrased this way: “Tell them what you’re going to tell them, then tell them, then tell them what you told them.”
This advice, which some attribute to Aristotle, is great if you’re giving a three-hour speech in the agora. If you’re writing an e-book, magazine article, or blog post…no. Continue reading
The publishing business seems really complicated, and I’ve been trying to sort it out to make it simpler for those new to the business to understand. I’ll be teaching a class called “Publishing 101″ at the Florida Youth Writers Conference this fall, so I really needed to figure this thing out. But what with The Big Six Five and Create Space and Lighting Source and new subsidy models cropping up all the time, it seemed like the water kept getting muddier.
But it’s actually very simple. Continue reading
Many people say the new publishing landscape makes agents irrelevant. I’m not sure that’s entirely true, but it certainly seems that, except for those able to represent the biggest best writers to the biggest best publishers, agents have a hard time justifying their role. Agents often won’t take on new and unknown writers, because the big publishers only want big-name authors with big platforms. Publishing is a gamble, and they are trying to reduce their risk.
The best agents provide more than contract negotiations. They provide coaching and administrative support—what some call literary management. That’s one way some agents are answering the charge of irrelevance. Another way is by going into publishing. Continue reading
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Publishers usually put the emphasis on the frontlist. And you often hear authors speak of their backlist. Occasionally you’ll hear a reference to “midlist authors.”
The front pages of a publisher’s printed catalog contain listings of their new books, especially the ones by proven, best-selling authors. When people speak of the marketing support offered by publishers, this is what they’re talking about. The frontlist advertises books in a big way to the people able to buy them in large quantities. Continue reading
The other day, we looked at three of the factors that go into choosing your publishing model: Money, Skill, and Control. Today we’ll finish up.
Royalty publishing takes a looooooong time. It can take up to 18 months to get a book through the production process. At major houses, once you have a contract, you’ll usually get through the process within that time frame, sometimes faster. At small presses, timeframes vary widely. Because they are nimble, small presses can often get a book produced faster than a behemoth publisher where every decision has to go through three committees. But small presses are more subject to sudden workflow interruptions like funding shortfalls or a key player falling ill with no one to pick up their role.
But the biggest obstacle, timewise, is the length of time it takes to get the contract. Continue reading
I’ve spent a lot of time talking about the different models for publishing—royalty, subsidy, and do it yourself—and you’ve probably noticed I haven’t come out and said which is best.
That’s because none of them are perfect for everyone.
There are four main factors to consider when choosing which model to use. Today we’ll look at the first three, and Thursday we’ll finish up. Continue reading
Many opponents of subsidy publishing criticize it and even some forms of self-publishing because they violate Yog’s Law: Money flows toward the writer.
Who is Yog, and how did he become a lawgiver? Continue reading
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Q: I’m told having a book will help me build my social media platform. Can you explain how that works?
A: It’s not so much that the book helps build the platform. Actually, you need the platform to sell the book. But the book can be one plank in your platform. Even that isn’t an entirely accurate way of putting it. All the pieces of the platform puzzle work together, but they can also function independently of one another. It’s more like flowers in a vase. Together, they create an attractive image, but each also stands alone. You can think of them as tools in a box, if the flower metaphor is too girly for you. Continue reading