Category Archives Publishing

This week I had lunch with an agent friend who expressed her frustration that the best manuscripts she’s representing simply aren’t selling to traditional publishers. It’s a storyline so familiar to me that I used it as the plot for my book trailer for Green-Light Your Book, in which an animated author gets rejected over and over again for her…

When I got into book publishing I was an inexperienced 23-year-old whose previous work experience was waitressing and a couple of cherry college internships that had nothing to do with publishing. I worked my way up the ranks, learning publishing and how to edit books. I’ve made plenty of mistakes along the way—the kind that sting but make you better…

Because I host regular free webinars about memoir writing, I’m in contact most months with hundreds of memoir writers. And even though the topics I teach typically have nothing to do with libel or slander or misrepresentation, people’s questions always go there. Most writers are afraid of what will happen to them if they write their memoir. The consequences of…

I get an inordinate number of questions about what the industry fondly calls “blurbs,” and here I attempt to cover them all with a detailed list of how authors can approach soliciting and choosing, and everything in between. In today’s book marketplace, blurbs still matter to publishers and the industry at large, in part because they’re a bit of a…

Last week a longtime coaching client of mine pulled the plug on her copyedit-in-progress. She wanted a full stop, she said, because she found another editorial company online that could do the edit for $500. We were charging $1800 for the same service. When I emailed my copyeditor, her response was swift: “You can’t save ‘em all.” This editor knows…

Hybrid concepts are all the rage in book publishing. As the publisher of what I call a hybrid press, I see it everywhere. There are hybrid authors (authors who publish traditionally and nontraditionally); hybrid publishing arrangements (where publishers and authors split costs and royalties in ways that work outside the traditional paradigm); and hybrid books (which cross or blend genres).…

This month I’m a new author all over again with the publication of Green-Light Your Book: How Writers Can Succeed in the New Era of Publishing. I wrote this book to answer the many good questions authors lob my way every day. One of the most consistent pieces of feedback I’m getting is that the book brings an entrepreneurial spirit…

Earlier this month I moderated a panel at the Bay Area Book Festival called “The Future of Book Publishing.” We had an esteemed group of panelists from all areas of the industry, with Jack Jensen, publisher of Chronicle Books as the traditional figurehead, and Mark Coker of Smashwords representing the self-publishing contingent. A question surfaced from the audience: Do some…

As a former gatekeeper, I’m fascinated by the gatekeeper divide in book publishing, where the role gets falsely propped up by supporters of traditional publishing and completely dismissed by those who favor the indie space. In a January 2015 article on Slate, former Random House editor Daniel Menaker wrote about gatekeepers (defined as editors at major houses): In my judgment,…

I had the great honor of keynoting the Story Circle Network Conference in Austin earlier this month, which gave me a unique opportunity to speak about book publishing in front of a women-only audience. It’s not that I’ve shied away in the past from speaking the truth about the gender bias that runs deep through the publishing industry, but there’s…

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