As with most endeavors, in publishing there is a fair amount you can learn from books, pick up online, or just by trial and error experimentation. On the other hand, there’s nothing quite like face-to-face interaction to make those connections and learn things with an immediacy that you just can’t otherwise get. Such was the case last week at the day job when one of the freelance editors we use came to the end-of-semester intern luncheon and happened to mention that he was going to Austin for Armadillcon 31 that next weekend, August 14-16.
Archive for August, 2009
Lately I’ve been reading different manuscript submissions and it’s taking me back to the days of grading college freshman composition essays. (Well, okay, that’s a bit of an overstatement. Thankfully, nobody is writing anything along the lines of “Three Reasons Beowulf is an Epic Hero.”) When I was in grad school I used to volunteer to read submissions from the slush pile at the literary journal the English department put out and it was amazing how many of the problems that showed up in comp classes showed up in those submission as well. So, here are some things to keep in mind . . . especially if you want the person reading your manuscript to invest an inordinate amount of time and money to publish it.
As I always say, there is much that is fun and cool about book publishing. In the big picture, whether it’s authors or booksellers or editors or book designers or whoever else, you’ll usually find yourself talking about books with people who love books. But, when it comes down to the day-to-day operations, there are a lot of specific ongoing tasks—both large and small in a variety of areas—that have to be taken care of on an ongoing basis. From business financials to marketing plans to author contracts and freelancer agreements to compliance requirements, you have to cross a lot of t’s and dot a lot of i’s to produce a good looking book that has a chance to sell.