Have you ever committed to a regular writing practice, perhaps pulled together an essay or the first few chapters of a novel that felt pretty polished, but then wondered, “How on earth do I get this thing published?”
When I do school author visits or teach writing seminars, questions about the logistics of publishing routinely come up, and for good reason. Commercial publication requires not just honing your craft as a writer but often writing query letters, connecting with agents or editors, and more often than not getting very comfortable with rejection. Over the next two weeks, I’ll be posting about my experience with commercial publication in two distinct genres–essays/articles, and novels–and I’ll offer advice for each.
But in the meantime, I want to put in a plug for a fabulous podcast about the process of publishing. In Launch, John August describes his experience from start to finish of proposing, selling, writing and publishing a middle-grade novel. Along the way he provides answers to important questions about all sorts of topics: Will I need an agent? How do I find one? Can I get a contract without a full manuscript?
Because questions about the logistics of publishing have little to do with the creative process of writing, their answers can sometimes feel a bit boring: “Well, there’s this website called Publishers Marketplace, and what you do is….”And yet August manages to provide all of the answers I’ve ever heard about publishing and then some, and somehow to tell a story that is not only informative, but really fun to listen to. I binged on this podcast when I discovered it a couple of month ago!
If novels aren’t the genre you’re looking to publish or if you’d prefer a Cliffs Notes version of Launch, check back here over the next two weeks. I’ll be sharing posts packed with logistical details about publishing based on my own experience–first with articles and essays, and the following week with novels. In the meantime, download the first episode of Launch.