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. In a couple of weeks, I’ll write about my experience with commercially publishing essays and articles.
But if your interest is in publishing books I want to put in a plug for a fabulous podcast called Launch. Host 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 fiction while still making his story fun to listen to. I binged on this podcast when I discovered it a couple of months ago!
Check back here in a couple of weeks for a post about my experience publishing articles and essays and the logistical lessons I’ve learned. In the meantime, download the first episode of Launch.