Natural Born Teachers

I've been a published author since 2002 and you could put what I know about the publishing industry in a thimble. The process varies from house to house, editor to editor. My experiences with Medallion Press differ greatly than those with ImaJinn Books. Everything--from contracts to the editing process to cover spec sheets--is more complicated. Not in a bad way. Things are just more involved. Wider distribution. Aggressive advertising. Foreign Sales. A company presence at nationwide tradeshows and conferences. Various aspects trickle down to the author and much of it is still Greek to me.

Currently, I'm embarking on a new adventure. I recently signed with HQN (Harlequin). I'm in the beginning phase of editing. I turned in my first contracted book, now I'm waiting for revisions while writing the synopsis for the next book. I understand from my agent that they'll be contacting me soon about input for the cover. I seem to remember from another Harlequin author's blog that their cover spec sheets are quite extensive. The editing process works differently than what I'm used to as well. So basically I feel like this floundering newbie, someone who doesn't understand how anything works.

Luckily, I have a very nice editor who assured me she'll walk me through everything--no worries. Also, there are authors out there with a wealth of knowledge and impressive understanding of the industry who are willing to share information and experiences. I have always been impressed with the generosity of writers. In addition to being creative souls, many writers are natural born teachers. All you have to do is browse blogosphere. They're not hard to find.

My two hot picks for dynamo authors who offer constant and valuable information on craft and business. . . PBW and J.A Konrath. Where do you go to learn about publishing?

*Addendum: Just visited Jordan Summers and she led me here. Holy wow. Wanna know how it works in publishing. Check out that link. Thanks, Jordan!


Mary Stella said…
Since the first NJRW meeting I attended in 1994, I've been impressed, delighted and grateful at the generous sharing of knowledge from other authors and writers. I've learned so much from my fellow RWA members over the years -- all of which prepared me to be smarter and more savvy about the business, while also helping me develop and grow as a writer.
Beth Ciotta said…
Mary, you're so right about RWA and the local chapters. This is where the bulk of my learning happened up to this past year. Unfortunately, my current work situation prevents me from attending NJRWs meeting and workshops. I'm thankful that blogosphere offers the opportunity to continue to connect with and learn from fellow writers.
Bethany said…
As much as you say you DON'T know, you *do* know some information that I do not. So, yes, I turn to you for some info.

As well as the rest of the blogsphere. My agent (it still sounds weird saying that), definitely other writers, and well, anything I can get my hands to learn more about the industry.

But as with my corporate gig--you never learn more than being immersed in the world of that which you want to learn. AND ask a lot of questions. You are doing both... you are on the right track.
Charlene Teglia said…
Ooo, love the new digs! Congrats on your new blog home.

I've been devouring PBW's series on the publishing 10, so much good stuff in there.
Beth Ciotta said…
Actually, you're right Bethany. I do have some info, just not near as in depth as the series PBW is offering right now. If you haven't read it yet... run, don't walk to her site.

You wrote: "But as with my corporate gig--you never learn more than being immersed in the world of that which you want to learn." I love that. So true.
Beth Ciotta said…
Charlene, wonderful to see you as always. I've been reading PBW's series on the biz too. Great stuff!
Roni said…
Beth, NJRW and RWA are invaluable sources. You might also think about joinging PASIC (RWA's Published Author Special Interest Chapter). They have SO MUCH info on things like bookcover fact sheets, etc.--things that published authors need very specific info on. It's a chapter made up of only published RWA authors, and they are very helpful.
Stacie said…
Thanks for the link! I've been learning everythng I can about the business and writing sides of the book world lately...
Writing is...difficult. I think I might be stuck; but I just have to try a few different follow-ups to see which fits best. I also have to come up with a problem for my characters to face!

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