We writers are a funny lot. So guarded of our time, we tend to fall into two camps–those who understand and make use of our understanding of the publishing process and those who don’t possess that knowledge and are therefore fall victim to the industry.
I didn’t learn about the publishing industry by taking courses. I worked in publishing from the time I moved to NYC. Since then, my interest in this business has been one of constant fascination. On the one hand, I love to understand systems and how they work. On the other hand, I will read almost anything connected to this business because it fascinates me.
Thus, I find writers’ attitudes to the book publishing world both amusing and frustrating. Talking to writers can go in one of two directions, depending on how much they have studied the business that will give life to their ideas.
The more astute you are about how this business works, the more at peace, I believe, you can be about being a writer. But where to start? I can safely assume, you won’t put down your work to race out to find a publishing job. For one reason, they are in short supply these days. For another, why would you need to do that now?
I began to wonder what I would do if I were a writer now who had not had my experiences? Who would I turn to? How would I even begin to phrase the questions I should be asking?
As a writer, my main questions tend to be how, why, when, why again and then what can I do with that set of answers? This is how I set out to write a story. The story of publishing is a long one and you certainly don’t need to know its entire history in order to understand what is happening today. Though, as we all know, the backstory is vital to the understanding of most action.
Over the next few months, or as long as it takes, I intend to provide through this blog, the answers to those questions about how, why, when, why again and then what. It makes a world of difference to see the forces at work today, where they came from and how they are influencing the trajectory the publishing business is on today.
For example: Why is the book cover for my book so important even if I am only publishing an e-book?
What is an ISBN and who owns it?
What does an editor really do?
Why is social media being relied on so heavily today and why must I have a Twitter account to even be considered by a major publisher?
These questions, and many more, are relevant to your struggle to get your work acknowledged in this new publishing world. I shall begin discussions of these and other topics in the coming weeks. I hope you will end up falling in love with publishing as much as I love it.
For all kinds of information about me and what else I do besides this blog, you can find me here: www.facebook.com/sullivanstpress
And you can buy my books here: