How Publishing Works – Workshop

Many fiction writers in my workshops often ask me how they can get published. This is how the conversation usually goes:

Writer: “How do I get a publisher/agent?”

Me: “Tell me about your completed stories.”

Writer: “Well, I haven’t finished yet.”

Me: “Your question is premature. Finish your story first. Then ask me that question. Then write more stories.”

For writers, the publishing industry seems like an impenetrable mystery. I’ve watched writers get an agent and a publisher and still be confounded as to how the publishing industry works. It seems that unless you are an agent, and editor, or an employee at a publishing house, that industry remains a giant question mark in writers’ minds. Yet, this is the industry writers aspire to break into, so it makes sense that we should have some sort of overview on how the industry works. Thankfully, our digital world offers much in the way of understanding what agents look for, what editors know, and how publishers select books through some highly-informative blogs. So yes, you can spend weeks catching up on agent and editor blogs, or you can ask an expert yourself.

This is why when we met Philippa Donovan, a former editor for Random House who struck out on her own here in Los Angeles, we quickly snagged her to offer a workshop on demystifying the publishing process and industry.

As you may know, our workshops are very hands-on. You write. You brainstorm. You get personal attention. Our workshops are never about two-hour lectures. Instead you are writing or creating or getting intimate access to someone who knows how to do what you are trying to do.

The same is true with our How Publishing Works workshop this Saturday. Get the inside scoop on how the publishing industry works from someone who knows. Get access to her to ask those questions you’ve always wondered about. You’ll also learn:

  • How to identify your readership
  • How to research and approach literary agents
  • How to formulate a query letter
  • Best practice for writing arresting and pithy synopses
  • How to make your sample chapters stand out, and ensure agents request the complete ms
  • What to expect from the publishing process: advances, royalties, lead times, cover design, marketing and publicity.

This workshop is not currently scheduled.

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