What steps did you take to get into publishing, when it comes to marketing and publicity?
So I know folks who want to work in publishing know that getting in will be a long road ahead. This is true as getting into publishing (and almost every other industry) is about who you know before it's about what you know. But then, you hear about those whose transition into publishing wasn't nearly as slow and arduous as others. My journey is a lot like this.
Truthfully, I received my advance reading copy of A Phoenix First Must Burn a few weeks ago, but y'know... life happens.
On Thursday, August 1, 2019, I had the honor of delivering my first ever lecture at Denver Publishing Institute. Now, I've done plenty of public speaking engagements before like book buzzes, panel discussions, and webinars, but this time I had the opportunity to speak in front of this year's class of almost 100 students at the University of Denver. There's something invigorating about talking to the students at this institute who were all eager, energetic, and so willing to learn as much as they could about the business. While I was there, I talked to students about their hopes, their fears, what they expect, and what they were surprised to hear about the world of publishing.
Honestly, this lecture reminded me of why I wanted to work in publishing in the first place. And I'm honored I was invited to speak, because I learned so much from what the students also had to say.
It's been a loooong time since I've posted anything on here, but I can finally share some great book news...
I'm proud to announce that I'm one of the contributors to the YA speculative fiction anthology A Phoenix First Must Burn edited by Patrice Caldwell! Forthcoming in Spring 2020, this title features an array of talented contributors including Elizabeth Acevedo, Amerie, Dhonielle Clayton, Somaiya Daud, Charlotte Davis, Alaya Dawn Johnson, Justina Ireland, Danny Lore, L.L. McKinney, Danielle Paige, Rebecca Roanhorse, Karen Strong, Ashley Woodfolk, and Ibi Zoboi. A Phoenix First Must Burn will be published by Viking imprint at Penguin Random House.
Summertime is the perfect season for reading and since I’ve accumulated quite a few ARCs from BEA and ALA, it’s the perfect time to give them away! See below for the summer giveaway schedule. Click the button below to enter for a chance to win an ARC. All giveaways are US only.
Can you give guidelines on what constitutes MG versus YA? Do publishers look at work and think "older MG" and "younger YA" , which seems to be happening in writing now and should we mention that in a query? And is it true that a 13 year old MC is a confusing age to categorize? Thanks!!!
I wouldn’t say that a book with a 13-year-old main character is confusing to categorize. A 13-year-old MC is too young for young adult and would more likely be categorized as middle grade.
Does it help when submitting to either an agent or a publisher to have your own marketing plan? Especially for a niche market or subject specific book? And at what point do you mention this plan? In the query. After an agent has already shown interest?
For nonfiction, a marketing plan is necessary to submit to an agent or publisher. But for fiction, it isn’t necessary. Now it’s great to have a marketing plan ready. And it’s pretty ambitious to even have one! I wouldn’t, however, submit it with your query letter.
I'd be interested in seeing an example or case studies of what the author's responsibilities are for marketing after a book is published. Will the publisher set up local radio interviews and the author has to show up? Or provide the author with certain tasks that the author has to follow through with?
Well, I’m not sure about any case studies, but I can tell you that your publisher will (or at least should) be publicizing your book months before it’s even released.
In this age of so many social media platforms, can you just pick one that you're on and ignore the rest? How important is it to "be everywhere"?
With the amount of social media channels out there, it seems impossible to be on all of them AND spare time to, you know, write. It may seem like you HAVE to be on every single social media channel in existence, but let’s be honest, no one has time for that.
I have a number of manuscripts that I am polishing, ready in the wings for when I am asked for more work. I hope to submit to agents this month. How much of an online presence should a writer have in the beginning? Is it expected (by agents or authors) to have an "author" web site at this pre-published stage? Or a strong social media established? I spend ALL my time writing, revising, or researching/reading books on craft I haven't made time for this. I also have a blog idea, that's still an idea at this point. I'm on FB and started twitter (for the writing world only) in Feb. Thanks!
If you are writing fiction, it is not required for you to have an online presence to land an agent or publishing contract. If you’re writing nonfiction, having a platform is a requirement and would be included in your proposal to an agent or publisher.
For the sake of this post, I’ll assume you’re writing fiction.
Author | Reader | Publishing Professional | Afro Enthusiast
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