Publishing · writing

Musings and Advice from YA Author Meg Cabot

“Don’t tell people you want to be a writer. Everyone will try to talk you out of choosing a job with so little security, so it is better just to keep it to yourself, and prove them all wrong later.” – Meg Cabot

Successful authors are often very generous about sharing information – who can forget the interview between Stephen King and George R.R. Martin – and that includes sharing what they know about the writing process and publishing industry.

Meg Cabot.jpg

I was recently wasting far too much time on the internet as so many of us do and stumbled across Meg Cabot’s excellent frequently asked questions list. Meg Cabot is a New York Times best selling author of both young adult and adult fiction, and you most likely have heard of her The Princess Diaries series that was made into a set of movies featuring Anne Hathaway. I may be counting her publications wrong, but according to this list, Cabot has published over 80 novels since 1998, which is an absolutely extraordinary number. (I do hope that she had writing partners for some of those books, otherwise I am completely bowled over by her level of productivity.)

As you might guess, Cabot has some insight into writing and the publishing industry. Her FAQ covers information such as finding and agent, getting a book published, the process of writing, and more general advice. If you have a spare moment or if you are still avoiding work after the weekend, I suggest that you read through it.

I also want to offer a sneak peek recommendation from Cabot. If you are a reader or writer who is interested in figuring out who is who in the editing and agent world, there is great book available with that information. It is Jeff Herman’s Guide to Book Publishers, Editors & Literary Agents. Herman has been compiling some version of this book for a while now – it is currently on its 24th edition – so he knows the industry very well. If you need a tool, take a peek at this book.

If you know of any other good guides to the publishing industry or know how Cabot became such a prolific writer (Did she sell her soul to the devil? That never ends well.), please share. I’d love to hear about it!

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Image Attribution: Meg Cabot, 11/27/2916,


17 thoughts on “Musings and Advice from YA Author Meg Cabot

  1. I absolutely love her advice simply because it’s true! As soon as you say, writer, others seem obligated to steer you away from your dream.

    I’m also in awe of Meg Cabot’s productivity. 80 books! Yikes! That’s amazing.


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on Wind Eggs and commented:
    Sadly, the publishing industry is still run by male executives. I’ve spoken to a number of female agents and even editors, but their selections are still based on what they perceive the industry to want, and the industry still prefers male-driven narratives and the metaphors that accompany them.

    I find this ironic since industry figures show the number of female readers outweighs the number of men. However, given the recent experience of a certain female Presidential candidate, not to mention interviews with women voters who thought a woman should never be President, I suspect even female readership is conditioned by the choices of the masculine editing and marketing empire.

    I worked as fundraising organizer for a well-known grassroots social justice group in the eighties and would have laughed at this analysis as “feminist sour grapes” until I worked for the office in Austin where two women served as the head organizers. The men who worked under them openly went out of their way to humiliate the women and undermine their authority. Only when I witnessed this did I realize how difficult it is for women in any profession to gain the respect of the old-boy network, including a progressive old-boy network that claims to be sensitive to “women’s issues.”

    Kristen Twardowski shares Catherine Nichols’ experiment with author agents’ gender perceptions

    Liked by 1 person

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