Publishing

How Books Get Reviews in the New York Times

Readers and writers really like to talk about the importance of book reviews, but many of these discussions revolve around Amazon and Goodreads. In places like that, reviews are fairly democratic; anyone, assuming they meet a few basic criteria, can write about a book. But how do reviews end up in more discriminating locations? How does a… Continue reading How Books Get Reviews in the New York Times

Publishing · resources

How Writers Get Paid: A Beginner’s Guide to Book Royalties

Congratulations! You have signed with a publisher that wants to bring your book to the market. But how will you get paid for book sales? What royalties are considered normal? I suppose I should backtrack. First of all, how do traditional publishers pay authors, and what exactly are royalties? Publishers typically pay authors in several ways:… Continue reading How Writers Get Paid: A Beginner’s Guide to Book Royalties

Publishing

Sifting through the Slush Pile: What Happens after You Query a Publisher

  Once upon a time, I worked for the editorial office of a small publisher. The most fascinating, heart-breaking, and frustrating part of my day was when I had to read through manuscripts in the slush pile. As many people know, the slush pile is what publishers call their collections of unsolicited query letters and… Continue reading Sifting through the Slush Pile: What Happens after You Query a Publisher

books

When Book Covers Get Characters Wrong

Book cover design is often grand, but sometimes publishers don’t get it quite right. Take for example the case of Nnedi Okorafor. Nnedi Okorafor is an extraordinary science fiction writer, and she has the Nebula Award to prove it. Before she was quite so lauded, however, she had a strange and terrible interaction with her… Continue reading When Book Covers Get Characters Wrong

writing

5 Tips to Ensure Your Editor Doesn’t Hate You

Some time after receiving the first round of edits, a writer may wonder whether or not her editor hates her. Surely, the theory goes, if her editor liked her, the suggested changes wouldn’t be so terrible. The good news is that receiving extensive edits from an editor does not mean that an editor hates a… Continue reading 5 Tips to Ensure Your Editor Doesn’t Hate You

Publishing · writing

Finding an Agent: When Gender Matters for a Writer

In a perfect world, agents and publishing houses would judge authors based solely on syntax, characterization, plot, and other aspects of writing. But our world is far from a perfect one, and an author’s race, gender, and sexuality can still play a role in who is published. In particular, some of the recent discussions about gender… Continue reading Finding an Agent: When Gender Matters for a Writer

books · libraries · Publishing

Depriving Youth and Defending YA Literature

In spite of its seemingly benign nature, young adult literature has received tumultuous responses. Back in August, education consultant Joe Nutt published an article for teachers and educational professionals called “Why Young-Adult Fiction Is a Dangerous Fantasy.” The article reflects the not uncommon belief that YA has directly harmed young people and that these books have “prevented… Continue reading Depriving Youth and Defending YA Literature