Writing/Publishing Resources

Pathways to Publication Blog Series (or How to Publish a Book 101)

After detailing my first feeble attempt at publishing a book, I started interviewing other writers and illustrators about their SUCCESSFUL pathways to publication--from self-published to traditional, debut writers to a writer who's published 130 books, and everything in between. I learned a lot: 
  • Marcia Thornton Jones, author/co-author of 130 books for children, on the phenomenal growth and change in the children's book publishing industry over the past twenty five years.
  • YA novelist Patty Blount on the importance of research and rewrites
  • YA writer Leigh Ann Kopans on the pros and cons of self-publishing
  • YA author Jennifer Salvato Doktorski on finding an agent and joining a professional organization
  • Children's author Shannon Hitchcock on finding success with a new publishing model
  • Children's writer Donna Koppelman on working for hire
  • Kim Edwards, author of the New York Times Best Sellers The Memory Keeper's Daughter and The Lake of Dreams, on working with agents and editors  
  • YA novelist Jennifer R. Hubbardon doing research and working with an agent 
  • Alessandra Thomas, New Adult fiction writer, on finding a niche in the self-publishing world
  • YA author Holly Schindler on how a long road to publication can be a blessing in disguise 
  • Tween-novelist Janet McLaughlin on finding success with a start-up company
  • Author Steve Flairty on working with a regional press to launch an inspirational book series
  • YA writer Joy Preble on agents and book deals and why she believes we will always have books
  • Artist Nikki Boetger on what the publication process looks like from an illustrator's point of view
  • Writer, teacher, and editor Kim Griswell on the importance of making connections in the children's book publishing world 
  • Children's author Bill Thomas on finding a niche in the education market

Some Random Thoughts on Writing--things I learned along the way. And things I wish I knew when I was first starting out a gabillion years ago:

On Finding a Mentor; and a critique partner; being a mentor; on not going it alone
Importance of writing community (IE: don't be Emily Dickinson); going to conferences, and retreats
Procrastination, Tips for dealing with Procrastination 
Writer's Block and Toying with QuittingHow to Break through it
Tackling Resistance
Writing after Success and other distractions
Persistence and Motivation; and Climbing Mount Everest (really)
Balancing writing and life and more balancing; and balancing whilst cleaning up after raccoons in the chimney; Balancing/cleaning your house; balancing by watching crappy TV; balancing and (not) cleaning; Taking a vacation now and then
Importance of Reading; and Reading and Reading and Reading and Reading and READING
Keeping a Journal
Blogging and Blogging and how blogging saved my life
Going into the magical writing zone (and dangers thereof. Warning: this involves injury!)
Getting Ideas; Ideas as dinosaur bones
On Being a Pantser (writing without an outline): Trying NaNoWriMo; NaNo and revising
How to tell a story
Plot and driving questions
Importance of Setting in a story
Revision; more on Revision; And more; and everything else I know about revision plus cats and spaceships
On the writing process: Beginning a book; the Mushy middle of a book; Finishing a book on REALLY and TRULY finishing a book
Learning to accept criticism
On facing down FEAR and going ALL IN

And Random Thoughts on Publishing (or rather, NOT Publishing)

Dealing with Rejections; More on rejections; Being grateful for rejections; being REALLY grateful for rejections
Making peace with not publishing; And still making peace; Making peace/existential crisis (with help from Camus and Sara Zarr)
On possibly remaining forever on the verge; On the endless verginesss of the verge; the verge is a black hole
Pursuing a dream--by admitting what it is; and by working toward it; and by dealing with the waiting; and WAITING
Turning Points; and More Turning Points
Losing an agent
Fun times writing queries
Playing the Book Deal Game
Earning money (or, who are we kidding? NOT earning money)
A dream coming true and Part Two
Nuts and bolts after signing the contract
After the Book Deal
Promotion and creating a Brand; self-promotion; and social media
Taking an author pic
Working with an editor
Writing acknowledgments
Creating an address book
School and Library visits
Drumming up author endorsements
Dancing around smelling your book
Dealing with "meh" reviews (hint: don't read them!)
The difference between being published and NOT being published