“The shortest distance between truth and a human being is a story.” ~Anthony de Mello
Last week we talked about indie publishing, so this week let's look at the traditional route. Traditional publishing is a team sport. In addition to you as the writer, there will be a literary agent/lawyer, editors, and sales/marketing folks, all working collaboratively to get your book out to the market.
If you're a Creative Academy Member, Eileen's Happy Hours give you a chance to get your publishing questions answered. And if you're working on a query letter, don't forget we offer members a free query letter review in our Red Pencil Sessions.
Here's a look at some resources we found for you.
As we all know, lots has changed in the publishing industry in the last couple of years. But one thing stays consistent and that is the process of becoming a traditionally published author (with a few exceptions to the rule, of course. Hugh Howey, we're looking at you!). Publishing 101: What you Need to Know by Writer's Digest may be an oldie, but it's still a solid overview of the path to traditional publication.
Sure, lots of traditionally published authors go straight to small imprints without an agent, but if you've set your sights on one of the Big 5 publishers (Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin RandomHouse, and Simon & Schuster), you will need an agent. Tomi Adeyemi shares her experience and thoughts of working with an agent in What It's Like to Work With An Agent.
And, a debate we hear around the Creative Academy hallways with some regularity is whether it actually makes better business sense to self-publish since traditional publishers seem to have less and less time and fewer and fewer resources to market and promote the books they publish. "If you have to do the work yourself, why not keep a bigger share of the royalties?" goes the conversation. But there are things authors can do to help their publisher do a great job for their book and in Working With Your Publisher (to Promote Your Book), author Nicola Morgan provides lots of great advice.
~ New this week ~
New on our YouTube channel
Wow. Crystal had a great conversation with international, bestselling author Jonas Saul that touches on all kinds ways to connect with readers and has a focus on BookBub as a tool. Have a watch/listen on our YouTube channel!
And while you're there, please subscribe! Once we hit a magic number we can rename our channel something a little more engaging (and memorable) than UCO34JXc5z0Tc0UjvffwUxBA. 🤨 Plus — you'll never miss a great conversation with the authors and publishing industry pros we're lining up to chat with!
~ For Creative Academy Members ~
New in our Members' Only community
Exciting news for our night owls!
The Creative Academy has a new partnership with a big public library in Greater Vancouver (the Richmond Public Library, for folks who know this region). They loved our writing sprint idea so much that they will be joining us in our maybe-not-so-little-anymore Sprint Room starting on Monday, January 21 from 7:00 to 9:00 PM Pacific.
And, one of our own night owl writers waved her flag and volunteered to kick-off sprint nights on Tuesdays, Wednesday, and Thursdays from 8:00 to 9:00 PM Pacific, starting right now! Hugs and high-fives to Sharron B!
Habit tracking tutorial and downloadable spreadsheet
Back in December, Crystal created a habit-tracking spreadsheet for herself to see if it would help her hit her writing and well-being targets with more consistency. Short answer: Yup! So she's shared her spreadsheet and a little video with us. Whether you're growing a traditional or indie publishing career, her 8-minute, Build Better Habits call-to-action is time well-spent!
Office hours, writing sprints and special topic gatherings
This past week Eileen's Happy Hours included a grounding conversation about how to make sense of feedback when you're getting conflicting advice from readers — in this case agents, and a discussion about point of view, what it is and how to choose it.
In Crystal's Branding and Business Office Hours (which are way more fun that that sounds!) she tackled so many topics! Asana, MailerLite and email list onboarding, Google Analytics, OwnVoices, author logos and gave some StoryBrand homework. Find all the smarts in her Office Hours library.
And, Donna hosted a new drop-in Mastermind meeting that wasn't recorded since members preferred the freedom to be a little more vulnerable than might be comfortable if the conversation was something that could be pulled from the archives once we're all fodder for Entertainment Tonight! So drop-in next Thursday at 10:00AM Pacific, bring your wins and your mindset challenges, and walk away feeling understood and energized to keep on writing, editing, and pitching!
Not a Creative Academy member yet? Learn all you need to know to become a member here.
~ Creative Advice Prompt ~
Regardless if you're done with your manuscript, or if you're considering traditional publishing, the act of writing a query letter where you need to distill your story into the the key points in a compelling way and outline why you are best-suited to write that story is great practice for helping you focus. So write a draft of that query letter and see where it takes you!
Eileen, Crystal and Donna