Writing seems as if it should be all about putting words on a page, doesn’t it? I mean, sure, those words have to contain compelling characters, believable dialogue, fluid plots, and original thoughts, but that’s a piece of cake. (Haaaaaa!) And yet, there’s so much more to it, especially in the digital age–CPs, beta-ing, querying, pitching, contests… and all that is just to get signed by an agent who may or may not be able to sell your book to an editor who may or may not be able to sell your book! So, yeah, the whole world is all sorts of terrifying. Fun and crazy and full of awesome people, but definitely terrifying.
Thankfully, there are tons of people out there with great advice to help get us aspiring authors through all the crazy processes!
I can’t believe I’m saying this with a straight face, but I think a Twitter account is one of the most useful tools a writer can possess these days. Through Twitter, you can meet other writers, learn about great contests, and participate in really helpful and interactive chats on hashtags like #askagent and #YAlitchat. Some agents tweet a lot about the process, and may share everything from what they’re looking for right now to what they’re sick of seeing to what makes them accept or reject queries.
And then of course there are blogs–by agents, by writers, by editors, by publishers… the internet is an endless resource of publishing information! From critique to contract, here are some of the posts I find utterly invaluable. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but I will definitely be adding to it as I find new awesome posts!
- On pre-writing–A series for JuNoWriMo by Aaron Pogue
- On a whole bunch of different subjects, from beat sheeting to writing diversity, check out YAMisfits’ Writing Club Wednesdays.
- On writing diversity in sexual orientation–A 5-part series by author Malinda Lo
- On writing diversity in culture–Lee & Low
- On increasing your word count per writing session–Rachel Aaron’s Pretentious Title
- On the word counts you should be aiming for per genre–BookEnds, LLC
- On doing a one-pass revision–Holly Lisle
- On targets for self-editing–Jenny Kaczorowski
- On self-editing by scene–Jody Hedlund
- On classifying your manuscript by genre–Andrea Brown Literary Agency‘s Jennifer Laughran
- On classifying your manuscript by target audience (adult vs. YA)–Bradford Literary Agency‘s Natalie Lakosil’s blog, Adventures in Agentland
- On writing the perfect query–Janet Reid’s QueryShark, obviously (The whole blog is gold, but if you’re writing a query for a multi-POV story, pay special attention to this one)
- More on query crafting–critiques by Nathan Bransford
- On the bio paragraph–by Chuck Sambuchino at Writer Unboxed
- On crafting the perfect pitch–a series by the Nelson Literary Agency’s Kristin Nelson on her blog, Pub Rants
- On crafting the perfect Twitter pitch–both the post by Becca Weston and the comments are gold here
- Jessica Park, on making the decision to self-publish
- To find what kinds of vendors you need and where to find them–KBoards Yellow Pages
- A Business Plan for Self-Published Authors by Denise Grover Swank on The Writer’s Guide to E-Publishing, in three parts: One Two Three
Managing Your Offer(s)
- On what questions to ask an agent during The Call–Books & Such Literary Agency‘s Rachelle Gardner
- On managing an offer from a publisher without an agent–again, Kristin Nelson’s Pub Rants (She also has an extensive series of Agenting 101 posts that are extremely worth checking out)
Understanding the Contract
- This post by publishlawyer.com includes a thorough explanation of the variety of options and clauses available in a typical contract with a literary agency (Please note that I do not endorse this site, any specific terms contained within, or anything else that may make you think I’m telling you what to do with your legal rights. Don’t sue me. Seriously.)
- On the sale of film rights–Sara Megibow guest posts at Romance University
- On how foreign rights work–Kathleen Ortiz guest posts on Publishing Crawl
- Susan Spann is a lawyer who specializes in IP/publishing, and blogs/tweets about copyrights and many other issues under #PubLaw
- 10 Things About Signing Books by Mary Robinette Kowal
- On self-promo for people who don’t have time for self-promo (The “I Have a Life” Marketing Plan) by Saundra Mitchell
- A Promotion Timeline by Jodi Meadows on Publishing Crawl
- YA Highway’s Publishing Road Map is by far the most comprehensive collection of links about every aspect of the industry
- There’s a very brief glossary on my blog, but Nathan Bransford’s is far more comprehensive
- Whatever you’re looking for, Chuck Wendig has probably covered it on his blog, Terrible Minds.
Got any fantastic posts to recommend? Please share in the comments!