At my house, before Thanksgiving dinner we all go around the table and say what we’re thankful for. Health, happiness, friends, family, food…the list goes on. Given the turmoil of the past few weeks, I wanted to do a post on all the things I’m thankful for in the literary world. I’m bad with titles and good with portmanteaus, so let’s just call this Thanksreading.
For better or for worse, the creation of the cover is often cited the single most important part of the publishing process. Wait, you’re thinking, shouldn’t it be the creation of the BOOK? The actual words?? As an editor, I say, of course the words are the most important! But when it comes to making sure that book sells, I must admit I understand why cover is king.
Whether you are holding a hardcopy or squinting at a thumbnail, you aren’t going to flip the book over to read the jacket copy or click open the first page if that cover doesn’t intrigue you. And if the cover doesn’t intrigue you, there’s a much smaller chance you’ll buy the book. In order for those beautiful words to reach a reader, we almost always need a stunner cover. As a result, the cover process can take months and thousands of dollars.
Despite that pressure to succeed, being a part of the cover creation is one of the best elements of my job. I can barely draw you a stick figure, but it’s so much fun to let that creative side my brain loose with a bunch of very artistic people and see them work their magic. I can’t speak for all publishers, designers, or editors, but here’s a look at what my typical cover process looks like from start to finish. Continue reading
It is a truth universally acknowledged that the publishing world moves slowly. Despite our best intentions to be agile and respond to trends in the marketplace, there are just some things you can’t rush. Below is a look at a typical schedule a book goes through from pitch to published.*
*Note that not all books follow this schedule; some can move much faster or much slower, depending on the product.
Manuscript Review: 2-6 weeks. From the time a manuscript hits my inbox to the time I’ve read, responded, and decided to move forward on a title, we’re usually looking at about one month. Sometimes this moves a lot faster, say if I get a submission from an author or agent I’ve worked with in the past or if a pitch is exceptionally intriguing. After I read, I always try to get at least one other opinion on the book from our editorial team to make sure other folks see the potential I do. Continue reading
Before you even finish your manuscript, your website should be in the works. Nothing looks worse to a publisher, customer, or reviewer than typing your name into Google and coming up with…nothing. In this day and age, no one can afford the luxury of not being online.
Start by creating an author website so readers can have a direct link to you and your book. You can link back to places like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Facebook with ease, and having your own website will help you make direct sales, connect with your readers, and, above all, have a landing place for your brand.
There are two choices when it comes to creating your website: hire a pro or do it yourself. This decision all depends on your level of comfort with technology, as well as the amount of time and money you have available. Continue reading
“I want to write a picture book.” How many times have we heard (or said) those words? Each year, thousands of aspiring writers set out to create the next Goodnight Moon or Where the Wild Things Are, but only a handful succeed in getting published, let alone making it to the top of the lists. Why is writing a picture book so hard? Continue reading