Archive for the 'Business' Category

Provocations in Publishing: “Engineering Serendipity”

Coined by the British aristocrat Horace Walpole in a 1754 letter, [serendipity] long referred to a fortunate accidental discovery. Today serendipity is regarded as close kin to creativity — the mysterious means by which new ideas enter the world. But are hallway collisions really the best way to stoke innovation? − Engineering Serendipity, April 5, […]

A ‘Logic Model’ for Author Success

“Managing our career.” “Managing our expectations.” “Managing our resources and time.” All these “management” terms being applied to the writing life — with good reason — can make it sound like we might actually need an MBA to reach our goals as writers. In fact, in this age of the “writer as an entrepreneur” responsible […]

An Agent’s Role in Shaping an Author’s Career and the Second Book

Today I want to talk about the literary agent’s role, not just in selling an author’s book, but in shaping their career. It’s a more nebulous part of the job description, beyond the editing, negotiating and contract work that comprises the nuts and bolts of the job. I’ve also found it to be both the […]

Presenting to School Students: top tips

How do you feel about public speaking? Author talks? Writing workshops? If, like me, you’re the introverted kind of writer, more comfortable in the world of the imagination than out on centre stage, that part of the job can be as much ordeal as opportunity. But we all know how necessary those public appearances are, […]

Dear Publishers, Signed (You)

This is not an April Fools post. But for any office workers out there, I hope you keep tabs on your mouse and question any blue screens of death that might appear while you’re away from your desk. I’ve had some interesting correspondence lately with folks in the publishing industry. Not my publisher, not anyone […]

The WHYs of Book Club Questions

We’re thrilled to have Mollie Lundquist of LitLovers here today, who describes herself as “an English teacher gone mad.” LitLovers grew out of an online course she taught a few years ago. It was so much fun, she decided to go public. She says: LitLovers has brought together my lifelong love of reading, writing, and teaching. The […]

Thank You Writers

Isn’t that old fashioned.  Spending hours.  Days.  Weeks.  Months.  Dare I say, years.  Creating. Honing. Crafting. Editing. Exploring.  One’s own purpose. One’s craft as a writer. One’s ability to understand who they hope to reach, and how. And what they hope the effect of that connection will be. The legacy of the work.   Old […]

Getting Unconventional Is Great for Business

Therese stepping in for a second to officially announce the return of one of our former regular contributors, who will now be back with us on a semi-regular basis: J.C. Hutchins! J.C. is one of the most unboxed writers I know, and he hasn’t stopped doing what made him such a valuable part of our […]

Free the Writers! (From Each Other)

  We’ve had a lot of laughs at publishers’ expense lately, about how many “actual readers” they may have met, right? What if our writers know even fewer “actual readers” than our publishers?    You’ve been around too much lately, Helen, you ought to stay at home more. That sentence, husband-to-wife, from Noel Coward’s Design for […]

Dispatches from AWP (or, Three Days of Melodrama)

Do you know what I love? Writing conferences. They inspire me. They invigorate me. They connect me with other writers who are as passionate about words and stories as I am. Do you know what I dread? Writing conferences. They terrify and overwhelm me. They make me wonder why I spend thousands of hours with […]

Envy: a Lesson in What Not to Do

A couple of weeks ago, an author in the UK named Lynn Shepherd made one of the more bafflingly boneheaded moves I’ve seen in a long time, by posting a blog on the Huffington Post entitled “If JK Rowling Cares About Writing, She Should Stop Doing It.” Many of you probably read it, and/or saw […]

The Straddler

As someone who straddles both sides of the publishing paradigm – I release books through traditional publishers and also publish my own – I have found that the straddle model really makes sense for me. Let’s see if it makes sense for you, too. Broadly speaking, I publish two types of books, novels and how-to […]