The secret to publishing? Research 🔎
Welcome to the third edition of Chapter Break, a newsletter with writing and publishing insights put together by me, your friendly neighborhood book editor! If you haven’t subscribed yet, join our amazing community of 2,000+ storytellers and story lovers by subscribing here:
There’s so much information (and misinformation) out there about writing and publishing.
Yet doing ample research can mean the difference between publishing the right way and falling into a scam. It can take your book from so-so to a story that soars when it hits the market.
Take your time, ask questions, and embrace the learning curve!
No matter which publishing path you choose, don’t rush the research period. There’s always more to learn about the craft of writing and about the publishing industry, and the writing community is rich with free information and advice if you know where to look for it. If you’re reading this newsletter, you’re definitely already on the right track!
In today’s interview, literary agent Amy Elizabeth Bishop goes over the research skills you’ll need to succeed as an author today.
I hope you enjoy today’s interview. Please forward it to anyone who might find it interesting!
OUR SPECIAL GUEST TODAY IS…
Amy Elizabeth Bishop
Literary Agent, Dystel, Goderich & Bourret
Always looking for more fiction by AAPI authors and women of color!
Query her here.
What do you look for in a potential client? What factors in a query package are most important to you?
I look for someone who is prepared and professional. They've clearly done their research, worked hard on making their query and materials the best they can be, followed our submission guidelines, have approached the querying process with professionalism and respect, and, of course, whose project just knocks me over.
What is one thing you wish emerging authors knew about the publishing industry or the traditional publishing process?
Publishing is slow and it's such an individual process. It's very easy to look at everyone else around you getting the things you want (an agent, a six figure deal, an award, media hits) and only focus on that. Some people hit it big out of the gate, and that's terrific. Some people are on the slow-and-steady track and their third or fourth or fifth book hits big. Be patient with yourself and with your own process!
Read my tips on choosing your publishing path
What is one piece of advice you would give to a writer who aspires to be published?
Do your research. Research how to make your writing better (workshops, classes, panels, etc.); research by reading books in your genre; research how to query properly and who to approach; research your material for the book; research the industry. Being prepared and professional will set you up for success.
What’s a book that you have recently read and loved, and what did you like so much about it?
Portrait of a Thief by Grace D. Li. It had a fantastic hook, played on heist tropes that we know and love, but was also a stunning look at colonialism, diaspora, and coming-of-age. It has the commercial hook and elevated writing that I'm always looking for in fiction and I fell in love with the characters immediately.
Thanks so much for reading!
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Who should I talk to next?
Let me know your thoughts and any ideas for future interviews by replying to this email. I’d love to hear from you!
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