Should one query publishers individually or simultaneously about short story collections? Does no mention of submission status on publisher websites mean "we're closed to subs at this time?" I've read tons of opinions about novel, short story, or article subs, but little about submitting/querying for collections, other than "you should probably wait until you have a novel." In my niche, many authors publish collections with small or large presses before a novel, if they write novels at all. [more inside]
Academic-filter. You submit a 10000-word manuscript to a relatively prestigious history journal and several months later you get four (mixed) peer review responses (one very positive, one reject outright, and two "this could be a major contribution to the field, but it needs to be substantially rewritten and reframed to be publishable in X Journal"), accompanied by an invitation from the journal editor to "revise and resubmit." What do you do? [more inside]
I am in contact with a celebrity who seems willing to write a foreword for my book. His agent has asked about our budget for the foreword...what is customary? [more inside]
I am looking for a pretty/creative way to print/publish/bind a document to give to my friends as a gift. [more inside]
I've written fiction all my life, but never done anything with it. I've always been content with that. However I am currently finishing up a more ambitious project and for the first time ever, I am wondering whether to seek an agent, self-publish, or release the story online free. Seeking feedback from writers of Metafilter. [more inside]
What's the best on-site program for learning InDesign, Photoshop, and Illustrator basics in an integrated way? Maybe a weeklong event with a lot of individual attention to leaners? [more inside]
My dad and I are submitting a manuscript for a book on Old West history. We need not just to obtain permission to use 25 historical images but to obtain versions of the pictures that are high enough quality for print. Can any publishing experts or authors share tips on how best to undertake this task? [more inside]
My friend is looking to change careers and hopefully move into the nonprofit world. Is a career change possible at her age? What should she be doing? What types of positions should she be looking for? She's in her 50s and has a legal background. She can practice law and formerly worked in legal publishing, but she hasn't worked in law for decades. She's spent the last decade or so as an analyst at a financial company.
A friend and I are planning to put together a children's book. Where do we start with finding a way to put it out? [more inside]
A few years ago I interviewed a locally-based but internationally-known folk musician about her life and work. Her stories were great and I thought she should write a memoir, but she said he didn't have the time. So I volunteered to help. [more inside]
Weird pagesetting question: I'm writing an introduction for the reprint of a book that already has a preface (and will be getting a NEW preface for the new edition). We want to retain the original pagination for the reprint. [more inside]
How can I get my original music published? What companies will take UN-solicited original music? [more inside]
Help I know what I want to say, have it in text files. But I am not a writer! I need to write a small book / manual to support a training that I am putting together. [more inside]
Is this a dishonest way to raise money? [more inside]
I just finished a self-help book. I'm reading that I need a "platform" that prospective agents can see -- to show that I'm "out there" making a name for myself as a writer on this subject. I would like some opinions about where I should create this "platform." [more inside]
I manage my writer friend's site where he puts up (not otherwise published) longform articles for free. Film criticism, fiction and articles about literature and philosophy, close to 500 entries. Due to his ethics he is against marketing or monetising and only now after some years we are investigating donations (definitely not monetising). Is this feasible, and how do I not get this wrong? [more inside]
I'm quitting academia after years of trying to get a tenure-track job in the humanities. My post-doc runs out in September. Should I finish the book manuscript based on my dissertation, or junk it and move on immediately? [more inside]
I'm putting together a book that contains text in all the United Nations languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish. I've had each text proofread individually, but now I'm sitting wondering. How can I make sure I haven't missed something blindingly obvious in the formatting or layout of the entire book? [more inside]
I am a well-published poet in journals but have no books out yet. The manuscript I’ve been circulating since 2011 has come very close, though, and has been a finalist in a number of prize contests held by some of the bigger small presses. Almost all of the poems in it have been published individually, and a handful have been nominated for Pushcart Prizes. I had been committed to the idea of one of those small presses but am now thinking of self-publishing. More inside. [more inside]
How can I legitimately use the artworks that inspired my poem? [more inside]
I'd like to try acquire the rights to material from a few related out-of-print nonfiction books published in the US during the 1920s and 30s, in order to create interactive electronic media from the material. (Initially a website, possibly an offline phone app. in the future.) This is almost certainly not fair use, and copyrights have been renewed for most of the texts. I'm hoping for a sanity check and some pointers from someone who knows more about book rights than me. [more inside]
I just signed my first publishing deal after the publisher approached me directly. I had been noncommittally talking to an agent before this--no representation agreement or anything, just hypotheticals and suggestions. When the publisher contacted me, I just jumped for it and didn't tell the agent until it was done. Did I just screw over that agent, or is this just business? [more inside]
Some of my favorite writers have spoken out against Amazon, and Amazon does seem to be in the news more frequently over the past year or so, but I don't know enough about the publishing business to understand what the issues are. The whole situation seems rather complicated to me, and I can't tell if the complaints are about Amazon's philosophy or about it's business practices. Will someone please explain? I know MeFi has quite a few members who are in this field, so I thought this would be a good place to ask this question.
The bottom has basically fallen out of the music journalism market, and I'd like to do my part to keep great longform music writing alive by starting an e-book series where some of those critics and thinkers can do their thing. I have no experience in book publishing, though, and I don't know yet how digital book publishing works, aside from the fact that you can self-publish on Kindle. Help me get my bearings. [more inside]
For a couple chapters of a book I'm writing, I could choose to adapt short stories that I already released under a Creative Commons license. Even with the adapted chapters, the book would be 95% new material. What are the implications of mixing the new material with the CC material? [more inside]
I stumbled my way into an associate editor position a year ago with no previous media experience, and have now been promoted to managing editor at the site. I'm successfully doing the job, but I constantly run into places where I wish I knew how "proper" newsrooms handled things. How do I learn? [more inside]
I'm looking at 2 Scrum certification courses (Product Owner & Scrum Master) that will give me the number of classroom hours I need towards my PMP. And then what? [more inside]
I want to give my husband a copy of Idylls Of The King by Tennyson for Christmas. Am I on an impossible quest? [more inside]
What is the best service or method for designing and printing about a dozen copies of a cookbook? Lulu? Amazon? iPhoto? Kinkos? [more inside]
I am working on sort of a nonstandard art book/book of history-related illustrations and am working on finding a way to find my book as a real thing in the real world. I would love some recommendations of publishing houses/small presses/etc. that are doing interesting things with weird works. It's such a big world out there. [more inside]
I have a friend who is trying to decide how to distribute his latest music. As I'm a software engineer, he thought that we could build a custom app to process payments and deliver the music to the customer. I couldn't find too much info online about people who tried to do this so I'm looking for some guidance here. [more inside]
I want to request permission to stage an adaptation of an author's work...but how? [more inside]
Is there an easy way to include links to URLs from a printed book. [more inside]
I am a 32 y/o creative writer (poetry, short fiction, essays) and arts journalist. I have an MFA and I have been very well-published in lit mags and on websites (but no book yet). I have two poetry manuscripts that I’ve circulated, and both have had some near-misses. I am very prolific and always have projects going, and I submit often. However, I feel a lack of professional traction, and I am hoping some of you have ways I can level up. [more inside]
Earlier this year, I published a 116-page PDF ebook about personal finance. Next week, I'm attending a conference with fellow financial bloggers. Is there a way to convert my PDF book to a physical print version (even if it's just one or ten copies) in just a few days so that I can show it to people? Cost isn't really an object. I know I've come up with this idea at the last minute...
We're compiling my late grandfather-in-law's stories in the hopes of presenting about 35 copies to family members at an upcoming memorial service. [more inside]
According to my copy of The Art of War, "Sun Tzu asserts the moral right to be identified as the author of this work". Please help me understand what is intended by this statement in this instance. [more inside]
What ways exist where would one keep up with big ideas or events in the academic publishing world, in some kind of passive way that involves me regularly checking in and picking out what's interesting and saving those for later. [more inside]
How critical was being continually physically present for readings, signings, interviews and other events to the success of a book? Was most of your successful promotional efforts in the first year online or over the phone? [more inside]
I write a newsletter for an environmental nonprofit and would like to modernize it. Right now we print a simple PDF and then straight-up email said PDF to electronic subscribers. Our subscription list is managed by Excel and yours truly. MailChimp seems great but I haven't seen examples that have long articles. This isn't a marketing campaign -- it's more like a very short newspaper or magazine. How can I take a content-heavy (4-6 articles, anywhere from 350 to 800 words each) and send it out electronically in the most efficient and practical way? [more inside]
A colleague wants to deepen his understanding of online publishing (and I do, too!) -- how do the big print magazine/newspaper publishers manage their online publications, and what are the smaller, newer, younger online-only publications doing, too. Topics of interest run the gamut, from editorial policy to metrics. [more inside]
My twelve-year-old son has aspirations of becoming a pro youtuber. He initially wants to do video game reviews and demonstrate in-game scenarios. This will involve screencasting while skyping with friends. What resources can I point him to or advice do you have for getting started? What software and setup are most Youtubers using? He can recognize poorly done videos and wants to do something with decent production quality (bearing in mind it is for an audience of kid gamers). What are some of the key skills in video and audio he should start to pick up? What video formats and resolutions are best for Youtube? Are there places he can get free backing tracks? Are backing tracks even something to worry about? I'm quite knowledgable about computers in general but don't know what I don't know in this area. I currently have him set up with a decent mic on a Mac Mini, Quicktime for recording, and iMovie for editing. I haven't purchased any screencasting software yet.
Do you know something about the history of publishing? Help me out. [more inside]
I've had an idea for a long-form essay with some original research and reporting kicking around in my head for a while. I've done some background research, and I haven't found any similar treatments of the topic anywhere else in either academia or in the popular press. I already have three different groups that I could interview and conduct field research with about the topic, and I also have a pretty strong theoretical and historical base to frame the writing. I'm used to academic publishing, but would be interested in writing this as a non-academic long-form essay. At the very least I'd be publishing this on my own webspace, but was curious about what the process would be like to try and sell it to an online venue? Is it better to write the thing first, or are there places which I could propose the article to beforehand? Is it even realistic to think that I could sell an article without being a previously published author in the mainstream press?
I'm curious about the business of children's literature. I'm looking for any books/articles/personal anecdotes that discuss it from the cutthroat capitalism angle; such as how monopolies may affect the content published, or perhaps particular authors known for their ruthlessness.
Are you an author, musician, artist, or other creative-ish person who's found successful (and polite) ways to use Facebook to connect with people interested in your work? I'd love to know your secrets. [more inside]
Self-published authors of MeFi: What's the best way to self-publish these days? Is it still Amazon via CreateSpace, or has something better emerged? More details inside. [more inside]
[academic-filter] Let's say I've done some snazzy research from which I want to produce two journal papers, a conference paper and a book chapter. How different should the conference paper and book chapter be from the journal papers? Is there an order in which I should publish them? [more inside]
So, there was a poet who wrote poems in German in the 1940s. [more inside]
Does The Scarlet Letter belong to a literary genre? How would publishers market the book today, and on what book shelf would you find it in the book store? Same question for The Brothers Karamazov. Could these stories, if they were told in a prose style indicative of the 21st c, find a publisher?