Required Reading–November 2013

By Dawn Frederick

Writing a novel in a month is a great exercise of one’s writing muscles. Of course, the next big step is to do the necessary research in learning more about the publishing industry. Here are some books we highly suggest:


igwithquote1 1. THE INSIDER’S GUIDE TO PUBLISHING, by Eric Kampmann & Margot Atwell (Beaufort Books, 2012)–I will preface that several years ago I had the pleasure of meeting Margot through roller derby. It was only after the fact I learned she was an editor and worked in publishing too. THE INSIDER’S GUIDE TO PUBLISHING was released in 2012, and should be an essential title on anyone’s reference shelf. Eric and Margot break down the nuts and bolts of “how” a book is published. From describing the different types of publishing, to the essential foundation for one’s Marketing & PR, and the financials that go into publishing a book.



2. THE WRITER’S DIGEST GUIDE TO QUERY LETTERS, by Wendy Burt-Thomas (Writer’s Digest Books, 2008)–As many writers take on the challenge of #NaNoWriMo, there is additional work that will need to be done before taking the book to editors and agents. Going with the assumption that the books will experience a good editing process, the next step is writing a good query letter. This go-to guide by Wendy Burt-Thomas is a handy tool while writing query letters. She provides sage advice on the need to track one’s submissions, best practices on writing strong (and successful) query letters, how to decode submission guidelines, and more. For anyone doing freelance writing, I highly suggest this book as well.


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3. THE AUTHORS GUILD BULLETIN, SPRING 2013–If you haven’t taken the time to join this advocacy group for writers, then take a few moments and do it. This year the Authors Guild turned 100 years old. The Authors Guild history is discussed in this issue, going back as far as 1910 when the Author’s League was founded.

Additionally included in this bulletin is an excerpt of Peter Hildick-Smith’s speech titled “How We Read Now.” I absolutely enjoyed reading it and highly encourage anyone who works with books to read it. Another section to check out is Publisher’s Row. Make sure to read the notes on Oliver Sacks and his observation of how physical issues affect a writer’s storytelling, as well as George Saunders talking about his own writing process. Other articles of interest include copyright law, contracts Q&A, and more.



4. THE TINY BOOK OF STORIES, volumes 1 & 2 (IT Books)–This collection of books is perfect for anyone needing to brainstorm, to appreciate thinking outside the box, and to appreciate the collaborative process. For anyone who has been to, you’ll recognize the face, Joseph Gordon-Levitt. And they are looking for new people to contribute to new book ideas, projects and the like. There is so much “like” about this, that I will leave it up to YOU to see these books (and the website) for yourself.

Now back to work everyone, Happy #NaNoWriMo! 🙂