The Truth About Publishing (via @ianirvineauthor, HT: @rachelhills)

This is an old article by Ian Irvine (2005! How the industry has changed!) but still a solid read in 2014. It flew past my twitter feed. It really is super long. I’ve only included the section headers below so you get a taste for it. Note, I don’t really agree with the final lesson so much, although I do understand the sentiment: Writing isn’t a pathway to fame and wealth, do it because you can’t not do.

  • Part 1: Getting There
  • Lesson 1: Got Expectations? Lower Them
  • Lesson 2: Anyone can do it, hah!
  • Lesson 3: Skiing across the slush pile
  • Lesson 4: What to do when you’re rejected
  • Lesson 4a: Why most writers will never get published
  • Lesson 5: Wow, you’ve actually been offered a contract
  • Lesson 6: Understanding your advance
  • Lesson 7: Why you don’t want a huge advance
  • Lesson 8. Why you don’t want a tiny advance either
  • Lesson 9: Your editor is wise and you are foolish
  • Lesson 10: The book production line
  • Lesson 10A: You’re not published until you’re in print (and sometimes not even then)
  • Lesson 10B: Putting your money where your manuscript is
  • Part 2: Surviving Publication
  • Lesson 11: Is that all you’re printing?
  • Lesson 12: It’s just been printed and you can’t bear to look at it
  • Lesson 13. But I thought you were going to promote my book?
  • Lesson 14. Do it yourself promotion
  • Lesson 15: How come my books never get reviewed?
  • Lesson 16: What’s a good sale, anyway?
  • Lesson 17: I have to wait how long for the money?
  • Lesson 18: Sales you don’t get much for
  • Lesson 19: Check your royalty statements against your contract
  • Lesson 20: Other income from your books
  • Lesson 21: Help, I won an award and now I’m being remaindered
  • Part 3: Coping with Success
  • Lesson 22: It takes years to become an overnight success
  • Lesson 23: The perils of success 1 – being typecast
  • Lesson 24: The perils of success 2 – staying successful
  • Lesson 25: What’s a bestseller anyway?
  • Lesson 26: Foreign Rights
  • Lesson 27: Sold some foreign rights and think you’ve struck it rich? Oh dear
  • Lesson 28: Movie rights and other fantasies
  • Lesson 29: Other subsidiary rights
  • Lesson 30: Is that all I get?
  • Lesson 30A: Writing as a business?
  • Lesson 31: Changing publishers
  • Lesson 32: Foreign and Local Taxes
  • Final lesson: Anyone who can be discouraged from writing should be

Read the whole thing here:


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