Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Young Rascal's Guide to Publishing: An Overview

Apparently I read submissions with a monocle.

Lately I've been mulling over ways to provide original content for this blog. Probably because I've been overthinking it, nothing really good came to mind - that is, until I stumbled across an old comment on the wall of the Cormorant Facebook group.

Briefly, it rather vehemently dressed us down for claiming to be
"... open-minded only to impose so many prejudicial restrictions towards fledgling writers, basically the next generation of Canadian authors you allege to support ... I speak for myself and any number of Canadian writers stonewalled by the little-tin-god politics practiced by you and your peers."
I answered, as courteously as I could, that the situation wasn't like that, wasn't like that at all - at least not at the small press I work for. I won't go into the details of my response here (although you better believe I'm going to address the topic of submissions in the future) but suffice it to say, there still seem to be quite a few misconceptions people have about the publishing industry that could and should be addressed in an informative, and, dare I say, entertaining fashion.

Which is where I got the idea for The Young Rascal's Guide to Publishing: a series of original posts in which me and my colleagues attempt to give you a behind-the-scenes look at the workings of a small literary press.

What'll make this series so awesome is that it'll be just as educational for us as it will be for you. We're still trying to figure out the ins and outs this industry ourselves - and in this ever-changing world of mass communication, there'll always be something new to learn.

Here are some of the things this series might cover:
- how to get into publishing
- submissions
- editorial
- marketing
- design
- book sales
- publicity
- production
- working with authors
- events!
- books and the internet
- more!

And just to get it out of the way now, life is decidedly not glamorous for the vast majority of us. Yes, there are perks - free books, an opportunity to meet interesting people, and a chance to help shape culture - but the business is nothing like the cigar-chomping champagne-sipping backroom-dealing Victorian tea party in a smoke-filled room that some people make it out to be.

We do it because we love books. Period.


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