Conference Corner: BlogHer Writers '11 - So You Wanna Be a Published Author
BlogHer Writers ’11, sponsored by Penguin, takes place next week in New York City, and if you’re attending we hope our Conference Corner series has helped you prepare for the event. We’ve covered how to get the most out of the event, we’ve examined mentoring groups in closer detail, and today we want to highlight the mechanics of becoming a published author. Even if you're not coming to the conference, you'll want to dig into this.
Last year, author, blogger and BlogHer Blogging & Social Media Section Editor Melissa Ford published an incredibly informative series of blog posts on BlogHer.com about How to Get Published, called a DIY MFA (or do-it-yourself Master's of Fine Arts):
Part 1: Before You Even Get Started
Part 2: Are You Ready to Be an Author
Part 3: How to Write a Non-Fiction Book Proposal
Part 4: Why You Need an Agent
Part 5: How to Get an Agent
Part 6: Querying Agents
Part 7: What Happens Next--Waiting for a Book Sale
Part 8: Self-publishing and Self-representation
Part 9: Working with an Editor
Part 10: Be Your Own Publicist
Part 11: What Comes Next
In this series, Melissa answers questions like:
- “What do you need to have in place before you start trying to find an agent or a publisher?”
- “How do you find a reputable agent?”
- “How seriously should you take deadlines given by editors?”
- “What makes your book marketable?”
… and many, many more. (It is an 11-part series, after all.)
To prepare for BlogHer Writers ’11, we recommend reading through this series and, if you haven’t already, preparing drafts of some of the items discussed: one-liner pitches, query letters, book proposals, etc., even if you aren’t expecting anyone to read them during the conference. Yes, a full-blown book proposal is 30-50 pages. Don't worry! Even time spent outlining a draft for it will help focus your ideas.
The more you do in advance to prepare for the conference, the sessions, and the mentoring groups, the more you will get out of the event. After reading this series and understanding the full scope of the publishing process, we hope you’ll be able to articulate the stage you’re in and the specific challenges you’re experiencing. Knowing this will help you ask smarter questions of panelists, your mentor, or anyone you meet there, when opportunities arise. (And trust us, those opportunities will arise!)
There are still a few tickets available for the conference next week in New York City. Hurry and register if you're interested in joining us!