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Articles and blog posts by Editorial Department staff on finding a literary agent, getting published, being published, and the traditional publishing marketplace in general.

Paths to Publishing: Thinking Ahead A primer on traditional and independent publishing options in 2021

by Ross Browne and John Robert Marlow

Publishing has changed a lot in the 40 years since The Editorial Department opened its doors—and not necessarily for the better, in the eyes of many. But it’s nonetheless an exciting time to be a writer, in large part because when it comes to getting published, you have more options than ever before.

While traditional publishing’s priorities often feel more corporate and profit-driven in this era, there are still plenty of fine literary agents […]

By |2021-05-11T16:53:43+00:00|General, Getting Published, JRM, Self Publishing, Traditional Publishing|Comments Off on Paths to Publishing: Thinking Ahead A primer on traditional and independent publishing options in 2021

WRITING A KILLER THRILLER by Jodie Renner Review from the perspective of a working writer

In Writing a Killer Thriller, Jodie Renner covers all the elements necessary to create a compelling thriller. Clearly structured and easy to read, with examples from popular novels and movies, Writing a Killer Thriller offers a wealth of important information for the new (thriller) writer and can serve as a helpful refresher and reference book for experienced authors.

Content & Organization

Divided into nine parts, Writing a Killer Thriller starts by explaining the difference between thrillers and mysteries and exploring the basic ingredients of a […]

By |2021-06-23T15:50:10+00:00|Getting Published, LF, Mystery / Suspense, Recommended Reading, The Writer’s Craft, Thriller|Comments Off on WRITING A KILLER THRILLER by Jodie Renner Review from the perspective of a working writer

The Truth about First Novels and Traditional Publication What authors need to know

by Renni Browne

What you might hear:

  • “Acquisitions editors at major publishing houses don’t want to read first-novel submissions.”
  • “Literary agents don’t want to take on unknown writers anymore.”
  • “Publishers only want novelists who have a strong platform or a great track record of book sales.”
  • “If by a miracle you get a first novel published, it’ll sell 500 copies to your friends and relatives.”
  • “There’s no place for first novels in today’s bottom-line-oriented publishing scene.”

Would it surprise you to learn […]

By |2018-05-16T21:08:01+00:00|Getting Published, RDB, Traditional Publishing, Trends|Comments Off on The Truth about First Novels and Traditional Publication What authors need to know

A World to Remember: More Lessons from the Harry Potter Series Principle Four: Create a world the reader will remember

This blog is part of the Storytelling lessons from Harry Potter series. For part one, click here. For part two, click here. For part three, click here.

Diagon Alley. The Quidditch World Cup.The Chamber of Secrets. The Cupboard Under the Stairs. Platform Nine and Three-Quarters.

These were not places that existed in our imaginations before we met Harry Potter, but for many readers they are now as real as Times Square.

If we, as […]

By |2021-05-12T16:36:11+00:00|Fantasy, Getting Published, The Editorial Process, The Writer’s Craft, Trends|Comments Off on A World to Remember: More Lessons from the Harry Potter Series Principle Four: Create a world the reader will remember

Heroes Have Hormones: More Lessons from the Harry Potter Series Principle Three: perfect heroes are uninteresting ones

This blog is part of the Storytelling lessons from Harry Potter series. For part one, click here. For part two, click here.

It’s Harry Potter time here at The Editorial Department, and in honor of the release of the newest addition to the series, Harry Potter and The Cursed Child, we’re looking at what we can learn from J.K. Rowling that will help us in our own writing endeavors. We’ve talked about two different […]

By |2021-05-12T16:37:10+00:00|Fantasy, Getting Published, The Writer’s Craft, Trends|Comments Off on Heroes Have Hormones: More Lessons from the Harry Potter Series Principle Three: perfect heroes are uninteresting ones

Five Short Steps to the Reject Pile And five common mistakes to avoid if you want to land a literary agent

by Peter Gelfan

Oh, the dreaded reject pile

Often we like to imagine the (probably imaginary) good old days when editors searched for traces of gold in the rough ore of a first draft and worked with the writer to refine it. Recently, an editor at a major publisher offered a less romantic glimpse of the process. With dozens of submissions to read and all the nonliterary pressures of the job, most editors and even agents read a […]

By |2019-07-16T19:47:03+00:00|Getting Published, PG, The Writer’s Craft, Traditional Publishing|Comments Off on Five Short Steps to the Reject Pile And five common mistakes to avoid if you want to land a literary agent