Read Your Manuscript Aloud

Glimmer Train used to provide subscribers with a booklet called “Writers Ask,” in which fiction writers talk about their craft, work habits, challenges, and other matters to do with putting words into an interesting order and getting them printed by a publisher. Here’s Ann Patchett offering a great tip for writers to help them revise:

I always read my books aloud when I’m finished, and it’s always torture. But there are things you catch when you hear it that you just can’t see when reading. While working on “The Magician’s Assistant,” I got my dog, Rose. When I finished I read the novel aloud to my grandmother. Every third metaphor in the book was a dog metaphor: “He stretched out on the floor like a dog”; “Her hair was like a bunch of springer spaniels.” Every time I heard the word “dog,” it hit me like a gong.

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Writing as Performance Art

Andrew Keen’s thought-provoking polemic The Cult of the Amateur rails against, among other things, the dumbing down of genuine knowledge in favor of rumor and opinion; the “flattening” of expertise and professionalism in favor of amateurism and the belief that many, untrained people “know” more than the few elites; and Web 2.0’s supposed privileging of immediate populist self-expression (i.e. YouTube) over genuine, nurtured, and properly remunerated talent.

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How (Not) to Submit a Manuscript

We get a lot of manuscripts at Lantern Publishing and Media; we think of it as one of the hazards of being publishers. Well, that’s not fair: We depend on manuscripts to keep publishing, so we welcome them all.

However, much of the time what we’re sent are manuscripts that we’re never going to publish. Some are novels, and we don’t publish fiction; some contain a lot of poetry, and we don’t publish that; some are children’s books, and we don’t publish those either. It’s not because we hate fiction and poetry or don’t like children; it’s simply because those markets are huge and complex and we don’t feel ready to move into them right now. It would also be a major disservice to you, the author: Who wants to be published by someone who has no idea what they’re doing?

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Writing a Children’s Book

Several times a week (or so it seems), we receive an email from someone, usually accompanied by an attachment or two, who has written a children’s book, and wants either for us to publish it or to offer advice on how to get it published. Apart from a few notable exceptions, Lantern doesn’t publish children’s books. The children’s book market is a vast and complicated market, which runs parallel to the adult publishing world. You may wish to read many of the books on children’s book publishing such as: How to Publish Your Children’s Book by Lisa Burby (writeforkids.com), the Fab Job Guide to Become a Children’s Book Author, or The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Publishing Children’s Books by Harold D. Underdown.

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How to Get Your Novel Published

Once a week or so, we receive a request from an author wondering whether we’d be interested in publishing their novel—or, if not, whether we’d give them some advice about what they should do. So, since all our times are precious, we thought we’d lay out all we know about the business of getting your novel published.

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Publishing Truths

From Steven Piersanti, President at Berrett-Koehler comes a set of 10 Awful Truths about how to cope with the world of book publishing, whether you’re an author or not. Here are the ten truths in all their gory glory (plus seven ways you can deal with them):

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