Saturday, April 14, 2007

Free Education for Writers

Actually, nothing in publishing is free, and I'm not talking about money here. I am talking about time and effort. Even advice carries a price tag in some way, as the following will. This advice will cost you a little time and brain energy if you follow it, but it might net big rewards if you know what to do with the information you find. Writers who haunt forums, discussion boards, and/or blogs are forever trying to get a glimpse inside the publishing world or get an insider's perspective from other writers. There is no better way to get primary information than to go directly to the source. Here is one way to do that.

If you are a new writer and really want to learn loads about the publishing industry, go to www.bookexpoamerica.com and read and digest the enormous volume of information there. You can learn a lot about an industry by examining the major events its professionals attend and who sponsors them, as well as reviewing the types of presenters and activities at those events. It’s a free education, too. Who can beat that?

Here’s a hint to help you get started: Does the name Reed mean anything to you? Look at the bottom of BookExpo’s home page. There are at least three links with the name Reed in them. Does this remind you of anything? Click on the Copyright link at the bottom of the page and read through that section, too.

Still not ringing a bell? Try visiting www.publishersweekly.com and read the copyright notice at the bottom of that home page. Any names there seem familiar?

This will just get you started. Go back to BookExpo’s site and read through the variety of events listed there. Check out the celebrity line-up for this year’s proceedings, besides those in the literary field. Do you notice anything that these people have in common, besides their celebrity? How could Alan Greenspan and Jon Bon Jovi possibly be connected? No, it isn’t that Greenspan dealt with the economy and Bon Jovi has enough money to start his own. Look deeper. Much deeper.

I am not going to give you the answer. I would like you to give me the answer. And it may seem that this is a relatively simplistic and ridiculous exercise, but the information you find at this site alone should provide some insights that could be invaluable in understanding what drives publishing, thus helping you choose your future path as a writer.