Through my adventures in publishing, I've gained a great deal of experience and knowledge that I hope can be useful for other authors. This is a TOUGH business, especially for authors who don't have an agent and are going it on their own. The more we can support each other, the stronger our community will be.
If you're an author with questions, concerns, or confusion about publishing, reach out! If you're about to sign a contract and aren't sure it's an author-friendly deal, reach out! If you got your first royalty statement and nearly fainted because it was so low, reach out! If you hate the cover your indie publisher designed but aren't sure how to negotiate for something better, reach out! If you just need some support or to vent, reach out! I can't guaranteed I'll know how to help, but sometimes just having someone in your corner can make a huge difference.
Here are some things I've found useful in my own journey.
THE AUTHORS GUILD
The Authors Guild is an incredibly helpful resource and community that advocates for the rights of writers by supporting free speech, fair contracts, and copyright. They create community and fight for a living wage for authors. Membership is quite reasonable in relation to the level of support they offer. I highly recommend joining.
If you're looking for an agent, there is no better resource than this. It includes access to search for who represents which books including information on how many books those agents have sold and at what levels. Understanding how the publishing sector operates is imperative and this will give you a crash course in the business side of things.
THE WORKROOM AT SHIPMAN AGENCY
The Shipman Agency is much more than a literary agency, they offer some fantastic educational opportunities with their author clients. Online workshops, craft seminars, manuscript reviews – writing students receive a graduate level experience that will challenge their assumptions and broaden the scope of what their work can do.
CLMP is a collective of hundreds of small publishers creating print and digital books, magazines, online publications, chapbooks and zines. If you're unagented and looking for a list of publishers who accept submissions, this is a great resource. If you write shorter format and are looking for places to publish, this is a great resource.
AWARDS & PRIZES
If you work with an indie publisher, there is a good chance they will not seek out awards and prizes on your behalf and this will be left up to you to figure out. Most publishers are happy to submit for ones that require they do vs. the author so long as you pay for the entry fees and costs of books. Expenses can add up quickly! Here's an article I found helpful.
The BOOK DEAL: ROYALTIES
Understanding how royalties work is one of the most important ways that authors can advocate for fair pay for their work. Do you know the difference between being paid based on list price vs. net revenue? I didn't, and it was a hard lesson learned! This article does a great job of laying it all out with critical info you should know before signing anything.
WRITE OR DIE / CHILL SUBS
The BEST site to find open submissions for all sorts of writing opportunities, craft workshops, places to promote your writing and writing services, and a charming and caring community of writers who are dedicated to supporting each other. Now called Chill Subs but formerly known as Write or Die.
Shelf Awareness is a super helpful resource for published or soon to be published authors. It includes industry information related to bookstores and the publishing sector as well as what booksellers, librarians, and other industry experts are reading and interested in. They also have news about new books, author interviews, and more.
Book Riot is the largest independent editorial book site in North America and home to a host of media, from podcasts to newsletters to original content, all designed around diverse readers. You can subscribe to Book Riot's various newsletters to keep updated on releases. They also have promotional and ad opportunities for authors to promote their books.
POETS & WRITERS
No doubt you've heard of P&W, but just in case! Poets & Writers is the nation’s largest nonprofit organization serving creative writers. They foster the professional development of writers, promote communication throughout the literary community, and help create an environment in which literature can be appreciated by the widest possible public.