2021 Master Class: The Art and Business of Getting Published: Traditional, Indie, and Everything in Between (Morning)


A workshop about publishing with Jane Friedman.

4 Mornings:  Monday 11/8 – Thursday 11/11, 9:00am-12:00pm

A $100 combination discount will be applied when registering for the conference at the same time.

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The Art and Business of Getting Published: Traditional, Indie, and Everything in Between

with Jane Friedman

In this comprehensive masterclass, you’ll learn not just the foundational principles of getting a book published, but you’ll also gain expert insight into the changing landscape of the publishing industry, and how you can navigate your own path toward success. Learn what it takes to capture the attention of a New York publisher or literary agent, plus when self-publishing or hybrid options might be best suited for your strengths or business goals.

This masterclass will cover:

  • How to evaluate the commercial potential of your project and what it takes to appeal to a New York publisher or literary agent—plus how to use databases and online tools to identify the right home for your work.
  • What professional submissions materials look like. Your query letter should be short and sweet and pack a punch. Learn what it means to sell your story, and how to avoid problems that plague (and sabotage) authors.
  • When a literary agent is necessary or desirable. You’ll learn what the standard agenting practices are and how to make sure you don’t get involved with a bad one.
  • How to evaluate publishers outside of New York. The world of independent publishers—including university presses, small presses, and regional presses—is vast and can sometimes be more challenging to understand than New York publishing, as they all operate a bit differently.
  • The author platform dilemma. Not too far into your publishing journey, you’ll hear agents and editors talk about platform. Is it necessary to have one to get published? How big does it have to be? There aren’t easy answers, but you’ll learn what industry expectations are.
  • How publishers market books (or not) and the role that authors play in sales success.
  • Amazon and the role of algorithms in book retailing, sales, and marketing. Amazon is the biggest book retailer in the US and is by far the strongest player on the book publishing scene. You’ll learn what you can and can’t control here, and how to play the best game possible without breaking the rules.
  • Everything you need to know about the self-publishing and hybrid publishing landscape, in plain English. Learn the best practices of professional, self-publishing authors and if it’s a realistic option for you.

At the end of the class, you’ll have a comprehensive, business understanding of the book publishing industry and an author’s place in the ecosystem of agents, publishers, and retailers. You’ll gain a deep understanding of the commercial publishing business model, how hybrid and self-published authors compete and succeed, and how you can approach the process with the right expectations and mindset.



Jane is a legend in the publishing world. She’s the publisher and editor of The Hot Sheet, the essential publishing industry newsletter for authors, and is the former publisher of Writer’s Digest. She has been interviewed and featured by NPR, PBS, The Washington Post, the National Press Club and many other outlets.

In addition to being a columnist with Publishers Weekly and a professor with The Great Courses, Jane maintains an award-winning blog for writers at JaneFriedman.com (200,000 visits per month). She’s delivered keynotes on the digital era of authorship at the San Francisco Writers Conference, The Muse & The Marketplace, and Willamette Writers Conference, among many others. She speaks regularly at industry events such as BookExpo America and Digital Book World, and has served on panels with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Creative Work Fund.

Her essays have been published in anthologies by the University of Chicago Press, Seal Press, Milkweed Editions, and McPherson & Co. Her latest book is THE BUSINESS OF BEING A WRITER (University of Chicago Press, 2018), which received a starred review from Library Journal.