The Art and Business of Getting Published: Traditional, Indie, and Everything in Between
with Jeff Kleinman and Regina Brooks
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.
Regina Brooks is the founder and president of Serendipity Literary Agency LLC in New York, New York. Her agency is the largest African American owned agency in the country and has represented and established a diverse base of award-winning clients in adult and young adult fiction, nonfiction, and children’s literature. Her authors have appeared in USA TODAY, NY TIMES, and the Washington Post, as well as on Oprah, ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, FOX, MSBNC, TV ONE, BET, and a host of others. In 2015, Publishers Weekly nominated Regina Brooks as a PW Star Watch Finalist, and she was honored with a Stevie Award in Business. Writer’s Digest magazine named Serendipity Literary Agency as one of the top 25 literary agencies. Formerly, she held senior editorial positions at John Wiley and Sons (where she was not only the youngest but also the first African-American editor in their college division) and McGraw-Hill.
Jeff Kleinman is a literary agent, intellectual property attorney, and founding partner of Folio Literary Management, LLC, a New York literary agency which works with all of the major U.S. publishers (and, through subagents, with most international publishers).
As an agent, Jeff feels privileged to have the chance to learn a great variety of new subjects, meet an extraordinary range of people, and feel, at the end of the day, that he’s helped to build something – a wonderful book, perhaps, or an author’s career. Books of his clients include the bestsellers The Art of Racing in the Rain (Garth Stein), The Snow Child (a Pulitzer finalist; Eowyn Ivey), Widow of the South (Robert Hicks), and Mockingbird (Charles Shields), among many others.