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Thursday, March 12, 2009
Guest Blogger Christina Katz: A Village to Raise a Book (and one comment to win one)
I'm a writer. And a mother. Sometimes I write about my kids and motherhood. Sometimes not. I don't really consider myself a mother-writer, mom writer, or writer mama, and in fact I have often discouraged others from using that label when describing me. This has a lot more to do with my own disinclination to limit myself than the nomenclature itself. I say limit because unfortunately these labels are often meant to describe a writer who writes almost exclusively about being a mother. Truth is, many – perhaps even most – writers who also happen to be mothers, actually write about much more than their children and their maternal roles. I'd even hazard a guess that most mothers who are writers usually DO NOT write only, or even mostly, about mothering.
That's where Christina Katz comes in, a.k.a. Writer Mama (also the name of her first book). It's her mission to help writers (who are mothers) fashion viable writing careers – writing for magazines, the web, newspapers, paying blogs; or novels, memoirs, prescriptive nonfiction; or copywriting or…any kind of writing. Through in-person and online classes, books, blogs, newsletters & ezines, Katz offers education, support and networking possibilities to help women, as her book's tagline notes, "raise a writing career alongside your kids." Not necessarily a career writing only about mothering. That's the category of writer mamas in which I wouldn't mind being included.
Please welcome Christina Katz…and leave a comment here by midnight tonight to win a copy of her book.
The Writer Mama Two-Year Anniversary Blog Tour Giveaway!
Post #12: It Takes A Village
Lest we forget, it takes a village to write a book. Writing a book is not an event; it’s a journey, similar to ascending a mountain. (A mountain that you create as you climb!) Don’t go it alone. And, for heaven’s sake, don’t create an antagonistic dynamic with the folks who can be your allies and help you champion your book into the world. I’ve already talked about collaborating with the folks over on the publishing end of your book. So let’s talk a bit about these mysterious folks:
The Acquisitions Editor
Jane Friedman was my acquisitions editor for Writer Mama. She was the editor who offered me the contract and who was my first ally inside the publishing company. The AE is the person who went to bat for your proposal and helped get your book concept through the approval process so you can receive an offer and sign a book contract. Keep in touch with your acquisitions editor, even after she’s handed you off to your book editor (if this happens).
The Book Editor
Chances are good that your acquisitions editor will hand you off to another editor, your book editor. A book editor may or may not be the project manager of your book as well. But don’t be surprised if your Acquisitions Editor is still involved in major decisions like cover art, formatting, and how to structure the book (at least this was my experience).
The Cover Designer
Cover designers may work in-house for publishers or as freelancers. The cover designer for Writer Mama was a member of the in-house team for F+W. I was fortunate that my agent negotiated to include me in the cover review process. Working closely with your acquisitions editor and book editor can only help when it comes time for cover art reviews. And of course, it goes without saying that you won’t always love your cover design. Always get your agent involved when offering input on cover design. That’s one of their helpful roles.
The Copy Editor
You will interact with your copy editor after you have completed your final manuscript. The copy editor assigned to you will likely be a freelancer. You will receive a series of suggestions from your copy editor that further refine your manuscript and help prepare it for publication. However, it’s good to prepare yourself for the inevitable typos that your entire editorial team will likely miss. Typos happen. That’s just life. And don’t worry, your writer friends will likely let you know all about the typos that they find when they get their copies. (Or you can ask them to so you can alert your publisher for the next printing.)
The Publicity Director
Whoever manages book promotion and book events for your publisher is definitely a person you want to get to know. That is, if you want to be invited to literary conferences and get support publicizing your book. I am fortunate that the publicity and events manager at Writer’s Digest Book was such a charming and organized guy. If you make an effort to get to know your publicity director, everything promotion-related with your book is bound to go better.
The Sales Team
I dropped the ball on this one. It never occurred to me that the sales team would care to meet me, so I didn’t initiate anything. When I finally met the two sales team leaders at a conference, I kicked myself for not getting to know them sooner. My bad. Go ahead and ask one of your editors, if and when it would make sense to introduce yourself to the sales folks.
We’ll talk more about the other important “village people” at the next stop on the blog tour.
Today's Book Drawing: To enter to win a signed, numbered copy of Writer Mama, answer the following question in this blog's comments:
How shy are you about contacting people you don't already know? One thing I discovered when I became an author is that I am pretty comfortable chatting with folks I already know, but I hesitate when I haven't met the person before. Will you be willing to stick out your hand to all of the folks you'll need to meet at your future publishing house?
Thanks for participating! Only US residents, or folks with a US mailing address can participate in the drawing. Please only enter once per day. Where will the drawing be tomorrow? Visit the Writer Mama blog to continue reading the rest of the Writer Mama story throughout March 2009!