Bookbuilders of Boston is a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing together people involved in book publishing and manufacturing throughout New England. Our blog describes industry events that we sponsor or attend.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

2011 Workshops Kick Off Strong

About ninety people registered for the first in the fall workshop series, and over sixty attended. There is a capacity limit on the room, so please be sure to register for the events tomorow night, next week, and at the beginning of November.

Jennifer Urban-Brown covered  acquisitions and editorial topics. At Shambhala, she actively acquires titles, reaching out to potential authors to fill needs in the list. Unsolicited manuscripts, foreign works, and agents provide leads as well, but publishers often have to be proactive in order to meet the specific goals that they have set for new titles. 

Jennifer discussed the difference between developmental editing--in my experience, often kept in-house--and copyediting, which is often outsourced.  The in-house team that works with an author must be sensitive to the author's needs and also effective in communicating the vision for a book to other departments.

Becky Hemperly, a Bookbuilders scholarship recipient, has had a wide range of experience across publishing departments. This led her to recognize that a book's contract should be forward-thinking and cover as many considerations over the life of the book as possible--not only royalties and complimentary copies, but the needs of production, sales, and marketing as well.

Lastly, Joanne Wyckoff of the Carol Mann Agency spoke about her personal publishing journey. She worked as an editor at Random House in New York for thirteen years, where she negotiated all her own contracts. On the flip side, as an agent, Joanne now spends a good deal of time editing: polishing a manuscript before it is presented for consideration by publishers.

The Q&A session was lively, with the following highlights for Joanne:

What was the most difficult situation you've encountered?
Hint: Author relations.

How do you evaluate agents?
Think: networking.

To work as an assistant at a literary agency, how important is it to have editorial experience?
Surprise: Business acumen is as important for those pursuing this career.

Thank you to the Maple-Vail Book Manufacturing Group for sponsoring this workshop.

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