News, Perspectives, and Insights on Writing and Publishing

From the Staff of The Editorial Department

November 2, 2015

Patience: A Sterling Virtue of Quality Publishing

When I was a kid, my mom — an impressively self-educated poor Tennessean with a high-school education and a fondness for annoying axioms — would say, in a sing-song voice, “Patience is a virtue, and it will never hurt you.” Keeping my mouth shut in the face of […]
October 27, 2015

A Guide to Sub-Genres in Fantasy and Science Fiction

Sub-genres of any kind can be difficult to nail down, but in the genres of fantasy and science fiction it’s not easy to even get them to hold still. The principle reason for this is that these two genres are often collectively called “speculative fiction” because they deal […]
October 23, 2015

Mainstream Publishers and the Acquisition of Successful Self-Published Titles

How interested are mainstream publishers in buying successful self-published books? I don’t mean hugely successful titles (Hugh Howey’s stuff, say), but books that have racked up impressive sales. And how many sales does it take to get a traditional publisher’s attention? This is a hard question to answer […]
October 22, 2015

Characterization and the Film Adaptation of Jack Reacher

Can an inherent limitation in the medium of film compel Lee Child to take a seminal character in contemporary fiction to a whole new level? I remember it like it was yesterday, the conflicting moment during a hotly contested game of Scrabble when I learned that there was […]
October 19, 2015

Which Publishing Path is Better for Debut Authors?

These days, it seems harder and harder to land an agent and a traditional publisher, while on the other hand, many of the growing number of self-published books on sites like Amazon have difficulty finding an audience.  What is your advice for unpublished novelists who are faced with […]
October 12, 2015

Titles and Synopses

Here are a couple of procedural questions, both on things that are terrible and hard: titles and synopses. Q Can you tell me a little about book titles and how often an author’s own title survives the publication process? If a title changes, is it the agent, editor, […]