In a few minutes (at 11am) I’ll be live-tweeting the #NCWIC panel discussion - How the Publisher Works With You. Sound bites and nuggets of wisdom from people in the know. @commapress @McrWritingSchl #WritingCommunity #amwriting #WritersCafe #writerslife
Starting now! Harper North, Jacaranda, Pushkin Press and Nightjar all represented. @commapress @McrWritingSchl #WritingCommunity #amwriting #WritersCafe #writerslife
Nicholas Royle from @NightjarPress chairs.
Poppy Stimson from @PushkinPress
Missed Cerise! Was too busy looking up twitter handles.
Jonathan de Peter from @HarperNorthUK
How is your relationship with writers established?
Can be through agent, can be grassroots, can be just through tweets, followed by questionnaire that is used throughout process. Get to know each other! Cerise Lopes from @JacarandaBooks
Jacaranda very open to direct submissions. Whatever is best for the author.

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Are publishers keener on agented writers?

Harper North - Jonathan says his work has been 50/50 agented/unagented. Likes working with unagented authors though each scenario is different. Harper North does have open submissions.

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It’s a relationship. Trust. Communication, clarity, timeliness. There are challenges right now so meetings are digital, so there are also trusted partners like @McrWritingSchl .
Poppy as publicist comes in about 6 months before publication to talk strategy. Are there stories the author wants to tell press etc. Author care is key component for publicist. Authors come first. Many authors don’t have huge networks - not essential. @commapress @McrWritingSchl
Pitch should be a love letter to book and author, brings publicity campaign to life. ❤️
Everyone pitching to everyone else to share the book and vision. @commapress @McrWritingSchl #WritingCommunity #amwriting #WritersCafe #writerslife
Cerise: problems in editing?
There can be obvious technical problems in structural edit (first edit when you receive a manuscript, making sure story comes together in cohesive way). Working with author to solidify central ideas of book. Communication must be sensitive.
Also problems arise because people experience upheavals, author needs support, there’s so much going on. Editor needs to step up and support the author. @commapress @McrWritingSchl #WritingCommunity #amwriting #WritersCafe #writerslife
Authors causing problems? Cerise finds this question tricky. She feels fortunate although some authors are never ready to let the manuscript go. Can delay publication. @commapress @McrWritingSchl #WritingCommunity #amwriting #WritersCafe #writerslife
Takes pre-acquisitions step seriously - can this author work with me productively?

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Jonathan: acquires non fiction. Make sure manuscript when it’s delivered lives up to expectations. Delivery timing is problematic, schedules slip, life happens. Reassure authors it’s not always business over people, the process supports authors and - important to be understanding
Communication is key. Publishers remember that book is hugely important to author. Authors remember there are many @commapress @McrWritingSchl #WritingCommunity #amwriting #WritersCafe #writerslife
Commissioning - easier for nonfiction than fiction. Story arcs unpredictable but nonfiction easier to predict. But what about memoir? Tricky compromise and proposals should be involved - 15-20k words.
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Poppy - working on children’s list. Currently releasing When Life Gives You Mangoes. News slots unfortunately v small. Get creative, use social media. Send out proofs - blogs, reviews, recommendations from high profile names - span of coverage, national and online. Building fans.
So many books coming out, so much to do.
Lucky and amazing to get big names endorsing, which can lead to more media coverage.
Interviews in press even from someone who isn’t the author can champion the book. Bloggers v important. Can really build a campaign.
Netgalley reviews can be used as bait to spread word and get other sources interested.

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Cerise - author/publisher relationship after book is complete? As an editor I hand off to publicist, but still in touch with author, celebrating, maintaining relationship. A book has a long life, an author longer as there may be more books. Important to keep mutual support.
Myth that the publisher/author relationship is a thing of the past - does mutual support still exist? Jacaranda’s ethos is to invest not just in author but in career. Small press understands when author is picked up by bigger press - celebrate success.
Authors sometimes choose to stay, b/c relationship. But even moving to big publisher can help small press as previous books can sell better. Nick wants to know, what about author loyalty? Cerise says it’s important to understand author needs. She’s so lovely.
Cherise! So sorry!
Questions in the chat about how unagented authors ensure fair contracts? Hasn’t come up in discussion yet. Watch this space. @commapress @McrWritingSchl #WritingCommunity #amwriting #WritersCafe #writerslife
Jonathan - human stuff is important, build relationships, care properly. Authors who move to big publishers may return because the experience is different. @commapress @McrWritingSchl #WritingCommunity #amwriting #WritersCafe #writerslife
Jonathan- relationship between author and publisher is never over. Always more opportunity. Continually think about refreshing and reframing past work. @commapress @McrWritingSchl #WritingCommunity #amwriting #WritersCafe #writerslife
Questions from the floor:
What’s the state of ms being accepted right now? More or fewer? Scaling back? Adding? Cherise says scaling back, focus, safeguard resources, conserving, small presses around the world doing this.
Harper North has been overwhelmed by manuscripts so no shortage of submissions. Will be commissioning 20-25 nonfiction in coming year. @commapress @McrWritingSchl #WritingCommunity #amwriting #WritersCafe #writerslife
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