Get Pressed! series extended into 2019

Write616 is pleased to announce that the Get Pressed! program will continue in 2019.

Optimized for early-career authors (i.e., writers who have little or no experience with traditional publishing), the Get Pressed series covers the basics of author identities, marketing, agents and editors, and literary financing. The dominant perspective is small-press traditional publishing. We will not focus on New York agents or self-publishing skills. You don’t need to be published to understand how publishing works!

From there, you can register to attend. For 2019, all tickets are managed through Eventbrite. We require registration for 2019 given that venue space is limited. There’s never a cost to attend.

January 15Get Fit to Print

Eager to get your start as a published author but not sure how to begin? In the tradition of a couch-to-5K program, we’ll walk you through a month-by-month strategy to take you from zero to literary hero in one year. Of course, we can’t guarantee you’ll be published, but if you need structure to get you motivated, we’ve got a detailed framework that should help you get off to a great start.

February 19Publisher Q&A

In February, we take a step back from formal education to open the floor to a question-and-answer session about the publishing industry. No topic is off limits (although we will not entertain pitches during this conversation).

March 19: Economics of Publishing

Publishing is a high-cost, low-margin business. Gain valuable insight into the factors weighing into whether a given manuscript might be accepted for contracting, as well as a realistic assessment of the costs and revenues associated with traditional-, self- and vanity-published books.

April 16: Author Networking

Writing might be a solitary art, but being a published author takes a village. In this seminar, we’ll discuss strategies for growing your network and connecting with peer writers, including recommended events to attend and online communities to join. We’ll also share advice for overcoming social anxiety to participate more fully in our community of readers and writers.

May 21: Author Platform

The journey of a thousand readers begins with a single website. Many aspiring authors find rejection because they have no built-in audience — i.e., platform. In this session, we’ll discuss the primary methods of platform building (websites, mailing lists and social media) as well as best practices for both growing and developing a loyal following of readers.

June 18: Author Marketing and Sales

If you attended our April and May sessions, you know how vital it is to build a network and to grow a reader platform. Those steps are prerequisites to the essential author-marketing activities you’ll need to practice every day to grow your revenue as a published writer. In this session, we’ll explore standard marketing tools for promoting a published book, as well as tips for mastering the hand-sell at readings, signings and sales events.

July: (no session)

August 20: Query Packages

If your query package isn’t optimal, agents and editors will almost surely pass on your book, no matter how great it might be. In this session, we’ll review approaches to querying, from finding markets to preparing letters to tracking your submissions. In addition, we’ll dive into the important differences between long-form fiction, long-form non-fiction, and any short-form content and how those different types of content tend to be evaluated by editors.

September 17Finding Markets

You’ve written the Next Great American Novel. Now what? In this session, we’ll explore the best practices for finding the “right” market for your genre, length and platform — including practical advice for pitching an editor or an agent.

October 15: Professionalism Standards for Emerging Authors

No one talks about it, but — the things you do, or don’t do, as an emerging author directly contribute to whether you land a contract. Or keep one! In this session, we’ll discuss the transition from the “artist” model of creating content to the “supplier” model of working with agents and publishers. We’ll share best practices for follow-ups, dispute resolution and the airing of grievances, as well as explore the red flags that suggest that an emerging author might not be a good cultural fit for the processes and stakeholders of traditional publishing.

November: (no session)

December 17: Self-Edit Strategies

A commercially successful author once mentioned that one of her novels earned 19 separate rounds of editing. Does that sound like too much? After this session, you’ll understand why 19 might be a pretty average sweet spot — and how the first critical 10 rounds, which you perform yourself, lead to consistently tighter stories and more solid construction.

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Jason Gillikin proudly serves on the board of directors of Write616. He's also co-founder and CEO of Caffeinated Press.

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