How to Publish Your Book: Seeking Publication

N. K. Jemisin

Lesson time 14:39 min

Nora gives you an overview of the publishing process, dispels common myths, and gives you best practices for finding an agent and a publisher.

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Topics include: The Publishing Process • Do You Want to Publish? • The Tax Benefits of Publishing • How Do You Want to Enter? • The Pros and Cons of Self-Publishing • The Pros and Cons of Traditional Publishing


[MUSIC PLAYING] N. K. JEMISIN: Just looking at something with your name on it that you wrote, that you put out into the world, and it looks great, that's a wonderful feeling. And that in and of itself is a great reason to publish. [MUSIC PLAYING] Now it's probably time for us to start talking about the actual process of publication and how to survive as a professional writer if you decide to dip into these waters. Now, I've given many talks on this before. And I've actually created some notes for myself. So I'm going to be referring to those throughout. [MUSIC PLAYING] Is it possible for you to become a published writer? Yes. It is possible for anyone to publish these days because the self-publishing boom has sort of taken over the world. And you don't even have to be good. You don't have to write a good book. You don't have to write a book. It can be a collection of recipes. It can be whatever you want to publish if you choose to do so. Now, that said, if you're looking to make a career as a professional writer, that's a different story. And then we're talking self publishing is still a possibility there. But traditional publishing and hybrid models are something we should talk about. Now, with the caveat that I am primarily a traditional writer, we'll talk a little bit about the different ways to break in. But because I am a traditionally published writer who has a publisher, I don't do any of my own marketing or book jackets or anything like that, that's the main thing I'm going to speak to because that's what I'm most familiar with. It's still very possible to break in via traditional publishing. And in fact, if you want to do certain kinds of publishing, traditional publishing is still the best method to do so. But there's absolutely nothing wrong with self publishing either. It's really kind of dependent on what your goal is and what you're hoping to get out of the publishing process. I want to warn people at this point that we're going to do real talk here. And it's possibly going to be discouraging. It may be intimidating or uncomfortable. I want to be honest, though, about your chances and about the hardships that you're going to face. And we'll talk positively about, you know, the benefits, too. But you know, I'm not-- I'm not trying to sell you on the thing here. I'm actually trying to do the opposite. If you don't 100% commit to the idea of trying to get published, it doesn't make sense to try it. It's a waste of your time. It's a big waste of money. And it's a heartbreaker that's kind of waiting to happen. [MUSIC PLAYING] So the first question that you want to answer is whether you want to publish in the first place. You don't have to publish to be a writer. You are a writer from the moment that you start to write. So don't feel like publication is absolutely necessary for that process. But there are some benefits and consequences to publishing that you want to maybe-...

About the Instructor

The winner of the Hugo Award for three consecutive years for her Broken Earth Trilogy, N. K. Jemisin has sold millions of books and created new cultures and histories. Now the acclaimed science fiction and fantasy writer is teaching you how to create a world from scratch, develop compelling characters, and get published. Build your craft and share your voice with inclusive fiction that reflects your experience.

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N. K. Jemisin

Bestselling sci-fi and fantasy writer N. K. Jemisin teaches you how to create diverse characters, build a world from scratch, and get published.

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