All You Ever Wanted to Know about Publishing

I’ve only mentioned it a few times on this blog, but I consider myself very lucky to work at a publishing house. And I love what I do! For a while, my career was taking a different path, and it wasn’t nearly as satisfying as I hoped. I took a chance on publishing, thinking it would be a “dream job,” and guess what? Dreams can become reality. I love working with books, and every day brings new learning at the publishing house. It’s not a dream every day, but I sure do enjoy what I do.

I used to work with the nonfiction divisions at the house, but I recently transitioned to the fiction team. Which is very! exciting. But since I’m moving away from nonfiction, and the more general role I previously held, I thought I would share a few lessons learned and insights gained during that time. These are tidbits not only that I learned, but I thought might be interesting for others in the writing world who are looking to getting traditionally published. So here we go!

Most authors who get signed have an agent

We have an online submission system that we direct authors to who want to submit an unsolicited manuscript to us, but generally speaking, we do not take unsolicited manuscripts. Nearly all authors who get signed have an agent, or get one early on in the game. Those who didn’t have an agent but still got a deal connected with the acquiring editor at a conference or through another author we publish. Agents are important! And if you don’t have an agent, you definitely have to get yourself out there.

Titles are not the author’s decision–and they can’t be trademarked, either

We work hard to collaborate with authors on their book titles, but the ultimate decision comes down to the publisher. There may be a rare case where an author worked a clause into their contract, but even then it never goes further than joint agreement on the title. About half the time, we’ll use the title an author proposes, and the other half of the time, we’ll go with a different idea we came up with. Sometimes, those titles might be the title of another book–and again, we do try not to use titles in our space that are recent. But the occasional drama does come up! *shrugs*

Author platform does matter

This may be more specific to nonfiction books, but this really is true. I know this is something debated in the writing community, but it definitely is important in all I’ve seen. Granted, “important” ends up mattering in different ways. Here’s what I mean–our publishing committee discusses an author’s platform before we ever sign them. Sometimes, we make a comment about the small platform, but if we really like the content and enough people speak up in support for it, we might move forward with a book, giving it a small projection. However, if an author has a small platform and weak content, that might sway the room against the proposal. So, all said, platform makes a difference, but it’s not the sole deciding factor.

You don’t need an English degree to work at a publishing house

Yes, many people do have English degrees–at least the people in the editorial department. But there are tons of different roles at a publishing house that lots of people don’t ever think about–rights and contracts, production, sales, marketing, customer service, design, and more! Some of these departments might require a college degree, but many others might not. There’s a starting place for everyone, and typically lots of ways to grow and strengthen your career no matter where you begin.

Publishing schedules work way in advance–and all at once

Explanation: We work on three schedules, spring, summer, and fall. At any given time, we’re at a different point for each season, and we’ll be working on anywhere from three to five seasons at a time. For example, right now, we are just getting start on books releasing in spring 2020, and we’re at various points for books releasing in fall 2019, summer 2019, and of course, those releasing now in spring 2019. Especially in my previous assistant position, I was always looking ahead to schedule meetings and plan for books releasing years from now. Plus, we’ll look at new book proposals and might sign the author, but the book won’t be due for at least a year. This publishing business takes time, which is necessary but can also be infuriating!

That’s all for today! Interested in more insights from the publishing house? I’m sure I’ll have tons more to share from everything I’m learning while working in fiction. Stay tuned!

Until next time,


halloweeny books i want to read…(someday)

Isn’t Halloweeny just the best word?!?

I get joy from it, okay? Don’t gimme that look.

Just about everyone goes on and on about how this time of year is perfect for reading creepy, thriller, horror, Halloweeny books. And I don’t disagree! There are tons of said books that I would love to be picking up right now.

Except…it’s not going to happen. Simply because I have a bazillion other books I’ve been looking forward to, and I’m not very motivated to set those aside for seasonal reading.

SO. I’m putting this list together as more of a hypothetical one, although maybe it’ll actually be my TBR next Halloween? Who knows!

Read on for 8 Halloweeny books I want to read (someday).

Continue reading “halloweeny books i want to read…(someday)”

5 best times to read

Has there ever been a time when you were totally vibing with reading? You were immersed in your book, your surroundings were ideal, it was you and your book against the world?

Hey, me too! I’ll feel very sad for you if you haven’t.

As a bookish and inquisitive person, I’ve observed over the years that there are certain times of day in which I’m most likely to achieve said vibes with reading. When nothing is wrong with the world (at least in my bubble) and the reading is good. Five of those times stand out as the very best.

Read on, and perhaps you’ll experience some excellent reading vibes in your future.


  1. First thing in the morning

    If you are lucky (like me), you have lazy mornings all week long. Mornings in which you wake up at a Normal Human Being hour (never before 7:00am), you’re not in a rush to get anywhere because work or school starts later in the day, and you have some time to putz around. Instead of putzing, I suggest reading.


    Reading first thing in the morning is SO LOVELY. Get your cereal, your coffee or tea, open your blinds to let the sun in, and settle down with your book for a while. I did this for a few months straight, and allowed myself one hour to read in the morning. LET ME TELL YOU, it was glorious. It also made me motivated to read more later on in the day because I was thinking about my book all day and wondering what would happen next.

  2. Right before bed

    Also very nice is reading right before bed! A nice book end to the day if you also read first thing in the morning. (Don’t mind my pun.)

    Now, this can be a tricky time depending on the book you’re reading. Sometimes, if a book is boring and you’re not really into it, reading before bed just puts you to sleep. Not necessarily a bad thing, but definitely the opposite of good vibes. On the other hand, if you’re super into a book, you’ll keep reading until your eyes are watering and suddenly it’s the wee hours of the morning. Also not good.

    However, if you can manage to cuddle up and read for just a bit, warm the bed before you nod off, and finish up one last chapter, it can be real nice.

  3. When procrastinating

    Let’s be honest; we all do it. When we’re procrastinating from doing our homework, filling out a job application, finishing laundry…we read instead!

    It’s a great time to do so, because you’re doubly focused on your task at hand. You resolutely don’t want to be doing that thing you’re procrastinating from, so you push it to the corner of your mind and determinedly focus on your reading. Hopefully you don’t start feeling guilty like I do after a while.

    Being so focused on your task and sneaking in some reading can open up some good reading vibes.

  4. Whilst on a drive (of at least 15 minutes or more)

    This time of day is a double whammy because it’s applicable whether you’re the driver or a passenger whilst on said drive. Two for one, y’all!


    As a passenger, nothing passes time better on a drive than reading. Road trips in particular are My Jam. I LOVE reading books compulsively while stuck in a car for hours. There’s almost something addicting about it.

    On the flip side, listening to audiobooks while being a driver has also been My Jam lately. Radio stations are so exhausting, with their song collections totaling ten songs, comprised of songs I hate as much as I like. Ugh. Just skip them altogether and listen to a fab book instead. (But make sure you still pay a little attention to the road…Might be a good idea.)

  5. When you’re excited about a book

    This last one might sound like a no-brainer, but hear me out. How many times have you set aside a book you’re so excited about because you have other things going on? You have work to do. You’re reading another book already. You have to get to sleep. This Special One will just have to wait until later.

    Don’t do it! I can tell you from lots and lots of experience that I have never regretted diving right into a book I’m super excited about no matter what else I have going on. If you want to be a respectable adult/person, manage your time so you can still get your Responsibilities squared away. Just make sure to give yourself plenty of time to read.

    RELISH in the fact that you’re super excited about a book and can’t wait to read it. Dive right in and snatch those good reading vibes, because they were meant for you.


What do you think? What are some of your best times to read? Comment down below!

Until next time,