If I Knew Then What I Know Now: Authors on Publishing

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In the Book Riot Live Interview, we asked speakers our burning questions about the writing process, publishing, and their Hogwarts House (naturally).

Q: What do you now now about publishing that you wished you knew when you were first starting out? 

Jeph Jacques: You’ll be doing this for your entire adult life.

Joni Rodgers: Not a thing. If I’d known how unlikely I was to succeed, I might not have allowed myself to fall in love with the idea that I could make a living as a writer. I came into this with no expectations, so it’s been like a cosmic surprise party—with mostly good surprises—and the biggest blunders provided the best education.

Meg Medina: That you will spend a lot of time on things that are NOT writing but that shape your career just as much.

Ayize Jama-Everett: Talent, luck, relationships, and persistence all play their part.

Diane McMartin: It takes a looooong time!

Nisi Shawl: How long traditional publishers take to get your work in readers’ hands. It can be *years* between the day you finish a book and the day it shows up at retailers.

Charlie Jane Anders: It’s okay to fail. You can keep banging your head against the door for years before you get in. The most important thing is to be nice to other people, and do your best to welcome newcomers into the community.

Alyssa Cole: That publishing is not some magical kingdom. While I love publishing, you find the same problematic and outdated modes of thinking as you do in any other aspect of society. The good thing is that, like society at large, these ideas and policies can be challenged and overcome.

Patrick Phillips: The power of hustle: the power of getting up very early in the morning, and writing for an hour or two before the kids wake up.

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