Jun 18 2014 4:30pm

25 Quick Tips From Mike Underwood on How the Publishing Industry Works

Ever wanted to know if you absolutely need an agent to get your manuscript in front of the right eyes? How to handle it if booksellers don’t stock your book? How to pitch your book so people will actually listen?

In a delightfully in-depth blog post on Chuck Wendig's Terrible Minds that reads like Publishing Survival 101, author, Angry Robot Books sales and marketing manager, and angry robot-shooting guy Mike Underwood delivers 25 valuable pieces of explanation and advice on the intricacies of the publishing industry from to start to finish. And he delivers them in the form of Pacific Rim references!

25 Secrets of Publishing Revealed is just that—candid insights into the industry for those looking to break in. The author of Geekomancy and the forthcoming The Younger Gods, Underwood applies his experiences and more than one Stacker Pentecost quote to burning questions about niche genres, traditonal vs. small publishers, Hollywood checks, and thriving in today’s rapidly shifting publishing realm.

Nuggets of wisdom include:

  • Selling a Book to a Publisher is Business/Art Dating
  • No One at the Publisher Hates You
  • Booksellers Are Awesome, But They Have to Be Profitable, Too
  • Covers Are for the Publisher
  • You Have More Power Than You Ever Did Before, Because Options
  • Chances Are, Many People Have Been Where You Are, Dear Friend Dry-Heaving in the Alley

As people who exist in publishing (and a rocket), we can vouch for the clarity of Underwood’s explanations. It’s a great primer. So what are you waiting for? Hop on over to Underwood’s article and read your fill about the Great Publishing Jaeger (an image we won’t soon forget) and cyberpunk Westerns starring transwomen (ditto).

1. RM A
Too bad site is down right now. Hopefully someone else will comment when it's back up.
2. Michael R. Underwood
Looks like it's back up, now.
Jack Flynn
3. JackofMidworld
A good read (so was Shield and Crocus, for that matter, really enjoyed it). Thanks for linking it, I'll definitely be passing it on to my writing group.
4. RM A
Worth coming back for... Thanks for writing such an informative an entertaining piece, Michael. I appreciated the encouragement at the end, too.
Alan Brown
5. AlanBrown
Sometimes these writerly advice columns are a bit depressing and tedious to read, but Mr. Underwood serves this medicine with a spoonful of sugar. I have rarely seen such harsh realities presented in a manner so delightful.

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