How to Publish Your Book

Course No. 2553
Professor Jane Friedman,
University of Virginia
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Course No. 2553
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What Will You Learn?

  • numbers Explore the history of the publishing business, the competition in the market, and the major players in the industry.
  • numbers Learn what elements comprise a good query letter and which red flags almost always result in immediate rejection.
  • numbers Understand why you might be rejected, even if you’ve done everything correctly and what feedback is being conveyed.
  • numbers Get a handle on the pros and cons of self-publishing and other formats and deliverables for your writing.

Course Overview

We have all heard the stories of publishing “miracles,” such as the struggling English teacher who fished his first short story out of the trash, turned it into a novel in two weeks, and ended up becoming one of the best-selling authors of all time. Or the teacher living on welfare whose book got published because the head of a publishing house gave the first chapter to his daughter to read, resulting in one of the most successful franchises in the world. Or the stay-at-home mom of three active children who wrote at night and just happened to have her manuscript picked up from a slush pile, turning her into a wildly successful Young Adult writer.

Hearing these stories of success can make getting published appear to be easy—a happenstance where the right manuscript, in the hands of the right publisher, means anyone can become a best-selling phenomenon. But, sadly, that’s not the case. With the advent of the convenience offered by the internet, today’s new writers face unprecedented competition in the writing market. In addition, the publishing market is in a constant state of flux, susceptible to corporate take-overs or consolidations, making publishers even more wary about taking on new authors. Further, a plethora of options for publication make navigating the increasingly complex publishing industry harder than ever. Were those three best-selling writers just lucky?

Most authors, even those lucky best-sellers, have had to deal with self-doubt, rejection, and frustration. Whether it was a touch of luck or steady perseverance and using the right strategies, authors such as the ones whose stories were shared above (Stephen King, J. K. Rowling, and Stephenie Meyer, respectively) serve as both a source of inspiration and a source of frustration for aspiring writers. If they can do it, why can’t I?

Luck can, and occasionally does, play a role, but learning the ropes, understanding how publishing works, and having someone who can help you navigate this increasingly convoluted system will make all the difference between a manuscript sitting on your closet shelf—or rising to the top of the best-sellers list.

In the 24 eye-opening lectures of How to Publish Your Book, Jane Friedman, publishing industry expert and educator, provides you with sought-after secrets of the publishing process that will help you navigate this difficult progression, bypass pitfalls that many novice authors get hung up on, and improve your chances of being considered for publication. She acts as your personal guide though the entire process from finalizing your manuscript, to writing the perfect pitch, to reviewing contracts and marketing your book. She provides the candid scoop on what you need to do in order to increase your chances of being considered. The knowledge you’ll gain by having an inside expert teaching you how to position your book for publication gives you a unique advantage and drastically increases your chances of getting noticed in this increasingly competitive industry.

The Magic Formula to Getting Published

The reality is that there is no magic formula that will guarantee publication. Just writing a good book is certainly not enough. In fact, as you’ll learn in this course, once you have written your book, you are not even halfway there. The hard truth is that, with a rejection rate of 99%, many excellent manuscripts will never see publication, and many writers will give up the hope of ever being published.

There are, however, numerous things that you can do to improve your chances and streamline your path to success. This course will provide you with extensive insights into the publishing process that will help you avoid the most common mistakes, pitfalls, and wrong turns that many authors encounter. Avoiding these errors will help you to dramatically increase the likelihood of being considered for publication.

Professor Friedman provides a comprehensive path to publication, which is laid out in clear steps and includes specific tips and guidelines a writer in any stage will benefit from, covering topics like:

  • defining your genre and finding the right market
  • reviewing and editing your manuscript
  • determining the right agent or publisher
  • writing a query letter, developing a pitch, and constructing a proposal
  • submitting your manuscript
  • dealing with rejection
  • understanding a publication contract
  • the pros and cons of self-publishing
  • marketing your book

With expertise in the industry as the former publisher and editorial director of Writer’s Digest, a lecturer in publishing at the University of Virginia, and a former professor of e-media at the University of Cincinnati, Professor Friedman is highly qualified to provide you with a penetrating view into the many mysteries of the book publishing world. Previously an executive in the publishing world, and a published author herself, she has a depth of experience that provides her with unique insights into the publishing process from the both the perspective of the industry and of the writer enduring each step.

Be Aware of Publishing Pitfalls

Professor Friedman lays out the realities of writing for a living to aspiring writers so that they understand exactly the scope and commitment that may be required to undergo this process. Most writers, even those who have published multiple works, cannot support themselves fulltime as writers. As John Steinbeck famously noted: “The profession of book writing makes horse racing seem like a solid, stable business.” Professor Friedman adds that if you are just writing because your friends or family told you that you should write, you are making a mistake. Another common misconception she dispels is the notion that once you get a contract, your part is done. On the contrary, it is highly likely that you will bear the onus of promoting your book. Once you get a contract, you need to be prepared to publicize and market it.

Once you are aware of the challenges you may be facing, Professor Friedman guides you through the nuances of the different literary genres, advising on the popularity, ease of publication, and pros and cons of each one. She clears up misconceptions about the children’s book market, which is commonly considered one of the easiest genres to break into—yet in reality, the opposite is true. Professor Friedman helps you clarify your goals and objectives, provides tips for pinpointing your audience and market, and guides you in determining what genre best suits your story. This enables you to align your submission to the publication houses best suited for your manuscript and to better stand out from the crowd of ambiguously categorized submissions.

Uncover the Major Players in Publishing

Once you’ve selected the right category for your work, Professor Friedman reveals the publication options available to you. She reviews the Big Five in the publishing industry—New York-based publishers who account for more than two-thirds of the published books in the United States. Penguin Random House, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Hachette Book Group, and Macmillan comprise the Big Five, which Professor Friedman predicts will eventually become the Big Four or even Big Three. Professor Friedman explains the subsidiaries and conglomerates of each, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of working with smaller presses, independent publishing houses, and self-publishing. She also explores in-depth the role that major online players such as Amazon have had in subverting the traditional publishing process. Much like other evolutions and advancements in this industry, the emergence of Amazon has both benefits and drawbacks for struggling and established authors alike.

Nail the Query

One of the hardest parts of getting published is crafting the time-honored query letter—an exercise that can make even the best writers faint with dread. This short introduction of you and your work serves much the same purpose as a resume and cover letter do for job-seekers. At their base, all query letters should include:

  • an element of personalization or a demonstration that you’ve done your homework and you’re aware of the marketplace you are trying to enter;
  • a definition of the property you have to offer—meaning the title, genre and page count; and
  • a brief overview and pitch to sell your story—called a hook.

But in order to effectively catch the attention of an agent or publisher, it should be much more than that. Professor Friedman believes the query letter is all about seduction, and she notes that many authors struggle with it because they have to distance themselves from their work in order to view it as a marketable commodity—a product.

To add to the complexity, no publisher wants to hear “This is the next Hunger Games.” They need to understand what will make your book resonate and stand out in the market the way The Hunger Games did. They need to be intrigued by the scope of the conflict or immediately feel empathy and understanding for your main character, all within a few short paragraphs. You can understand why even experienced writers struggle with the perfect query letter.

Professor Friedman offers a number of illuminating strategies to help you create a gripping query. For example, answer a series of three questions in your hook:

  • What does your character want?
  • Why does he want it?
  • What keeps him from getting it?

She also strongly recommends having a query letter reviewed and critiqued by a number of outside resources in order to provide a distanced perspective that can truly detect if you’ve captured the essence of your story with a compelling hook.

Even if your query is stellar, chances are, you will have to deal with rejections. Professor Friedman spends two lectures exploring the ramifications of being rejected, provides insights into the real reasons that are often behind rejection, and shares tips on how to not take it personally so you can move on. She delves into the psychological battle all writers deal with, considering ways to deal with frustration and desperation and turn those emotions into motivation to keep trying and improving.

More than Fiction

The non-fiction market is much more competitive than commonly presumed, and commercial publishers are extremely selective. As Professor Friedman notes, in order to be considered, you are required to have “a viable idea that has a clear position in the market, paired with an author who has visibility to a readership and marketing savvy. You need to convince the publisher that you have direct and specific experience reaching and understanding your audience.”

Professor Friedman reveals the most important elements a non-fiction writer needs to consider when submitting for publication. She outlines the importance of the proposal, when you may and may not need one, and the three most important components your non-fiction book proposal must include:

  • “So what?” – Why does your book exist? What makes it unique, and which methods do you use to provide this information?
  • “Who cares?” – Demonstrate that there is a sizeable audience for your non-fiction book and that you know enough about your potential readers to know that this book will be of interest.
  • “Who are you?” – You must have sufficient credentials to present yourself as an authority on the subject.

She also lays out five significant steps in researching your proposal that will help you demonstrate how your idea isn’t like a million others out there, and she explains the best format to lay out your proposal. Nowhere else can you find such an invaluable tutorial on how to position your non-fiction book for success.

Going Beyond the Traditional Book

One of the most fascinating areas Professor Friedman explores is the multitude of options for aspiring writers that extend beyond traditional publication. While most writers dream of seeing their name in print, viewing their book physically on the shelf, and potentially even earning recognition and awards for their work, Professor Friedman introduces a number of alternative publishing options and discusses why they are worth considering. With the publishing industry getting increasingly more competitive, it can be beneficial to consider options such as blogs, websites, literary magazines, newsletters, academic journals, fan-fiction, social media, and more. We are living in a world where people are seeking online connections; collaborative reading and writing experiences are becoming increasingly popular. Attention spans are shrinking as well, so for the modern audience, short but poignant blog entries or crowd-sourced collective stories may be a more viable platform for your project than a full-length book. As Professor Friedman notes, “If your blog is read by fifty thousand people but your published book only reaches ten thousand, which one was more worth your time? For many authors, that’s not just a rhetorical question—it’s a reality.”

Self-publishing has made significant strides in the last few years. While self-publishing once signified that perhaps your book wasn’t good enough to get picked up by an established publisher, it’s become more commonly understood that people now self-publish simply to avoid the long process of securing an agent and book contract. And when you look at the success of self-published authors such as Lisa Genova (Still Alice, debuting on the New York Times Best Sellers list at number five in January 2009), or Andy Weir (The Martian, which is currently being produced as a film staring Matt Damon and directed by Ridley Scott), it’s easy to see how self-publishing has become a viable option for many writers.

Professor Friedman outlines both the pros and the cons of self-publishing, walking you through a typical process, introducing some of the options and platforms for self-publication, and elaborating on the steps you will need to take to enable a self-published book to succeed.

The possibilities offered by additional writing platforms and self-publishing can contribute to your ability to get your submission noticed by a traditional publishing house: having an established readership when you query publishers about your work will add more weight to your consideration. Particularly in the non-fiction world, where you will find a publisher who has a proven target market for your work, you will need to demonstrate to the publisher that you have an established audience. You should not expect the publisher to bring their audience to you; you have to bring your audience and your platform to the publisher. Having an established audience for your work through blogs, social media, self-publication, or any other format will help you catch the attention of a publisher. However, self-publishing is itself an accomplishment, and not necessarily a steppingstone to traditional publishing.

No matter what stage you are at in creating your book-to-be, How to Publish Your Book offers unparalleled guidance to help you determine your best path to publication. Will you decide to go the route of the traditional publishing experience, complete with an agent, editor, and publisher? Is self-publishing a smart option for your book? How would you like to explore other publication platforms and media? This course lays out your best options and leads you step by step toward achieving your goals.

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24 lectures
 |  Average 28 minutes each
  • 1
    Today's Book Publishing Landscape
    Take an in-depth look at the world of writing and getting published: the history of the business, the competition in the modern market, and the major and minor players in the industry. Clear up some common misconceptions about what it takes to become a published writer and get an overview of what to expect if you pursue a career as a writer. x
  • 2
    Defining Your Fiction Genre
    Understanding where your fiction book falls in the general categories of literature is an essential step to getting published, as there are a plethora of genre-specific publishing houses. Differentiate between the various categories of fiction writing, including defining commercial and literary fiction, and examine the various types of children's books. x
  • 3
    Categorizing Your Nonfiction Book
    The non-fiction world is also broken into categories including memoires, education, creative or narrative non-fiction, and practical or self-help. Delve into the various genres of non-fiction writing, and learn how to determine which publishing house best aligns with your non-fiction manuscript. x
  • 4
    Researching Writers' Markets
    The modern publishing markets are far more complex than they were even a few decades ago. Learn about the different agents and publishers, and discover the tools out there that can help you find the right ones for you. Also, learn how to spot scams and get a handle on what questions you need to ask when deciding whom to approach. x
  • 5
    What to Expect from a Literary Agent
    Examine the pros and cons to using literary agents, and learn how the responsibilities and obligations of literary agents have evolved. Learn about how to acquire one, what to expect from an agent, and what standard and non-standard practices you may encounter if you choose to go that route. x
  • 6
    Writing Your Query Letter
    The query letter is your first impression and often what catches an agent or publisher's attention, so it's important to create a memorable one. Learn what elements comprise a good query letter, what components the publisher or agent requires, and how to stand out from a sea of queries so your book gets further consideration. Find out which red flags almost always result in immediate rejection. x
  • 7
    Writing Your Novel or Memoir Synopsis
    Once you've nailed a query letter, you will need to provide a synopsis. Condensing your entire story into a one-page overview while still keeping it compelling and intriguing is not easy. Get valuable tips on what a synopsis should and should not contain, and learn what your synopsis needs to focus on and accomplish to be successful. x
  • 8
    The Importance of Author Platform
    A platform generally refers to an author's visibility and reach to a target audience: who is aware of your work, where does your work appear, and how many people see it. Examine the six components that make up most platforms, and review the requirements for various genres of writing. x
  • 9
    Researching and Planning Your Book Proposal
    Dissect the elements in a book proposal, which is essentially a business plan that persuades a publisher to invest in your book. Because publishers look for a viable idea with a clear market, paired with a writer who has credibility and marketing savvy, your proposal will need to demonstrate both of these, which will require investigation into the target market, audience, competition, authors, and more. Learn the five essential components you need to research to write a captivating proposal. x
  • 10
    Writing an Effective Book Proposal
    Once you've completed the research required, analyze how to effectively incorporate your findings in a compelling manner, how to craft an author bio that will showcase your credentials, and how to integrate a marketing plan - including identifying your target audience - throughout your proposal. Review examples of how stats and research are incorporated into well-crafted proposals. x
  • 11
    Submissions and Publishing Etiquette
    While each publisher and agent has their own requirements for you to follow when submitting your work for consideration, there are rules that apply universally and will often result in rejections when not followed. Learn the guidelines for mailing and emailing queries, what your rights are and how to protect your work, and the definitions of common terminology that publishers and agents may use when requesting submissions. x
  • 12
    Networking: From Writers' Conferences to Courses
    Just like with a job search, networking can be an important and useful component to getting published. Delve into the options and resources you have for meeting other writers, agents, and publishing representatives, learn how to develop a gripping elevator pitch for your work, and discover ways you can network online to help develop and perfect your proposal. x
  • 13
    Pitching Your Book
    Not all aspiring writers will have the opportunity to pitch their books, but every writer should have a pitch prepared. Learn the three types of pitches you should have ready, examine strong and weak pitch examples, and get tips on how to prepare for pitches without succumbing to nerves or stage fright. x
  • 14
    Avoiding Common Manuscript Pitfalls
    Many agents and editors rely on their experience and instinct and can tell within the first page whether or not a manuscript is worth reading further. Discuss the two rough categories of red flags: narrative or structural problems and surface-level errors that can lead to a make-or-break decision before the second page. You'll also get invaluable tips on creating a strong opening, including the pivotal first sentence. x
  • 15
    Hiring a Professional Editor
    Explore the different stages of writing and reviewing, examine the different types of editing you can consider, and learn what an editor can and can't do to make your work publishable. Then, find out the three reasons you may consider hiring a professional to review your work. x
  • 16
    How Writers Handle Rejection
    In this important lecture, you'll learn why you might be rejected, even if you've done everything correctly. Dissect some of the common reasons for rejection, how to let go of rejection or react to it in a constructive manner, and what your options are if you've been rejected. Interpret common or form rejection phrases to learn what feedback is really being conveyed. x
  • 17
    Overcoming Obstacles to Writing
    Rejections are not the only obstacles to becoming a published author. Look at common dilemmas writers face, and learn how to create time for writing no matter what your daily schedule looks like. x
  • 18
    The Book Publishing Contract
    If you get to the point of the process where publishing contracts are being drafted, it's important to understand the terminology and protect your rights. Examine the three areas of the contract to which you should pay close attention: the grant-of-rights clause, the reversion-of-rights clause, and the subsidiary rights clauses. You'll also explore matters of compensation and material ownership. x
  • 19
    Working Effectively with Your Publisher
    While most aspiring writers are thrilled to get to this point in the publication process, it's also important to know what will be expected of you once a publisher agrees to move forward. Learn the several phases you'll go through with the publisher, including editorial development, design and production, sales and marketing planning, the book launch, and post-launch PR and publicity. x
  • 20
    Becoming a Bestselling Author
    Marketing your book is a huge part of becoming a best-seller, and much of the onus of marketing will fall on you. Learn about how you'll be expected to provide support in order to help publicize your book, such as hosting author events, creating a presence on social media, and reaching out to your connections. x
  • 21
    Career Marketing Strategies for Writers
    Author websites, blogs, newsletters and emails, and social media will be your responsibility, and these marketing tools are often required by your publisher. Get tips on creating successful marketing tactics to help publicize your work and keep your publisher happy. x
  • 22
    The Self-Publishing Path: When and How
    Discuss the value of publishers, then review specific scenarios in which you may not need those benefits. When is self-publishing a viable option for your book? Get invaluable advice on steps you should take if you choose to self-publish, and learn about the tools you will need to succeed. x
  • 23
    Principles of Self-Publishing Success
    Understand the vital role metadata plays in positioning your self-published book for success. Examine pricing models to attract a large audience that is hesitant about purchasing from an unknown entity. Learn tips to garner reviews that will help your book get noticed. x
  • 24
    Beyond the Book: Sharing Ideas in the Digital Age
    In an era when attention spans are shrinking and collaborative reading and writing are becoming more common, it's important to consider the story or message you wish to share, rather than focusing on the container. Consider the many ways besides a book to write, publish, and share ideas in the digital age. Explore the plethora of options you have as a writer in modern times, and reflect on what the future may bring. x

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Video DVD
Instant Video Includes:
  • Download 24 video lectures to your computer or mobile app
  • Downloadable PDF of the course guidebook
  • FREE video streaming of the course from our website and mobile apps
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Instant Audio Includes:
  • Download 24 audio lectures to your computer or mobile app
  • Downloadable PDF of the course guidebook
  • FREE audio streaming of the course from our website and mobile apps
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DVD Includes:
  • 24 lectures on 4 DVDs
  • 192-page printed course guidebook
  • Downloadable PDF of the course guidebook
  • FREE video streaming of the course from our website and mobile apps
  • Closed captioning available

What Does The Course Guidebook Include?

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Course Guidebook Details:
  • 192-page printed course guidebook
  • Photos & illustrations
  • Exercises
  • Online resources for writers

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Your professor

Jane Friedman

About Your Professor

Jane Friedman
University of Virginia
Jane Friedman has worked in the book, magazine, and digital publishing industry since the mid-1990s. From 2001 to 2010, she worked at Writer’s Digest, ultimately becoming publisher and editorial director of the $10 million multimedia brand. Most recently, she led digital media initiatives at The Virginia Quarterly Review (VQR), an award-winning literary journal published by the University of Virginia. She continues to...
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How to Publish Your Book is rated 4.3 out of 5 by 63.
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A great amount of detail unlike that from other so The content and presentation is excellent, both enjoyable and informative.
Date published: 2019-05-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Useful Information by a professional I needed lots of basic info in one place. This was a great way to get it!
Date published: 2019-05-04
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Too Ambitious. I am going to an imaging shop to do a simple presentation book of memoirs for grandkids.Typed and pasted up. Research and marketing are WORK. Maybe I will be discovered........I am a colorful old bat.....I did not take the course after I saw all the labor you cite.sorry. not my bag.
Date published: 2019-04-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic! I can’t believe the information they packed into this course. The guide book is a phenomenal reference. The course covers all the bases. It would have taken me years to get this much information on my own, if ever. Thank you for producing such a high quality course. It more than pays for itself.
Date published: 2019-01-16
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Negative Tone! I bought this course to help me decide on how to publish my third book. I found the professor to be discouraging as an author. I appreciate her candor and experience about the publishing industry, but there are better ways to explain the business from a more positive perspective. The tone of the course seemed to be overall negative and offered virtually no hope for aspiring authors.
Date published: 2019-01-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent information The instructor is well spoken and the information very through.
Date published: 2019-01-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very concrete and helpful Ms Friedman presents very clearly and gives excellent practical advice at every turn. She guides you through the basics, first describing the publishing industry and its recent changes, and then dissecting the advantages and disadvantages of each publishing option. She walks you through the formal submissions process, describing your expectations, and offering valuable tips on how to improve your chances. Finally, Ms. Friedman explains both the publishing and self-publishing process. Her lectures will be helpful whether you've been in the maze for a while or are just now trying to find the entrance.
Date published: 2018-11-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very practical and helpful This course is practical useful and very helpful. Clear descriptions of the tools and steps in the process - every writer should listen/read it
Date published: 2018-11-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Good presentation. Valuable inforamtion Valuable inforamation on self publishing. Helpful for marketing plans.
Date published: 2018-11-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from How to publish your book Out of about 20 of your products this was the best ever. Excellent organized materials and flawless presentations by Dr. Friedman. I felt like I was getting a personal consultation.
Date published: 2018-04-08
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Publishing, Cooking,and one more I lost 3 classes doing the digital I liked the books better.Publishing is one class I lost on the computer.
Date published: 2018-04-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very good information This has great information for the published and non-published author.
Date published: 2018-03-28
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Far Too Simplistic I purchased one of the Great Courses seminars on "How to Publish." I was hopeful that the series would be enlightening and innovative. Unfortunately however, it was as "basic" as "basic" could be. For anyone who has research the "publishing" industry do NOT purchase this series as it is highly UNLIKELY that you will learn anything new. Disappointing
Date published: 2017-12-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very informative I brought this for my son who is writing a book. He found it provided him with alot of useful information on how to get his book published.
Date published: 2017-12-12
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good info, stick with audio Valuable course, most so in its sober assessment of the likelihood of an aspiring author ever getting a publishing deal. I was also struck by how much is asked of authors—beyond actually writing the material—to be considered for a publishing deal, and then if so fortunate, even after getting a deal. Still, this course provides solid information about how to go about the process if you're still so inclined, or how to go the self-publishing route that is now so much more accessible than it was even several years ago. In general, I much prefer video classes to audio classes, but even so, I recommend an audio version of this course. First, the video content add is minimal. Second, the video production is disconcerting at best, with far too much use of camera movement. Watching the background apparently swim around is nearly enough to induce motion sickness at times. Also, poor Ms. Friedman is forced into an awkward shuffle in place to try to keep her face to the camera movement when on the viewer's right hand side of the screen. Better to listen to Ms. Friedman's clear descriptions than to try to ignore the poor video production.
Date published: 2017-12-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very Informative I've had two middle grade novels traditionally published, self published a third, and I still learned a lot from this course. Jane Friedman is a great presenter and very knowledgeable about all things publishing.
Date published: 2017-11-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Lots of Great Information! As a wannabe writer, I dreaded actually listening to these lectures as I assumed they'd probably be discouraging given the difficult world of publishing. However! While I found Professor Friedman was not at all shy about the realities of a first timers chances, she also gave a great deal of valuable information and encouraging thoughts for continuing to try regardless. The insider information she provides (including sites to visit and likely attitudes towards certain kinds of projects) made me think in a whole new way about what I was doing and for the better! With these lectures I feel like I have a much better understanding of what I need to do if I want to get published some day and will surely go back to it often for reference.
Date published: 2017-11-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from This is an excellent course for any writer, novice or experienced
Date published: 2017-10-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Insights for Publishing Your Book How to Publish Your Book by Professor Jane Friedman offers an overview of the publishing process with insights and pointers to help us get published. Professor Friedman dispels unreasonable concerns such as fear of copyright infringement. She addresses common pitfalls in publishing such as improving the quality of our manuscripts by hiring the right kind of editor to review and critique our work. Professor Friedman in the accompanying course handbook offers excellent resources for further study in whatever area of publishing we desire more information on. This course is not about how to become a better writer; instead, it offers insights into the publishing process. Professor Friedman offers exercises in the accompanying course handbook that I found helpful in understanding the publishing process such as indentifying what category my book falls under for purposes of marketing it. The course is weighted toward traditional publishing for only 2 of the 24 lectures specifically focuses on self-publishing. However, a writer seeking to get self-published can benefit from many of the other lectures, because traditional publishing and self-publishing share many of the same issues such as how to pitch your book and hire the right editor. All in all, this course does not offer a quick fix if our work is not good but may give us some ideas on how to make our writing project better and offer insights on how to reach our intended audience and how to promote our book. I hope you found this review helpful, and I wish you all the best in getting published.
Date published: 2017-09-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Honest and comprehensive look at book publishing. There is a variety of information in these lectures that is helpful to writers contemplating writing and publishing a book. It's not as easy as it used to be, and there is a lot of work required beyond writing the book.
Date published: 2017-09-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very Useful I found this course to be very helpful. It's not just about getting one book published, it's about building a career as a published writer. An excellent guide for a long, twisty, and often arduous path. I was especially helped by the very clear insight into what the big five publishers (and any publisher, really) looks for, and what they have to offer. The how-to info on doing your own market research was also very helpful. I wish I had been able to take a course like this when I was studying writing in college.
Date published: 2017-08-23
Rated 1 out of 5 by from How to Publish Your Book This a discouraging course. I stopped listening after 3 lectures because it focused on all the reasons why my book would likely never get published.
Date published: 2017-06-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Bravo! In the past, I worked as an editor for a major publishing house. I purchased this video out of curiosity to see if the information would be useful to new writers hoping to get published. The advice it offers is accurate and thorough.
Date published: 2017-05-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best info for people new to traditional publishing If you have just written your first work and have no idea how to get it published, this course is for you. It explains publishing your work through traditional publishing companies - what to expect and tips to help you during the traditional publishing process. After listening to this course, I was able to confirm that traditional publishing would not help me reach my goals. Every body’s goals are different, and traditional publishing may be the perfect option for many writers. If you are not sure which publishing rout to take, this course will give you all the information you need about traditional publishing. The instructor is knowledgeable and speaks plainly, so you won’t be confused. And regardless of your writing goals, every writer who wishes to publish their work should understand the traditional publishing process.
Date published: 2017-04-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from very helpful course very good and knowledgeable presenter, who takes you through every step of the publishing process, with lots of excellent tips, links etc.
Date published: 2017-04-19
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Disappointed A few years ago I bought your Human Anatomy and Physiology course. Since I teach it at Siena College, I thought I would get it to learn something new and get inspired. I found it dull and did not learn much. He sat the whole time and was okay to listen to, but not an engaging lecturer. I've most recently purchased How to Publish Your Book. So far I like it b/c she has a lot of information. BUT she sounds like she is reading, not lecturing. I expect more dynamic lectures from The Great Courses. My ratings below are for the A&P course.
Date published: 2017-03-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Helps to make right decision Jane's course really helps to make Go-No Go decision. And if the decision is Go - helps to point the right direction.
Date published: 2017-03-08
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Generally Useless I’ve not learned anything useful from these lectures except that I should hire an agent, but I already knew it. However, if you hire an agent you must make sure that it’s an excellent agent. So here is your first hurdle. What transpires from these lectures is that to publish a book is like looking for a job: you have to have job experience to get a job but you cannot have a job experience without a job. To be a successful writer you have to do much more than to hire an agent. It is strongly advisable that you also hire an editor, or better still, at least two editors: a development editor and a contents editor. And – you guessed it – they have to be excellent editors. If they are not excellent, you’re stuck. It is also strongly advisable that you have a blog with thousands of followers, that you are popular in your community, that you give public lectures or seminars, that people enthusiastically come to your lectures, that you belong to a writers’ club or better still that you have your own writers’ club with you as a leader, that you attend regularly writers’ conferences and talk personally to editors (plural). It is also helpful if you are a known and successful author. Oh, and don’t forget to hire a publicist when your book is accepted for publication. It has to be, of course, an excellent publicist or it will not work. Did I miss anything? I probably did but you get the drift. If you do all this and more you just might be successful to convince someone “to actually buy your book” (her words), which makes me wonder. Is it possible to buy a book without actually buying it? Is it possible to buy anything without actually buying it? It could be a good topic for your next book, which you could actually sell and actually become rich. The lecturer is also obsessed with exterminating all masculine pronouns from English language. All people in her world are females, unless they have to mentioned by their personal names. All writers, agents, editors, publishers, publicists and perhaps those who buy books, or anything else for that matter, are females. Mixing personal pronouns might be all right the persistent attempt of systematic extermination of masculine pronouns sounds like a demeaning (for the lecturer) and petty compulsive obsessive behaviour. Would I recommend these series of lectures? It is hard to say but I probably would not. If you are interested in academic discussions, you will get a lot of details to keep you going for a long time. However, if you are interested in a practical advice and information then you will be quickly lost in the impenetrable jungle with many vicious animals lurking around to devour you on the spot. You might still learn something useful if you can survive episodes of sheer boredom and if you can pick up snippets of useful information from the generally useless perorations. However, listening to these lectures could be also harmful. You could be easily discouraged in trying your luck as a writer. Enter these lectures at your own risk. The lecturer has a profound knowledge of the topis she discusses but it would be useful if she could be more helpful and less discouraging.
Date published: 2017-03-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from How to Publish Your Book I bought this DVD a couple of weeks ago. I am very happy with my purchase. The instructor is very knowledgeable and informative.
Date published: 2017-02-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Spot On by Knowledgable Instructor I was concerned that the tenor of this course was going to be presentation by an arrogant, New York liberal, publishing-elitist-type and instead what I got was what seems to a very nice, down-to-earth instructor that knows her stuff and tells it like it is. She pander to no one, not authors or publishers - just the facts. Recommended for everyone.
Date published: 2017-01-17
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