Dear Publishers

I love buying your books but PLEASE DON’T

  • change the covers halfway through a series, could you at least wait until the series is over and then re-print? Or print the old versions as well?
  • change the size of the paperbacks halfway through a series, now my bookshelf is messed up thanks
  • if people aren’t complaining about the covers they are probably fine, don’t change them 

Please DO:

  • Put the number on the front of books and the spines so I know what order the series is in when I’m in a bookshop
  • sell series in sets for a discounted price
  • talk to the readers more about what they like regarding cover designs
  • add illustrations to the inside cover pages, I love illustrations
  • Spines in a series that make a rainbow, my heart
Things I want in more books
  • illustrations on the inside pages. you know how you open The Wrath and the Dawn and there’s the beautiful picture of Shahrzad? MORE OF THOSE
    • i want this to be a normal thing in hardcovers
    • go big or go home. have a full page illustration of the opening scene
    • wouldn’t that be awesome
  • for heaven’s sake make sure there’s a blurb on the paperbacks. because sometimes there’s just quotes from reviews and other authors and that’s ridiculous
  • less describing female characters in terms of their attractiveness. if you don’t introduce every male character like that don’t do it for the girls. this pisses me off.
  • more books without romance
  • make it easier to get signed books! not everyone can get to book signings. please i’m jealous
  • more books where the spines do pretty things like make a rainbow or a picture or a face or just somehow go together really nicely
    • in the same vein, more authors whose books match. you know how all rainbow rowell books are like pastel-ish and look hand drawn? like the books themselves don’t match but the author has a general aesthetic
  • i thought i had more of these i’m gonna have to add to this

James Patterson paid for a full-page ad in The New York Times criticizing Amazon, Scott Turow talked about the “nightmarish” future that Amazon will bring and Stephen King signed a petition decrying the Seattle online retailer.

They do this as if they are fighting for the little guy.

They aren’t.

The ‘1 percent’ mega best-selling authors side with giant publishing corporate entities because they make a lot of money from them. The rest of us don’t.


Frank Schaeffer, “The publishers, not Amazon, keep authors down

WOAH, HOLD THE PHONE. I had never even considered this before and it’s an amazing point. Amazon has been made out to be this big evil entity, but we should all remember that it’s Amazon vs. publishers, not Amazon vs. writers!

Wow, I just love reading perspectives like this that totally change my own.
Stephen King short fiction competition: Send us your stories | Books | The Guardian

The Guardian are teaming up with his UK publisher Hodder & Stoughton to run a short story competition, in which King himself will pick the winner. The prize will include publication of the winning story on the the Guardian books website and a chance to improve your skills at a Guardian Masterclass run by King’s UK editor, Philippa Pride.


The Haldeman-Julius Company was founded in 1919 in Girard, Kansas. In 1923, they began publishing “Little Blue Books,” which measured 3.5″ x 5″ and sold for 5 cents each. The founders – Marcet Halderman and Emanuel Julius – were a husband and wife team who believed so strongly in gender equality that they combined their surnames and went by “Mrs. and Mr. Marcet and Emanuel Haldeman-Julius.”

I feel like we shouldn’t really be dragging this guy - who just got lucky with having a penis while being white - and instead questioning publishers who clearly think this guy - a debut author- is worth a six figure deal, rights in 16 territories, and a movie deal with a basic plot like “fat Jewish girl gets gets lean and red-haired when her diplomat father goes missing and she has to go to Europe to rescue him while beating up and meeting up bad guys”.

Meanwhile, female, legbtqa, and authors of color, struggle to even get their books looked at while publishers come up with the easiest ways to satisfy their diversity quotas by publishing whatever comes across their desks first and then doing zero publicity for them because they don’t think it’s worth their money.

Seriously publishers,

Originally posted by thin-n-crispy
Do you really need a degree to be in publishing?
Claire Maxwell works at Icon Books as their Publicity Manager. She has previously worked in journalism and bookselling, and she blogs at Here, at the age of 23, she tells us how she's worked her way up to this role, without a degree.

Those who ask me if you need an MA in Publishing for a job in publishing, read about Claire Maxwell who has made it in publishing with 2 A Levels

NYC is dying

Yesterday I went to Posman Books in Grand Central - out of business. Today I walked past the Complete Traveler bookshop on Madison - out of business. Both doubtless to be replaced by chain stores or bank branches. It’s ironic that the city with the headquarters of most of the major and minor publishers in the country can’t support independent bookshops. Why can’t the publishing industry get it together like the music industry did and figure out how to support independent retail?
Five golden rules for submitting your work to agents or publishers

We are always asked about how writers submit their work to publishers and agents. We found this great post on the Scottish Book Trust website, and they have kindly allowed us to share their advice with you. You can also explore their other writing advice, competitions and opportunities for writers.


Five golden rules for submitting your work to agents or publishers

Have you finished writing your novel? Is it in the best shape possible? If the answer to both of those questions is yes, then you’re ready to submit your manuscript. Don’t waste time by sending out vague ideas or a half-finished novel. Aside from anything else publishers and agents need to know that you have the commitment to complete the book before they take it on. Check your manuscript carefully for spelling and punctuation errors.

1. Read the submission guidelines carefully

Make sure your submission meets the publisher’s requirements. Each publisher will have different preferences so don’t assume that one approach will fit all. Make them aware that you’ve paid attention to their requirements and backlist. Sending irrelevant work not only wastes your time but it may hamper your chances of success.

2. Do your research
Don’t rely on sending your manuscript out on a whim. Research prospective agents or publishers carefully and decide where your work will sit best. Research the backlist of titles or authors they’ve represented and demonstrate this in your cover letter. If you don’t know where to start, research the publication history of an author whose writing you would compare your own to. Find out who their agent is and continue your research from there.

3. Don’t turn up unannounced
Never be tempted to ‘drop in’ to see if a publisher or agent has read your manuscript yet. Not only is it invasive, but it’ll also make them far less likely to pick up your submission from the pile.

4. Don’t rely on one submission
If you pin all your hopes on a single submission, you will be disappointed. Instead, research the market carefully and submit your work to as many relevant places as possible. Keep track of your submissions to avoid confusion or repeat submissions.

5. Be patient
Publishers are very busy and receive so many manuscripts each week that it will take time to respond to your submission, if at all. Some publishers may give you an idea of how long it will take to respond, while others may specify that they only reply to the submissions they want to follow up on.

Source: Scottish Book Trust

Writing Trans: Publishers

With the opening of our ongoing Raising the Bar: Tales for the Holidays event I asked anybody who might want to sell their piece or have it published someday to please not submit it for us to share. Doing so would count as publishing the piece, and could potentially prevent you from being able to sell it. And you all deserve compensation for your writing and your art.

To help those who might want to submit their writing somewhere, but aren’t sure where to start, this week’s article is a list of some trans and nonbinary friendly and focused publishers and publications. 

Note: This list is far from complete and will be growing and updated regularly, with publishers either added or removed based on comments from our followers about their practices or new information. If you have a publisher you’d like us to look at to think about adding, or one on the list that you think should be removed, please send us a message.

Focused Publishers

Focused publishers are those we’ve found dedicated specifically or in part to publishing trans and nonbinary work. 

Topside Press (Fiction- Novels and Short Stories): “Topside Press, founded in 2011, is a new independent press with the intent of publishing authentic transgender narratives.” 

Notes: Focused on work with transgender  and genderqueer characters, but has imprints focusing on L/G/B fiction and non fiction along with a new imprint focusing on poetry.

Biyuti Publishing (Nonfiction/Fiction Books and Collections of Poetry): “Biyuti publishing is a small, independent publisher focused on getting the work of trans women of colour and queer/trans people of colour out into the world. This organization was/is founded, managed, and run by trans women of colour.”

Trans-Genre Press (Book Length unclear on Fiction/Nonfiction): “Trans-Genre Press was founded in 2012 with the vision of publishing the creative works of the Transgender and greater Gender Variant communities.” 

Friendly Publishers

Trans Friendly publishers are those we’ve found that have either published trans and nonbinary authors, or published stories with trans or nonbinary characters, 

Scout Publishing (Nonfiction/Fiction Books): “Scout Publishing LLC, founded in 2013, is an independent publishing house established for readers, booksellers, and authors seeking books on gender, sexuality and identity.“

Notes: While not explicitly trans masculinely focused, both of their currently published trans books are about trans men. Would have fallen more in the focused category except they state explicitly that they are not focused on lgbt books.

Stone Telling: (Poetry): “STONE TELLING is a speculative poetry magazine dedicated to showcasing diverse, multi-perspective work of literary quality. “

Beneath Ceaseless Skies (Short stories, speculative fiction): “dedicated to publishing literary adventure fantasy: fantasy set in secondary-world or historical settings, written with a literary focus on the characters.”

Please feel free to send us your favorite trans authors, a little bit about your favorite trans characters, or any questions or topics you’d like to see me address, too. For some of our new followers, you can find past Writing Trans articles here in the tag.


Philip Pullman condemns publishers who 'steamroller' authors

Philip Pullman has joined in the debate over author earnings, saying writers could soon be “an endangered species” if publishers fail to deliver on fairer terms.

Equating the publisher–author relationship to that of “the streamroller to the ant”, he told the Guardian that authors were operating in a “savage and hostile” landscape in spite of the fact that publishers - whose “editorial standards are not what they were”, in Pullman’s view - have “no creative power whatsoever”.

As outlined in an open letter by the Society of Authors (SoA), of which Pullman is president, publishers were asked on Tuesday (5th January) to “treat authors more equitably” by reforming their contracts, else risk that “the professional author will become an endangered species” while society at large is “left with less and less quality content”.

The letter, addressed to members of the Publishers Association (PA) and Independent Publishers Guild (IPG), was issued as part of an international collective call to action, with the Authors Guild in the US sending an similarly worded open letter to the Association of American Publishers in tandem.



Honoring Walter R. Scott: African-American Minneapolis Author and Publisher

Minnesota’s Black Community Past and Present: Walter R. Scott Sr., Publisher

Saturday, February 20th, 11am-1pm, Minneapolis Central Library, Doty Board Room

In celebration of Black History Month, we are honoring the late Walter R. Scott Sr., a trailblazing Minneapolis author and publisher who recognized the importance of celebrating the achievements of Minnesota’s Black Community.

Members of the Scott family will give an overview of Walter R. Scott Sr.’s historical projects, focusing on the achievements of Minnesota’s Black Community during the pre and post-Civil Rights era. They will also share an introduction to the forthcoming “Minnesota’s Black Community Book Project” which is now in progress. A question and answer period will follow the presentation. Light refreshments and entertainment will also be provided.