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Why Publishing is Making You Crazy—and What You Can Do About It: The Tao of Publishing (Julie Anne Long, Steven Axelrod)
30 Jul 2008 1:25 pm
02 Aug 2008 1:25 pm


Join Julie Anne Long and Agent Steven Axelrod for a presentation EVERY author can relate to: why publishing is making us crazy. :) We'll be speaking at the Romance Writers of America Conference in San Francisco, held from July 30, 2008 to August 2, 2008 this year—I'll post the precise date and time when I know it.

Here's a summary of the presentation:


It’s a shame authors aren’t issued crystal balls the moment we make our first sales, because there’s nothing we love better than attempting to predict the future. But we do have the Amazon Rank. That Ingram phone number. Bestseller lists. Self-promotion. Reviews. Romance bulletin boards. And so on. We pore over this stuff, analyzing and obsessing and guessing in an attempt to predict outcomes, because uncertainty drives us crazy. We want to know where we stand, and we want to think we can influence our success. But can the success of a book be predicted? Do authors have any real control over a book’s success? And—be honest—does any of this obsessing and guessing truly help or get you closer to the truth…or does it make you feel crazier?

Yeah. That’s what we thought.

But there’s a way out of the craziness. In the TAO OF PUBLISHING, we’ll explain why this behavior only makes you crazier, and why releasing the illusion that you can control outcomes will help you forever banish career angst (or turn it into a ghost of its former self) and make you feel more in control of your career than ever by understanding the aspects of it you really can control.

Agent Steve Axelrod will begin by dashing the notion that we—that anyone—can do anything to predict or control the success of a particular book. He’ll forever change the way you view the publishing universe by explaining the theory of “Cumulative Advantage”—or “the rich get richer” syndrome. Social creatures that we are, the things (books, music, movies) we decide to elevate to popularity are strongly influenced by our awareness of what other people like, and popular things tend to become more popular still. He’ll cite Columbia University and MIT studies on the role cumulative advantage plays in predicting hit songs, what role perceived “quality” (if any) plays in what becomes a hit, how mind-bogglingly sensitive all of this is to minor fluctuations—and how this relates to your books.

And after Steve divests you of any illusions you had about being able to control your success, Julie Anne Long will explore the reasons behind some of those obsessive little behaviors we mentioned earlier (e.g., Amazon haunting, excessive Ingram phoning), touch on specifically why they make us nuts, give you permission to let them all go, and offer a set of guidelines for maintaining an inner even keel for as long as you ride the publishing roller coaster.


Julie Anne Long is a bestselling author of six historical romances. Steve Axelrod represents many major NYT bestselling authors and a few rising stars of romance and women's fiction.

The Marriott Hotel, Downtown San Francisco
San Francisco