84 episodes

The Manuscript Academy brings you conversations with agents, editors, and writers who can help you on your publishing journey.

The Manuscript Academy #MSWL

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.8, 170 Ratings

The Manuscript Academy brings you conversations with agents, editors, and writers who can help you on your publishing journey.

    Acquisitions, "The Numbers," and How Editors Make Them Work, with Macmillan Editor Rachel Diebel

    Acquisitions, "The Numbers," and How Editors Make Them Work, with Macmillan Editor Rachel Diebel

    In this episode, Macmillan editor Rachel Diebel walks us through how acquisitions work at Macmillan, why the numbers aren’t always the determining factor (and what “the numbers” means), and submission guidelines (and what you should think if you are on submission for months).

    We also discuss imprints within imprints, publishing in quarantine, and her least favorite thing about the industry.

    Rachel is an editor at Feiwel & Friends (an imprint of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group), acquiring middle grade, young adult, and graphic novels. Broadly, across all categories, she is always looking for commercial fiction with a unique voice, a great hook, and characters she wishes would be her real-life best friends. She always wants projects by and about people from a marginalized background, and is a huge fan of stories that feature found/chosen families.

    Timestamps:

    10:45: How she approaches rejections

    11:42: How acquisitions meetings work at Macmillan

    14:46: We talk about "The numbers," and what that means

    • 28 min
    Marathon, Not A Sprint: How Author Molly McCaffery Signed With Agent John Cusick

    Marathon, Not A Sprint: How Author Molly McCaffery Signed With Agent John Cusick

    In this uplifting, inspiring episode, we talk about how Molly McCaffery received more than 100 rejections, shelved more than three books–-and then landed top agent John Cusick.

    We talk about her journey, how she learned to successfully pivot, and the querying tips you can only learn after sending out that much work and spending that much time in the query trenches.

    We also talk about how to put your reader first (one of the top things John looks in a client), what Molly thinks about MFA’s versus conferences, and perhaps the best advice of all: Find your community, and win this as a marathon, not a sprint.

    You can find Molly at Mollymccaffery.com and @mollymccaffery.

    You can find John at Foliojr.com and @johnmcusick.

    • 34 min
    Voice In A Manuscript with Agent Stephanie Winter

    Voice In A Manuscript with Agent Stephanie Winter

    We are so happy to bring you this conversation with Stephanie Winter, an agent at P.S. Literary.

    We talk about how agents read differently than most book buyers, the logistics of selling a series, and what word counts scare us (and what we do about it). Plus, how rejection is kind of like a video game, what agents are *really* thinking during live pitch meetings—and how we envision a “be an agent for a day” program.

    And, perhaps most exciting, Stephanie discusses what makes great for voice in a Manuscript.

    You can learn more about her class, which is May 20, 8:30pm EDT, here: live.manuscriptacademy.com/voice

    You can discuss your book with Stephanie at https://manuscriptacademy.com/stephanie-winter

    Also, yes, there really was a 13-book deal: https://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/25/business/media/science-fiction-writer-signs-a-3-4-million-deal.html

    • 43 min
    Agent Lauren Spieller on Book Scouting, Building Tension, and What You Really Need to Succeed

    Agent Lauren Spieller on Book Scouting, Building Tension, and What You Really Need to Succeed

    We talk with writer-turned-agent Lauren Spieller about publishing in quarantine, long-term industry hope, and what this means for you (and your book) right now.

    We also discuss book scouting, selling books abroad, and whether writers should move to New York (NO!). We discuss what you actually need for a successful writing career, how Lauren had a brilliant idea for getting into the industry, and what she would change about publishing if she could.

    Also, much to Julie’s amusement, we grapple with possible definitions for “high concept.” If any of you come up with a high concept description for high concept, we are all ears!

    We also discuss Lauren’s tips for building tension in your writing.

    Here’s Lauren’s blog post about how to write a great query: https://www.laurenspieller.com/2012/11/29/the-dreaded-novel-summary-and-prizes/

    Here are the books she recommends for quarantine reading:

    The Wolf of Cape Fen by Juliana L Brandt
    Wilder Girls by Rory Power
    The Kill Club by Wendy Heard
    The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E Harrow
    Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir

    • 34 min
    Subjectivity In Publishing (And Why It's Good For Your Book) With Agent Kayla Lightner

    Subjectivity In Publishing (And Why It's Good For Your Book) With Agent Kayla Lightner

    We talk with Kayla Lightner, agent at Liza Dawson Associates, about how agents are trained to go through their inboxes—the role of subjectivity—and the benefits of a very specific #MSWL.

    We discuss the energy of querying—how that’s conveyed to new publishing hires—and what this means for you, your work, and your chances in publishing.

    Comps, also, come up as useful not only to your pitch, but also as an editorial tool to convey specific direction. And we talk about why people in publishing are discouraged from writing, themselves. We also talk about literary scouts, and what they do (hint: they’re the spies of the publishing world).

    Our favorite takeaway? In publishing, there is no wrong answer, as long as you can back it up.

    You can view Kayla's #MSWL here: https://www.manuscriptwishlist.com/mswl-post/kayla-lightner/

    And find her on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/lightnerkayla

    You can find our Facebook group (and the writers who want to be your critique partner!) at ManuscriptAcademy.com/Facebook.

    • 47 min
    Sales, Production, and Husband and Wife Macmillan Editors Kate Meltzer and Brian Geffen

    Sales, Production, and Husband and Wife Macmillan Editors Kate Meltzer and Brian Geffen

    Welcome to a #MSWL podcast first--a married publishing couple describing literary life, work, and how to make the most of both.

    We discuss what they'd love to see in their inboxes (and how their tastes vary), the crazy coincidences of their love story (they both went to Paris, worked at Scholastic, and lived in the same town before meeting), and how they both started their careers as the unsung heroes of the publishing world, in sales and production.

    Naturally, we talk about how these departments can affect your book's advance, distribution, look, feel, and much more.

    We also talk about how comp titles can change your print run, why you shouldn’t just choose the biggest comps possible, how production makes decisions about your physical book, and how all of this affects you as an author.

    You can meet with Kate to discuss your book and get insightful feedback here: https://manuscriptacademy.com/kate-meltzer

    And Brian here: https://manuscriptacademy.com/brian-geffen

    And you can find Kate on Twitter @katemeltzer and Brian @Brian_Geffen.

    • 47 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
170 Ratings

170 Ratings

SLP Times ,

Great insight from industry experts.

I could purchase a book about writing books (ok, I already did this) and read about one author’s point of view, or I could listen to this podcast and gain insight from a variety of experts in the publishing industry. I have enjoyed Q and A from the hosts as well as updated information provided during interviews. I recommend this podcast.

Luckydaniel ,

Amazing podcast

SO excited to have found this podcast. The hosts are so knowledgeable and they bring on really cool guests from around the publishing industry!

Lp1624 ,

Great industry tips and updates

Have especially appreciated the updates about the current state and changes in the industry during this time. An informative podcast I always look forward to!

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