Dirty Little Secrets: How Publishing Really Works

  • Creative Writing
426 Springfield Ave, Summit, NJ 07901, USA
Sep 14 2019
Morning Session (includes lunch)
Afternoon Session (includes lunch)
Both Sessions (includes lunch)
  1. Sun 
  2. Mon 
  3. Tue 
  4. Wed 
  5. Thu 
  6. Fri 
  7. Sat10:00 am - 4:00 pm

Additional services and fees

Meat lunch (includes sandwich, fruit, cookie, water) $0.00
Tuna fish lunch (includes sandwich, fruit, cookie, water) $0.00
Vegetarian lunch (includes sandwich, fruit, cookie, water) $0.00

Class dates




In this eye-opening event, Phil Sexton, publisher of Media Lab Books and former publisher of Writer's Digest, shares the nitty-gritty of what takes place behind closed doors at publishing houses, in meetings with bookstore buyers, and on the bookstore sales floor. We’ll cover:

  • Strategies to ensure your book receives the best treatment

  • What questions to ask

  • What publishers don’t want you to know or sometimes forget to do

  • The mistakes publishers make and how to keep them from happening

  • How to build an effective – and profitable – publishing partnership

Learn to be your own best advocate when dealing with publishers to make certain your book is handled with the care and attention it deserves!

Morning Session - 10am - noon

Geared for newcomers to the publishing business. (Experienced writers will find the session beneficial, too.) You’ll learn:

  • An overview of how the publishing industry works

  • Publishing’s odd concepts and confusing lingo

  • Insights into what happens once your book hits an acquisitions editor’s desk

  • The factors that influence a house’s decision to publish your work…or not, which can improve your proposal or query letter, increasing your odds of a book deal.

Have Lunch with the Expert! - 12-1pm

During lunch, Phil will host an open Q&A session and answer all your publishing questions.

Stay for lunch after the morning session or come for lunch if you’re joining us in the afternoon!

Afternoon Session - 1-4pm

Dig deep into the publishing experience. You’ll learn:  

  • How to influence the publishing process once you’ve received a book deal

  • How your book title and cover design influence the process

  • What editors don’t share that can influence  your book’s performance

  • Why and how publishing decisions are made, presented in a mock pub board format using real proposals from real authors

  • What questions you should ask, including:

    • Catalog representation

    • Co-op and marketing commitments

    • Sell-in results

    • Metadata

    • Sales results

    • Business relationship

    • Discoverability

    • Forewords and blurbs

  • What happens during a sales call and why you need to know the details



Participants must currently be 18 years or older.

Program enrollment capacity

Minimum: 10

Maximum: 75

Registration period

Registration starts on 03/19/2019 and ends on 09/13/2019.


426 Springfield Ave, Summit, NJ 07901, USA
Program is frozen.