By Kevin J. Anderson
When I was starting out as an aspiring writer, I tried to figure out the business, but I felt like an explorer stranded in a strange land where I didn’t speak the native language. I read Writer’s Digest every month, I took creative writing classes (which were usually taught by professors with few, if any, writing credentials), I went to the library to read Publishers’ Weekly. I gathered a group of fellow writers who shared discoveries with one another (made with great effort and often after many mistakes). I learned by taking two steps forward, one step back, two steps sideways. I figured it out, little by little.
Now that I’ve become a very successful writer, with over 120 books published in 30 languages, I spend a lot of time giving talks with my wife, bestselling author Rebecca Moesta, lecturing at writers’ conferences and at science fiction conventions, a talk we call “Things I Wish Some Pro Had Told Me When I Was Starting out.” They’re popular events, often standing-room-only.
But that isn’t enough to cover the material. Finally, four years ago, five of us bestselling writers decided to put together a more extended, intensive three-day workshop, the Superstars Writing Seminar, to go over all the nuts-and-bolts business and career advice that serious writers need to know. Rebeccca and I, along with Brandon Sanderson, Eric Flint, and David Farland, created a curriculum that covers Economics of Commercial Publishing ; How Editors Look at Manuscripts, Novels, and Short Fiction; Dissecting a Book Contract; How to Read and Understand a Royalty Statement; Dirty Secrets: What You Need to Know About Being a Professional Author; How to Leverage Your Intellectual Property; Balancing Acts: Writing World and Real World; Agents , Networking and Self-Promotion for Authors; Understanding E-Books and Indy Publishing; Pitching the Big Proposal ; Two Heads Are Better than One: Collaborations ; How to Get an Edge with New Media and Social Networking; Movies, TV, and Authors; and How to Increase Your Writing Productivity.
Superstars Writing Seminars have been held in Pasadena, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, and the upcoming event (May 14–16) will be in Colorado Springs. In addition to the five original bestselling authors, our instructors have included Hollywood producers and scriptwriters, mega-hit authors Sherrilyn Kenyon and Tracy Hickman, comics writer Howard Tayler. This year’s guest speakers include Baen Books editor Jim Minz, bestselling romance author Joan Johnston, and Kobo Writing Life’s own Mark Lefebvre, to reflect a growing emphasis on eBook and indy publishing.
This is exactly the sort of thing I was desperate for when I was starting out as a new author. I didn’t want a creative writing class, not a critique group, but something that could de-mystify the industry for me. We hope you can join us.
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