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What confuses you most about publishing?

At Beyond the Book, Chris Kenneally once made this cogent observation about the publishing business:

Attend enough conferences on the future of publishing, and pretty soon, you start to wonder if the future of publishing is conferences about the future of publishing.

With the business very much in flux, I, crazily enough, volunteered to teach a class about it for young writers. I’ll be teaching a class called “Publishing 101” in the Youth Writers Conference track at the Florida Writers Association Conference.

As I start preparing this session, I know some of the things I have to cover. The difference between royalty publishing and subsidy publishing (which is really just a form of self-publishing). What the stages of publication are and how to duplicate them if you’re going solo.

But of course I don’t know what I don’t know, so let me ask you guys what you think should be included. What do you wish you had known about publishing before you started? What aspects of the business still leave you puzzled?

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About Kristen Stieffel

Kristen Stieffel is a writer and freelance editor specializing in speculative fiction. She's a member of the Editorial Freelancers Association, Christian Editor Connection, and American Christian Fiction Writers.

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