I’ve been in school holiday mode, reading, gaming, catching up with teacher pals…now that Term 3 has started, I’ve got my game face on…I mean, I’m ready to rumble with words!

Thai-no-mite is picking up pace. One of the stories is set in Dreamworld, so I’ve had to send my story over to the Dreamworld PR team. No biggie, but it’s a first for me. Looks like Lengy will be having his adventure in Australia’s largest theme park (shameless plug).

SO let’s go back in time and revisit the SCBWI conference, Sunday offered some delicious and valuable advice for authors like me.

What do publishers expect from their authors and illustrators? Trust, loyalty and discretion.

Penguin publisher, Laura Harris

Each of the publishers, Laura Harris (Penguin!), Lisa Berryman (Harper Collins), Zoe Walton (Random House) and Karen Tayleur (Five Mile Press) spoke about the editorial process. I’ve always come into this part with a healthy open mind, and my editor and I are like masterchef partners, cooking up the book. Authors are to listen to feedback, respect deadlines and be available for the PR train when the book comes out. Social media is a bonus but it’s not essential, though every publisher acknowledges that it is a plus. In fact, work with your publicist and use your talents and contacts to make the marketing more effective.

Another thing that publishers want is discoverablity, like when people google you, they should be able to find quality info about you. Don’t expect to get on the festival circuit, make a video of your speaking efforts if you want to crack the speakers market.

Okay, for those who want to be published, publishers don’t want coloured paper or flowery images. They just want the story.

But the NO.1 priority is to WRITE! Focus on the story first and foremost.

It was a great reminder, being an author is not the end of the journey. I’m happy to be part of Penguin, a publisher that really cares. It makes me wanna work harder and of course, grab more cHEwY gum gums and readers.

Next up…what can agents do (and why do they deserve their 15% commission)


About the author

I'm an author, stand-up comedian and teacher. My books include Thai-riffic!, Con-nerd, Punchlines and The Other Christy. I'm a massive Nintendo fan and love eating burgers. Follow me on Twitter or Instagram @oliverwinfree

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