Publishing Rodeo: The Good, The Bad, and the Bloody Ugly

by Sunyi Dean

In 2022, two authors debuted in the same genre, with the same publisher, in the same year. Yet each of their books, and subsequently each of their careers, went in very different directions. That pattern repeats itself throughout the industry, over and over. Why does this happen, and what does it mean?

In THE PUBLISHING RODEO podcast, we aim to answer those questions and many more, using collated experiences from ourse ... 

 ...  Read more

Podcast episodes

  • Season 1

  • 31 - SEASON FINALE: Leverage, success, and life after Debut Year

    31 - SEASON FINALE: Leverage, success, and life after Debut Year

    Our final show of the season! This week, we talk frankly about author leverage--what it means, and how to use it. We also discuss when and how to pitch new books on proposal, the impact of past sales on that process, and why Scott is (probably) walking away from writing trad fantasy as a result. Other topics: we reflect on regrets and highlights across the past year, do a quick summary of where we are, why we've slowed down, and what's going on, AND our plans for Season 2 (there will be one!) and how it will be different from Season 1. Finally, Scott introduces a new shiny thing we've been working on: the Author Data Project, an adult-fiction version of the YA research that Dr. Kerry Pray conducted and discussed in an earlier episode. Links to the other 2 podcasts we mentioned and recommended: The Failing Writers Podcast, featuring Jon Rand, Tom Turner, and Dave Baird: Great fun, honest conversations, fantastic guests!Cover Meeting, with Steve Leard: A side of the industry authors normally don't see!

  • 30 - Relaunching A Career, with Holly Race

    30 - Relaunching A Career, with Holly Race

    After being orphaned by multiple agents, and a COVID book launch that hamstrung her sales, Holly Race started again--querying with a fresh manuscript, in a different age category--before finally landing on her feet... for now! Today, we talk about the instability of trad; relaunching a career that stumbled; what Holly learned from reading tv scripts; moving from YA to adult; writing with the market in mind; the pitfalls of manuscript assessment services; and much more.

  • 29 - Readerships, Sales, and Discoverability with Gail Carriger

    29 - Readerships, Sales, and Discoverability with Gail Carriger

    Does Twitter sell books? Do book tours improve sales? How do readers actually find authors in the first place? Across a fifteen-year-career, NYT best-selling author Gail Carriger talks about hitting list, collecting data on her readers, and walking away from bad book/film deals. Check the show notes to gain access to a wealth of info and author assistance, via her incredibly detailed blog. ###Show Notes And Links (written by Gail herself!)Website = gailcarriger.comResources tab for authors on Gail's website book option does not a movie make: discoverability data blog post (psw = backdoor) uses data and experience to predict Amazon's behavior around books for the next 3 years (psw = backdoor) to use Wordpress plugin Redirection to track your activities online so you know if your promo efforts are effective website for full notes!

  • 28 - The Art of Success, with Wesley Chu

    28 - The Art of Success, with Wesley Chu

    Against the odds, Wesley Chu's small-press debut novel became a break-out success. In the ten years since, he has published a dozen other titles, written for large IPs, signed deals with the Big 5, and even dabbled in self publishing. Today, he sits down to chat about unexpected wins, getting blacklisted by publicists, learning to write sex scenes with Diana Galbadon, industry trends for SFF, and many other things. #### SHOW NOTES ####Got through the Angry Robot slush pile, unagentedLives of Tau was a stellar breakout successCowriting with Cassandra Clare, and being tutored by Diana GalbadonWatching yaoi, learning to write sex scenesPublishing experience with the big 5; getting blacklisted by a publicistRecovering and moving on with your careerThe shocking number of people who quit the industryFilm options (navigating them, making good choices)The “churner” model of publishing and why AI will kill it offChanging market trends in the USA and UKBook 2 promotion and a listener question

  • 27 - Foreign Rights and the Frankfurt Book

    27 - Foreign Rights and the Frankfurt Book

    This week, we chat with Anika Scott, an international bestselling author of historical fiction. After years of writing, querying, and revising, Anika's debut novel was snapped up amidst a whirlwind of interest and buzz--only to then launch a week before COVID shut the world down. On one continent, her book flourished, while on another, it tanked. We discuss the European scene, including the Frankfurt Book Fair and what it means to be a Frankfurt book, as well as being editorially orphaned, different genre readerships, recovering from a devastating COVID launch, and more.