RT Booklovers Convention 2011: How To Plot Your Writing Career

One of the most appropriate panels for today’s changing Publishing Industry was Wednesday’s “Plotting Your Career.” This session was presented by agents Deirdre Knight and Elaine Spencer of the Knight Agency, and Knight Agency clients Shannon K. Butcher and Kristen Painter. And today RT’s Stacey Agdern shares her take on the panel:

Today’s panel stressed the importance of having a mentor or someone you trust to help you navigate the changes of the publishing world. Because anybody who’s been paying attention to the news recently is aware that publishing is changing and rapidly. And one of things these changes directly effect is how an author should “plot their career.” But what does this mean? 

Traditional methods of viewing long term goals no longer work in today’s publishing industry where advice given six months before could potentially no longer be effective. Answers to questions about whether to stay in print or go to e-book, foreign rights, whether to self publish or stay with a publisher change constantly. As a result, Deidre Knight reminded all of us that it’s important for people to decide “what represents the fulfillment of their dream or goal.”

Such thinking places considerably more emphasis on the fact that people trying to enter the business on the author side have to really consider what’s good for them.The career one author has will be different from others, and expecting or wanting someone else’s career won’t be good for any reason.

And so maybe a better way to approach the ideas presented in the panel, isn’t to think about plotting, but pantsing. Like those authors who prefer to write “by the seat of their pants” rather than by plotting out the action ahead of time, what I took away from this panel was that they suggested an aspiring author pick some general goals, watch the changing industry and take the changes in stride!

To hear an audio recording of this panel go to www.conferencerecording.com and to hear more about the business of publishing you can check out our aspiring author section on the RT website!