Saturday, August 2, 2014

Justin Chanda: You Have Your 1st (2nd, 3rd) Contract(s) Here's How You Can Help and Hurt Yourself

A barely visible Justin enjoying
WeHo, also known as West Hollywood
MUCH MUCH MUCH of Simon & Schusterer Justin Chanda's talk we were verb√łoten to blog or tweet about, BUT:

A few allowed-to-be-mentioned points from Justin Chanda's excellent talk on what to do once you have a book contract.

#1 Be kind to the assistants! Of every department in all of publishing. Be kind to the assistants, they do a lot of thankless work and are paid a pittance, they're there because they love and believe in books and authors, so show them the respect and love they deserve in turn.

#2 Justin quotes one of his favorite people, Debbie Ohi, who says that the success of another chilren's book creator in no way diminishes or steps on your own success. Always cheer on other writers, celebrate each other's work, and build community.

#3 Do NOT kvetch online about your publishing house. Even if they were in the wrong, they will be shamed, certainly, but odds are you don't have the full story, and even if you do, every other publishing house is watching social media and if they see someone that is perceived as reactionary or difficult to work with, they pay attention to that. Be a professional, complain to your critique group in the privacy of a hotel bar.

#4 Before you want to suggest this to your publicist, remember: The TODAY Show really only features a children's book twice a year, and at least half of those features are celebrity driven, if this is your or your freelance publicist's best publicity suggestion, well, keep brainstorming.

Fun fact! Justin's office building was used as the model for the American The Office's headquarters.  Contrary to rumor, Justin Chanda was not used as the model for Michael Scott.

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