Tips from a literary agent – contracts, legal issues, and publishing ethics

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Marilyn Biderman Literary Management is a boutique agency representing authors of both fiction and non-fiction. Owner and agent Marilyn Biderman established the agency in the fall of 2010 after twenty years of experience in book publishing, most recently as Vice President, Rights and Contracts, at McClelland & Stewart Ltd, where she sold internationally the works of many acclaimed and bestselling authors, including Leonard Cohen, Alistair MacLeod, Anne Michaels, and Madeleine Thien. She is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, a member of the Advisory Board of Ryerson University’s Publishing Program, and is a frequent guest-lecturer at publishing courses and writers’ seminars.

Marilyn’s international reputation rests on the four pillars of effective agenting: hard work, ethics, technique, and contacts. Her passion is seeing good books published well, and she particularly loves working with authors (début and established) of literary fiction, commercial fiction, narrative and expert non-fiction, and memoir. She brings her high standards to every aspect of her practice: from reading the manuscripts of prospective clients to preparing submission materials, and to advising authors carefully during every step of the publishing process. Marilyn applies her expert knowledge of book publishing contracts, both for traditional print and electronic books, to every negotiation on her clients’ behalf. Frequent, in-depth communication on all issues, including marketing advice and career planning, is a hallmark of the agency’s service. The agency takes on authors, not books, with a long view to developing their careers, both in Canada and abroad.

Publishers’ PD Seminar with Cynthia Good on editorial direction – Jan 15 2014

Join us on Wednesday January 15th at the Atwater Library Auditorium for a presentation of ‘Acquiring Wisdom: Insight for Editorial Direction’ by Cynthia Good, Director of the Creative Book Publishing Program at Humber College. Doors open at 4pm; presentation to begin at 4:15. Coffee and cookies will be served. Everyone welcome! RSVP to admin@aelaq.org.

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Cynthia Good, Director of the Creative Book Publishing Program at Humber College, has been in the publishing industry for thirty-five years. She was appointed the first editorial director of Penguin Books Canada in the early ‘80’s. There, she was responsible for establishing a publishing program which grew into one of the most successful in Canada. Under her leadership the roster included such writers as John Ralston Saul, Michael Ignatieff, Alice Munro, Mordecai Richler, Timothy Findley, Stuart McLean, Peter Robinson, Guy Gavriel Kay, Will Ferguson and many others. After twenty years with Penguin, Ms. Good resigned in 2003 when she was president and publisher. Following her years at Penguin, she became fiction-editor-at-large for Walrus Magazine, and consulted for a variety of public and private organizations until conceiving and developing the Creative Book Publishing Program at Humber College. She continues to consult for publishers and speak widely on the subjects of writing and publishing.

In addition to several academic awards, Ms. Good has received the Arbor Award from the University of Toronto for outstanding volunteer service. Most recently she has been chosen as one of the 100 Alumni of Influence by University College.

She was awarded an Honorary Degree by Mount Allison University in 2006 and was appointed Trent University Ashley Fellow for the 2007/2008 academic year where she is now Adjunct Professor.

She is currently on the Toronto grant review team for the Trillium Foundation and lives in Toronto.

Tips for selling your books (print and digital)!

Join us on Tuesday December 3rd at the Atwater Library Auditorium for a presentation by Diane Davy, president of Castledale Inc. Doors open at 4pm; presentation to begin at 4:15. Coffee and cookies will be served. Everyone welcome! RSVP to admin@aelaq.org.

Join us on Tuesday December 3rd at the Atwater Library Auditorium for a presentation by Diane Davy, president of Castledale Inc. Doors open at 4pm; presentation to begin at 4:15. Coffee and cookies will be served. Everyone welcome! RSVP to admin@aelaq.org.

Tuesday December 3rd at the Atwater Library Auditorium. Doors open at 4pm; presentation to begin at 4:15.

 

Before founding Castledale Inc., Diane Davy worked as an executive in a wide variety of companies, gaining the unique ability to bridge an appreciation of creativity with a solid sense of business. Davy was President of Key Porter Books Ltd., an internationally respected Canadian publisher of adult and children’s fiction and non-fiction. She served as President of NextMedia Inc., a marketing and consulting company specializing in television, music and publishing, and was President and Publisher of Greey de Pencier/OWL Books, creators of award winning Canadian children’s books and Publisher of the OWL Group, producers of children’s magazines and television shows.

Davy, wanting to ensure the next generation of cultural leaders can succeed, teaches a course on the Business of Book Publishing as part of the Humber College Creative Book Publishing Program and is an active member of the travelling consultants programs run by both Magazines Canada and the Association of Canadian Publishers. She also serves as part-time Executive Director of WorkInCulture (Cultural Careers Council Ontario: www.workinculture.ca).

Diane Davy has served as a member/chair of various industry and not-for-profit boards of directors, including the Association of Canadian Publishers, the Organization of Book Publishers of Ontario, the Association for the Export of Canadian Books, Magazines Canada, Scientists in School, the Canadian Children’s Book Centre and PEN Canada.

AELAQ is thrilled to feature Diana Davy in its Professional Development Series and wishes to thank the Department of Canadian Heritage, the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Société de développement des entreprises culturelles (SODEC) for their financial support, without which the series would not be possible.

Kevin Smokler

AELAQ will be giving away 20 copies of his book!  We will draw names at the end of the talk.

Kevin Smokler

 

We don’t need to repeat how different publishing is in the 21st century. But we do need to acknowledge that it is different in ways we have not admitted. The reader is now an equal partner in how books get made. That doesn’t mean they help write them, design them or print them. But if publishing used to be “publish it and the readers will come” we do that now at our peril. The motto of 21st century publishing may as well be “Have a reader in mind before acquiring a thing.”

This afternoon, we’ll breakdown the new workflow, responsibilities, approaches and attitudes necessary to publish in the 21st century. We’ll touch upon social media, ebooks and the dreaded Amazon but these are all largely peripheral characters in this story. This afternoon we work from the outside in, following one of your books from the moment it touches a readers hands backwards to the moment of its conception. We’ll see that is not a time for disparagement, fear, or slight adjustments but a time for significant change, a time to change our relationship to readers, forever and for the better.

Kevin Smokler is the author of the forthcoming essay collection “Practical Classics: 50 Reasons to Reread 50 Books you Haven’t Touched Since High School” (Prometheus, Feb. 2013.)  Called “a publishing visionary” by the Huffington Post, his writing on the arts and technology has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Fast Company and on NPR. He’s the editor of the anthology Bookmark Now: Writing in Unreaderly Times (Basic Books, June 2005), which was a San Francisco Chronicle notable book of 2005.

As a speaker, Smokler has lectured throughout North America on the arts and their role in contemporary society at The Commonwealth Club of California, The Idea Festival, Book Expo America and universities such as Stanford and Johns Hopkins. He sits on the advisory board of the South by Southwest Interactive Conference where he has been a featured speaker since 2003.

Kevin Smokler has a B.A. in Writing Seminars from Johns Hopkins University and an M.A. In American Studies from The University of Texas at Austin. A native of Ann Arbor, Michigan, he lives in San Francisco.

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