BlogHer14 Path to Published Author

Inspired by Danielle of Another Version of Mother, I’m looking back again on my #BlogHer14 experience; this time, highlighting my tweets from Pathfinder Day, the preconference session. I attended Path to Published Author, which was led by two successful (i.e., published) authors, Hank Shaw and Margaret Dilloway.

Hank Shaw and Margaret Dilloway

Hank Shaw and Margaret Dilloway

Image courtesy of Danielle Tsi Photography

I signed up for the session because I was (and still am) interested in learning more about the publishing world and the book writing/dealing process. I was really looking forward to Pathfinder Day. And, it was…ok. Not exactly what I expected, though I did leave with a better idea of how hard it is to get published.

The day kicked off with a keynote address by Teneshia J. Warner, whose never-take-no-for-an-answer story about finding her way through the business world was very inspiring:

In our session, Hank and Margaret emphasized writing needs passion and deep, deep committment:

They also, despite their success, were honest about the realities of the publishing world, explaining there is “no clear path to success” and: 

Even though rejections are frequent, Margaret was encouraging, noting that what’s “most important is to know your voice and cultivate it.” She also said:

Margaret emphasized the first draft: “never say no to an idea in a first draft,” as those ideas can turn into something wonderful. You can always edit later. Editing was, in fact, a topic they emphasized, explaining the different kinds of editors (developments versus line) who can help shape a book. She advised not to “quit your day job,” since writing a book, getting an agent, and finding a publisher can take years. 

And, Danielle, attending another Pathfinder Day, summed up what the preconference sessions are all about:

Another keynote session, moderated by one of BlogHer’s founders, offered a bit of reality:

Overall, the Path to Published Author session answered the “how do I do this book thing” question (well, at least the basic question; I have a whole lot of new questions now!):

And, finally, for everyone who asserts that the book is dead, Hank provided a more positive perspective:

Am on a path to being a published author? I don’t know that a one-day session can do that exactly. It can, however, inspire and offer up some much-needed food for thought.

My other great takeaway was Margaret’s books: they are now on my “to suggest to my book club” list. An unexpected perk!

  1. August 10, 2014
  2. August 10, 2014
  3. August 11, 2014