Embarking on a journey through the wilderness requires preparation, dedication and a clear sense of direction. Linda Taylor, assistant professor of professional writing, prepares prospective authors for a different journey — publishing.
On Oct. 3, Taylor held a book talk and workshop for her recent book , “Pathway to Publication” in Zondervan Library room 142. In the presentation, she covered some topics she covered in her book such as the tools, knowledge and guidance needed to navigate the publishing industry.
Taylor provided insider information behind her book, and her journey as an author in general. She recognized these many aspects of the publishing process, and how most aspiring writers simply were not aware of these details.
The book talk held a plethora of cookies, refreshments, handouts and even a drawing for a free copy of her book. While the compass-themed cookies were brought for the event, all of the other refreshments were provided by Zondervan, Taylor said.
Taylor opened her workshop by explaining her commitment to sharing her wisdom and experience. She wanted to empower writers with a comprehensive understanding of the publishing process.
“I teach for the professional writing major at Taylor, and that’s kind of what I brought into this book,” Taylor said. “And now if I die, I’ve done everything I can do. So everything I know, this is it.”
During the event, Taylor took her audience on a guided tour of the publishing process.
She emphasized the importance of research and the need to make vital decisions, such as selecting agents or publishers, and recognizing the publication's route that suits your work. She further explained the significance of aligning your goals with the appropriate publishing avenues, whether it's traditional publishing or alternative routes.
“You tend to live in your own worlds whether that’s gaming, history, communication, whatever it is,” Taylor said. “It doesn’t necessarily come naturally to other people and so I realized that I kind of know a lot about publishing that other people don’t know. That’s why I wanted to build the classes that I teach the way I do.”
While a wide range of audiences attended the book talk including colleagues and friends, there were also many students from her classes that came.
As a student in Taylor’s Editing class, freshman Anna Skinner recounted how the book talk helped her as an aspiring future author.
“I think it definitely was a cool talk because it gives you it gives you a step by step look, and the fact that she added her personal experience to it made it obvious that everyone's experience is different,” Skinner said. “The fact that she was telling us about her troubles doing it made it seem like it's okay for us to struggle.”
Through her own personal experiences, Taylor also discussed the importance of "getting in shape" for this writing journey.
Much like her sister's preparation for the Appalachian Trail, Taylor emphasized how writers need to get their work in peak condition through editing, reading and crafting a compelling book proposal before it is submitted.
Although most of this event was a discussion of her book, Taylor also included a workshop aspect.
She provided a worksheet activity at the end of her talk for the audience to be able to reflect on their personal goals. The worksheets included a step-by-step process to outline the purpose, intended audience and other areas that led to intentional thinking about a future book idea.
This is an especially important step because writers must have a clear pitch and one-sheet that encapsulates their work's essence, Taylor said.
In today’s age, she also builded on the necessity of building an online presence through social media. This insight addressed how networking can be a valuable tool for connecting with various publications and other authors.
"Pathway to Publication," serves as a comprehensive roadmap for writers seeking to navigate the complex world of publishing.
Through the event, Taylor was able to enlighten others on her experience and dedication to equipping writers with valuable insights to develop a clear sense of direction to embark on their publishing journey.
Just as hikers rely on trail guides to navigate through the wilderness, aspiring authors can turn to Professor Taylor's book as their guide to success in the literary world.