KTEP - El Paso, Texas

Martha Woodroof

This series on first novels continues with a look at the book auction: what triggers one, how one is organized, and what running one is like. Previous posts covered how agents fall in love with books and how editors acquire them . Book auctions are not all that uncommon. As Karen Dionne writes in dailyfinance.com: "For a book to go to auction, all that's required is for two or more publishers to want to purchase it." There are three basic models for book auctions. Michelle Brower of...

I woke up Wednesday, drank some coffee, and learned (thank you, Frank Morris and Morning Edition ) that it was the 100 th anniversary of William S. Burroughs' birth. Burroughs was born in St. Louis and died in Lawrence, Kansas – improbable geographic bookends to his really out-there life. But this post is not so much about William Burroughs as about William Burroughs' typewriter. My husband, Charlie, and I like to get in our car and drive for our vacations, seeing what turns up in...

Martha Woodroof has been writing about the First Novel Experience. For this post, she reports on her travels to the American Booksellers Association's Winter Institute in January. The American Booksellers Association Winter Institute was billed as providing independent booksellers with a chance to get together "...in vibrant Seattle for three-plus days of networking, special events, and professional development." This was not an event for shy persons. Which, I suspect, is why my...

The first in my series of posts on The First Novel Experience was called "The Romance of Agents." A couple of people wrote me after it was posted and asked if I was going to include in this series any stories of any writers who'd had a bad time with their books. I thought about it and decided no – at least not yet. As someone who's had her share of disappointments in these uncertain and confusing publishing times, it seems more useful – and encouraging – to tell stories of books that are...

Disclaimer: A couple of years ago, I made a bucket list. As I've had a pretty rollicking life, my bucket contained a single experience: Sell a novel to a major house. And now, Saint Martin's Press is to bring out my novel, Small Blessings, in July of next year. Until writing and other things intruded, I was a fairly regular freelancer for NPR, reporting mostly on books and publishing. It was a lovely gig and taught me a lot about how the publishing industry functions, but...