top of page
logo black.png

Getting A Traditional Publishing Deal


What You Need to Know from Top Agents, Editors and Authors
including Bonnie Garmus and Sadeqa Johnso

November 2023 - May 2024

Getting a Traditional Publishing Deal Horizontal Update.jpg

Today's publishing landscape offers multiple paths to print, including hybrid and self publishing. But traditional publishing offers important benefits, including advances, distribution, marketing, credibility,  and—to be honest—status. What book lover hasn’t dreamed of their book’s spine bearing the logo of a time-honored publisher?


If you write a great book, you’ve got a shot at a traditional book publishing deal—but you’ve got to know the territory. That means understanding the role of editors and agents:  What they do, what they’re looking for, and how they balance their love of books with the bottom line.


If you want to understand the business of book publishing, start thinking like a pro, and know the exact steps required to land an agent and editor, this class is a must. You'd have to take several niche courses to equal the comprehensive guidance you'll receive in this singular master class.


This is traditional publishing at the highest level.

You'll learn from literary agent Noah Ballard, who represents memoir and fiction, about the role of the agent and how you can find the right fit for you and your book. Michelle Wolfson, another dynamic literary agent, will discuss young adult fiction, and what happens after you've agreed to a publishing deal. Literary agent Cherise Fisher will talk about building the author-agent relationship. And our sessions on contract rights and royalties and how to build your author platform will put you way ahead in your publishing journey.

Lessons in Chemistry - Book Cover.jpg
The House Of Eve - Book Cover.jpg

And...we're proud to present two of the year's most celebrated and successful authors: Bonnie Garmus and Sadeqa Johnson, who will both talk about their path to publishing.

Bonnie, author of Lessons in Chemistry, found runaway success with her first novel at the age of 64 and is proof that it's never too late to make your mark as a storyteller. And Sadeqa, author of five novels, achieved her dream of being a New York Times bestselling novelist with The House of Eve, which became a Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick when it debuted last spring.

This stellar faculty will offer their expert advice and answer your questions in four two-hour interactive sessions, designed to give you foundational knowledge and practical advice from the best experts in the field.

And... the support continues with six one-hour workshop sessions to help you navigate the search for the absolute perfect agent for your manuscript.

Important Note: This program has already started. If you register now you will receive a link to the recordings portal for the previous dates.

Traditional Publishing Schedule



Building Your Relationship

What does a healthy author/agent relationship look like? What's the author's responsibility to the agent, and vice versa? How does an agent protect a client contractually? What does a standard publishing contract look like? What are typical rights and royalties? What's negotiable and what's not?

Looking Out for One Another

What are some of the pitfalls that authors and agents might go through

together over time? How can you handle them as they come along?

Understanding Publishing Contracts
- Key terms and clauses to be aware of.
- Rights: Retaining and selling.

Royalties, Advances, and Earnings
- How authors earn money in traditional publishing.
- The breakdown of book pricing and author earnings.

Reese-The House Of Eve.jpg




Her debut novel, Lessons in Chemistry, has been on the New York Times bestseller list in fiction for 71 weeks and counting. Three years earlier, Bonnie submitted a different manuscript 97 times to 97 different agents and never heard back. Bonnie’s story of tenaciousness, dedication, and belief is a story we all need to hear,  especially as we navigate the waters of finding the perfect literary agent for our book.  


Based in London, Bonnie Garmus has graciously agreed to share her story with all of us. Don't miss this indelible moment in time!


Also, Apple TV will be premiering Bonnie's series in which she is executive producer in October of 2023. The star of the series is Academy Award-winning actress, Brie Larson.


If you haven’t read her debut novel, reach out to your favorite independent bookstore and treat yourself to a copy before Bonnie’s appearance on November 12.



Overview of the Publishing Landscape
- Brief history of traditional publishing.
- Traditional vs. self-publishing: pros and cons.

- Changes in the marketplace post-covid

The Role of a Literary Agent
- Why agents are crucial in the traditional publishing ecosystem.
- How agents select authors and manuscripts.

- The agent-author relationship: What to expect.



Preparing Your Manuscript For Submission
- Formatting standards.
- Essential elements: Synopsis, chapter breakdowns, etc.

The Editorial Process
- Role of an editor in traditional publishing.
- The stages of editing: Developmental, line editing, copyediting, and proofreading.
- Understanding and working with editorial feedback.

Perfecting Your Memoir Submission
- Drafting a compelling query letter tailored for memoir.
- Breaking down the components for a memoir proposal.

- Tips and hacks to stand out in a sea of submissions.

Media Rights and Beyond
- Exploring opportunities beyond the book: Films, TV adaptations, podcasts, and more.
- The process: Negotiations and what to expect.



From Manuscript to Bookshelf
- The publishing timeline: What happens after the book deal?
- Marketing, publicity, and book launches.

Building an Author Brand
- Importance of author platforms: Websites, social media, and beyond.
- Engaging with readers and growing a community.

Important Note: This program has already started. If you register now you will receive a link to the recordings portal for the previous dates.

Sunday Night Agent Workshops

From December 2023 to May 2024, the group will meet the first Sunday of every month. This is an ongoing workshop to help participants find the all-important agent for your project. The monthly meetings are working sessions, not classes, to share information and tips on the agent hunt. The workshops will be facilitated by David Kirkpatrick, former president of Paramount Pictures and former production chief of Walt Disney Studios. During his tenure as a studio executive, David acquired literary properties including Terms of Endearment by Larry McMurtry, Ordinary People by Judith Guest, Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy, and Forrest Gump by Winton Groom. A subscription to Publisher's Marketplace is recommended.

Please note: The Sunday Night Agent Workshops from December 2023 to May 2024 will be recorded and available upon request.


Note: Guests are subject to change.

$349 for fifteen hours of instruction


November 6, 13, 20, 27, 2023

8 to 10 PM Eastern (5 to 7 PM Pacific)

November 12, 2023

4 to 5 PM Eastern (1 to 2 PM Pacific)


Sunday Night Agent Workshops

December 2023 - May 2024

Dec 3, Jan 7, Feb 4, Mar 3, Apr 7, May 5 

8 to 9 PM Eastern (5 to 6 PM Pacific)

This program has already started. If you register now you will receive a link to the recordings portal for the previous dates.


Please note: Our classes are designed specifically for live participation, so your attendance is important. If you need to miss a class for any reason, you’ll receive a passcode-protected link to watch the recordings after the course is over.

Frequently Asked Questions

A Peek at Our Past Virtual Classes



Thanks for submitting!

bottom of page