When Words Collide – Adrienne Kerr

I’m literally just back in the door after attending my first When Words Collide workshop of the conference. Although WWC ‘proper’ doesn’t kick off until Friday, they’re offering several pre-conference workshops today and Thursday.  I wanted to hear Adrienne Kerr, Acquisitions Editor for Penguin Canada, speak about the Author/Editor Relationship.

Wow! Her workshop was so – very – much more than the title suggested.

First off, Adrienne Kerr was a great speaker; funny, knowledgable, personable, thoughtful, perceptive, informative – my brain is literally buzzing as it processes all I learned today. (And I’m not trying to butter her up just because I’m an aspiring author and she’s an editor.) The hours sped by as she offered fascinating insights into the current state of the publishing industry (not just in Canada but also in the US and UK), the history and trials of its recent past and the challenges it faces in the future.

Other topics included:
The Value and Capital Publishers Bring to the Business – and what they can offer an author.
The Economic Challenges Facing Large Publishers.
An Examination of Contracts from the Publisher and Author’s POV.
The Role of the Agent.
The Author/Editor Relationship.
The Differences Between The US Publishing Industry and The Canadian.

It’s a challenging time to be a writer or a publisher. Publishing is a business and like all businesses, the bottom line rules.

Listening to her description of the industry, my mood swung from despair to excitement, settling down around cautious optimism. And that’s probably the best – and most realistic – place to be.

If you’re attending When Words Collide and haven’t yet decided which panels/workshops to attend, I highly recommend you check out those where Adrienne is speaking.


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