Monday, August 25, 2008

Insights from the Publishing Front Alan Rinzler is sort of an institution around the Bay Area. A former associate publisher at Rolling Stone, editor at Simon & Schuster, Grove, Macmillan, and Holt, he now executive editor at Jossey-Bass in San Francisco, an imprint of John Wiley & Sons. Rinzler has worked with Claude Brown, Toni Morrison, Tom Robbins, Shirley MacLaine, and many other authors. For many years he has held a class at Cody’s about how to get published (Now that Cody’s is closed, will he still hold the class?) He even critiqued people’s manuscripts for free.

I have met Alan a few times, although he would not know me if he saw me on the street. But he is hard to miss. Tall and lean, he has a head of brilliant white hair. He walks a lot – we live in the same hilly neighborhood in Berkeley -- and I often spot him around town.

Alan set up his own website a few months ago, and recently he has added a blog about publishing. It’s informative and witty and provides a much needed perspective in the blogosphere – that of an acquiring editor. Alan states on his blog that he loves working with young writers to help them figure out what they are trying to say in a book. In this day and age of overworked editors, where most books get a cursory look, this attitude is refreshing. Here’s a description of his blog:

“The Book Deal is a blog for writers and book people, with a veteran insider’s views on the strange and inscrutable way books are published and the big changes going on in the business today. Look here for my take on the challenges and opportunities writers face in the world of digital and print book publishing, the mysterious process of acquisition, development, sales, and marketing, how agents and publishers conspire and compete behind the scenes to find the best new authors, and other special features.”

Another site I’ve come to rely on is Alltop, an aggregator of hundreds of blogs. Alltop divides them into categories, so with just one click you can get two dozen blogs on books, or adoption, or genealogy, or journalism, or banking, or many others.

Which blogs do you read regularly?

1 comment:

Elizabeth said...

I am just delving into the world of blogs, Frances, and happy to find yours, and now Alan's, and others . . . It seems almost a revival of the letter, except amongst strangers.