What exactly is a bad agent? How does gaslighting work, and what type of agent behavior is abnormal? Part 2 of a 2-part series.

Welcome back to Anonymous Author. In Part 1 of this series, we talked about what it is to be a bad agent , and made some suggestions about what to remember as you either seek out an agent, or seek to re-evaluate your relationship with your current agent.

This article will expand on those topics. We’ll take a look at gaslighting — both by agents and by ourselves, agent recommendations from others, conflicts of interest, and…

What exactly is a bad agent? What is a good one? A group of authors spent weeks considering this question. Here’s their answer.

(Part 1 of a 2-Part Series)

Recent reports of unprofessional behavior in the agenting community have been all over author social media. One thing that I (Sabaa) kept seeing over and over was this idea that no agent is better than a bad agent.

But what is a bad agent? What is a good one? How is an un-agented writer who is new to the industry supposed to know the answer to those questions? A few authors reached out to me, and I reached out to some others. As ever with Anonymous Author, these authors represent varied races, religions, genders and socio-economic backgrounds, and write different…

How to find your power in the publishing industry

Welcome to Anonymous Author, the column of advice from published authors who have been through the highs and lows and everything in between.

Today’s column tackles three topics. Allies in publishing; how to be successful in publishing; and the confluence of entertainment and art — and what it means for your career.

One of the wonderful things about this column is that when I least expect it, I learn something new. The theme here is very clear — value yourself. Value your art. Remember that no one is doing you a favor. …

The Ins and Outs of Book Packaging

This Anonymous Author post is a little different from past ones in that it focuses on a single subject: Book Packaging.

Book packaging refers to the business of (surprise surprise) packaging a book. A book packaging company often comes up with an idea for a book, or helps develop it, and then finds a writer to bring that idea to life. When the book is done — or sometimes, when it’s still in its proposal stage — the packagers will sell the book to a publishing house. The writer is usually paid a “flat fee” along with some percentage of…

Part 2: A deeper dive into the publishing industry — and how to stay strong once you’re in

Photo by Sabaa Tahir

In April of 2015, my first book, An Ember in the Ashes, was published. But the real publishing journey began a year and a half earlier, when my book was acquired by my publishing house. At the time, I knew nothing of the industry.

Without the hard-won advice of friends and colleagues, I would have been lost. I was lost. This article is the second in a series about how to navigate the publishing industry.

This time, we’ll focus in on time management, being undercut by your peers, the reasons we write, and more.


The longer I…

A diverse array of authors share their advice for those just entering the publishing industry

When I began my career as an author, I knew nothing of the book publishing world. I was educated on the fly, through observation, conversations with more experienced authors, advice from my agent or publisher, and often by trial and error — mostly error.

Over time, the landscape made more sense — but only after a lot of hard-won lessons. The publishing industry can be very opaque. This series is an attempt to shed some light on it.

I’ve gathered advice from dozens of authors, across many genres. Some are are New York Times bestsellers with multiple books. Some have…

Sabaa Tahir

Writer. Musichead. Book Junkie. Sock Aficionada. #1 NYT Bestseller. My books have long titles. A SKY BEYOND THE STORM out 12/1/2020.

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