R207. From First Book Deal to Career as Author: How to Navigate the Publishing World

Room 301, Henry B. González Convention Center, Ballroom Level
Thursday, March 5, 2020
12:10 pm to 1:25 pm


There’s a large gap in between being published to developing a career as an author. After you get a book deal, what are dos and don’ts while working with an editor? What’s the role of your agent then? Do you need a website? Should you hire an independent publicist? What can you do to help your book succeed? How do you give a great reading? What’s the difference between publicity and marketing? How do you develop a career as an author? Four seasoned authors and one executive editor offer advice.

Outline & Supplemental Documents

Event Outline: From_First_Book_Deal_to_Career_as_Author_-_AWP_2020.docx



Jean Kwok is the award-winning, New York Times and international bestselling author of Searching for Sylvie Lee (Today Show Book Pick), Girl in Translation, and Mambo in Chinatown. Her work has been published in twenty countries and is taught in universities, colleges, and high schools across the world.

Mitchell S. Jackson’s debut novel The Residue Years won a Whiting Award and the Ernest J. Gaines Prize for Literary Excellence. It was also a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award, the Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel prize, and the Hurston Wright Legacy award.

Barbara Jones is an executive editor at Henry Holt & Company, where she acquires and edits fiction, memoir and narrative nonfiction. She was previously the editorial director at Hyperion Books, and previous to that, a longtime magazine editor, at Harper’s, Vogue, Real Simple, and elsewhere.

Rebecca Makkai's fourth book, The Great Believers, was a finalist for both the Pulitzer and the National Book Award; it won the LA Times Book Prize, the Carnegie Medal, and the Stonewall Award. She is artistic director of StoryStudio Chicago.

Courtney Maum is the author of the novels Costalegre, Touch, I Am Having So Much Fun Here without You, and the forthcoming humor guide for writers Before and After the Book Deal: A Writer's Guide to Finishing, Publishing, Promoting and Surviving Your First Book. Find her online at courtneymaum.com


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center