As threatened yesterday, today I'm going to rave about Backspace, an online forum and resource center for authors, serious aspiring authors, agents, editors and others in the publishing industry to dialogue about the art and business of books and publishing.
There are dozens of articles there on the business, discussions with guest speakers, and links I haven't even explored yet, though I'm very impressed with some of the names I've gotten a glimpse of. I was just so thrilled to find the forums that I immediately got lost there. The forums are in message board format - my favorite, as opposed to, well, blogs! - because ANYONE can start a topic or a cry for help, and the topics can be catalogued by subject for easy reference for those coming along later.
On Backspace you can get instant advice from authors, agents, and editors; mentoring from more experienced authors; access to quality agents and editors who are members; and a large ongoing support group of sympathetic peers. In two days I learned a dozen things about the publishing process I had never heard before - and it's not like I haven't been working on it - THE HARROWING is out in September!. Now, I've had wonderful advice and help from a multitude of sources all along the way, but there's no question in my mind that I would have been so much farther ahead of the game (and a little less psychotic about it) if I'd known about Backspace when I first started this whole crazy process.
And that's not even all. Backspace is also having a live conference, THIS WEEKEND in New York, and the list of speakers and panelists is just awesome - check it out on the main page. Apparently there's still space, and - especially if you're looking for an agent - this looks like the one place to be this year to get that done.
There's a minimal fee to join the forums - $30 - to keep out the non-serious. It's worth a hundred times that.
Eternal gratitude and kudos to founders Karen Dionne and Christopher Graham for providing us all with this invaluable resource.
Check out the main pages and you'll see.
Hope to see you there!