Publishing's Secret Side-Door: Episode 337 Writing Object Lessons and Books-for-series with Maria Teresa Hart
Sometimes your first book is a gateway. For me—KJ—it was Reading with Babies, Toddlers and Twos, a book I wrote in 2006 with Susan Straub. Susan was the expert and I was a rising writer with a lesser expertise riding on her coattails. We pitched the book before I had many bylines at all—but adding the words “is the author of the forthcoming book…” to my pitches opened a lot of doors. The book itself was shorter and much differently formatted than standard non-fiction.
Many writers get started this way, with gift books, guides and other non-fiction books that follow existing formats or fit into existing series. (The fiction version would be work-for-hire chapter books or books within a fandom—and we’d love to talk about that if you have guest ideas.)
Maria Teresa Hart is a writer and editor who works most often in food and travel, with a series of impressive bylines that range from the New York Times and The Atlantic to VICE and Business Insider, but she came on the pod to talk about the experience of writing a book for a publishing house within an existing series. Her book, Doll, is part of Bloomsbury’s Object Lessons series. We talk about how that happened, what it was like and how an experience like this can become an doorway into larger opportunities in publishing.
Maria Teresa Hart’s book, DOLL, is a pop-culture feminist critique of doll history and culture, from Raggedy Ann to Barbie to android sex dolls. Find it HERE.
Readers of Jane Friedman’s The Hot Sheet (if you’re not a subscriber, I recommend it, find it HERE) can read an interesting piece about work-for-hire in fiction fandoms in the 9/28/22 issue.
High Heel, Summer Brennan
Object lessons essay series in The Atlantic
Maria Teresa’s essay on Bidets
Maria Teresa: The Witches of Willow Cove, Josh Roberts
How to Be Eaten, Maria Adelmann
KJ: The Final Girl Support Group, Grady Hendrix
Small Town, Big Magic by Hazel Beck
https://www.mariateresahart.com, Twitter: /maritehart, IG: @mariathart
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