Mississippi Book Festival panel highlight: Mississippi Publishers

Would-be authors can learn at BookFest’s publishers panel
Special to the Mississippi Clarion Ledger
USA TODAY NETWORK

Would-be authors and those who have self-published their works and are looking for a publisher could find one panel of particular interest at the Mississippi Book Festival on Saturday, Aug. 18.

Titled the Mississippi Publishers Panel, the 2:45 p.m. meeting at the State Capital Room 201H in Jackson, “will provide writers pointers on how to get their books published,” says moderator Jim Ewing.

Panelists include:

— James L. Dickerson, Publisher, Sartoris Literary Group, and author of “Colonel Tom Parker: The Curious Life of Elvis Presley’s Eccentric Manager”;

— Craig Gill, Director, University Press of Mississippi;

— Joe Lee, Owner and editor-in-chief, Dogwood Press, and author of “40 Days”;

— Larry Wells, Publisher, Yoknapatawpha Press.

“Each of the panelists has edited, written, or overseen publishing of books in print form,” says Ewing. “They can offer writers guidance on what publishers are looking for in a manuscript and how to go about getting a book in print.”

Genres include fiction and nonfiction, of regional interest, and for a wider audience, he says.

“This is the A-Team of small publishers in Mississippi,” Ewing notes.

“Sometimes, budding authors overlook the small presses, thinking that big means better. But that’s not necessarily the case. Bigger publishing houses can also mean more manuscripts rejected.

“Smaller presses actually can be a gateway to much wider notice and distribution,” he says.

“Once an author is published, it can be a game-changer. Publishers are looking for proven authors, titles in print, books that sell. Having a ‘back list’ of books can demonstrably put one author above the pack in terms of desirability. It also can lead to more lucrative contracts,” he says.

“If you’re struggling to get your books in print, using the hashtag “AmWriting but only seem to be conversing with fellow would-be published authors, this is the panel for you,” he says.

Ewing is also a published author. A former writer and editor at the Clarion Ledger, he has written seven books, published in English, French, German, Russian and Japanese.

For details, visit msbookfestival.com

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