How to get your book published: A weekend bootcamp with Scott Pack

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Get an exclusive look behind the scenes of the publishing world in this hands-on weekend bootcamp

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Have you completed your book draft but you are unsure how to navigate the complicated and seemingly closed doors of the publishing landscape? Or are you perhaps working on your final draft and need advice for perfecting your submission package?

In this hands-on and inspiring weekend bootcamp with book industry expert Scott Pack, you will get an exclusive look behind the scenes of the publishing world to better prepare you for what lies ahead.

Aimed at aspiring and emerging authors of both fiction and non-fiction, you will learn everything from how to identify the right publisher or agent, how the key publishing models work, how much money an author may make, how to how to write a killer synopsis and cover letter – and you will also have the opportunity to put your questions to a Katie Espiner, managing director of Orion Books, and author Patrice Lawrence.

This is an unmissable weekend of seminars, exercises, Q&As and feedback workshops for anyone with a desire to get their magnum opus out into the world.

Day 1: A writer’s guide to the book world

  • Introduction and the lifecycle of the book: You will learn about the process of transforming a piece of work from the manuscript saved on your computer (and, we hope, backed up somewhere!) to a printed book in a shop.
  • A writer’s guide to publishing models: What are the key business models in publishing and how do they work? Scott will cover the pros and cons of the different types of publishing, as well as where agents and retailers come in.
  • Publisher Q&A with Katie Espiner, managing director of Orion Publishing: Put your questions to Katie and discover how she works, what sort of books she is looking for, what authors can do to catch her attention - and see if you can get her to spill a few trade secrets!
  • The mathematics of publishing: In an industry built on words, how is it that the numbers inform many of the decisions? This section will crunch the numbers on sales, costs and how much authors can typically earn from book sales.
  • Author Q&A with Patrice Lawrence: You will have the opportunity to ask award-winning novelist Patrice what it’s really like living on the other side of the dream of being published, as well as what they wish they had known beforehand.

Day 2: Perfecting your submission

  • How to perfect your submission: Everything you need to know about submitting to agents and publishers, including how to identify the right one for you and your work, and what goes into a submission package.
  • Pitching workshop: You will work on your book pitch, based on what you have learned from the submission workshop, with 1-2-1 input from Scott.
  • Pitching session: Pitch your book! This is it - what you’ve been working towards all weekend. Put your brilliant ideas to Scott and the rest of the group, and receive honest and invaluable feedback on how you can improve it before you take the plunge and put it out into the world.
  • Q&A: A round-up of the weekend’s learnings, and your chance to ask any outstanding questions.

You will be sent a link to the webinar 2hrs before the start time of 2.30pm (GMT).

Tutor Profile

Scott Pack has worked in the book industry for twenty years. He was head of buying for Waterstones before becoming a publisher and spending several years at HarperCollins. He now divides his time between his role as editor-at-large for indie publisher Eye & Lightning Books, associate lecturer in Publishing at Oxford Brookes University, offering freelance editorial support to authors, and as a specialist subject question writer for the BBC quiz show, Mastermind. His latest book, Tips from a Publisher, is out now.

You will be sent a link to the webinar 2hrs before the start time of 2.30pm (GMT).

Course Details

  • Date: Saturday 4 & Sunday 5 December 2021
  • Time: 2.30pm-5.30pm (GMT)

2.30pm GMT | 3.30pm CET | 6.30am PT | 9.30am ET

This masterclass is available globally. If you are joining us from outside the United Kingdom, please use this time zone converter to check your local live streaming time.

You will be sent a link to the webinar two hrs before the start time. Please email if you have not received the access link within one hour of the scheduled start time.

All Guardian Masterclasses are fully accessible but please contact us at if you have any queries or concerns.

Full course and returns information on the Masterclasses website

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Welcome to Guardian Masterclasses – a unique programme of learning embedded within one of the world's most forward-thinking media organisations.

Masterclasses offer a broad range of short and long courses across a variety of disciplines from creative writing, journalism, photography and design, film and digital media, music and cultural appreciation.

Harnessing the expertise and specialisms within the organisation, our courses are led by first class and award winning guardian professionals whilst also drawing on the skills and expertise of other leading figures at the forefront of the creative and digital industries.

The programme is aimed at anyone interested in personal or professional development whether that be refining your skills, focusing your ambition or simply broadening your mind and gaining inspiration.

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