Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Peek into Publishing

Here's a recap of the November 1st chat with Elaine McArdle and Lane Zachary. Brought to you by Grub volunteer Val Maloof!

Today Elaine McArdle co-author of The Migraine Brain spoke about what it was like to co-author the book. Elaine is a journalist who teamed up with Dr. Carolyn Bernstein, a neurologist who had an idea to write an easy-to-understand book about migraines.

During the partnership, Dr. Bernstein would provide the medical knowledge and Elaine would simplify the medical terminology and conduct interviews. Elaine spoke about Dr. Bernstein as "the star." Because Dr. Bernstein had medical credentials she was the one going on the press tours and Elaine was mainly just in the background. And Elaine completely understood and accepted her position.

With her for this talk was her agent Lane Zachary of the Zachary, Shuster, Harmsworth Agency. One thing Lane advises writers to do is to get their work published. Agents are always reading different literary journals and magazines, so just by having work out there is a huge step in the right direction.

She also explained that an author's pay check is 15% of the list price of their book. For example, if a book sells for $30 then the author makes $4.50 per book.

When looking for an agent Lane suggests looking in the acknowledgment section of your favorite books-- it will usually state the agents name there. Both Lane and Elaine agreed on how crucial it is for a writer to have a strong positive connection with the agent.

Lane said that if you are to do a co-authorship with a "star," then the profits should always be split 50/50. And NEVER write for hire, according to Lane.

Contact Info:
Elaine McArdle
ElaineMcA at

Lane Zachary
LZachary at