258: Deb Burns on How to Get a Farming Book Published.

            Writing and publishing books for urban farmers, homesteaders and nature lovers.

Storey Publishing is a prolific publisher of farming and gardening books.  Having roots going back to the 1970’s, their in-house editors and designers embrace the challenge of complementing each author’s work with book design, editing, and original illustration or photography to enhance the book’s distinctiveness and make it accessible as well as practical. We have had many Storey authors on our show and thought it might be great to get useful information on how to get your book published.

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Deb Burns has been an Acquiring Editor at Storey Publishing for 23 years, where she oversees books on farming, animals, and nature.  She attended Bard College and UC Berkeley and currently lives in the beautiful Berkshires of Massachusetts. She loves making music and traveling the world and has authored books on history and travel. 

In This Podcast:

Helping authors get published is what Deb Burns has done for more than two decades.  She explains a lot about the process and helps break it down and make it easier to understand for aspiring authors. If you have considered writing a book, this might help you get past some of those hurdles you’ve built.

Listen in and learn about:

  • Her path to becoming an editor at Storey Publishing including staying a while at a commune in Northern California and falling in love with the story of people
  • How Storey Publishing was born
  • Their mission to serve their customers by publishing practical information that encourages personal independence in harmony with the environment
  • The various categories the publisher offers
  • Some of the original books the publisher printed
  • What she looks for in an author
  • How being plain and straightforward is preferable
  • How the topic is equally important
  • Having a platform to promote the book really helps
  • What to include in your proposal that you send to the publisher
  • How to emphasize who your audience is going to be
  • Hints on what to avoid – such as the academic voice and lingo
  • The time frame from a manuscript arrival to point of publication
  • Getting started before waiting for the contract
  • How acquiring editors help the authors
  • What happens in-house and behind doors to make the book happen
  • Her own writing for Storey
  • A recommendation for new writers

As well as:

  • Her failure – When a book might miss its market audience; or asking an author to do something they can’t
  • Her success – Getting books to market
  • Her drive – The quality of the books she helps publish
  • Her advice – Find your own voice and your own topic

Deb’s Book recommendations:    

Any of Gail Damerow books by Storey Publishing

How to reach Deb: 

Email: Deb.burns@storey.com


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