#PipelineAuthors Twitter Chat Highlights

Jessi + Marie/ July 21, 2022/ Writing Process/ 0 comments

Earlier this evening, we were guest co-hosts of the #PipelineAuthors Twitter Chat hosted by Book Pipeline.

We were in our own inboxes announcing it!



We’ve been fans of the Pipeline Media Group family for a while now, and ever since we were named finalists in the 2020 Book Pipeline Unpublished Manuscript competition, we’ve gotten a chance to know them. And they’re The Best People™.

If you’re a writer (or just wanna see what goes on in the writing world), we definitely suggest you check out their weekly #PipelineAuthors Twitter Chat. Here’s how it works (as of the time of blog article publication, anyway):

  1. Mark your calendar for every Thursday from 8-10pm Eastern / 5-7 Pacific.
  2. When the appointed time arrives, search #PipelineAuthors on Twitter. (Here’s a shortcut for ya.)
  3. Sort by Latest.
  4. Refresh every few minutes to watch the conversation.
  5. Use the hashtag #PipelineAuthors to ask questions or give a reply.

We guarantee you’ll have a great time.

We did a Jessi-and-Marie takeover of the first hour of tonight’s chat. We got asked some great questions and met some lovely folks. Here are some of our favorite topics from the discussion.

Publishing Process Questions

Question 1 came from Peter Malone Elliott.

What was the thing that surprised you most about the publishing process?

Peter Malone Elliott @PMEWriter

The thing that surprised me (before we actually got into the thick of it but were learning about it) is how agonizingly slow it is. A positive thing that surprised me was how open + kind many are in the industry!

Marie Parks @marieparks

I think the most surprising part of the publishing process for me was just how many possible paths there were. I really had to sit down and figure out which one I wanted to pursue first.

Jessi Honard @JessiHonard

YES, this is so true. I’d been doodling the logos of publishing houses since I was in middle school, and I had to examine if that dream actually made sense for me and my book in the publishing landscape of 2020-2021. And to clarify, @JessiHonard and I did go with a publishing house (the very amazing @NotAPipePub!) but they didn’t yet exist when I was a wee middle school lass.

Marie Parks @marieparks

Question 2 emerged in response to Jessi’s original answer.

When did you realize all the options available to you, and who helped you eventually choose what was right for you?

Leah From South Dakota @leah_from

I think I started understanding the current publishing landscape better by attending retreats + workshops by @WritingExcuses and @SiWCtweets and @_Futurescapes , as well as listening to podcasts and poking around on author twitter.

Marie Parks @marieparks

I think the last 3-5 years have been enlightening, as I started to build a stronger writing community and learn more about the industry. Ultimately, @marieparks and I made the choice together after making a very long pro/con list.

Jessi Honard @JessiHonard

Question 3 was another great one from Leah.

What were some of the pros and cons that swayed you the most?

Leah From South Dakota @leah_from

We knew we wanted a publisher, rather than self-pub. We wanted a good values match with our publisher. We had to decide between small house vs. pursuing Big Four and, for me, the more collaborative approach of a small house was a huge factor. Nothing wrong with self pub of course! It’s something I’ll likely pursue in tandem with other projects. But for Unrelenting, a small house felt right.

Jessi Honard @JessiHonard

We had conversations w/agents + small presses. We were very fortunate, thanks to @BookPipeline, to be able to make a choice. In the end, we discovered a values alignment with @NotAPipePub + fell in love with their team and the way they care for their authors.

Marie Parks @marieparks

Question 4 was from Dan Eavenson about cover art.

What was the selection process like for the cover art? Finding the right visual style for your book seems just as tough as hunting for publishers.

Daniel Eavenson @SinisterInfant

We had a ton of help from @NotAPipePub ! We sent them an overview of what we were thinking, and they connected us with the right artist for the job.

Jessi Honard @JessiHonard

@NotAPipePub had worked with Gigi Little before. We were given several options of artists, and we chose her! She was SO amazingly responsive to our requests.

Marie Parks @marieparks

Question 5 was from Peter about our process with our publisher.

What was the best note you got about UNRELENTING from @NotAPipePub during the revision process?

Peter Malone Elliott @PMEWriter

We made some late revisions to help plant the seeds for the sequel. They meant some shifts, but ultimately the team at @NotAPipePub we’re super supportive and loved the direction of them. That felt good.

Jessi Honard @JessiHonard

In the book, Bridget is searching for her missing sister, Dahlia. @NotAPipePub helped us pinpoint some specific opportunities to demonstrate the relationship the two sisters had before the disappearance, so the reader cares about Bridget’s quest.

Marie Parks @marieparks

Question 6 was another great one from Leah.

What is your advice to writers currently querying/looking at their publishing options?

Leah From South Dakota @leah_from

Be persistent and flexible. The path you think you want may not actually be the best path, so stay open to alternatives. Find the fun! And lean into your community along the way.

Jessi Honard @JessiHonard

Examine WHY you’re pursing the publishing path you are considering (self, small press, big 4). Decide on what constitutes success (preferably that is within your control). A bad-fit-for-you agent is worse than no agent.

Marie Parks @marieparks

Writing/Editing Process Questions

Question 7 was from VMB, and it was a great segue into discussing editing.

Was your manuscript publishing-ready or did you have to do more edits with the publisher? Was that hard, assuming as the writer you might’ve felt you’d done all you could to get it submission ready? Did you expect to revise again?

VMB @eon1888

We did several rounds of revision with our editor, including a sensitivity read, slight developmental edits, and copyediting. @NotAPipePub was wonderful every step of the way.

Jessi Honard @JessiHonard

I think we had… 11? versions of the manuscript by the end. We submitted a version to @NotAPipePub they claimed was “very clean.” That being said, they and we did still make edits after the contract was signed. It didn’t feel hard because that that point we were committed to getting the book into tip-top shape and making it an enjoyable read. It felt collaborative and fun! I credit @NotAPipePub (and, specifically, Viveca Shearin) for making this a good process.

Marie Parks @marieparks

Question 8 was from Leah about our collaborative writing process.

Can you share a little about your process with editing and overall collaboration communication?

Leah From South Dakota @leah_from

We write synchronously, so we’re both on Zoom & in a Google doc at the same time. We outline our plans for the session, then swap off writing and editing. It’s a chaotic method that works for us!

Jessi Honard @JessiHonard

We are @googledocs‘s number one biggest fan. There’s nothing better for collaborative novel writing, IMO. It allowed us to co-write and co-edit synchronously or asynchronously (mostly the former) throughout the process. We also got on lotsa @Zoom calls since we live apart. We have a “looping” process. One of us writes, while the other follows behind editing, then we swap. We co-wrote and co-edited every word. After we were in editing mode, having a checklist of what the scene needed to accomplish helped!

Marie Parks @marieparks

Question 9 was from Erica Davis, who was looking for some advice around evaluating whether co-writing was for her. Er, we mean, for her friend, Blerica.

Any advice for an author (let’s call her Blerica) who isn’t sure if she’d be a good fit for co-authoring?

Erica the Davis @thedavisgirl

Try! Find ways to make it fun! Gamify when possible and hold one another accountable (but also be okay with deciding it isn’t working). There’s only the pressure we put on ourselves.

Jessi Honard @JessiHonard

Wow Blerica has a beautiful name! Sounds weirdly familiar? Anyway, I’d tell Blerica to examine what feels missing from writing solo and what her must-haves-in-a-writing-partnership are, and never compromise on her values during the process.

Marie Parks @marieparks

OH SNAP. Thank you! I mean. Blerica thanks you. I’ll tell her. I’ll tell her you said that

Erica the Davis @thedavisgirl

Question 10 was from Katie about editing once you’ve wrapped up a first draft.

Any advice for rewriting/editing past the first draft?

Katie Haskins @khascat

Oh goodness. We printed out first draft out and lugged giant binders with us everywhere while we revised. We were dubbed “The Binder Girls” by our writing peers. But for actual advice: I try not to fix everything at once. Each pass has a different purpose. We also keep a ‘Global Notes’ document that is SO helpful. Any time we think of something we need to remember later we jot it in there.

Jessi Honard @JessiHonard

Unrelenting Questions

Question 11 was another one from the marvelous Erica.

What is the biggest AH-HA moment you’ve had since #Unrelenting debuted?

Erica the Davis @thedavisgirl

That writing a sequel is hard work! But I’m loving the challenge of it.

Jessi Honard @JessiHonard

It is REALLY fun (for me) to sell something I believe in. And it’s deeply, deeply weird to have people talk about your book like it’s like… a book? that other people have read? and discuss?

Marie Parks @marieparks

Omg this. Having people fan over characters that existed for years in privacy is WEIRD.

Jessi Honard @JessiHonard

Question 12 was from Matt Joseph Misetich.

As a novelist duo, how do you come up with ideas? You both pitch to each other until you find something that clicks and then tennis-ball it from there? Also: who gets final say??

Matt Joseph Misetich @SPMJM

We both get the final say! We talk things out until we find a compromise that works. And MANY of our sessions start with one of us saying, “I have an idea…” or “I found a problem…” And then it’s off to the races, brainstorming away.

Jessi Honard @JessiHonard

Yeah, the pitching tennis ball idea is fairly accurate. The person who gets final say is some combination of whoever’s idea makes the most sense and what the story calls for upon revisions (reevaluating tension, character arc, etc.).

Marie Parks @marieparks

Question 13 was a follow-up from Matt.

What themes and subject matter are you looking to impart / what’s important to you both when it comes to messaging?

Matt Joseph Misetich @SPMJM

Won’t speak for @marieparks but I’m very passionate about stories that speak to the importance of found family, trust, and belonging, as well as normalizing queer people existing and doing cool things.

Jessi Honard @JessiHonard

This question gets me in the feels @SPMJM. Top of mind are the themes of shifting identity, self-definition, + found family. And I’m very passionate about queer representation, especially asexual rep. I feel like contributing to ace rep in fun books is my purpose on this planet.

Marie Parks @marieparks

Bonus Questions

Question 14 was from Peter, and it shows the depths of our nerdiness.

How did you two first meet?

Peter Malone Elliott @PMEWriter

On an ANIMORPHS forum! Because we are the nerdiest.

Jessi Honard @JessiHonard

Shout out to the people who brought our co-authoring duo together, @kaaauthor and @MichaelGrantBks. This is not a picture of either of them, don’t worry. This is a Nickelodeon fever dream.

Marie Parks @marieparks

That last Tweet was accompanied by this GIF.

Question 15 was also from Peter.

What are you working on now?

Peter Malone Elliott @PMEWriter

Too much! I have two main projects right now: 1) The sequel to Unrelenting with @marieparks 2) My solo sci-fi piece, which is Robin Hood meets The Expanse, but queer.

Jessi Honard @JessiHonard

In addition to Unrelenting’s sequel, we have a special project within the world of The Grigori Cycle that @NotAPipePub doesn’t even know about yet! And I’m also working on my fantasy social justice heist!

Marie Parks @marieparks

The best moment of the evening…

We love these amazing folks so much. Huge shout-out to Peter, Erica, Matt, Leah, and the whole Pipeline Media crew. We love and appreciate y’all SO very much.

And dear reader, we hope to see you at a future #PipelineAuthors chat!

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