Wisdom from the Publishing World with Silvia Acevedo

The 2021 Author Series features published authors sharing their wisdom and what they wished they'd known when they began...

Welcome to the first installment of the 2021 Author Series. Each month we’ll give a published author the spotlight and benefit from their sage wisdom as they tell us what they wish they had known before they published their first book or what advice they would go back and give their pre-published self.

I know many of you already know Silvia Acevedo! She is a good friend, and I count myself very lucky to be in a critique group with her! For those of you who don’t know Silvia, here’s your official introduction:

Silvia Acevedo is an author and co-leader of two associations for writers and illustrators.

For the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, Silvia brings great kidlit programming to the state of Wisconsin while helping creators on their publishing journey. As co-founder of Fantasy Art Workshop’s “Illustration Intensive,” she helps run a week-long workshop for aspiring and professional illustrators.

Silvia’s own fiction focuses on magical worlds. God Awful Rebel, the final book in her mythological trilogy, won the coveted Spark Award from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Find the books here.

In her 25+ years in news, she’s covered everything from presidential candidates to food-on-a stick. She also guest hosted a TV morning talk show. Find some of her work here.

Silvia set her sights on entering the publishing world and is currently interning at the New York literary agency Writers House.  Visit her at www.silviaacevedo.com.


What do I wish I had known before publishing my first book?

I wish I’d known not only how wild of a ride publishing can be, but just how often it’s a wild ride. Really, expect anything.

As an example, I’m currently working on a project that, just over a decade ago, landed me an offer to publish it as a series. On the strength of that offer, I landed an agent. But the deal fell through. Go back and reread that last sentence in angry Darth Vader voice. 

Yep, tragic. But there are many reasons why projects don’t sell. And I hear similar stories all the time, from some of the most successful authors, that it took ten, fifteen, even twenty years to sell a hard-worked piece. Publishing ain’t easy. Timing and serendipity definitely play their roles, so we can’t let delays derail us.

And honestly, there is a silver lining. The twists and turns of our creative lives allow us time to develop our creative voice. We all know that it takes enormous amounts of practice to get good at just about any endeavor. My current re-write is livelier , more personal, and just plain better than the first time around. Quite a few of those successful authors I mentioned above have said the same thing about their own works. Delays aren’t the end of the world and may well make for a better release.

So I’d reiterate to Past Silvia what she’d already heard from others, and what you undoubtedly have as well: keep writing and keep reading because those are the things you can control. Both of those acts will get you closer to your goal of being a good writer, no matter how or when you’re published.


20% off Silvia’s Book Series

Silvia is very graciously extending a 20% off coupon code for her three-book series! (If you haven't read these books yet, I know you're going to love them!)

Go to http://www.threepointspublishing.com/product/god-awful-complete-series-hardcover/ and use the code ga20savings to receive your discount. Coupon expires 12/31/21.



So true, Silvia! Writers I work with are sometimes impatient, give up too soon, or don't realize it can take 5 or more revisions before a novel is ready to go. In my own writing, I've found that I'm starting to have something worth publishing at Draft 5. This biz is hard work! CONGRATULATIONS on your success and good luck with your new career as a literary agent. Thanks for this post.

Thanks, Christine. Whooee, don't I know it's hard to be patient! When we finish a novel, we just want it to be done! It can be disheartening to think of several rounds of revision, but I've never gone through a round that hasn't improved the piece somehow or solidified in my mind whether certain parts are working. I think it's helpful to think of a finished manuscript as still just a draft, even during the submission process, because there's such a high chance that revisions are still on the horizon. Keep on keeping on, Christine! :)

Thank you, Valerie, for bringing Silvia's words to us. Her experienced voice provides a great perspective!

Thanks, Brenda! I really appreciated what she had to say, too. I'm excited for this series! - Val

A very good point that is sometimes hard to hear. Part of my way around this is to self-publish, but for my middle grade kid's books, I wish I had kept trying to get that traditionally published. Marketing for kids books, especially middle grade, is hard.
Keep up the good work!

Add new comment

To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.
Your email will not be displayed to the public.

Filtered HTML

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.