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Member Exclusive: The Business of Publishing—After the Debut

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Hello friends!

This week on Ursa Short Fiction, we’re excited to share a special exclusive episode for our Members: Part Two in our ongoing conversation about the business of publishing.

In Part One of our series last season, Deesha Philyaw and Dawnie Walton discussed all the aspects of building a career as a writer and artist. And now, in Part Two, they talk honestly and openly about what happens *after* you publish your first book.

Following the publication of Deesha’s debut collection The Secret Lives of Church Ladies, and Dawnie’s debut novel The Final Revival of Opal & Nev, they reflected on the roller coaster ride of publicity and promotion, film and TV deals, and the questions about “what’s next?”

DAWNIE: “It was a very exciting time for me, but it also was a time of anxiety because I felt very proud of Opal & Nev, but I also was just like, ‘Am I ever gonna be able to do something like this again?’”

DEESHA: “My own expectations were pretty low, but I think there’s a lesson there, and it goes to the things we can control. That’s where I try to set my intentions and my expectations and my emotional investment. I try to put as much in the things that I can control, and not so much in the things I can’t control—which doesn’t mean it doesn’t affect me. But just trying to stay mindful of that because if we stress out about readers’ expectations, publishers’ expectations…we’ll never write anything.”

How to Listen to Ursa Member Bonus Episodes

If you’re already an Ursa Member, and you subscribed at our website, you can access your Member Exclusive feed here:

Or, if you subscribed to Ursa via Apple Podcasts, you can listen there:

And if you’re not an Ursa Member yet, and would like to join and support our show, you can do that here! Every membership comes with a three-day free trial:

Read more from Deesha Philyaw and Dawnie Walton: 


Episode editor: Kelly Araja

Associate producer: Marina Leigh

Producer: Mark Armstrong

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