The Association’s Author’s Night on March 28 filled John Morris’ loft with people eager to learn what inspires authors and how they get their books published. The speakers were a brochette of AAPA member-authors, including Christopher Dickey, Peter Gumbel, David Pike, John Morris, Don Morrison, Anne-Elisabeth Moutet, Alan Riding, Harriet Welty Rochefort and Gerry Dryansky, with a collective oeuvre ranging from fiction to food to history.

Publishing, having evolved from a calling among people devotedly beneficent toward literary discoveries, has gone on from being a profit center for conglomerates and blockbusting chains, to enter the era of electronic publishing, which might make the bound book as antique as the typewriter.

However, the consequences of digital publishing for writers aspiring to publish books can be dire, for example reduced royalties and copyright infringements. But as Chris Dickey pointed out, the change also opens the way to a vast new reading public.

David Pike made the case for what in the end drives writers to get their work published. I do it, he said, because that’s what I live to do.

Otherwise, advice is hard to give. Get a good agent, as without one you’re in trouble in the U.S. On the other hand, French publishing houses detest dealing with agents.  And get involved in your own publicity.

-Gerry Dryansky