EDIT (8:30 P.M. EST): The open period for this AMA is now closed. Thanks to everyone who participated.
If you still have any burning questions, feel free to drop your query in a reply to this thread. I promise will get to your questions, albeit at my convenience.
Hello everyone! I'm here to answer your questions about the professional publishing industry in America. My studies have covered the book, magazine, and journal sectors. I have also taken an extensive course in copyright law, so I may be able to answer some of your questions about that topic. I will be available for at least the next four-ish hours (around 5-6 p.m. EST), but I may stick around longer depending on my mental stamina.
I am currently earning my M.A. in Publishing at the George Washington University's College of Professional Studies. This is a two-year graduate program which covers the major jobs and responsibilities within the industry. Last week I finished my third semester, which officially wraps up the first half of the program. Year one covered all of the required courses in the program, so I have essentially been given a broad overview of the entire industry. In year two, I plan on taking the editorial track (tracks are basically "majors"), and will most likely take a couple of additional courses in technology and marketing.
I understand that my being a student of the industry does not make me an "expert," by any means. If you want genuine expertise, I would recommend speaking to an actual professional in the field, or reading through many of the top industry blogs. However, I have learned quite a lot in the past year, and I'm more than willing to share some of that knowledge with the good people of the O-Deck.
One of the required courses in year one was a "copyright law" class. This was by no means a professional law school experience, but it was rather extensive (IMO), so I'm willing to answer some of your questions on that topic. I will admit, however, that I finished that course right before signing up for my AMA slot, so that knowledge is not quite as fresh ATM. Still, ask away.
A few of my other interests include: libraries (I currently work at one), SF/F literature, comics, and heavy metal music.
A few points about this AMA:
1). I reserve the right to use Google and other outside resources to supplement my answers. In fact, I probably will use Google if I think that the inclusion of numbers and statistics will clarify my answer. This AMA is not about making me look smart, it's about educating you.
2). I also reserve the right to ignore your questions if I do not want to answer it. I'm sorry if that comes off as contentious, but soon I will be looking for a job in the industry. If I think that my answer to your question may come back to haunt me next year, I will respectfully decline to answer.
3). Regarding copyright law: my answers are for informational purposes only. MY REPLIES DO NOT CONSTITUTE LEGAL ADVICE and should not be taken as a substitute for legal counsel.
Now…ask me anything!