Adventures in Publishing

17 Apr

Happy Thursday!!

 

First, let me put this out there: I am a blogging slacker. I make a plan, then I get bogged down or distracted and the plan goes by the wayside. I have a tendency to be a bit scattered.

That being said, a few weeks ago I was asked by a reader about the difficulty of getting published and it got me thinking about the questions I had when I was first considering it. As one of the new kids in the world of LGBT authors, I am still learning and settling in. I will tell you up front that every author’s story is different. You ask ten different authors and I’m sure all ten would have different experiences, opinions and advice about the best ways to approached getting published. I can’t give you guide, although I think it would be great if there was one 🙂 Getting published is kind of hit or miss, like winning the lottery. What I can share are a few of the lessons I’ve learned and things that have stuck with me along the way.

 

1. Getting published is a lot of work. I’m sure at one point or another we all had the lofty idea that it would be easy. Allworth it you have to do is  come up with a great story idea and the rest is a piece of cake… yeah, right! Coming up a story is really only a small part of the job when it comes to getting published. Writing, reading, revising, writing, reading, revising… it’s a tedious cycle, but a necessary one. You would barely even recognize the original rough draft of Accepting the Alpha compared to the published work. Even some of the character’s names changed through the editing process. No matter how good you think your story is, no first draft is ever going to be published. Trust me. There is an editor out there with itchy fingers just waiting to get their hands on your work 🙂

 

2. Before you push that button to submit, have at least one other person read your work. They don’t have to have a Master’s degree in literature, just a common interest in your genre, whatever it may be. Chose someone you trust to give you an honest opinion. A reader will be able to tell you right away if you’ve got problems. When they point them out, and they will point them out, accept their suggestions in the spirit they were intended.

 

keep_calm_and_hug_an_editor_case-r28272d16c49d4d7ca4a5907085235769_80cuj_8byvr_32413. Editors and Beta readers are a gift. Be nice to them, love them, worship the ground they walk on because they will save your life and your work. After staring at the same piece of work for weeks or months at a time, you become blind to possible problems. As a writer, you’ve got to develop a thick skin. Any advise you get from Beta readers and editors is intended to improve your work, not cut it down. They are your team and they want to see you succeed. Sometimes we all just need a little tough love.

 

4. Know your publishers. There are tons of different publishers out there for every genre you can imagine. Before you submit,  doing some research. Every publisher is different and, sadly, there are some shady characters out there. Read reviews and visit author forums, they can be a great resource. Most publishers have a section on their website for authors with submission guidelines, royalty rates, contract lengths, etc. You are going to be starting a relationship with your publisher so you need to be sure you’re comfortable with them and their policies. Make sure that the publisher meets YOUR criteria before you submit your work to them otherwise you’re wasting your time and theirs. Once you’ve found one that you feel is a good fit take a deep breath, cross your fingers and go for it!

you should be writing

 

5. Write. Don’t just focus on the one book you’ve finished/submitted/contracted. If you want to make this crazy publishing thing a permanent part of your life, you have to keep writing. Even if you can only squeeze in an hour a day, write. I know it’s tough because it’s something I struggle with, too. I’m a single mom with a full-time job outside the home. I feel for you but you need to keep up the momentum.

 

With my own writing, I feel I’ve been extremely lucky. I don’t have any degrees in creative writing or literature, just an overactive imagination and a obssessive love for everything book related. At the time I wrote Accepting the Alpha, I had been going through an extremely painful period in my life that left me feeling beat down and directionless. Through it all, Eli & Kellan’s story stuck in my head. In an effort to keep my sanity and take back a little control in my life, I decided to step outside my comfort zone, take a chance and submit it.

I looked around at a lot of publishers before I submitted Accepting the Alpha. Totally Bound was the one that really stuck out for me. They made me extremely comfortable right from Day 1. As a complete newbie, I couldn’t have asked for supportive team to work with. They have an amazing group of editors, artists, and marketing geniuses that help polish me up and I couldn’t be more grateful! 🙂

 

So, how about you? Do you have any experiences with success, stories of frustration, advice or questions you’d like to share? Leave a comment below or send me an email if you’d like to keep it private. I’m always good for a *hug* of support 😉

 

 

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