To paraphrase Forest Grump, “Publishing is like a bucket of unshelled peanuts. The only way to know what’s inside is to put the gritty, ole thing in your mouth and bite down.” Ouch!
Moral: Publishing is a tough nut to crack. And sometimes even if you do crunch your way through the shell, you disappointingly find only one nut instead of two. To borrow another famous phrase—this one from a Northern invader/philosopher 🙂 —“War is Hell.” But what did General Sherman know? He was only fighting a war. We’re talking about getting a manuscript published.
When we write a book, the vision most of us have in mind is row after row of our book covers lining the shelves of a bookstore like Barnes & Noble. Our name at the top of the New York Times Bestseller list and the USA list and (what the heck, might as well go whole hog) named top seller on all the European lists, too. Producers elbowing each other out of the way to get us to sign over movie rights. Nice thought, isn’t it?
Unfortunately, few people accomplish that dream. Many of us languish, writing book after book, sending out query letters by the ton and waiting. Our children grow older and have children of their own, when at long last the prized, long-awaited letter arrives from Dorchester (or insert the name of any publishing house you choose). We snatch it from the mailbox, tear open the envelope with trembling fingers and… “Sorry, but your work doesn’t fit our needs at the moment. Good luck with your writing endeavors.”
Well, thanks for nuthin’, bud.
So here’s my recommended cure for the print effort blues. Try an electronic publisher.
Why go with an electronic publisher for your work? There are several reasons. First, you’ll get a response to your query before you’re being wheeled into the retirement home. Many e-pubs will respond in two weeks, though some may take a couple of months. Still better than most print pubs.
Second, unlike the old days (and may I say, unlike self-publishing), once you’re accepted, you’re very likely to have some fine editing, which all of us need (be honest!). And if you’re as lucky as me, you’ll get some fabulous cover art, too. Gone are the days when e-publishing suffers under the reputation of producing only poor quality plots and lousy editing. Likewise, the days of horrible poser cover art is mostly gone. Many of today’s e-pub artists compete very favorably with artists at big-name publishing houses.
Next, once you’re established with a company, e-pubs will typically take simultaneous submissions. It’s not at all uncommon to have several e-books released in a year—maybe more if you’re prolific and with more than one publisher. My first year, Liquid Silver released four of my novels, two short stories, and a novella. Try having that kind of exposure with any print publisher. In this business—as in most other endeavors—name recognition is vital. Believe me, gaining that recognition is far easier with an e-publisher than with one book a year (or maybe two if you’re lucky) with a print publisher.
Finally, finding some success with an e-publisher helps build your credentials when you finally do give in and submit queries to agents and editors. Being able to say you have ten books completed, edited and released, with a reader base, is a lot better than saying you have a couple of untouched manuscripts lying under the bed you’d like to send for consideration.
To submit to e-publishers, the rules aren’t any different than those for print pubs. Look up the websites, check the submission guidelines and go for it. After you’ve finished the masterpiece, of course.
And there’s an operative word: completed (not masterpiece—that goes without saying). Make sure you’ve finished The Great American (or French or Bohemian, or whatever) Novel before querying. Once you do, to borrow another phrase, you’ll be one of the few, one of the proud—a worthy goal no matter where you’re trying to be published.
~Dee S. Knight
Dee’s latest book is written as Anne Krist, and is a non-erotic romance, Burning Bridges.
Letters delivered decades late send shock waves through Sara Richards’s world. Nothing is the same, especially her memories of Paul, a man to whom she’d given her heart years before. Now, sharing her secrets and mending her mistakes of the past means putting her life back together while crossing burning bridges. It will be the hardest thing Sara’s ever done.
“Ms. Krist has a heart-warming, emotional story on her hands. … This is one I highly recommend!” 5 Cups, Krista, Coffee Time Romance
“I did not want this story to end. Fans of romance should place Burning Bridges at the top of this summer’s reading list.” 5 Stars, Anne, Review Your Book
Buy link: KU mybook.to/BurningBridges
About Anne Krist
A few years ago, Dee S. Knight began writing, making getting up in the morning fun. During the day, her characters killed people, fell in love, became drunk with power, or sober with responsibility. And they had sex, lots of sex.
After a while, Dee split her personality into thirds. She writes as Anne Krist for sweeter romances, and Jenna Stewart for ménage and shifter stories. All three of her personas are found on the Nomad Authors website. Also, once a month, look for Dee’s Charity Sunday blog posts, where your comment can support a selected charity. Contact Anne at firstname.lastname@example.org.