Welcome to part 2 of A guide to getting published….
So to recap from part 1; by now you should have answered the initial questions of wanting to be a writer, are you the right ‘person’ and very importantly are you dedicated to endure this journey?
These wont be questions you can answer over night and of course what comes next will also take some time. Social media has many platforms in which a writer can delve into and explore. I started with Facebook and twitter, then I created a blog some few years later. At this point I have only been on Instagram for a fraction of that time.
But during all of this you can and should be writing. It will be lonely and quiet and you wont have news to share every day. 95% of my writing life is spent with just me and words.
Eventually after a lot of dedication and time you can do it, because I did, you will face those two synonymous words; ‘THE END’
Everything up to the point of having ready material to show the world is protected by a curtain I call theory. ‘I’m going to be a published author, uh in theory’ is what you have probably said to yourself at this point but now you have some work to show for it and hence the plot thickens…
This time for me (August 2015) I was ready to make a huge decision. Before this date I was a book writing machine. In three years I had churned out not only my first book with several edits and drafts, but the two sequels all of which were related to that initial first idea I had back when I was 12 on that rainy day with the windows 98 PC. This is where I really learned my craft and developed a style which coincided with my process. I learned to become a writer.
Book 1 had been through several rounds of submissions to various ‘big time’ and ‘smaller time’ standard publishers and literary agents. All of this received no success. Three years of starting a blog, launching Facebook/twitter and building a following was being blocked by the people whom I wanted to like my work the most, the literary industry. Now they weren’t personally blocking my success they probably didn’t even have much idea I was writing them as like many writers their work ends up on the ‘slush pile’.
Hence comes the fork in the road for you…
Your masterpiece is written and now you are asking google how to get published. You find yourself here maybe and read a few other people’s well earned experience. Right now the world perceives there to be two main ways to find your book into print.
‘Traditional’ – This involves sending your manuscript out to masses of literary agents and waiting. Then wait some more and receive a rejection letter maybe up to or over a year later. Or if you are really really really really lucky. And I’m talking 1 in a JK Rowling billion you’ll be offered representation by an agent who will then pitch your book to a big time publisher.
To begin with this is the route I envisioned to take. But I never got to the representation offer. There are many reasons why rejections happen, firstly agents and publishers really want the very best and are swamped with submissions every day so you have more chance of being accidentally discovered from a slush pile. Not suggesting your book isn’t the best, but it is a humbling reality check trust me.
A lot of places are picky and take first impressions as an opportunity to reject E.g. If you don’t present to them with a ‘standard’ covering letter or they want more than just a sample such as a synopsis. To be honest why would I write a story about my story, which is essentially what a synopsis is.
They are just doing their job and finding the very best is just that.
This isn’t the route I have taken but good luck if you do try this route to begin with. I recommend you do just for perspective.
Self Publishing/Independent Publishing – So back to August 2015 and after sending out over 100 submissions I had finally accepted that it was time to try something new. Albert Einstein did define insanity by doing the same thing over and expecting different results.
The stories which I desperately tried to get published were sealed away via USB mass storage and a new journey began. This was no easy decision mind but if I really wanted this it was a liberating and difficult decision I had to make. I needed to do this if I wanted to arrive in publishing and so I turned a corner
My focus was for a new stand-alone story based upon some notes I wrote after a vivid dream I had when I was 14. The choice to do this meant if this project wasn’t a real success then I have no real loss other than my pride and I’ve experienced publishing!
Quickly Open Evening was born and I was going to get this one published by an independent publisher I had my eye on for a little while.
To define an indie publisher can be a little subjective as its classed as self publishing. I wanted to find someone who would edit, format and upload my stuff to amazon via their operation so it’s hardly a ‘self’ activity. But I would be paying for the services provided.
Finding a publisher
I had come across Satin Publishing whilst networking and generally being an author with an online presence. Never underestimate the power of networking or even exchanging ‘likes’ over Facebook. Always be nice, courteous and of course helpful because you never know when you might need someone who offers a service. Having looked at the work Satin produced, to me they seemed like the perfect choice to give Open Evening a home. Soon enough I made contact with Satin’s own Nicky Fitzmaurice and she was happily to publish my book!
After that journey of trying to get my last book published ‘traditionally’ I quickly asked myself why didn’t I try this sooner?
The package with Satin Publishing included editing, formatting and uploading to amazon and kindle. So this was actually happening!
There are numerous independent publishers out there looking for first time authors and to me Satin Publishing was a perfect place for me to begin this journey. They had a decent number of followers on social media and looked all around professional. The work they had previously published was a good mix of genre which convinced me to contact them.
As much as I knew they were going to be great to work with this is a leap of faith (of sorts) and that’s something all authors have to take if they want publication.
I could have just asked Nicky to edit and format the book but the deal also included uploading and sorting out all the nuts and bolts that comes with getting the whole thing up on amazon.
I had researched prior and knew exactly what I wanted; Open Evening to be published and available on amazon via print on demand paperback and e-book!
Let’s just break that down – My book is available to anyone who can order it via amazon in two different formats
- Paperback – via a print on demand service. This means when one is ordered one is printed and dispatched so there is no need for me to store them. If I wanted to send a copy overseas I can via amazon and it saves me mailing it as they print and package it locally.
- E-book – An electronic version readable on most e book readers such as Kindle.
Agreements were made and a quote was sent out. We quickly arranged a publication date and then I got busy social media-ing. What I needed next was a cover for Open Evening and an artist to make one….
Next time on A guide to getting published…..
The Publication Process
That concludes part 2 of A guide to getting published! Stay tuned for part 3 of A guide to getting published. I will explain how it all formed into what you can see below…. I will also speak of how much you need to spend, and I will even give you a basic step by step guide.