Thursday, February 20, 2014

How I got started in publishing

I get asked fairly often how I got started as a writer. Some people want to know how I got started as far as publishing goes while others want to know how to begin their novel.

I am more than happy to help in any way I can. I just shared this information with a Facebook friend and thought, "Hey, maybe I should put this in a blog."

Please, feel free to ask questions, because I'm sure I haven't covered everything. This is just off the top of my head when it comes to getting things started. 

As I've said, I'm happy to tell you how I started, but I'm not sure how much it will help, since 
everyone's process is slightly different.
I've always wanted to be a writer, from the first day of kindergarten when they asked us what we wanted to be. LOL No joke. So, it's something that I knew one day I would do.
Then, I decided one day (6 years ago) that it was about time I got started. The story in my mind that was dying to be written was the Lilith Mercury series.
The very first thing I did was get a legal pad and decide what was going to happen in my story. Then I asked myself, why would anyone care about this besides me?
With those questions in mind, I made a very rough outline. There was no order to it, but that was okay. The notes or points on my outlines are never in order. Once I've included them in the story, I put a small check beside them.
Anyway, as I outlined the topics I wanted to cover and the scenes I wanted to write, I soon realized that I was looking at more than enough material for a series rather than one book.
I sat down and just started writing. I wrote the first two books, Red and Object of My Affection in just under 3 months. After editing it thoroughly and knowing that I had more books in me, I knew it was time to look for a publisher.
I knew absolutely nothing about publishing. I bought the current edition of Writer's Market and read it from cover to cover. They give exact details on how to put together your presentation package (cover letter, etc.) so that you look like a pro when you approach publishers or agents.
I made the choice to skip finding an agent. The way I saw it, they would do what I was already doing (putting my presentation together and shopping it around) and they would take part of my profits with them. That didn't seem right to me when I was more than capable of doing it myself.
Within 3 months, I'd found a publisher. While I later moved away from them and into self-publishing, I had to start somewhere.
I've worked with three different publishers, one of which I'm still with, Ellora's Cave. They are very professional and they get good press/exposure.
Having said that I must confess, I could never pay my bills with what I make with EC. Self-publishing puts food on my table and keeps a roof over my head.
I hope some of this information is helpful. I'm never sure exactly how to go about answering questions, so I tend to over-answer. ;)

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