Writing Wednesday/ My Publishing Story…

Writing Wednesday

Typewriter Pink

 

On Wednesday’s I like to share information I picked up on my path to publishing, marketing and preparing to publish again. Information that I wish someone would have shared with me, back then.

 

My Publishing Story

When I finished my first book Bristol boyz Stomp, there was no doubt in my mind that I would land myself a big deal agent and get an amazing book deal, immediately. I was already a professional writer.

At eleven-years-old I would stay up all night, drinking hot tea that I made from hot tap water.  I would take the tea into my closet with a flashlight, a book, a notebook and a pen. The Bobbsey Twins and Nancy Drew were my favorites. I would read a book and then would write an alternate ending, sometimes rewriting the entire book.

Writing Wednesday Bobbsey Twins

I also collect magazines.  I would find interesting looking people in the magazines, cut them out and then I would create ‘lives and then stories’ for them. What a little weirdo I was…

I crack myself up now when I think about the time I read a story about Glen Campbell and Tanya Tucker and it seemed they were not in a good place so I cut them out of the magazine and created a better life and wrote a happy ending for the two of them.

For many years I told other peoples stories and I loved my job. I started quite a few historical romance novels, a cook book, several YA novels, a parenting book and two children’s books. These manuscripts are all still with me, collecting dust, maybe even growing potatoes. Someday…

In 1999 my youngest brother, musician David Albert was brutally beaten to death in a random road rage attack while on his way home from band practice. I dealt with the trauma the way I dealt with everything for my entire life, I wrote about it.

That journal was used to write the book that I rewrote, edited, rewrote and edited again and finally it was ready for publication, or so I thought.

I searched and researched agents, their agencies and their client lists. I made a spread sheet of my top twenty favorites, in order. I prepared a proposal, a query letter, a synopsis and a cover letter.

I decided to send out five-queries a week. Once I received fifteen rejection letters, I decided to have my manuscript critiqued and professionally edited. The first thing the editor said was the agents were most likely not reading my manuscript because it wasn’t formatted correctly. I fixed that, tweaked my synopsis, proposal and cover letters too. Re-energized I created another top twenty list and started hitting send.

Quotes Goals change the plan not the goal

There were requests here and there for several chapters, full reads and a few phone calls. The first yes I received was from Tate Publishing. I saw some negative comments about them online so I let that yes go, even though I really liked the woman I spoke with and she seemed to sincerely believe in my book and me as a writer.

The big agent finally called, mailed me a contract and before I knew what was happening an editor was calling from a top five-publishing house. After speaking with him I had a question for my agent. I called and left a message. After three days I called her again.  I didn’t like her. I decided it was a professional relationship and it would be okay. When I spoke with the editor again he asked me, “Do you really think this book will sell nationally or will it be more regional?” I don’t know what it was about that statement, or maybe it was his arrogant attitude but I realized I was not with people that were for me and my book. I let them both go and cried for days.

All in all I had collected ninety-nine rejection letters.

I had spoken with dozens of people through this process and the one I was comfortable with, the one that actually read my book was, Janey from Tate. I did some research on the company and its authors. I found a Facebook group of Tate Authors and reached out to many of them. The feedback was all good.

I received a contract. I had it reviewed by a literary attorney and he said it was a good contract and he was thrilled because it allowed me to maintain all rights to my work.

My husband and I flew out to Oklahoma to meet the Tate Publishing staff and to see their facilities. It was quite impressive.

My December visit to Tate...

My December visit to Tate…

The production and publication process took months but it was all exciting. I cannot describe the feeling of holding my first book in my hands and the firsts for the book and me as a writer that came after.

ITS HERE

 

There have been a few bumps in the road along the way but Tate has handled every one professionally. I am so happy I listened to that little voice that told me to go with them.

 

Do you have a publishing story?  A publishing dream?

Doreen

 

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