Saturday, July 14, 2007

So, you want to be published. What now?

Sometimes folks ask me about my publishing experience. Generally, I say that it is fun, but there is no money in it, which really does reflect my experience. There is much more to tell, but Voltaire once said that the secret for being a bore is “to tell everything” so I usually keep it brief. However, some people want more information and ask. In that case, I’ll gladly tell all, and after six years I have a good bit to tell. Recently, erotic romance writer December Quinn, who has published more books than I have, and who has many “coming soon” titles, has done an exemplary job of explaining what to look for when seeking a publisher on her blog. This is multi part series which will run this summer, and I am linking to the first post. Once you are on her blog, you’ll no doubt find the other posts in the series, which I can’t recommend enough. She has covered almost all the bases and promises more to come.

If you are in the early stages of writing or are just beginning to explore publishing what you’ve already written, a writer’s conference can be a great help. Some of these offer agent evaluations of your work. If there isn’t a conference near you, or you don’t have the money, an online writer’s conference such as Muse It Up might help. I’ve heard some good things about this one.

I’ve mentioned some other resources for writers in previous blogs or on my website, including the Writer’s Beware blog and, science fiction author Piers Anthony’s site, which has an informative section on internet publishing. When looking at internet sources such as forums and blogs, do be aware that some writers, for reasons I can’t fathom, are “cheerleaders” who will refute any negative information which is posted about their publisher, even if the negatives are accurate and should be considered by authors prior to signing a contract.

Anyone who asks me about my publishers will get straight answers, since honesty was drilled into me at Papa Dodd’s knee. For POD, Booklocker tells you up front how much it is going to cost. They charge out the ying-yang for corrections, but they never lie about it. The biggest downside is few reviewers will accept a POD, so it is hard to publicize these books outside the writer's circle of acquaintances. WCP is a mixed bag, wherein some authors are happy and others have paid or begged out of their contracts to seek better distribution and higher royalties. Gardenia Press, which once had a contract on The Gift Horse, was a publishing nightmare, but even they had some cheerleaders.

There are many opportunities for those who want to be published, via print on demand, ePublishing, and small presses, but be careful out there. As the old saying goes, it’s a jungle.

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At Jul 23, 2007, 7:50:00 AM, Blogger December/Stacia said...

Thanks for the link, Pam! Glad you're enjoying the series.

At Jul 23, 2007, 4:31:00 PM, Blogger Pamela J. Dodd said...

Hi December/Stacia,

If only someone had written that for us! I learned much of what you are telling your readers via trial and error. Still, I am learning from your experiences.

Sometimes people ask my advice, and I am very glad to have resources to help them. Your blog series is the best one I've seen on ePubs and small presses.


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