Let me say up front that I am not yet published and I haven't started wallpapering my study with rejection letters. Yet. Haven't faced the prospect of someone telling me my work doesn't fit into their marketing scheme, not quite what they are looking for, or whatever. I know it's coming. It's a right--or write, har!--of passage, and I am gearing myself up for it.
I have multiple manuscripts, the first is a novel, 122 Rules, and is complete save for beta reviews and proofreading. The second is a novella, The Birth of an American Gigolo, which is in the final editing phases. Two more scripts are in the works: about 33k words into the first draft of the follow-up novel to 122, and another novella, The Seduction of the Pastor's Wife, which is about 1/2 done.
A ton of unpublished, and arguably more talented, authors have a lot more bodies of work done. I am stating my goal, is to get these scripts published traditionally rather than the indie route. I have made this decision based on countless hours of research and from reading the stories of people who have taken the path in either direction.
Self-publishers control and are responsible for everything from editing, proofing, the art work, marketing, you name it. They get more reward if their book is successful, i.e. they get a more royalties, but they also put in more blood, sweat, and tears after the script it done.
My take on it is you will be more successful with self-pubbing if you have been down the road with a team and have experience with all aspects of the process. Not that you can't do it by researching and going it alone the first time around. But me, I learn by example, and observing, then mimicking those that are good at what they do. Besides, my lazy mind rationalizes, I work full-time and have a family, as do a lot of authors, and want to spend my limited time writing stories, not learning the ropes of self-publishing.
So all of that being said, I am trying to be as absolutely prepared as possible before sending in that first query letter. In this regard, Google, Twitter, and to a lesser extent Reader's Digest have been my friend.
I am going to write a series of My Path to Publishing blogs, all chronicling my adventures. I will share everything I find relevant that will, hopefully, help anyone reading this avoid some of the pitfalls I encounter on my journey. Rather I serve to be an example of how to make it or a dire warning of what not to do is TBD,
After I finished my first manuscript I started trying to figure out what to do next. Basically, I had been heads down for 18 months, writing, editing, and re-writing, never once pulling my head out [of the sand] and looking around. This is good because it let me focus on the task at hand, figuring out my own creative process, but bad because there was stuff that I could have been doing in parallel.
Okay, so I pulled my head out and in researching found out that you need to "market." What the hell? Yes, even those that are going the traditional pub route need to market. For the average person this means social media.
Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Tumblr, so on.
I read the submission requirements for a publisher in Portland, Grit City, http://www.portlandbookreview.com/writers-roll-call/, the guidelines say they only accept submissions from people who have 200 followers on Twitter, 200 on Facebook, and 200 on Google+ at a minimum.
At the time I had a gaggle of friends on FB, but something like eight followers on Twitter and only my brother on Google+.
So it begins.
I will write the next MPP Part 2 - Adventures in Social Media, in the next few days and will update this post with the link. Notice the acronym, does that not make it blatantly obvious I work for the government from 8-5? I will try, TRY, not to repeat all the other information that is out there about social media--oh, lord is there a lot--instead will give you the best links and info I have found.
In the mean time, keep swinging and writing and if you have useful information, please send it to me and I'll fit it in if it's relevant A collaborative effort will create a much better result than my rambling monologue.
Join me on Facebook!
Have a page? Send me the link and I'll return the favor!
Join me on Twitter!
I follow back!