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Sunday, December 22, 2013

The Road to Publication


Actually we’re not married. But…today is the one year anniversary of signing my contract with Decadent to publish Resolutions. I can tell you honestly, putting my name on that little piece of paper was one of the best feelings I’ve ever experienced. It was a long haul for me to get to that point in my writing career.
A writer has to have alligator tough skin. If you let the rejections take you down the pity road, your career will be a short one. I think most published authors out there will tell you they received multiple rejection letters before the gates to Reader Land finally opened and welcomed them. Personally, I have enough rejection letters to wall paper my bathroom. There are so many ‘No thank you emails’ with my name on them floating in cyber space, a new hole in the ozone has opened.
But if you’re determined to have your dream, keep tapping on the keyboard. Read the rejection notes, nod and smile, then move on. By the way, you may want to listen to rejection suggestions. I ignored a big piece of advice until I noticed a pattern. The submission editors were giving the same counsel. So, I put on my big girl panties, sucked it up, and got over myself. I broke down and made the change. It worked. The first publisher I sent the new and improved story line to offered me a contract. YAY Decadent Publishing!
The editing process started in March and many edits later, Resolutions went live on September 10th. The editors at Decadent know their stuff! My perfect manuscript was in reality, not so perfect. Thank goodness the publishing team was there every step of the way pointing out the endless flaws that needed correcting. I am forever grateful the submission editor decided somewhere in the mess of written words, was a decent story.
Decadent’s cover artists are beyond excellent. When I saw my cover art for the first time I cried. It was perfect. One of my earlier blog posts is about the necklace the Eve model wears on the cover. It’s identical to one my hubby gave me last year. There’s no way the photographer or anyone involved in the shoot could’ve known. How eerie is that? I declared it an official Twilight Zone moment. I think you’ll agree the cover for Resolutions is awesome!
Next on the journey to publication, I received a release date. More tears. After drying my eyes, I somehow managed to call, text, or email everyone I know to tell them I had a release date. They needed to get their wallets open and ready.
There was a frenzy of getting ads in place, sending ARCs, and begging for reviews. Getting the word out about a new book is a lot of hard work. I began trolling the social networks full time. I stepped up my game and shamelessly promoted myself. I even broke down and started this blog. Again, it’s a lot of work, but if you want your book to sell, you’ve got to get it in front of people. I’ve cheated a bit by roping my niece into being my virtual assistant. I’m a computer idiot and she’s a stay at home mom. We work well together and I get a little more time to write then I would’ve been allotted if I tried to do it all. Definitely worth the money!
As any writer will tell you it’s a long journey from idea to publication. It can be bumpy as hell, but that’s why God gave us the brain power to invent seat belts. My personal seat belt is my family. They are my strongest supporters, my most blatant cheerleaders (and critics), and the people I can turn when I take a hit from a bad review or another rejection letter. Many writers say it’s a lonely job, but at the end of the day I’m never alone as long as my family is along for the ride.
My best advice to new authors is to never, never, never give up on your dream. Keep writing. Enjoy the ride no matter how long, how bumpy, or how many dead ends you meet. Did I mention to never give up? I promise it’s more than worth it.
Now I’m off to celebrate my anniversary. I’m going to eat the biggest piece of cake I can handle…with two scoops of ice cream!

PS…Have I told you Resolutions will soon be available in print? I think I’ll make that three scoops of ice cream!

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