Many writers, when confronted with the bleakness that exists in the publishing industry decide to take refuge outside of the major presses in seek solace among the small publishers. If you know anything about my views on writing and publishing, hopefully you know that I view all avenues as valid, and that I believe every author must find the venue that's a personal fit. The bad news for people who seek refuge among small publishers is that it's not a panacea there either. There are rejections and glitches everywhere. The good news, as mystery author Marilyn Meredith explains, is that persistence pays off if you keep your chin up and keep plugging away:
Despite what you see in movies and TV, getting published is not easy. Oh, yes, there are lots of ways to do it yourself these days—but that doesn’t mean people will buy your book. You need a good book that has been professionally edited and it definitely helps if a publishing company is the one who published it. After that, you must do lots of promoting on your own no matter who publishes you. Something I didn’t know in the beginning.
In my case, my first book was published after nearly 30 rejections, after every 5th rejection I rewrote the book. At the time I neither belonged to a critique group or had a clue about professional editors. When the book came out I thought I had it made—surely anything I wrote after that would be published. Wrong. The editor who bought the book left the company and her replacement didn’t like the next book I submitted. I found another publisher—but one that wasn’t the caliber of the first publisher.
When I started writing mysteries, I began another large collection of rejections from agents and publishers. A mystery was accepted and published—50 copies was all that was printed and were sold at my first book signing. The publisher disappeared. I found another small publisher who republished that book and later she published four in my Deputy Tempe Crabtree series. Sadly, she died unexpectedly and the publishing company along with her. So I was back to searching for a publisher.
I have no idea how many rejections I’ve received over the years, possibly more than 100. In the meantime I read many books on writing, attended lots of writing conferences, joined a critique group that I still belong to, and spent hours and hours rewriting and editing.
At this time, I have two mystery series being published by two different small presses. I still write, read my chapters to my critique group, rewrite, and both publishers have editors who go over my work and make suggestions and ask for changes.
This is my advice to anyone who wants to be a writer:
- Read the kind of books you want to write.
- Read books on the craft of writing and go to writers’ conferences.
- Write and rewrite.
- Have someone critique your work whether it be a critique group or someone who know something about writing. (If you hire someone, make sure they are a professional.
- When submitting, read the publisher’s guidelines carefully and do exactly what is asked for.
- Never give up.
- Keep on writing.
For a complete listing of all of Marilyn Meredith's works and how to purchase them, visit her website. Marilyn's most recent book is The Invisible Path, which is available in both print and electronic forms. Watch soon for Angel Lost!