Saturday, September 27, 2014

So You’re Ready to Be Published?

Josephine's Writing Advice
As a writer, I am asked all the time "how can I get my book published?"
Many people, especially on the heels of the 50 Shades book, think it's easy to write a book and get it published - especially if it's romance. Many, including my own distant family members, think I sit at home all day, pigging out on chocolate and writing writing writing. I WISH!!!
Truth is - I work forty hours a week at an accounting firm, and sometimes I work forty plus. I'm also happily married (for 25 years) to the love of my life, and I have two boys who are for the most part grown men. But as those of you with children know, they are our babies for life.  I have to squeeze in time for writing. I do so because I can't NOT write.
So if you want to know the "secret handshake", listen up: THERE ISN'T ONE
Most writers don't ever make it to the status of best seller list. Write because you love it - not as a get rich quick scheme.
Some advice:
Your Manuscript
Before you submit your work, make sure it is the cleanest version as possible! Which means:
1. It’s NOT your first draft
2. Run your program’s:
  - Spell check
  - Grammar check
 3. Have a Checklist
Once I’m done with my first draft, I go through an End of Story checklist of things I know I need to watch for:
     - Check for POV per paragraph
     - Clean up chapter headings and make consistent
     - Frequent words
4. Critique groups - There are many groups out there willing to read your work and help you polish it up.  Make sure the author is willing to read it before you send it to them and also be prepared to return the favor by critiquing their work.
5. If possible, have a Beta reader
According to Wikipedia, a Beta Reader is:
a. A non-professional reader who reads a written work, generally fiction, with the intent of looking over the material to find and improve elements such as grammar and spelling, as well as suggestions to improve the story, its characters, or its setting. Beta reading is typically done before the story is released for public consumption. Beta readers are not explicitly proofreaders or editors but can serve in that context.
b. Elements highlighted by beta readers encompass things such as plot holes, problems with continuity, characterization or believability; in fiction and non-fiction, the beta might also assist the author with fact-checking.

Time to Hit the Internet – searching for the perfect publisher
Mine are:
- Crescent Moon Press – (Scorned)
- Whiskey Creek Press – (Convicted of Love & A Pirate’s Kiss)
- Wings ePress (Forever Yours)
Your search for a publisher or agent:
Each have different guidelines. FOLLOW THEM TO THE “T”.
- Genre: from romance to horror
- Word Count
- Format
Preditors and Editors
This is an excellent place to begin your search.
Develop a skin as thick as a dragon’s! 
Remember that while your manuscript is being “judged”, you as a person are not!

My Favorite Books on Writing:
1.      The Successful Novelist by David Morrell
2.      The Fire in Fiction by Donald Maass
3.      45 Master Characters by Victoria Lynn Schmidt
4.      Writers Guide to Character Traits by Linda N. Edelstein, Ph.D.
5.      Dialogue by Gloria Kempton
6.      Getting Started as a Freelance Writer by Robert W. Bly
Enjoy the journey!

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where the Journey is the Reward