Self-publishing is a great way to get your work out there, no doubt about it, but it’s not for everyone. With all the articles out there on self-pub, this is my two cents on getting published with a traditional publishing house.
The best way to guarantee you’ll never get published is to not send out your work…and keep sending it out and keep sending it out. I am amazed how many writers write their story and have no idea where they are going to submit it. You need to write something that is sell-able, something the publisher wants. You need to do homework, see what publishers publish the sort of stories you want to write, and then send them your work. It’ll never get published sitting in the drawer.
Okay, I know this is a lot easier in theory than practice because there’s a chance you’ll get the much dreaded rejection letter and that really hurts.
Because this reject cycle totally sucks and really got me down when I was breaking in into the writing scene, I finally learned a little trick to survive…have two projects “out” at all times. This way if one house rejected my work, I still have hope. Hope really counts! Often I had two different projects out at the same time.
Always submit to more than one publisher at a time. Multi-submissions are the only way to survive in a business where waiting a year for a reply is commonplace.
But watch out. Just don’t send your cherished work off to any editor at a publishing house because the chances are good that all your future submissions will go to that editor no matter which one you address your work to. Yes, publishing houses keep track of who submits and what they submit. This keeps you from resubmitting the same material to different editors at the same house. So, if you choose a bad editor you are screwed because she/he will keep getting your work!
Now the question is, how to find the “right” editor? Ask around. Find online writer chats, loops, and blogs. Ask which editor at a publishing house likes the sort of thing you’re writing.
Another thing about those rejection letters, not all are bad, even if they feel that way. Here’s the difference. Most of them are form letters. But, sometimes an editor adds a personal line or two about your work like, ‘I hate this story except for the setting. Nice setting.’ Wow, now this is a good rejection letter and you’ve hit gold because this editor is interested in you. He/she wouldn’t have taken time to write to you if not truly interested in your work. On the other hand, if you submit two projects to an editor and keep getting the form reject letter, this editor is not into you. Submit elsewhere.
Using this more than one project out method of getting published really worked for me in that it kept my spirits up. This is a big part of getting published. It’s way too easy to start doubting your work and yourself. You should know this rejection thing happens even after you’re published. Not all your projects are going to get snapped up. Always have two ideas cooking so if one idea gets shot down by your editor you can always say, “Okay, you don’t like that. But what about this?”
Better yet, once published always try to be published at two houses. That way of you get killed at one house, the other is your safety net.
These are my survival tricks. What are yours? How do you keep from just throwing in the towel…or computer…and giving up? Talk to your friends? Cry? Have a whine party with wine?
Let me know, and I’ll draw two names from the replies and send you Killer in Crinoline tote bags.
Hugs and happy submitting,
Killer In Crinolines
Berkley Prime Crime
Duffy Brown loves anything with a mystery. While others girls dreamed of dating Brad Pitt, Duffy longed to take Sherlock Holmes to the prom. She has two cats, Spooky and Dr. Watson, her license plate is Sherlock and she conjures up who-done-it stories of her very own for Berkley Prime Crime. Duffy’s Consignment Shop Mystery series is set in Savannah and the Cyclepath Mysteries are set on Mackinac Island. Duffy writes romance as Dianne Castell and is a USA Today bestselling author.
**Facedown in five-tiers of icing and fondant a dead groom leads to wedding chaos for the bride, the bff and the hotshot attorney.
When Reagan Summerside finds a groom face-down in five-tiers of icing and fondant, a cake knife in his back and her good friend and local UPS driver accused of the murder she must find the real killer without winding up in the local swamp as alligator meat. Will Walker Boone, pain-in-the ass attorney and once-upon-a-time gang member, help her out or will he feed her to the alligators himself?