BASIC PUBLISHING RULE: “You’ll never get anything published unless you know someone in the business.”
When I first broke the news at work that I’d been published, the strangest thing happened. Without warning, I was surrounded by writers and/or writing experts. People I’d been acquainted with for years suddenly knew all about the publishing business. I received advice on everything–what I should DEMAND in my book contract, what I should and shouldn’t do with my next book, and that I was stupid to look to ebooks, as there was no future in digital.
Aren’t I the luckiest gal in the world? Who knew that every time I’d walked into my hometown ice arena, of all places, I had actually been surrounded by publishing experts? I should’ve been mining this knowledge-gold sooner. 😛
The most memorable thing that occurred during this time was a mother of a skater whom I did not teach and, quite frankly, had very little to do with. She was… oh, dear. How do I put this? A real piece of work. You see, she had never heard of “digital-first”. Because of this, the contract I’d been offered apparently wasn’t a “real” one. Furthermore, she went on to say that she believed the publishing company (the incredible and highly reputable Samhain, a company I love with every bit of my heart because they gave me a chance) must be something like a vanity press. And lastly, she knew for a fact that “not just anybody off the streets can get published. You have to know someone in the business to get your foot in the door.”
Be proud of me. I didn’t kill her.
For any aspiring writer who happens to read this, please believe me when I say that this so-called “rule” is a LIE. A big, fat, horked-up-by-frustrated-meanies LIE. Here’s the truth: every editor I’ve spoken with is hungry to discover someone with a fresh new voice. When they dive into the slush pile, they go in with the hope that they’re going to find a diamond in the rough, just waiting for that certain polish. What’s more, they never lose that hope. Publishers and editors wouldn’t have a job if this “knowing someone” rule had any basis in reality.
I never knew anyone in the publishing business. Nevertheless, I did get published because I believed in my writing enough to try. And I keep trying. Just a day or so ago, I sent out my fourteenth manuscript in the hope that someone on Carina Press’s editorial staff likes it enough to acquire it. On the last day of this month, I’m releasing the final book in The Earth Angels paranormal miniseries, DANGEROUS ANGEL (yay!). And I’m currently drowning in edits for ONE HOT SECOND, the latest Bitterthorn, Texas contemporary romance, releasing this August.
So, what can we learn from this? Never let anyone tell you never. (Well, except me, and just now. But after that… never. 😛 ) If you don’t believe me about eager editors, why not take a look at the collective wish list of Carina Press editors? This might be the chance you’ve been waiting for! Oh, and tell them Stacy sent you… so it looks like you “know” someone. Heh.
Got any “you’ll never” stories to share? I’ve shared mine, so now it’s your turn. ^_^