Monthly Archives: July 2013

Adventures in Writing – how to find a publisher…

Yes, I’d been stung. I’ve detailed the story before about how an indie publisher from the States swindled me. It ate away at me, made me more determined than ever. And yes, there was a moment when I considered self-publishing, but it was never a serious thought.
I did some homework. But I’d done that before, and found a crook. So, I have to ask, how do you actually know the publisher you’re going with is not going to be a shark, or a vanity?
Recommendation? Personal would be best. Even nowadays with the social-media explosion, personal recommendations – the old-fashioned ‘word-of-mouth’ – are still the best for buying books, so why not finding a publisher?
But what if we don’t know anyone?
I had become a member of a social media site for authors and through them I approached a couple of publishers. My work was rejected, but I soldiered on and eventually found the one that liked my work, that had a good website, whose books were on Amazon and seemed a descent enough outfit. Until they told me I’d have to pay.
All right, it wasn’t a fortune. 300 pounds, but when I told some of my author ‘friends’ they were outraged. Nobody should pay to be published. I happen to agree with this. If your work is good enough, then it’s good enough to be invested in by others, not yourself. That’s how I see it anyway. But you know what it’s like, you’re desperate, impatient, it’s your first book and you want to see it on the shelves! Furthermore, the editor liked it, had already begun to work with me, and I was so pleased I went ahead. I took a deep breath and parted with my money.
The result?
‘Cold Hell in Darley Dene’ was my ‘first’ published book. I loved writing it, and the publishers ended up doing a great job and people who have read it have enjoyed it too. I’ve never had to pay since with that publisher, which is very gratifying, and subsequent publishers have not charged me a single penny either. The book was available in paperback originally, but is now also available as an e-book.
So, it boils down to this: Here are my thoughts on what you should do to find a publisher of repute.
• Join a writers group (not to be confused with a writing group, although one of these might help too!) and get personal recommendations
• Buy, or borrow ‘Artist and Writers Yearbook’ and find the agents who deal with your genre
• For Indies, go on Predators and Editors or Ralan.com
• Trawl through Amazon and look up the publishers that successful authors have used, visit their websites and read their submission guidelines
• Go on Writers Beware and, if that publisher is not listed, post a question.
• Google the publisher’s name. You might be surprised with what you’ll find!
• Piers Anthony’s site is very exhaustive and very good. This great sci-fi writer gives up almost all of his time exposing the sharks, and he should be knighted for his efforts!
• Join FirstWriter.com. Its costs around 4.99 a month, but it is well worth it. It lists publishers and agents from around the world, and not only gives their websites, but posts the views of others who have tried particular concerns themselves. I would recommend this to anyone looking for a good publisher.

Okay, that’s it. Hope it’s of some use. Remember, try to rein in that impatience. You’ve written your book, you want it published. But do your homework first, and you won’t be stung by all those miserable SOBs out there.
Please visit http://www.glennstuart.co.uk for more news about me and my books.
Thanks for dropping by, and keep reading!

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under fiction writing

Adventures in Writing – a personal journey by Stuart G Yates…a little about the minefield called ‘publishers’.

Mistakes happen.

Whether we choose to LEARN from them, that is the point.

The mantra is, to learn from the mistakes we make…but I’m as guilty as the rest, by putting my hands up and saying, ‘I haven’t’.

I’ll try to explain.

Firstly, however, an apology. I haven’t blogged for a while. I’ve been in a region the French call ‘The Russian Mountains’ and have not felt the urge to put my thoughts down. Often, when I do, people come back with criticisms, so I thought ‘to hell with it’. I’ve never been one to stand on a soapbox. I quietly get on with what I do. And when I succeed, despite the negativity surrounding me, I seldom stand up and shout, ‘I told you so’. So, I prefer to keep quiet.

I’ve also been on holiday! Back to the UK, to visit my lovely daughter, and some friends. And I had the best time. I hate Spain now, am desperate to leave. All I need is a job, then I’m gone. I’ve had enough, but that’s another story. Maybe I’ll blog about that some time. We’ll see.

This is not the mistake I mentioned above, although the mistake of coming to Spain was massive!

No, this one is about publishers.

Like most would-be writers, when I had completed my first MU I was impatient to see it in print. Back in 1978, that was an extremely involved and long process, so when I finally got my act together and embraced the digital world thirty years later in 2008, my anxiety levels guided me to seek out an independent publisher.

Now, it must be said, I had no idea what I was doing. Blind man groping in the dark. That was me. I hadn’t even thought of seeking guidance from anyone. I had ‘The Artist and Writers Yearbook’, as always. I had that in 1978. Now, of course, it included email addresses. But getting an agent was as difficult as it ever was, so I began to seek out an indie, although the process was similar. Submit a covering letter, synopsis, and the first 3 chapters.

I joined an on-line writing group. Met some interesting people, and learned a lot in a very short space of time. I got some addresses too, and began the long process. I’ve written before about WHY I write, so no need to go there again. I now NEEDED to be published. I’ve never been one to think about financial gain. That has never, ever been my guiding principal. The desire to be published has more to do with sharing my stories. I want people to be entertained, it is as simple as that. If my books sell, then that is excellent. Money is secondary, well, to be honest, it’s probably much further down the list than that! BUT, I wanted to be published. Not self-published, but ACCEPTED by others, professionals, people who knew what a good story was. I still feel that way. That is why I’ll never self-publish. Who is there out there amongst friends who would have the balls to tell you, ‘actually, mate, your work is crap’ when you self-publish? But I digress, and I don’t want to upset people AGAIN….so…

I made mistakes. Of course I did. My first publisher was a crook. I submitted to many more. Rejections followed. Lots of them. I got depressed, but I never stopped writing. Even when I was submitting my book, I continued to graft. Write. Think. Imagine. That is something I have always done. So many stories to write, so little time.

I suppose that was the thing that undermined me. My impatience. I was 50. I’d been dreaming of being a writer since…maybe from the age of 11. That’s a long time, and I had hardly done a thing about it. How many years have I got left? God knows, so I wasn’t about to hang around. I HAD to get published, to do what I always wanted.

So, when I finally found a publisher who liked my work enough to go ahead and publish it, I was totally bowled over.

Then, came the sledgehammer.

They wanted to charge me for the privilege!

Well…we’ll see how this pans out….next time. So come back soon.

Thanks for those who have ‘liked’ this blog.

My work, and where to buy it, is all detailed on my websites:

www.stuartgyates.com

and

www.glennstuart.co.uk

Please pop along and take a look at some of my work. Maybe you’ll like what you see so much you even be tempted buy a copy, or two. I hopes so!  ‘Roadkill’ (http://www.amazon.com/Roadkill-ebook/dp/B00CWPQC8A/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1373571161&sr=1-1&keywords=stuart+g+yates)  is my latest, and is at a great price on Kindle and Nook right now!

Take care, and keep reading!

 

Leave a comment

Filed under fiction writing