Monday, June 26, 2017

What to Expect



Well, it’s the last week of June. That means it’s the last week of our series, and the last week in which we’ll be talking about how to get yourself from manuscript to published novel. Last week, we picked out our favorite publishers. Today, I have some things I want you to think about, to keep in mind, while you’re sending things out.

Know what to expect


Even though we’ve done a mass of research into the publishers and what to expect from publishing with them, many publishing houses don’t really tell you all that much about the submissions process. I don’t understand why that is. I really don’t. So, I want to explain some of this stuff to you, so you’ll have a better idea of what you can expect once you send your work out, and remind you of some things you probably already know, while you're in this stage. 

Hearing back from someone


Let’s just dispel this one here and now. With the majority of publishers, you won’t hear back once you’ve submitted, nor will you know when they’re reading your work, nor will you know anything at all until you either get a rejection letter or are contacted by someone for contracting purposes. I don’t know why that is, either. There are some publishers out there who will open up a dialogue with you before reading, and even during reading, but they’re few and far between. (RAD Writing is one of them, FYI)

Simultaneous submissions


Nine out of ten publishers don’t want you sending your work to other publishers while they have it in their reading pile. They don’t want to be in direct competition with other publishers over your work. From their point of view, I completely understand. However, I don’t suggest listening to them here. Go ahead and send your manuscript to a few places, and when one of them picks you, just quietly inform the others that you’ll need to pull your submission. You don’t have to tell them why, unless they ask. No point in lying, but no need to give all the facts if you don’t have to, eh?

Submissions windows


Pretty much every publisher out there has a submissions window, a period of time in which they’re accepting submissions. Thing is, they don’t always publicize when that period will be. So keep an eye out, and try to figure out when is the best time to send in your work. Google is your friend, once again. There’s definitely someone out there who can answer your question.

Wait Times


There’s always a wait time, even once an editor starts reading your manuscript. Actually, there’s usually a pretty lengthy one once they start reading. That’s okay. Don’t freak out about it. There’s a lot that has to happen, once your manuscript is read. If they like it, they might pass it to another editor, or they might have to discuss it with a group of editors. If they aren't sure, maybe they need to get a second opinion. There’s a process. And remember, most publishers aren’t going to keep you in the loop during this time. I would tell you that you’ll just need to be patient, but I know how hard that can be. (FYI, RAD Writing keeps you in the loop through the whole wait time)

Competition


There’s always competition. Remember that. Whatever publisher you’ve submitted to, there’s a near guarantee that they have a pile of submissions on their desk. Those are your competition. Don’t forget that you have some. Stay humble. Remember that it’s not all about your manuscript, from the point of view of the publisher. They’re looking for a work that suits them, and they only have a certain number of slots to fill in any given year.


There is a publisher out there for you. Just remember that these things take time, and that sometimes you’ll have to wait through four or five publishers, before you find one that fits.

[love]

{Rani Divine}

p.s. RAD Writing accepts submissions all the time, and the waitlist is pretty short right now. Just sayin’

Friday, June 23, 2017

Research... Again



It’s Friday again! I swear, sometimes it’s like the weeks just fly by. There’s just so much to do lately, especially with all this new stuff... Which you'll find out about, soon. ;-)

All right, so this week we’re figuring out what publisher we actually want to go with. I know, it’s been a long road of research and study, but this is where things start to get more interesting. Now, we’re getting close to the point where we can start sending out our manuscripts.

Step 9:

Research Publishers


I know, I know, it’s what we’ve been doing for a long time. But until now, we were only trying to study the market, and know the business. Now, we’re decision making.

This week, you’ve figured out whether you’re looking for a self-publisher or a traditional one. You’ve sat down and thought it all through, and figured out what you do and do not need from your publisher. And you’re just about ready to send your work out.

You’re not ready yet though. Trust me.

First, you need to do hone your research. I’m sure you had a few favorites, while you were studying the business. So go to their websites, and look at anything and everything they have listed. Then do a Google search and see what else you can find out about them.

Think of it like Facebook stalking the person you have a crush on. Think of them like a person you’re going to be spending the rest of your life beside, because really, that’s what you’re doing. You’re deciding what company you’ll sign your book over to, and what company you’ll be in bed with for the rest of your (or their) life.

So, here are a few things you need to look at:


  • Do they have more negative reviews than positive ones, across the web?
  • Do they publish books like yours?
  • Does this company hold to the standards you expect?
  • Is this a company that works well with others?
  • Will they meet every one of your “dos?”
  • Do they contradict any of your “don’ts?”


Using those questions, and any others that happen to pop up during your research phase, narrow it down to your top five. And if you haven’t done enough research to come up with a top five, then you need to do more research. There are hundreds if not thousands of publishers out there. Your options are vast. And trust me, you have time to figure out which one you want to sign with. 

This is a decision that will effect you for the rest of your life. Make sure you make it a good one. 

[love]

{RD}

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Determine



Monday, we started trying to figure out whether we want to go with a self-publisher or a traditional one. I’m pretty sure you all know where I stand on this, but I have self-published in the past, and I do have some things for you to keep in mind on that front, as well.

We know what we want now, maybe. At the very least, we should have a leaning. But now, I’m going to ask you a few questions about what you might not want, to make sure you're pointed in the right direction. 

Step 8:

Determine what you can do without


We’ve done a lot of researching at this point, and I’d like to think that we have a much better view of the publishing world than we had before. (as a side note, even if this is your fifth book, this process is still valid—the publishing game changes all the time). So now we’ve looked a little bit at both self-publishers and traditional ones, and maybe we’re still not sure which way we’re leaning.

Well, answer me these:

Do you want…


An editor?

Without one, everything in the manuscript will be left up to you. But maybe you have an editor you can work with outside the publisher, someone who will help you get it to the ready stage without having to go through a traditional publisher.

A marketing advisor?

If you have one, they’ll help you know what to do when it comes to getting sales. They’ll help point you in the right direction, at the very least. They’re another set of eyes on the subject, someone who will help you set up book signings and other events. Without them, that’s all on you.

A designer?

How good are you at graphic design, I suppose I should ask. A designer will help you with your cover, and with any illustrations that you might need. They’ll get promotional materials put together for you, they’ll help out with your social media, and they’ll make sure your book looks like it was put together by a professional, even if you've self-published.

A partner?

If you’d rather go it alone, there’s nothing wrong with it. That’s what self-publishers are for. They’ll get you published without you having to deal with anyone else, for the most part. They’re more than willing to let you do the work yourself, or to have to pay them to do it.

Creative control?

A lot of authors don’t understand this part, so I’ll elaborate a bit. Creative control means that you’ll have complete control of your manuscript and what ends up hitting the shelves at the end of the process. Full creative control is only achieved through self-publishers. However, you have to keep in mind that traditional publishers know the market a lot better than you do. They’re the ones who’ll be able to make it attractive to readers, without batting their eyes. So sometimes, it’s okay to release that control. We, as authors, don’t know everything. But if you’d rather stay in control, if you’d rather keep everything in your hands, then you’d better stick with self-publishing.


I hope that gives you enough information to decide which route you’d like to go! Next up, we’re stepping into the big leagues. Time to pick a publisher.

[love]

{Rani Divine}