Friday, June 30, 2017

Last words and Announcements

As the final post of the month, the final words that you’ll hear from me in this series on getting from manuscript to published book, I have a few last words of wisdom, for you to keep in mind. And a few announcements, for the coming weeks and months.

Don’t get offended
When you’re sending out your work, or when you’ve gotten a response from an editor, it’s easy to get offended by anything and everything that they tell you. Even if you get accepted, they’re going to want to make changes to your manuscript. They are. Don’t allow yourself to be offended by anything they tell you. You’ve only been researching the business for a few weeks, but these people work in it. You picked a publisher you can trust, so trust them.

Don’t get impatient
It’s all a process. Every little bit of it. Whether it’s the submissions part, the waiting part, contracting, editing, or waiting for your book to hit shelves. There’s a lot to get done, no matter the stage. Don’t get impatient while you’re waiting for a good thing to come to pass. Patience is a virtue, so they say. And they say it with good reason. Get impatient, and you’ll get offended no matter what happens.

Be a nice human
Remember Wednesday, when we talked about reaching out to people? It’s important enough that I’m mentioning it again. Don’t be a jerk to people you might be working with for the rest of your life. Be nice to them. Treat them the way you want them to treat you. If you’re a jerk, they’ll be a jerk right back. That’s just how people are. So, don’t do that. Unless you like working with jerks. I can’t even fathom that, though.

Don’t stop writing
No matter what happens, do not stop writing. If it takes years for an editor to start reading your manuscript, if you get a million rejection letters, don’t let any of it stop you from writing. Just keep going. You’re getting better and better, while you’re waiting to hear back from them. And you can start sending out multiple works, which means you might end up getting signed by two companies at the same time. It happens. But whatever you do, whatever is going on around you, don’t give up on the thing you love. Never stop writing. Ever.

And remember, while you’re waiting to find out whether you’ve been approved or not, don’t get testy. Stay calm, stay sane, and stay writing. Never give up because of what any publisher may tell you. They don’t know the whole world, do they? They’re looking to fill a gap in their market, and maybe your book doesn’t suit that. But none of that means your book isn’t publishable, isn’t sellable.

There’s an audience out there, for your book. You just have to find them.

And now, as promised, I have some announcements.

My position at RAD Writing has changed! Which means I don’t have as much time for my own stuff. Which, admittedly, is a little sad. I’m not going to forget about you guys, or stop writing in Too Many Books to Count, don’t worry. But, I will be changing my release dates. Since I’ll be the primary blog writer and podcaster for RAD Writing (podcasts coming soon, TBD), I’ve decided that it’s time I scale back a little bit, in here.

Starting in July, I’ll be posting in Too Many Books to Count on Tuesdays and Thursdays, instead of Monday/Wednesday/Friday.

What does this mean for you?

Well, it means you’ll get fewer posts from me. But it also means that I’ll be able to dedicate more relevant information to each post, so you won’t feel like you’re getting the same thing two times in any given series. It’ll be a good change, don’t worry.

And if you just can’t get enough Rani, remember, I’ll still be posting in the RADblog on Fridays, and the plan is to start podcasting in the next few weeks as well.

I’ll still be around. It’s just time to move up in the world.

[love and hugs for each of you]

{Rani Divine}

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Reach Out

Monday, we talked about things you need to keep in mind while you’re sending your work out to your preferred publishers. Today, I have my final pointer, while you’re sending out your work. The last thing that I really think you should do, if you’re going to get in.

Reach out

Yeah, it’s something I’ve been telling you to do, from start to finish. You need you show yourself as a friendly person, as someone who publishers actually want to work with, someone who can easily market themselves, without a second thought. After all, these days, half the marketing really does fall on your shoulders. Reaching out now will help you get better at doing so with your readers, and anyone else you need to reach out to.

So get in touch, see if you can make friends and get a leg up on your competition.


We’ve been trying to meet them this whole time, haven’t we? Well, make nice with them when you are able to get in touch. Make friends, ask them questions, be a normal person and not a nervous author. Trust me, it will be a welcome change in their lives.
But in all honesty, if the editor likes you as a person, it gives you a huge leg up on your competition. If you’re rude, your chances go down. Make nice. Even if you don’t think of yourself as a nice person. You’re going to have to be nice, if you get signed. Yeah. You will. Don’t think you won’t. Nobody wants to buy a book from a jerk. I’m not even kidding.

But I don’t just mean that you should reach out to the editors at the company. There are a lot of other people there, who might be able to get you an in.


Remember, we researched a bunch of them, too. So do the same thing with them that you did with the editors. Meet them, make friends, be nice. Ask them about the business, about the company, but don’t let that be the only thing you talk about with them. Authors don’t often get contacted by other authors who don’t want to talk about writing. Show that you can be a normal person. They might give you a rave review, when they’re talking to their editor—who, you never know, might be your editor as well.

It’s not the end until you get a rejection letter. And yeah, that’s probably going to happen, once or twice. But by making nice, by being a good and kind person, you’re way ahead of a lot of other writers out there.

We tend to be eccentric, you know. ;-)



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)


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.


{Rani Divine}

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