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Tuesday Toss-Up: Publishing, Part 2

Renee Stevens


So, last week we featured Part one of a two Part interview that K.C. conducted on the subject of publishing. Last week it was his interview of AnytaSunday and this week, I am going to feature his interview of Nephylim. Enjoy!


Interviewee: Nephylim
Interviewer: K.C.


Your story “The Unfairness of Life” is set to be published 2012 by Romance First Publisher, how did you feel when you found out that a publisher wanted your story?
It was actually released early in January. How did I feel? I don’t think there’s any way to describe it. Funnily enough, it wasn’t all excitement. The first feeling was panic. Then I felt sick. Then I cried. Then I was scared. I didn’t want to tell anyone in case it wasn’t real. I think the primary feeling was… it can’t be real. Something is bound to go wrong. It’s never actually going to happen after all this time.


Going the traditional publishing route, do you mind me asking how many rejections you got before you got before you finally got that acceptance letter?
I have no idea. I’d have spurts. I’d send out lots of letters and emails, get rejected (when they bothered to answer at all) and lose confidence for another decade. When I got the email from Romance First I was, at first too scared to open it and then I sat and stared at it for about a minute before it even sank in.


How did you decide what publisher you wanted to submit your story to?
Rush. She has been badgering me to put my work into various competitions and anthologies, because she knew I wouldn’t have the courage to go for a whole book. She told me that a friend was setting up her own publishing company and was looking for submissions, so I sent it. I didn’t really expect anything to come of it, I was just fed up of her constant nagging wink.png


Had you ever considered self-publishing if the traditional route had not worked for you?
Not before this, no. For one thing I don’t have the necessary skills. I would like here to point out that my first book, Enigma, was published by my good friend Red Haircrow. He has set up his own indie company and offered to do it for me. That was the beginning of my journey into publishing and, without him, I certainly wouldn’t have had the courage to send a manuscript to strangers. He designed the cover, around my own original art and was hard on me with the editing, which I needed. He’s been inspirational with regard to publicity and the prospects for self-publicity out there. I’m terrible at it; he’s not.


Publicity is the main thing that a publishing company/literary agent, can offer, and it has been pointed out to me by more than one person, since I started to get my name known in writing circles, that there is a vast source of publicity available to anyone who is able to use the net. I am told (although not entirely sure I believe) that anyone who is reasonably technology capable can publish and I’ve seen for myself that it’s possible, if you’re prepared to put in the time and effort, to widely publicise your work.


The benefits are that you get to keep all the income you make


The detriments are that you don’t have access to some major distributors who don’t accept self -publishers, but only publishing companies and, of course, you have to work really hard at it. Also you don’t get the benefit of a professional editor… who incidentally is the cruellest being on the face of the earth. Mine ripped my poor story to shreds. Some things we fought over, most I accepted as being absolutely right.


I suppose it depends on how much time and effort you want to put in yourself, rather than relying on others. Having a publisher takes a lot of stress out of it. This was all after the even though. Prior to getting published I would never have considered doing it.


Do you have any words of advice to any new writers starting to venture into the world of publishing?
Look at all the options. If the big publishers won’t publish look for small ones, who are new and therefore looking to build up their author base and book catalogue.


Don’t turn your nose up at self-publication. There are a LOT of benefits once you start looking into it, especially if you want to keep control of your work and all the revenue. If you do go down this route make sure the work is edited to within an inch of its life. There is nothing that’s going to turn potential purchasers or publishers off more than bad spelling and grammar.


It seems as if ebooks are the way to go. If you’re going to self publish look at e publishing. It doesn’t bring in as much per book but you sell a lot more. People are more prepared to take a chance on spending a few pounds on an ebook by a new writer, than a paperback. Also, if you have a bank of ebooks it will make it easier to get a publisher to notice you.


Research the specialities of the publishers and chose one that kind of fits your work. There’s no point sending a highly erotic story to a children’s publisher, or a contemporary romance to a sci fi publisher.


Set up a blog and join any writing groups etc. you can. Many of the larger publishers ask for a CV before they’ll look at you. It’s like the vicious circle you get with employment. No one will give you experience unless you show you’ve already got some.


I guess preparation and research is the key.


My parting words would be… Have faith in yourself and your work. If you don’t how can you expect anyone else to. And never, ever give up.


I applaud both of these ladies on their publications. They did it and so can you, just remember to keep your head up. It’s hard work, but the accomplishment is well worth it. Good luck and I look forward to seeing more announcements that another GA writer has be published.

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I have to say that the best thing about the route of online publishing is the circle of people you meet and how they help you further your writing. My editor contacted me yesterday for the first time and the second email I had just minutes later was from her friending me on Goodreads.


Can I say I have to echo Nephy's sentiments on editors, though? I just got my first professional edit back this morning and OMG. Okay, so she was REALLY nice and gave me many compliments on the story overall. She even said it was exceptionally well edited and most of her comments and edits were 'nitpicky' and just needed to perfect the story, not fix it.


Then I opened the document. There were 208 comments on a 29k story!!! The first one had 7 parts to it. *dies* One comment alone told me I need to rewrite 2 different scenes completely (unfortunately I agree). If I wasn't so excited about all I'm learning from the edits I'd be in tears, LOL

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