Monday, January 19, 2015

Beans Popping out on a Warm Day by Linda S. Glaz

I read a scene in the Little House series about Grace watching the beans popping up from the ground one very warm day…one after another after another. And it made me think of notes from my clients:
Have you heard of Exon-Freon-TakeAnything Publishing? Or…WeWant it-You’ve got it Press?
There’s hardly a week, shucks, a day, that we don’t hear about a new publishing house coming to life. And yes, they say they are royalty paying houses that want YOUR book. Most often, there are ‘conditions’ such as using only their editors for a fee, their marketing associates for a fee, or their design team…for a fee.
Do your homework. Know who the folks are who want you to turn over your baby. Are they going to charge you for diapering? Burping? Or are they truly willing to become a village and help you bring your baby to adulthood? There are plenty of smaller houses with wonderful reputations who do put the author and his or her work first.
Very often I’ll have a client contact me all excited with a prospect. Then I begin to lay out some of the hidden costs involved. One more disappointment.
Folks, there are no shortcuts that will get you from point A to point B.
You must learn the craft, write a brilliant novel, synopsis, and proposal. You must wait patiently while someone considers the work. And then, if rejected, you must go back to point A and figure out where you went wrong. Or if you went wrong at all. Maybe that person just simply was not a good fit. That happens often.
Don’t give up. Don’t put the novel in a drawer and forget about it. Don’t whine to your mom. She loved it, right? Of course, she did. Take it to crit partners who know their stuff. Hire an editor. Do what you must to make your submission marketable, but do…not ever…give up.
And by all means, research where and to whom you submit your work.
Don’t go for one of the beans popping up tomorrow unless you’ve checked them out. There are as many unscrupulous folks waiting to take your money as there are authors.


Tom Threadgill said...

I know a poem about beans. Maybe I could get that published? Just need someone to do the artwork. Oh, and it kinda goes hand-in-hand with the link you shared on FB. :)

Seriously, you're spot on. Write, rewrite, edit, submit, cry cry cry, then do it all over again. I suppose if you're looking to only ever publish one book, you could go with a vanity press. If you want more than one published, you'd better make danged sure that first one is good!

Diana Flegal said...

Well said Linda. Too many authors are in a hurry, and it often bites them in the end. Pun intended. :-)