I get several emails every week asking the question how did you get published?
I get back to every person that asks me this but it’s getting to the point where I think it best to write a post here about it so that I can direct people to this post and have all the answers there.
I want to start off addressing something that has come to my attention a few times now. Whether you are reading my books, my blog, an email, or my facebook status and you notice grammatical errors don’t point it out to me or correct me. I am a published writer and I have people correcting me. I have seen people say they loved my first book but there were too many spelling errors or I need an editor. Why would I publish a diary from age 10-19 and have an editor go through and correct all the grammatical errors? I wanted my diary entries to be exactly as I wrote them out, with the spelling errors, run on sentences, wrong word choice, etc.
I had someone today write me an email telling me there were so many spelling errors in my first book and they think I need an editor to go through and republish the book. Really!?!?!? Did I ask for your opinion?
I find it very funny I have people point out my terrible grammer….my bad I meant grammar. :)-
Yet who is the author here? Who published the book with all the grammatical errors and had the same publishing company come back to me asking me to write another book? Health Communications Inc. my publishing company obviously can see beyond the spelling errors and can see something far more important in my work. Why do you think editors exist? I am a writer not an editor. The only person who has the right to edit my writing is my editor Michele who did an excellent job of editing my 2nd book. Yes she probably went through a lot of red pens editing my 2nd book but guess what she saw something bigger behind all the grammar she saw an important message and story. Her editing puts the final magical touch on each book she edits. As any editor does in the word of reading manuscripts. The only person who has the right to correct me is the editors who are editing my work. For the rest of you who try to correct me or give me your opinion I didn’t ask for it nor do I want it. So unless your hired to edit my next book I don’t want to hear your opinion and if it bothers you that much put the book down, stop reading my blog, or unfriend me on facebook.
There is this term I learned in college called free association. Free association means: A spontaneous, logically unconstrained and undirected association of ideas, emotions, and feelings. Often when I am writing whether it be a book, blog, email I have so many ideas, emotions, thoughts, and feelings flowing through me and I am writing about the first thoughts that come to my mind. I am not thinking about how it comes out of me. I am not writing a paper for class anymore. I am not looking for that A+. I have a publishing company that is completely satisfied with my work and I didn’t ask for feedback from the peanut gallery.
Call me what you want….the writer/author who doesn’t spell check, grammar check.
Moving along here to the subject of this post on getting published.
A few things you need to know. Getting published is not easy. It is hard but if you have the determination, motivation, and drive to see it happen then you can one day see your work published. Most all publishing companies don’t take manuscripts. So don’t finish that book and send it off to several publishers. You’re wasting your time there. If you want to get published to become rich then you are in it for the wrong reason because you won’t get rich as an author unless you write some best sellers. You have to love writing and have a platform that will grab the attention of people. The subject of your book has to be worth it for a publishing company to put the time and effort into even look at that sample chapter. Publishers want books that are going to sell. Something that they can market that will not sit on bookstore shelves and collect dust. So think of your audience and who is your target with this book. Look at the topic of both my books Stolen Innocence and Living For Today. Both are on a very difficult topic. Sexual abuse is a hard topic to sell. It’s a topic society has a difficult time accepting. My target audience of course was survivors but it also included those that work in the field of child abuse prevention, parents, educators, etc. I wanted to put an often silent topic on the table for people to discuss. People that have never even been personally affected by sexual abuse and open their eyes to it. So begin to brainstorm who will be your target audience.
In order to get a publishing company to even look at your work you will need to hire a literary agent. It’s their job to sell you book to a publishing company. It can be expensive process but if you want to reach that goal of walking into a bookstore and see your book you have to be willing to give it your all and believe in yourself that you can accomplish this.
Many publishing companies are going to look to see your credentials. See what you have accomplished. It looks great if you have written articles for newspapers, magazines, or even start by getting yourself recognized with published work in the form of short stories. A great place I send everyone who comes to me asking about publishing is called “Chicken Soup for the Soul” website. As everyone knows the series of Chicken Soup for the Soul books have been around for a long time now. Chicken Soup for the Soul is constantly working on new books and have book topics that if you can relate to, they ask you to write a short story and submit it. It is an excellent way to get your foot in the door of getting published. Check out their website and see what stories they are seeking. Chicken Soup for the Soul
I have been published in Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul: Teens Talk Tough Times. My story was republished in another edition of Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul: Teens Talk Tough Times 101 Best Stories
There are many other sites out there that are looking for short stories to be published.
The other option is starting off by getting self-published. That is the first thing I did until I signed on with HCI. Getting self-published is not a bad thing and is also another great way to get started in the world of being an author. I got my start at being published at Iuniverse. The self-publishing site to getting your work into a self-published book. There are different options to pick from that come with a price. So check it out and other self-publishing websites. Some best selling authors started off as being self-published. The truth is anything is possible if you put your mind to it. You have some different options I have put out there. Do your research and if you don’t give up you can see your work turned into that published book you dream of holding in your hands. If you keep that visual in your mind you will succeed in writing and publishing that book.
Guess what I didn’t spell check!