Status: Drafting the fourth book in the PERILOUS series!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

So You Want to Get Published

Are you sure?

Really sure?

All right, then. Let's look at your options. You can
A) Find an agent and shoot for the big dogs
B) Find a small press
C) Self-publish.

Let's evaluate your goals. Do you want to reach a lot of people, a certain group, a few in every city, or the whole world? Do you want to be involved in the decision-making, or just get told the decision? Or do you want to make the decisions?

Because, peoples, the amount of control you have over your finished product depends a lot on what avenue you take to get there.

Self-publishing will allow you the most control. You choose your book cover. Your plot is exactly what you make it. Your characters grow (or don't) depending on your discretion. You have no editor.

That's not necessarily good. But it can have its advantages.

But let's face it. Having an editor generally (99.9% of the time) improves your manuscript. Everyone needs one. If you self-publish, that usually means paying someone. If you choose options A or B...you get an editor for free! Doesn't get much better than that!

There is a price, though. You want to get published, and you're not Stephen King. (If you are, please say so in the comments so I'll feel really cool.) Your editor/agent/publisher doesn't like your title. There it goes. Your e/a/p doesn't like your MC's boyfriend. Bye-bye, bug, bye-bye! Your e/a/p wants to change the word 'Jesus' to 'God' in your MS. Or whatever. Just imagine.


Still interested? Still want to get published?

Good for you. Then do it. But do not think for one moment that just because they want your ms means it's going to stay in one piece.

Sequel revisions:
today's goal: 25/154
actual: 28/155
tomorrow's goal: page 36/155


Vicky said...

Yup. Still want to be published :)

Anonymous said...

Don't forget, you don't have any say in the cover art either! It kind of sucks that once you hand your baby over to them, they get to pick how to raise it...but on the other hand, it's really awesome because they know how to help your baby be successful, which makes all that hard work totally worth it. =)

Heather Sunseri said...

Hey, Tamara. Yeah, I'd say I still want to be published. I'm glad I found your blog. I'm not sure how I've been missing it.

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

Good for you, Vicky. Don't let anything deter you. Even if they confess that they only signed a contract with you b/c they liked the brownies you mailed them. :)

Good points, Mireyah. Just remember...by the time they're done w/ your baby, you might want to disown it! Hee hee.

And Heather, I'm fairly new to blogging...and still trying to find my niche. Hopefully they'll be good stuff from time to time!

Anonymous said...

You're probably right...luckily, my baby is still cooking, so I don't have to worry about that part just yet! LOL

And you're doing great with the blogging! =) Keep it up, darlin'!

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

Heather--LOL--I hope you don't mind! I just realized something I wrote in there came from something you said on Twitter!

Anonymous said...

I AM Stephen King

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

Whoo hoo! I feel cool now! Stephen King was on my blog!:)

Tristi said...

When a publisher is doing their job well, they will listen to you and take your concerns into consideration, and hopefully you can arrive at a place where you have both compromised for the better good. But on the other hand, it's important to note that the publisher has been in the industry for a long time and knows what works and what doesn't, and so while it's good if the publisher compromises with the author, it's good for the author to give a little too, knowing that their publisher has experience and keeps their ear to the ground of the industry.

Jay said...

Tamara - Perchance you speak from experience? *winks* This is just a really great post. I think most of us who aspire to be published authors would be glad to "suffer" the criticisms of the editors who will help us polish our work until it's just right.

Sign me up!

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

Experience? Nah! :::smile::: But I'm sure I will!

Cindy said...

Yes, I definitely want to get published. But I've had to think long and hard about the way I'm going to go about it. I've come up with some answers but it was definitely a challenge.

L.A. DeVaul said...

Sometimes, when I write and edit and edit my own work, I find that the story is something different than I originally thought. The editor can not only speed up this process, because they can look at the ms objectively, but they can take it beyond what I could do myself.

Without an editor, I would have a million copies of my self published book that I thought was brilliant, but no one else liked.

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

Self-publishing must be very very hard, if you do it right. I personally cannot imagine publishing without an editor. It's amazing how they can take something good and make it great.

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