Monday, August 31, 2015

Want to Get Your Novel Published? Some Essential Resources!

Occasionally, I encounter people who've written a novel (or two or more) and are interested in getting published but don't know what to do about it. In more than one instance, I've had people say they sent their manuscript to a publisher and gotten a rejection, and now they don't know what to do next. 

Sidenote: Having had it drilled into me from countless editor and agent blogs and online writer forums over the years that direct-querying publishers is NOT the ideal first step because you can't generally open that door again when it has shut, hearing this from aspiring writers makes me cringe a little. If you know what you're doing and choose to do it that way, great! But if it's what you do because you weren't aware of the industry, that narrows your choices without you even knowing it.

In most of these cases, the writers aren't familiar with the publishing industry at all. They don't know how "traditional" publishing works. Maybe they've never heard of a literary agent or a query letter. Maybe they haven't thought to look up publisher submission guidelines. They wrote a novel, and so they sent it to a publisher in hopes the publisher would want to publish it. 

So it doesn't surprise me when agents and editors post anecdotes about such situations. Yes, there are people who really don't know and really don't know what they don't know.
 
And so I'm posting the following resources since these tend to be my go-to suggestions for writers who come to me saying "I wrote a book, and I want to get it published but I don't know how to find publishers." To be totally honest, I'm posting them not only for any online passersby who might be interested but also so I can easily come back and copy/paste them the next time someone asks me for assistance!

1) Nathan Bransford's blog (former agent, now novelist): This link takes you to his post on "How a Book Gets Published." It's a great, clear overview of the process of obtaining representation and seeking publishers. No, not everyone needs an agent. But if you have your heart set on getting published with one of the Big Five publishers, the main NY publishers who get books into chain bookstores, you probably need an agent. Also see his list of "Publishing Essentials" down the left side of his screen for more helpful information about things like query letters and whether you should self-publish or go the more traditional route.

2) Query Tracker: Whether you decide to see a literary agent to represent your work or go straight to publishers, Query Tracker is a fantastic resource when you're ready to seek them out. You would need to create a (free) account, but then you would also be able to use the site's tracking information, such as how long it has taken QT members to receive responses, what the partial or full request rates have been for a particular agent or publisher, etc.  And you can narrow your search by genre to see which agents/publishers accept that genre. Also, when you search for publishers, you can see whether they accept unagented submissions or not.

This link takes you specifically to Absolute Write's forum about agents and publishers, and AW members generally post their experiences and observations regarding them. So you could use this to check out publishers like the one you mentioned. You can find out if other people have had bad experiences. Other forums on the site can provide useful information about how to approach an agent or a publisher, etc. 

These are my first-round lineup of resources. If you wrote a book and you want to get it published but don't know where to begin, start with these!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

ONCE BELOVED cover blurb and pre-order!

I'm so very pleased to announce that ONCE BELOVED is now available for pre-order at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other fine e-booksellers!

In case you haven't seen it yet, here is the lovely cover!


Isn't that swoon-worthy?

ONCE BELOVED is a "second chance" romance set in Victorian England.

Here's the cover copy:

In bustling Victorian London, a desperate woman turns to the last man who would ever want to come to her aid... 

Years ago, when Helena Martin escaped to London with a dashing captain, she had no idea she was endangering her entire village. Little did she know, the arranged match she fled was the little town's last chance at prosperity. Now, with her beloved grandmother's health failing, Helena must face the damage she wrought. And she must do it with an unlikely escort: her jilted fiance’s brother. 

Daniel Lanfield is undoubtedly attracted to Helena—and furious with her. Though it was unintentional, her thoughtlessness has caused great misery to their village. Yet Daniel is uniquely positioned to help her return home, and strangely compelled to keep her close along the way. For no matter what their pasts, the desire between them now is ever-present...

Pre-order links:     Amazon     ~     Barnes and Noble     ~     Google Play     ~     Kensington Books

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

*Sale Alert* NEVER TOO LATE for $0.99!

My first book, NEVER TOO LATE, originally released in 2013, is currently on sale at various e-retailers for just $0.99


Take a look at my Never Too Late tab for more on this Victorian historical romance featuring an older woman who runs her own bookshop!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Book 3 is done!!!!

*cue trumpet fanfare*

I submitted Book 3 to my editor this week!

 It still needs a name...I mean, it had one at the synopsis stage, but that was just a working title. And I gave it a new title when I submitted the final manuscript, but that one is still not definitive. And the title is just part and parcel of how difficult it was for me to write this book.

For many reasons, Book 3 was a challenge for me, and it took me a long, long, long time to catch the flow of the story. Yes, as the creator, I'm supposed to be in charge. I'm supposed to be able to decide what happens, who does what to whom, and who gets punished for what. A writer has all that god-like power. Sure. But Book 3 refused to acknowledge my omnipotence. Maybe this was my version of a sophomore slump. Or maybe I teetered on the edge of burnout. After all, during the writing of this book, I applied for both tenure and promotion to associate professor. And finished working on a grant project...and began co-chairing a new committee...oh, and let's not forget teaching five courses per semester. Okay, enough of this "my diamond shoes are too tight" whine (Anyone else remember that episode of Friends? No? Just me...).

 The point is...Book 3 is done! (At least until I get edits back.)

 Oh, and here are a few details about it...it's another Victorian romance, set in the same time/world as NEVER TOO LATE and ALWAYS A STRANGER, but it takes place mostly outside of London in northern England, more specifically in the vicinity of Bradford and Leeds. It's a "second chances" story that was very loosely (and I mean very, very loosely!) by Elizabeth Gaskell's NORTH AND SOUTH. I know that's not really telling you about the actual story. I'll get to that soon, I promise!

On to Book 4! Ever forward!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Giveaway - ALWAYS A STRANGER! Ends Dec 12!

In the spirit of the holidays, I'm giving away a signed paperback copy of ALWAYS A STRANGER on Goodreads!

Enter today!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Always a Stranger by Amara Royce

Always a Stranger

by Amara Royce

Giveaway ends December 12, 2014.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Social Media for Social Good - SMSG14

Limecello at A Little Bit Tart, A Little Bit Sweet has done Social Media for Social Good campaigns for the past few years, and this year the SMSG14 campaign highlights some important causes: ALS, Ebola, and child refugees.

There are lots of ways to participate and to help raise funds and awareness. Even simply commenting on the SMSG14 post at ALBTALBS raises funds from those who've pledged (including me!) so come join us!

Psst--I'm also doing a book giveaway -- earn entries by posting comments at http://www.tartsweet.com/2014/10/25/using-social-media-for-good-to-make-a-difference-fighting-als-ebola-and-for-child-refugees/! (The Rafflecopter giveaway link is in the Comments section!)

Go see what you can do to help!



Friday, October 24, 2014

File this among things I didn't know..but find interesting...Melville's MOBY DICK

I knew Melville's massive opus MOBY DICK was published in the mid-nineteenth century, but I didn't know all this...including that it was first published in England rather than in America. And now I'm thinking of ways to incorporate its publication into Book 4!

October 18, 1851: Melville’s Moby-Dick is published in London as The Whale: http://blog.loa.org/2010/10/october-18-1851-melvilles-moby-dick-is.html