April 5, 2010

Getting Published In Your Own Sweet Time

Recently an editor returned a manuscript I’m sure needs to see print, so this did not make me happy. Since I’d already gone onto other projects, I then had to backtrack a bit to look for another potential publisher, which takes time – sometimes years! As much as I hate to admit it though, this can be for the best.

To give you an example, some children’s novels I wrote when my kids were growing up are just now getting ready for my young grandchildren. When the manuscripts didn’t place right away, I stuck them in a file cabinet and went on to write other books that were eventually accepted by traditional publishing houses. In fact, I forgot about those stories until my grade-school granddaughter asked, “Do you have any more books for me?” For her? Anything! So I got out the old file folders, and, together, we went through them.

Amazingly, she knew exactly what worked and what did not! Equally impressive, she was not afraid to tell me so. (Oh, what an ideal reader!) We agreed that one unfixable picture book text forever belongs in a file drawer, but two novels for middle-grade readers really do need to be published. Why? Young readers will welcome the stories and relate.

So, now what? My next step will be to check book titles and topics in Internet bookstores to make sure no one has already picked what I’ve chosen. I’ll look at writers’ guidelines on publishers’ websites, too, and see who’s open to this particular type of book.

If I find a book-line that’s similar to my work, that company will rank high on my list of potential publishers. If the manuscript comes back with a no, I’ll just try to keep company with the next good company on my list.

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(c) 2010, Mary Sayler, all rights reserved.

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