I thought this week I’d chat a bit about finding a publisher (if you decide to go that route rather than self-publish) and pass along some tips for doing so.
I’ve been on both sides of this fence in that I spent a few years as an acquiring editor at a “mainstream” house. I’m also operating in that capacity at my own publishing venture, Dirt Road Books.
But I’m also a published author, and I, too, have had to deal with finding a publisher for my work.
Newsflash: I have indeed been rejected by publishing houses. In the F/F publishing world, I’ve been rejected by three.
I’ll talk a bit about rejection in the publishing world in a future blog. What you need to know now about it is that it happens to everyone and don’t take it as a personal rejection of you. That’s something you need to acquire in a writing life, is a very thick skin.
Before I get into this, my years as an acquiring editor and gate-keeping editor, essentially, allowed me to learn a whole lot about different publishing houses, something I made sure to do so that I could send an author to a house whose list was a better match for their manuscript. I continue that practice today, and I also try to offer some constructive critique to authors about their projects.
Newsflash two: this is not the norm. Most rejections from publishing houses are short and to the point: “sorry, we’re not pursuing this project kthxbai.”
I’m an exception, though I know there are other acquiring editors out there who try to take a few extra minutes to offer something to an author beyond that, but when your inbox is overflowing with submissions and submission queries and you’ve got other business to deal with, I understand where they’re coming from.
So you’ve got your novel written, beta-read, re-written, edited, cleaned up, and ready to go. YAY, you! You’re interested in working with a traditional publisher, so now it’s time to go forth and find one. Continue reading