Book Writing Writer

Friday, 25 October 2013

Putting it "Out There".

We start 'em young here!

My then four-year-old grandson attempting to use a push mower.

Today's quote from "Old Age and Villainy": must have something to get excited about at our age.

One morning I awoke and realised that sometime during my sleep I'd made a momentous (to me) decision...I'd decided to research publishers to whom I'd send a submission of "Old Age and Villainy".

I came to this realisation after numerous rewriting and edits...after all one could only rewrite and edit so much.  Also, there was the danger of becoming "word blind", where the brain no longer recognised the typos, punctuation and grammatical errors because it's had enough, thank you very much!

I jumped on line, typed the word "publishers" into Google and was presented with a long list.  One I recognised as local as I had actually bookmarked the name some time ago so I clicked through to the website and found they would give a free brief assessment.  They were a subsidy publisher where authors paid toward the cost of publishing, printing and marketing, etc.  I sent the required three chapters and synopsis through and received a snail mail letter about five days later which said nice things about my submission, as follows:

" I enjoyed reading the sample of "Old Age and Villainy".  This work of non-fiction/humor is taken from factual incidents in the lives of the author's friends and family.  The book covers the humorous aspects of aging.

From what I have read I found the work rather well written with humorous descriptive narrative. I would like to read the complete manuscript and give a full evaluation with the intention of a publishing contract.

The letter then went on to outline the importance of re-reading and revision, "as no re-writes or additions will be entered once it has been accepted for publication". However, unlike a lot of other vanity publishers, this one did offer editing services which fully involved the author.

I had no intention of taking them up on their offer as my motive was to receive some, hopefully, relatively positive feedback.  What I received was enough for me to bite the bullet!

I chose four well known traditional publishing houses, thoroughly researched their websites and guidelines then decided on three .  One of the four would not take emailed submissions but hard copies only and I bypassed them.

The next step was careful perusal of the guidelines for unsolicited submissions; all three had certain days on which they accepted these and any received outside of that time period were deleted.  They outlined what to include, ie, a short synopsis, usually up to 300 words, a brief author's biography and a certain number of chapters or pages of the manuscript.

I was very careful about reading all the guidelines, checking and rechecking to make sure I had everything correct.  So far, I've sent off two submissions; one had a two week wait, the other three weeks and both stipulated that if nothing was heard from them in that time frame, the submission was not successful.  To keep track of what I'd sent out, I kept a note in my diary of the publisher's name, date the submission was sent and the time frame for hearing anything back.

I have one more publisher to try.  I was too late for their acceptance date in the first week of October and will submit a sample in November.

Now...I wait with bated breath and hope I don't expire in the meantime!

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