Sunday, January 16, 2011

Are you trying to get published?

Let’s face it: when it comes to publishing, it’s a jungle out there! An aspiring author basically has three choices: a traditional and/or Big Name publisher, a subsidy publisher, or a vanity press. Unless you’re Stephenie Meyer, James Patterson, or Stephen King, you can totally forget about the first one.

A subsidy house is iffy at best and fraught with fraud at the worst. They will review your manuscript before offering a contract and, ostensibly at least, offer to share the cost of publication. Unfortunately, they are usually just after the front money – fees, plus however many copies they can get you to buy.

The vanity press is self-publishing, pure and simple. They will give you a finished product with the least hassle, but there’s no attempt at quality. Like the subsidy operations, the vanities offer all sorts over-priced and under-effective editing and marketing services. Sadly, it’s way too easy to suck in a new author chasing a dream.

But that said, far be it from me to discourage you from having a dream! Unfortunately, I have little help for you. Every time I think I’ve got a handle on the way things work in this business, I quickly realize I don’t know zip. I was lucky – at least with Books One and Two of my series. Eloquent, a subsidy imprint of Strategic, was pretty much a one-man operation when I was referred to them. That man was Mark Bredt, who did a brilliant job on my cover and generally took good care of the entire process. He also assigned an editor named Jennifer Leigh Mustoe to do a 3-chapter evaluation of the manuscript. She absolutely tore me apart. Best thing that ever happened to me! Then she disappeared. I’ve been Googling her for years now with no luck.

Book Three was a nightmare of epic proportions. The burgeoning Strategic was sucking in manuscripts by the hundreds and adding departments and off-the-street personnel at nearly the same rate. Even before I became aware of all the legal and ethical charges against them, I was contending with a deranged artist, a third-world Outsourced press writer, and complete lack of interdepartmental communication. But AMMANON Book Three, the Deliverance did finally get out there. And NOT with that cover!

My new publisher, VerveStar, is a small traditional publisher. They’re not just continuing the series; they’re starting over with Book One. This time it will be done professionally in hardcover with dust jacket, and properly promoted. Unfortunately that means Ammanon will not be available on or other sources until it comes out again under the new imprint. So, dear readers, please help me to be patient!

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