Today I’m hosting
Donna Weaver on her Book Tour for ‘A Change of Plans’. This is my first time
doing this sort of thing, so don’t hold it against Donna. I asked her if she
would tell us something about the publishing process and because Donna is
awesome, what follows is a pretty comprehensive breakdown. I’m gonna turn the
time over to her and let you enjoy. When you’re finished, I have a paragraph or
two of my IWSG post tacked on at the end. Enjoy!
and foremost, write a dang book. All the way to the end. With modern word
processors, it's easy to edit (not painless, but the physical process is
simple). You won't have anything to publish if you never finish your book.
think everyone's publishing journey is going to be a little different. Much of
that depends upon the goals for each writer--will you only be happy if you land
an agent and publish with one of the big houses, do you want the more intimate
experience of working with a smaller press, or are you willing to go gung ho
and do the self-publishing route.
think the key to any of it is to get educated and get connected. Not all that
long ago, being a writer could be a very solitary experience. With the advent
of the Internet, it's a different world. Go to a writing conference and meet
other writers. The writing community is a wonderfully encouraging and
supportive one. They need you, and you need them. If you can't afford to attend
a conference in person, there's a wonderful one called Write On Con (http://writeoncon.com/)--all done online. Find and follow the blogs of
other writers, both published and those in your shoes. Makes friends. Read and
consider. Join writing groups where fellow writers share ideas and experiences.
is what I did. I'm fortunate to live in a state that's rich in the publishing
industry, and there are many opportunities to attend writing workshops or
conferences. The first one I attended was Utah Valley University's Book
Academy. Then I joined an online critique group through author David Farland's
writing forum: http://farlandswritersgroups.com/. Through one of my fellow members, I found
out about Life, the Universe, and Everything (http://ltue.net/)--a huge writing symposium--three long days of
amazing classes for $30. You provide your own food and lodging, but that's
still a killer deal.
few months later I attended LDStorymakers and my first critique "bootcamp".
With my online critique group, I'd already learned quite a lot. That was scary
enough. Bootcamp meant bringing 10-15 pages of my manuscript and reading it
before my peers and they then critiquing it in person. I met some wonderful
people that day I'm still in contact with.
joined writing groups: League of Utah Writers, Authors Incognito (open to
people who have attended a Storymakers conference), and American Night Writers
Association (ANWA). The first group meets monthly for critiquing and classes.
AI has an online group and a Facebook group as does ANWA. They share news, ask
questions, and commiserate with each other.
was when I became a fly on the wall, so to speak. AI and ANWA both have
published as well as aspiring authors. They share experiences (good and bad) in
the industry. You can learn a lot by reading about what others are going
through, things you could be faced with in the future. You discover resources
you didn't know about. I watched and I listened.
thing I decided was that, at my age (I'm a grandmother), I don't have time to
wait eight or ten years to be published by one of the big publishers. That's
assuming it didn't take me that many years just to find an agent. For me, it
was all about the experience. I've heard real horror stories about how some
publishers treat their authors like so much slave labor, never listening to
their concerns or suggestions--changing their books without consulting them. I
didn't want that kind of experience.
written and rewritten (and rewritten) my book as I gleaned more knowledge and
critiques. I wrote other books. I spent two months studying how to write a
query and writing and editing mine, including submitting it to Matt over at The
Quintessentially Questional Query Experiment. Not only is Matt kind and
diplomatic, he's spot on. He then opens it up to his blog followers so you can
get further input. By the time I started querying, it was on edit #18.
had heard author James Dashner (Maze Runner series, etc.) speak at LTUE, and he
said that he'd set a goal to help soften the rejection blow. For every ten
rejections, he would take his wife out to dinner. I thought that was brilliant.
I sent my queries out in groups of about five a week. It can be hard to keep
track of them (that's why I used QueryTracker--http://querytracker.net/). For many of them, no response is a
rejection. You'll never hear from them. I started racking up rejections.
knew a few authors who had published with Rhemalda, and I'd heard good things.
I submitted as per their webpage and waited. I received a request for a full. I
did get a rejection, but it was the best possible kind of rejection--revise and
resubmit. They provided feedback, and I went to work. I resubmitted and received
an offer. We negotiated back and forth, and I consulted a couple of attorneys.
I signed. They provided some more feedback, and I edited some more.
I mention that two editors had a look at my manuscript before I started
querying? One was only for the first 50 pages, but the other was for the full
novel. Even if they buy your book, there's still a lot of editing. Then I got
my first round of full edits from the editor (editors in my case). Holy cow! One thing to bear in
mind is that there are several editing and grammar styles. I had to learn what
my publisher and editors liked. There are also styles unique to genre. If your
editor changes during this process, you could end up making different kinds of
still learning, but I hope as I edit the companion novel to A Change of Plans, I will already know a lot of those things.
It will certainly make the editing process simpler and less painful.
You want to cut THAT scene? The one I agonized and fretted over for days?"
killing your pacing."
can it kill the pacing? There's danger and broken bones and blood."
still killing the pacing."
been happy that my publisher has involved me all along the way. My story, while
shorter, is still my story. My characters are true to themselves and the vision
I had for them. That was as important to me as being published. Like I said,
for me, it's all about the experience.
you worrying about getting those first couple of chapters perfect before you
move on? By the time you finish the book, you might not even keep those
chapters. So, don’t spend ten years writing and rewriting and rewriting those
chapters. Finish the book!
'A CHANGE OF PLANS' - SYNOPSIS
What the book's about: When Lyn sets off on her supposedly uncomplicated and unromantic cruise, she never dreams it will include pirates. All the 25-year-old, Colorado high school teacher wants to do is forget that her dead fiancé was a cheating scumbag. Lyn plans a vacation diversion; fate provides Braedon, an intriguing surgeon. She finds herself drawn to him: his gentle humor, his love of music, and even his willingness to let her take him down during morning karate practices. Against the backdrop of the ship's make-believe world and temporary friendships, her emotions come alive. However, fear is an emotion, too. Unaware of the sensitive waters he's navigating, Braedon moves to take their relationship beyond friendship--on the very anniversary Lyn is on the cruise to forget. Lyn's painful memories are too powerful, and she runs from Braedon and what he has to offer. Their confusing relationship is bad enough, but when the pair finds themselves on one of the cruise's snorkeling excursions in American Samoa things get worse. Paradise turns to piracy when their party is kidnapped and Lyn's fear of a fairytale turns grim. Now she must fight alongside the man she rejected, first for their freedom and then against storms, sharks, and shipwreck.
To see the awesome 'Book Trailer' click HERE
And there is a Giveaway: which I'm totally not sure why I cannot get the Rafflecopter to show up, but if you click on that link down there, it does come up. good luck!
Insecure Writers Support Group~
If you lived on an island and the following sign was posted on every street corner, would you feel insecure? About everything? Think about it.
To learn more about the Insecure Writers Support Group and to read about other writers and their insecurities go HERE
See you guys next week, where I hope to tell you a little bit more about what's been going on in my life. Some big changes. Not surprised are you?