Three years ago this month, I had almost given up on ever seeing one of my novels find publication. I’d spent the last five years writing one novel after another, one version after another, until I believed I had a few marketable works. I’d sent out query after query to publishers and literary agents. I had a few near misses, agents who said they loved my query and sample chapters but they were closing the office and retiring, publishers who liked my work but didn’t love it enough to offer a contract. One of my much rewritten, refined and reworked manuscripts, Kinfolk, had been rejected about eighty times. Several of my other novels had been as well. I shared my disappointment and despair with a writer friend I’d met online and he suggested I might try the growing ebook market.
At the time, I knew next to nothing about ebooks or Kindles or Nooks. But, I did some research and decided it might be worth a shot. After all, what was the worst thing a publisher could do except say no? I’d heard that before. So, I rewrote my query letter, created a partial of Kinfolk, and sent it to Champagne Books. Weeks passed, and they asked for a full manuscript. I sent it, and waited. One July day, I opened my email to find the offer of a contract and, after I screamed with delight, my life changed forever.
By the end of 2010, my first book – with a different publisher altogether – debuted and I had four signed contracts in hand. Three years later, I’m the proud author of 21 novels either published, or under contract for a 2013 release, 16 assorted novellas and short stories in electronic format to date, and bylines in more than 25 anthologies. My fiction appears in a variety of formats. Some of my titles are available as paperbacks, all are available as eBooks, and one title is also available in audio format.
It’s been a wild three years, amazing and inspiring and the best is yet to come! New writers and would-be authors often ask my advice and I tell them never get up. Work, write, and hone your craft as you wait. If you persevere, your time will come too!
Check out Lee Ann’s novels on her author page here.