Writing is not easy.
Writing a whole, complete book is even harder. Whether a novel, nonfiction book, or a collection of shorter works compiled into book form, the task is immense, lonely, and more times than not, daunting. A very prominent, best-selling author once compared writing to having sex while having a tooth pulled. I’ve never had that exact experience, but I believe it’s a pretty good analogy.
But we write anyway. For some of us it’s a desire, a need to create. For others it’s a compulsion, even an obsession. Make no mistake, writing is a job. It matters very little if we get paid for it or not. It’s still an immense amount of work. If, like me, however, you’ve decided to not only write but to complete a book, revise, edit, polish, and shine it, you’ll find that experience almost painless compared to the next great obstacle: getting published.
I’m a southern boy hailing from Mississippi. I live in the country and I do not know any agents, published writers, or professional editors. I needed a hand.
There are many ways to go about getting your book into print. There are websites, seminars, books, and everything else telling you how to do it. Unfortunately, these means are not designed to benefit you, but to sell you on an idea, much like all the notorious ‘Get Rich’ schemes that have been floating around for years. Have you, personally, ever known anyone to get rich by calling a 1-800 number? Didn’t think so. Me neither.
I will tell you how I got published.
I wrote a novel, A Ghost Story. I edited it. I polished it. I shined it until I could see my reflection in it. And then I self-published it. Booklocker was the self-publisher I chose and I believe they made all the difference in the world. I knew next to nothing about book design, distribution, or format. But they did. And they helpeda lot.
They printed my book.
But I had to make it sell.
I created a website, http://www.keithlatch.com, began a newsletter, and solicited subscribers by offering small prizes (usually the book itself) on message boards, and sent the book out to reviewers. I placed the book in local bookstores and I placed print and web advertisements.
Finally, after more than six months, my work paid off. I received some shining reviews and the book moved and interest rose. Not best-seller movement but movement just the same.
When I finished my next book, I submitted queries to agents and publishers, and highlighted the promotional work and the reviews I’d obtained from The Ghost Story. The asked for sample chapters of the new book. I sent them. They asked for the complete manuscript. I sent that as well.
Now I have traditional publishing contracts for two books to be released within the next year, and by a very good, professional small press publisher. In addition, I have two more novels under consideration, serious consideration I might add, by different publishers. None of this would have been possible if not for two simple things.
I wrote a novel.
I believed in it enough to self-publish it with a remarkable company like Booklocker.com.
I am not yet a full-time writer and perhaps I will never be. But, I am a published writer. Would I have made it without publishing with Booklocker? Without the courage and belief in myself to say: Yes, this book is good, this is as good as anything else out there, maybe even better?
I’m just glad I don’t have to find out.
Keith Latch read his first novel, The Voice of the Night by Dean Koontz, at age twelve. Awestruck by the written word, he’s been writing ever since.
Called ‘an author who is sure to have a grand future,’ by Horrorworld, Keith is a proud husband and father who presently lives in his hometown of Corinth, Mississippi. His upcoming novels include Cemetery Things (supernatural suspense) coming March 2008 and No Small Thing (inspirational romance) available in August 2008.
Visit the author’s website at http://www.keithlatch.com or join his electronic newsletter for news, updates, and commentary on the author’s upcoming projects, future publishing announcements, and his opinions on books, music, movies, and gaming.