If you have seen the movie, Last Holiday, with Queen Latifah, then you know how the main character, Georgia Byrd, makes a book of where she wants to be someday in her life. In her scrapbook titled Possibilities, Georgia includes pictures of a future cooking career and of a future husband. She likes a fellow store worker, so his picture goes into the cutout of a groom on the wedding page with her as the bride. She does several things in order for her dreams to come true. Trying to crack the current fiction market is a realistic dream for many of us and can be accomplished if we make our own book of possibilities.
One thing to remember is not to despair when you receive rejection letters from editors of traditional publishing houses or even from agents. Several months ago, I received a positive rejection letter from an agent after she read the first chapter of my chick-lit mystery. She told me that I had a direct writing style, and she thought a good spot for my book was an ebook publisher like Ellora’s Cave. She surprised me because Ellora’s Cave publishes only erotica romance, and I don’t write erotica. But I did see where their sister company, Cerridwen Press, publishes all types of fiction.
Since my dream was to get a contract from a traditional publisher, I was initially disappointed but then I thought how Ellora’s Cave is the only e-publisher approved by the Romance Writers of America. I submitted partials of two novels to Cerridwen.
Then my friend, Dianne Castell, a published romance writer with Harlequin and Kensington, told me about a fantastic new ebook company, Samhain Publishing, and how I should submit to them. I did and was pleased with what happened next. I always love reading about the reactions from first time authors when they get “the call” from an agent or editor with the fantastic offer of a contract. Here’s my story:
I almost deleted “my call” before realizing what it was. Actually I didn’t get a phone call but an email from an editor at Samhain Publishing. It was unbelievable because I didn’t see the email the day it arrived in my inbox. I don’t know how I missed it. It came on March 2nd and a couple of days later, I was busy deleting emails and almost hit the delete button when I glanced at it. Total shock hit me when I read, “I am pleased to offer you a contract for No Greater Loss. Attached is the contract.”
You can just imagine how I felt – sheer joy and excitement surged through my middle-aged body. I moved quickly through the quiet house wanting to grab someone and shout the good news. But no one was home. Everyone in my family was at work or school, so I emailed Dianne. She wrote back, “Crissy is building her publishing house and you’re there at a really good time. This gal is the Donald Trump of the publishing industry. You will not be sorry.” This was good to hear about Samhain because before I had a chance to withdraw my proposals to Cerridwen, an editor contacted me to put both in their queue for further consideration.
I now have contracts for three novels from Samhain. It is so great not rushing to the post office to mail my manuscripts in priority envelopes to publishers. I love emailing manuscripts to my editor and saving time and postage. The support is great among the Samhain authors, publisher, and editors with sharing pertinent information about book promotion to help us in becoming successful authors. Actually some of the Samhain authors also have books with traditional publishers. My books will also be in print three months following the ebook release dates and will be in book stores, such as Borders and Waldenbooks, so I have the best of both types of publishing with having my books being easily downloaded from the internet and then, later, they can be bought as print books in a store.
If you haven’t considered ebook publishing for your fiction, you should check out the various ebook publishers. They are more open to different storylines and will take a chance on a new author. Look at their websites carefully. Check to see what other authors say about their reputation. Look at their book covers to see if they are eye catching. Read their book excerpts. Samhain makes sure the books they publish are error free and both the author and editor work together until they are satisfied with the final draft. Another thing is the contract. Make sure it is author friendly. If you eventually want your book in print, check to see what their print guidelines are and where they will be distributed. Do they publish mainly one type of book or several genres? Samhain accepts submissions of all genres of fiction and nonfiction. Since I write inspirational mainstream, contemporary romance, and chick-lit mystery, I wanted to be able to submit everything I write to Samhain.
Your dream to become a published romance writer might take a different turn than you expected but developing a readership with a published ebook will be a plus for your career. Ebook publishing is thriving with the authors making money. What are you waiting for? Polish your manuscript and submit. With my release date of August 15th for my first contemporary romance, I’m glad I took my friend’s advice.
Diane Craver resides in Ohio and enjoys her life with her husband and six children. No Greater Loss will be released August 15th, A Fiery Secret on November 14th, and Never The Same in February of 2007 at http://www.samhainpublishing.com. To learn more about Diane and her writing, visit her website at: http://www.dianecraver.com. Diane’s book, How To Run A Profitable Preschool Without The Hassle, is available as an ebook at: http://www.booklocker.com/books/1128.html. Other books (which are in print), The Christmas of 1957 and Celebrating And Caring For Your Baby With Special Needs.