Marji Laine

I Love a Good Mystery!


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Publishing from a Newbie’s Perspective: What’s Next?

Traditional publishing requires stops and starts, but waiting doesn't have to be involved.I have to tell you, I feel like I’ve learned a decade’s worth of information in the last year about publishing, social media, marketing, and all that goes with them. Enough to know that I have a LOT more to learn.

Trite – I know – but way too true for my comfort level. See, I grew up with the Saturday morning mantra that “Knowledge is Power.” (Anyone remember that intro to Schoolhouse Rock?) I figure if I can understand something or at least know about it, I can handle it/fix it.

But that isn’t reality for so many pieces of my life.

  • A dear new friend was shot on Saturday night. I don’t know what’s going to happen to her.
  • My son graduates from college next spring. He has no idea what he wants to do.
  • I have a book to sell, but I don’t know when or how that will all come about – though I believe it will.

And those are just the things I’ve thought about in the last 5 minutes! God never promised me that I would know or understand what I’m going through – in fact, just the opposite.

Who then can understand the thunder of his power? Job 26:14b

So here’s where I’m at on the path to traditional publishing. I have contracted with an amazing agent who I’m growing to adore! I’m meeting (through a Yahoo group) all of his clients, my new agency-mates, and learning so much from them as they interact with each other. I’m reading much in my genre and focusing on books that are similar to Cat’s Eyes (my Christian Romance-Suspense) for reference.

Traditional publishing has so much that goes into it, but that doesn't mean waiting around for published books to happen.But that’s not all. I’m nothing if not determined and waiting around for publishing just doesn’t fit into my worldview. So I’m working on business cards, one-sheets, and pitches for the conference that I’m attending next month. I know I’ll have at least one interview with an editor, possibly two. I want to put my best foot forward in every situation. That means I need to be practiced and researched about who’s who and what books they have published and how those stories compare to Cat’s Eyes. I’m also looking forward to meeting other publishing professionals, agents and established authors, so I want to educated myself about what they write or represent and what agency or publishing company they are with. I’m really exited about meeting other newbies like myself and a few authors whom I’ve enjoyed chatting with online.

Aside from my prep for the conference, I’m working on other projects. Though I hesitate to do novel work, so I won’t get confused when I have to talk about Cat’s Eyes, I’m writing many short stories and articles for a variety of submissions, to keep warmed-up and as extra financial opportunities.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m still totally giddy about having an agent! Squee! I’m just not willing to sit around watching the ink dry, thinking I’m done achieving my goals. Publishing my first book is my current goal and I’ve received a huge blessing – a giant step in the right direction, but I’m nowhere near the end of my path. Just keep stepping.

Your turn: What is your current goal? What steps are you taking to achieve it?