Meghan’s Next Step

Meghans ChoiceAbout a week after learning I did not win a publishing prize at the third contest I’d entered last year, and getting my scores, I’m going to be self-editing Meghan one last time. Then, I’m sending her to a friend of mine, one of the Indie publishers I listed on Self-Publishing Tips, Part II. To see that post, click HERE.

I’ve been to conferences, groups, and I’ve run everything past my writing mentor. I told her in an email recently, (something to this effect) “We all know that a person can be a great writer, but that doesn’t mean they’ll get a publishing contract from a ‘traditional’ publisher.”

A traditional publisher is one who advances you money while you write/finish/edit/tweak the book, then after they publish it, you get a small percentage of royalties. The publishing house gets the lion’s share because they did all the design and grunt work with producing the book. They’re well-connected, and use those connections to publicize the book. Their main interest is in how many books are sold.

I recently heard figures that only about one to five-thousand books are sold through a traditional publishing contract. That “best seller” status is given to those who have 1,000 books sold. It used to be a lot more. Traditional publishers also require a lot more of help from authors to publicize their own books. Often, a new author stands virtually no chance of publication unless they have a “platform.”

I first heard that term in connection with the Miss America pageant. I’m not sure when, but somewhere in the last thirty or so years, this traditional end-of-summer beauty contest added a purpose to loveliness. Contestants had to champion a worthy cause as well as be beautiful.

Platform now means, for a wannabe author, a place of influence, the more the better. In other words, you may have a great book, write stunningly, but if you’re not well known, forget it. That’s why “Indie” publishers are entering the market. Because traditional publishing houses traditionally drop authors who don’t reach best seller status.

Last fall, I put together a plan. I attended a writer’s conference, got interviews with agents and editors, and got asked for more. I also entered three contests last year, two of them for publishing contracts. In December, I amended my plan to include the Indie publisher I’m submitting to in a week or so.

It’s not a ‘given’ that my Indie publisher will accept my manuscript, but I know this girl, and she knows me, so my chances are better. The weekend of the recent writer’s fiasco conference, she messaged me on Facebook.

I’m tweaking Meghan’s Choice once more, making her better than ever. Some might think (my mentor included) that I should put together another list, another plan. But I’ve had more rejection in the last year than in the last ten put together. And for a person with my healing issues… I am however, healing quicker than I used to. That’s God for ya.

I’ll let you know how it goes. Thanks again for reading.

What about you? What’s your plan for life? For work? For God? Leave a comment and let me know.

6 Comments on “Meghan’s Next Step”

  1. Terrific post on moving forward. My plan is to keep at it, a little bit every day, and when I think I’m done, to pray. After that, to remain flexible and adjust to wherever the answer leads. Just like you!


    • Thanks, Amy. It’s a long road, and one has to figure out what’s best. Our mutual mentor might think I’m giving up too quick, but I’ve been working on this novel for three years. I’m going through it one last time. We’ll see what happens. Thanks for your comment, Amy! 🙂


  2. Thank you for your candor and for sharing your writing for publication experiences here. It indeed is a long journey for those of us yet to be published with a first novel, and I pray that God will provide the wisdom to make the right decision


    • Each one of us has a different journey. If I felt I had another five to ten years to “give” to try to get published traditionally, I might do that. But I can’t justify that now. I know that some people are much older than me when they first get published traditionally. Their patience is better than mine. Thanks so much for reading and commenting Pat. Blessings.


  3. God Bless you Donna! Keep us posted on your progress. I’m learning too, it’s difficult waters in this publishing field.


    • Thanks Gail. I’ve been tweaking and tweaking the manuscript, using the judge’s notes as much as possible. I just sent it to the Indie publisher I talked about. If I wanted to take another few years continuing to submit to traditional publishers, I could. But at our age, it doesn’t make sense to me. Keep working on yours! I wanna read it! 🙂 Thanks again for your comment.


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