About 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.