Thursday, June 28, 2012

A Happy Rejection...And A New Cover

Two years ago, I never thought I'd be happy getting a rejection. But, two years ago I wasn't self-published, and able to do all the things a publisher can do for me now.
I submitted a manuscript to Ellora's cave a couple of months ago because one of the editors had requested something. I was flattered and appreciated that she had approached me, so I polished something up and sent it in. As soon as I hit the send button, though, I regretted the move. I only have one self-pub out right now, The Awakening Society, but I know that publishing myself is going to be a very large part of my career. The manuscript I sent in was one I had worked on for a couple of years, though it had changed many, many times in that time. And though it had changed drastically from how it started, I still loved the characters and believe in the story. There were parts of the story that I thought may not suit the EC line, but I sent it in anyway, and waited.
I heard back a couple weeks later, and it was what I expected. The story was very well written, but because of some of the issues it dealt with, she didn't think it would suit their readers.
I know it sounds crazy, but I was happy when I read that email. While pubbing with EC would be a wonderful way to diversify my career, I wanted to be the one to put this story out. Honestly, I had already started shopping around for covers, had, in fact, already bought a cover, in the hopes I could release it myself. I'm glad I wasn't offered a contract, because I'm afraid I would have turned it down.
SO, I am going through and revamping the story again. I had tamed it down a bit to try to fit EC, which I knew was wrong when I did it, but I didn't listen to my little internal editor. I contacted the cover artist and gave her the go ahead, though there was a bit of a snafu with the title. I thought I knew what I wanted, but it didn't look right on the book. So, I took a while, and came up with a name that seemed right. A Needful Heart. Here's the cover and working blurb.

Matt Calvin has watched and wanted Gina Carruthers for four long years, and he decides it’s time to do something about this ridiculous fascination he has with her. He’s not relationship material, but he doesn’t expect it to even get that far. Hell, between the tattoos and his lovely disposition, a woman would be crazy to take a chance on him. He just wants to talk to the sexy nurse and put himself out of his misery once and for all. Things never go as planned, though, and when they collide in the hallway, Matt is unable to save her from being hurt. 
Gina doesn’t blame the big man for the accident. But she is appreciative when Matt steps into her crazy life to help her out, first with her broken wrist then when they damage her house. They just can’t seem to have a normal conversation. Proximity fires the attraction between them and Gina can’t believe she’s overlooked the sexy carpenter for this long. She feels guilty for misjudging him, and is stunned by how quickly he becomes a vital part of her life.
When a situation develops and they have to save a little boy from abuse, Matt loses control of his tightly held anger. In spite of how his heart aches, he has to walk away, both for Gina’s safety and to maintain his own sanity. It’s up to Gina to convince him love can heal any heartache. 

Viola Estrella designed my cover, and I'm so tickled with it. You can check out her website here. HIGHLY recommend her services.
If things go as planned, A Needful Heart will be out next week.  I'm also working on the second Awakening Society book, and it should be ready by the end of July. 
I thank you for stopping.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Indie Writer Professionalism....

I'm amazed all the time at how little some writers know about the writing business. It's one thing to miss out on a social networking site or something like that. But when people don't even know where they are distributing their books, or if they actually need an editor or not, those are significant issues that need addressed.
We live in the age of information. Literally, we have every answer we will ever need at our fingertips. There are pages and pages of instructional information on how to do everything, including write and publish books. There should be no excuse for a writer not to be completely informed of their BUSINESS.
And that's how you have to look at it. As a business.  If you are actively pursuing publication, actively submitting to publishing houses or individuals, actively promoting your own work, you are running a business. The idea of publishing your books is to reach customers and create revenue. Business.
If you scribble notes here and there, but have never actually completed anything, or submitted to any publishing houses, writing is probably a hobby for you. If you throw a few things together, it sounds good and you create your own cover- with no input from anybody- you are a hobbyist writer who shouldn't be putting their work out. I don't want to be harsh, but there are absolutely people who have put books out that shouldn't have.
If you submit and are accepted to a publishing house, you will be edited until you are sick of it, then you will be edited some more. You will have a professionally designed cover created specifically for your story. Your story will be formatted to correctly fit any e-reader device. It will be ready for the public to read.
Why would you not take the time to make your book look and BE as professional as possible? 
-Be your own critic, and be realistic. Not everything you create is wonderful and beautiful. Honestly, until it goes through several revisions, it's probably barely readable.
-Join some kind of critique or writing group, and use them. An honest opinion from a person that is not emotionally invested in you is precious. In other words, use somebody other than relatives and friends to criticize your work. Whether they realize it or not, they will never give you the truth because they want to spare your feelings.
-Take the steps necessary to represent yourself and your work to the best of your ability. Hire people to help you with things you are unfamiliar with. Do everything you can to DISPROVE the stigma that all indie writers carry. PROVE that you are a writer of worth, and have pride in your work. Enough pride that you have done everything you can to present a perfect product to the public.
I apologize if I sound a little preachy, but it's hard to overcome the stigma that all indie writers put out crap, especially when some of those same writers are perpetuating the stereotype.