1. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    from blank page to book shelf

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by erebh, Jan 20, 2013.

    What is the hardest part of seeing your work in a book store for a first time writer?

    Quite naively I was under the misguided illusion that a publisher would take my coffee stained manuscript and say "Wow - this is fantastic! A few mistakes here and there but don't worry - our team will fix that for you. You just sit back and count your money while we do the rest - we're gonna make you a star!"

    Obviously I am exagerating but you get my drift. From what I have read here it seems my manuscript has to be ready for print so I am asking for your opinions on the mechanics of getting your book published. Is writing the book in the first place the easy part?

    Looking forward to your replies and no need to call me a naive idiot - I know that!
     
  2. evelon
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    evelon Active Member

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    Being naive doesn't mean you're an idiot. But you do need to read and listen to the stories of those who have travelled the writers' road. It's not easy, but if you want to do it you can. Whether you are a 'hobby' writer or a serious author, it doesn't come easy.

     
  3. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    thanks for the reply Evelon. Good to see I'm not the only one that had that illusion. I mentioned writing the book being the easy part because so many people here have a manuscript complete and agonised more over the cover letter to possible agents. Others found excitement motivation enough to steam ahead to chapter 5 and then hit a wall they barely stumbled over. Others have struggled with time frames and pre-editing ane re-editing, someone else even found it hard illustrating his book! These insights were gathered from many posts on many subjects - I am trying to get an idea from a range of writers on one thread.

    I know being naive doesn't mean I'm an idiot, I was just saving some of the harsher members of this site the bother of calling me such :)

    So what did you find was the hardest part of "getting" your book in a bookstore?
     
  4. evelon
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    evelon Active Member

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    Completing your book to an acceptable standard is the hardest. Getting accepted by a publisher is next. Also, no matter what anyone says about self publishing and its worth, it's not an easy option. Do-able, but not easy. Unless your ms is worthy, neither method of publication will be successful. Completing the book is the thing to concentrate on and then consider your publication options.
     
  5. cicerotamar
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    cicerotamar Member

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    I agree with Evelon. It's a hard reality to learn that people who write manuscripts are a dime a dozen. It's hard to realize that the months you spent writing that first book, might have been a learning experience. The next book, and the one after that, those might be learning experiences too. It’s hard to accept that something you feel so proud of, isn’t good enough for the market. When you finally have something you 100% believe is ready, it’s hard to accept all the rejections from agents. When you get an agent, it’s hard to accept that rejections will still come. Because as impressive as it is to get a respected agent, agented authors are also very common.

    So seeing your book in a store isn’t hard. It’s brilliant. It’s a realization of a dream. The hardest part is having the drive, determination, and self-belief to keep going despite rejection.
     
  6. Kat Hawthorne
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    Kat Hawthorne Member

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    The hardest part is realizing that you may not be good enough. Seriously, it sounds negative and pessimistic, but I think once you accept the fact that your work may never see a printing press, you will free yourself to actually write. A book penned by a nervous author who is writing to impress someone else has a vibe that is just not ... personal. Do it for yourself first of all with no expectations. Realize that it may never be good enough, and be okay with that. Be realistic in your goals. If you complete your manuscript and you honestly believe it is your absolute best, THEN make the decision to pursue it further if you choose to. But starting out with enormous expectations will not help you.

    Then the next most difficult part will be writing a really, ridiculously kickass query letter.
     
  7. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    The most difficult part of getting a book onto the bookstore shelf is to find a publisher with the distribution/sales team to do it--and your work is found to be something they're willing to pay for/invest in. The competition for those contracts/publishing slots is very intense. A writer is competing against best-selling authors, midlist authors, and aspiring authors--and there are many of these.

    In general, it requires a sizeable offset print run and a publisher that has deep enough pockets to do that and to accept the returns (loss) on those novels sent out to bookstores but returned unsold (or the covers torn off returned, or similar).

    Most POD publishers (print on demand) won't/can't do that. The return cost through Lightning Source, for example, is cost prohibitive. Up to five or six novels would have to be sold for each one returned in just to break even.

    The thing to do is to write the best novel you can--edit, revise, polish, etc.

    Do your research and find the best agent to represent your novel that you can (which may not be a successful venture--and having a bad agent is far worse than having no agent at all). If you can and desire to submit directly to publishers, do that (although many do not take unsolicited submissions). Start with the biggest houses that publish what you write and work your way down to the smaller houses. It can take a bit of time (understatement), so while you're doing that, be writing your next novel.
     
  8. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    No, the writing of the book is the hardest part, and if you do that really well, then the rest will follow. Put all of your efforts into the book itself, if you are fairly new to writing, prepare yourself for it to take about 4 years between now and the time you see your book on he shelves of a store, and that's if you are really talented and really hardworking.
    Good luck! :)
     

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