Five Things to Remember about Publishing Your Fiction
1. It’s an incredibly subjective industry…
Even number one New York Bestsellers have folks that have read their books and do not like their stories. The key, obviously, is to have more people wanting to read your stories than not. I once read that if you anonymously submitted a John Grisham manuscript to fifty publishing houses, some would love it, some would have a lukewarm reaction and the others would hate it.
Our industry is also incredibly fickle. Traditional publishers have mood swings and tend to be fair weather friends. They look for the genres that are hot and will make them money.
Stay true to yourself. Define your audience and write to them. You must be the most relentless champion for your writing.
2. It’s all about the plot….
Whatever type of fiction you write, make sure your plot is rock solid. Build in lots of tension (or conflict). Put your protagonist in the most difficult situations you can imagine and make it seem to the reader as if there is no way out. Pile it on.
Each item in your plot should spur your hero or heroine to chase down something new. New information should be revealed in each scene, something that the reader and/or your hero did not know before.
When your hero achieves a minor success in your plot, have it lead to a reversal in which they find themselves in a worse place than before the apparent success. Two steps forward, one step back, so to speak.
Seek input about your plot from trusted colleagues or friends. Ask them “What would you do in this situation? Is this realistic?
3. Then it’s all about how you tell the story….
Once you have nailed down your plot, learn effective techniques in story-telling. Effective scene and chapter beginnings and endings go a long way towards making your story a page turner. Begin in media res. Translated that means “in the middle of things”. Leave your chapters and scene with questions hanging. Your reader will have no choice but to keep turning to have those questions answered.
4. You are the only one who can tell your story…
You have a unique ability to write your story. Your perspective and experiences bring a certain viewpoint to the plot. You and I could tackle the same topic or idea and come end up with two completely different stories.
Don’t short change yourself. Your ability to tell a story is unique to you. In years past, writers would submit manuscripts to unseen, unknown editors, sitting behind a desk, or to some intern to whom the process was delegated, in the hopes that their manuscript would be lucky enough to be selected for further evaluation.
That process left many manuscripts un-published. Now with the ever-expanding possibilities available to writers to publish their work, the days of editors self-selecting what’s good and what’s not are gone.
All Hail! The Wicked Witch is dead!
5. Believe in yourself….
No one will be a better advocate for your work than you. Remember some readers will just not prefer your work. That’s okay. Not everyone likes broccoli.
When I sat down to write my first book, The Cyclops Conspiracy, I kept it secret. I did not tell everyone. I only told two close friends and swore them to secrecy. Even my son was left out in the cold. There were many reasons for this approach, the main being that I did not want everyone asking me, “When is your book going to be done?” or “What’s taking so long?”
No matter how well-intentioned, sometimes those closest to us can kill our dreams without meaning to.
Now that I’ve written two books that have sold quite well and I’ve made a bestseller list, I get the statement “I loved your book and can’t wait for your next one!”
There is no greater feeling or motivation for a writer.
Remember if you don’t believe in your writing, no one else will!
If you need help, I work with authors to help them bring their work to the masses, e-mail me through this website.
©copyright David Perry 2015