ABOUT USAs a printed writer and creative writing teacher, I regularly get asked how writers can get printed. One of the most simple strategies to respond to that query is tell the tale of my publishing contracts with 2 different publishers. Like plenty of other writers, I've always needed to write a book and started scribbling stories as a kid. Also, I have always been a zealous reader. When I started my first book I didn't know what I was doing. It's a learning experience and I wasn't sure I could even write a whole book, but at last I had a finished manuscript.
I then started my search for a publisher. As I knew no other writers or writers I started with the sole place I knew.
I invented a catalogue of publishers and started sending out questions. I had some interest from some of the large homes but as time went on I picked up a pretty electrifying list of denials.
I worked my way through all of the major publishing homes and then began on the smaller homes. Now in retrospect I am not so sure I should have jumped at the offer. Little publishing homes can offer opportunities which the larger homes can't. They're regularly more happy to take a gamble on an unknown writer or a manuscript that doesn't fit cleanly into a gap.
But they're more risky ventures. Many tiny publishing homes don't have an extended life span. My first publisher did print my first book and contracted with me for my 2nd but went into bankruptcy before the second book even came out. Smaller publishers also have lower distribution. It was up to me to order distribution in my regional book stores as well as prepare my very own book signings and promotion. However the most important obstacle for me was the absence of editorial support and steering. Remember, this was my first book and I was not even working with a critique group.
While getting my first book released was a confidence booster and an education, it wasn't a monetary benefit. I received only 1 royalty check before the publisher went under. After that experience, I then became rather more determined to study publishing. I sought out writing groups, attended writers meetings, and joined a critique group.
One of my 1st place prizes included being read by a senior editor at Kensington. The editor liked my manuscript and offered me a two-book contract. This experience was seriously different from my first. However I also lost a great amount of control of my book.
Both covers are bodice rippers and the title of the first book was selected by the promoting office and I wasn't even given the inalienable right to approve it. As an orphaned writer my 2nd book received small support and I wasn't offered a new contract. I might be slack if I didn't mention agents in this article. Many yet to be published writers ask if agents are crucial. Clearly as my story points out it is possible to get printed without an agent. In reality I may have gotten printed earlier the second time around if I was not working with an agent who didn't milk some of my prior contest wins. The difficulty is that the sort of agent who is happy to take on an unproven writer is unlikely to do you much good. If you can make a contact with an agent through a meeting or contest or the like then definitely do so but I wouldn't endorse spending a considerable time attempting to get an agent before you are printed.
After I had my contract with Kensington I did work with a superior quality agent for a period but nothing came of that experience though the fault potentially lies with me as well as with the agent. I'm wishing you luck in your pursuit of book publishing and hope me story is educational and useful.