Friday, 2 October 2009

Finding a publisher

I promised to write about how I found a publisher. I’m afraid my account won’t be of practical help to aspiring authors as, due to my ignorance, I made just about every mistake possible in my attempt to find a publisher.

The reason I think my story is worth telling lies in its outcome. I found a publisher, and reinvented my life in my middle age (if I live a long life). And if I can succeed, why shouldn’t you?

For reasons I may retell in another post, I wrote a story. It was a little jumbled (more so than I realised – I hadn’t researched my market properly – mistake number one of many). Nevertheless, I thought my story was rather good so, without any expectations, I looked in the Writers and Artists Year Book, found three publishers who specialise in crime fiction, and sent off my manuscript.

I’m quite an impatient person. If I hadn’t received a positive response from any of them, I don’t know whether I would have sent the MS off to any more publishers or given up on the idea. I’d only sent it off on a whim.

Two weeks later I had a phone call from the wonderful woman who is now my publisher and, to cut this rambling tale short (!) three months later I signed a contract for three books in a series of crime thrillers.

It’s a long process, producing a book, and there were times when I thought it would never be published. But the process rolled on as planned – and now I’m an author.

I wrote somewhere that I fell into being an author as clueless as Alice when she fell down the rabbit hole . . .

18 comments:

Barbara Martin said...

I'd say you had divine intervention, Leigh. Most published authors go through 50 or more rejections before finding their spot with a publisher.

iriz said...

it's true, patience is a virtue but of course one must have a gift like you do. it's meant to be, it's meant for you. :)

Debs said...

You were obviously meant to get there, and I'm glad you did, it was a good book.

Leigh Russell said...

Not sure about divine intervention, Barbara. That's possibly a bit grand! But I was certainly lucky.

Leigh Russell said...

Yes, Iriz, I think if something is right, doors open. I've been in plenty of situations where the door has remained firmly shut.

Leigh Russell said...

Debs, thank you very much for your continued support. If you'd like to give Cut Short as Christmas presents, I'll be happy to send you personalised scanned signatures!

Petty Witter said...

I would think this would be of extreme practical help to any budding authors out there, we so often learn such a lot from, not only, our own mistakes but also from the mistakes of others and as you say, despite it all, you did get there - it must be a dream come true indeed.

Leigh Russell said...

It's brilliant, Petty Witter. I've met so many really friendly people - for example on my blog. All great fun! I just wish more people would buy Cut Short... (You don't want any signed copies to give as Christmas presents, do you?!)

Paul D. Brazill said...

Good on yer Leigh. I look forward to reading Cut Short.

Leigh Russell said...

Hi Paul and thank you. Please keep in touch - and let me know what you think of Cut Short.

Jan said...

Good post, nice blog! I shall be back!

Leigh Russell said...

Thanks, Jan. Look forward to hearing from you again.

Pat said...

I love that you leap-frogged over the agents straight to the publishers

Leigh Russell said...

Maybe not a good idea, Petty Witter, as I might have had a better deal if an agent had dealt with publishers but, hey, my book's published! Now I just have to hope it continues to sell.

Star said...

Thank you Leigh. That sounds so simple. I think my problem is that my story doesn't really fit into a particular genre. Now I am wondering if I should make it fit or keep it in its original form?
I am reading "The Memory Keeper's Daughter" at the moment and I have found many errors in the plot. I'm surprised that they got past the publisher's eye. I am yet to read 'Cut Short' but I will because it appeals to me very much. I think the title is excellent and perfectly describes what I expect to find within the cover.
Blessings, Star

Leigh Russell said...

Thanks, Star. I look forward to hearing what you think of Cut Short when you read it.

writtenwyrdd said...

You basically won the writer's lottery...after you wrote a pretty decent book! Yet for everyone who writes a saleable, good book, there are many good books that languish unpublished.

Leigh Russell said...

Hi writtenwyrd - you're absolutely right. That's why the best advice I can give to aspiring authors is to be lucky.
I work incredibly hard at my writing - or so it seems, as I don't have much time for it, and have to write early in the morning before work, through my lunch hour, and late into the night. But so much of what happens in life is beyond our control. You can't find a publisher through hard work. Without some luck, it doesn't happen. You only make your luck to some extent.