Wednesday, September 5, 2018

IWSG: September

September already and it still feels like summer out with heat index in the 100's. Whew! But it is the first Wednesday and time for IWSG, that magnificent group started by Alex J. Cavanaugh and growing every day. Please visit other participants in this monthly blog hop where we share failures, successes, advice, and ask for help. You can find it all at IWSG and the list of members is here.

Optional question this month:
What publishing path did you take, and why?

I sought the traditional path to being published. The first few years, I submitted manuscripts to agents, editors, and entered a few contests. I used to keep those rejections, but it became a fire hazard. The entire time, I continued to work on my next book and attend conferences and join writing groups to improve my craft. There was so much I didn't know at the start. I eventually found a small press that I am still with, New Concepts Publishing, who publishes my romance novels. But along the way, I've had three different small presses go out of business while I was under contract with them. One of them gave no regard to their authors and RWA went to court for us and got our rights back where they were tied up in a bankruptcy case. Not pretty. I had another mid-sized publisher who decided they were going to change direction and they dropped over half their authors. I had three fantasy novels under contract with them at the time.

I'm still working on a fantasy novel that I intend to pitch to the big traditional houses and an agent or twelve, but it's a long way from ready. The path to publication is sometimes frustrating and is seldom a reaping of huge financial benefits. But as long as I enjoy writing, I'm going to keep at it. My most recent novel, The Alien and the Teacher, is the first in a new series of space opera romance. Getting this cool cover helps me to forget the frustrations. It is only available from my publisher at this time.

Anne R. Allen had this interesting post related to today's question. 9 Pieces of Bad Advice for New Writers

Some trivia from The Old Farmer's Almanac because I like Factiods.

At least 182 moons, including those around dwarf planets, are known to exist in our solar system.

A group of flies is called a business.

I have a less kind name for a group of flies. Living in the country with horses and goats living nearby, flies bring a little too much business to my house.

Back full time watching the granddaughter now that school has started. I'd need twenty pages to tell you how fun and amazing she is. Never thought I'd be one of those grandparents, but here I am.

Has your path to publishing been a smooth sail? Ever get some really bad writing advice? Flies getting in your business in your neck of the woods?




54 comments:

  1. It was good to read of your experiences in writing and publishing. Mine was pretty plain sailing.....didn't enjoy the editing I must admit.

    Yvonne.

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    1. I used to hate editing, Yvonne, but now I like it.

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  2. It's sad you had so many publishers go under but it happens. Just keep fighting.

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    1. It happens a lot. One of them really shocked me.

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  3. Hi,
    I've seen that article by Annie R Allen posted in another writing group I belong to. Thanks for sharing your writing journey to publication. It has helped me to read your thoughts because I am hopefully getting ready to receive a publisher. I also liked your humour. I had to delete my rejection list also. It was bogging and slowing up my computer.
    Have a great month and wishing you all the best.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G @ EverythingMustChange

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    1. Isn't it terrible that the rejection lists can get long enough to bog down the computer?

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  4. Happy IWSG Day!

    Sorry you had such a tough time going through small presses. Still, glad it hasn't detered you.

    Best of luck with your current release and future submissions.

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    1. Thank you, Toi. Was excited to see you featured in the recent IWSG newsletter

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  5. Congratulations on the new book!
    Despite all the challenges, you don't give up, and I really admire that.

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    1. Thanks, Alex. Not sure where the stubbornness of not quitting phases into the definition of stupidity. LOL

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  6. Yay on the new book and the granddaughter time! :)
    I'm still making that decision - we'll see!

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  7. Fantastic cover! Congrats! I've had a few not-so-great experiences with publishers. I'm much happier on the indie path. For some reason, I find that name for a group of flies hilarious!

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    1. I know you have. A few of my friends were with that one publisher you were with. It really makes it hard to trust another small press.

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  8. Hi Susan - lots going on and you've experienced some 'bad' times - not comforting ... but we become more aware of what can go wrong and being in this group must help.

    Love the flies - and yes farming life and flies is a bit much - let alone all the fruit flies now. So pleased your grand-daughter gives you so much happiness - enjoy. Take care and good luck - cheers Hilary

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    1. Thanks, Hilary. All the rain has made our bug situation terrible this season.

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  9. You're writing for the best possible reason--you enjoy it! May that continue to motivate you and see you through to publication of that fantasy.

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    1. Some days the enjoyment is the only reason I keep going.

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    2. Absolutely. I'm plugging away at something new and when it gives me pleasure, I almost jump up and down in my desk chair! Here's to us finishing those stories.

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  10. Interesting. I didn't know that about a group of flies. I have a far less kind name for that, too. :)

    Love the new cover—best of luck with all your projects!

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    1. Thanks, MJ. This blog stays close to PG so no sharing your name for flies.

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  11. Just had to look up what a group of flies is called: swarm, cloud, business. Who knew. I love flies the best when they are stuck to a stick strip. My gr-daughter has a "fly rifle". You aim, pull the trigger, and a burst of salt nails them.

    The cover is great!

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    1. Oh, now I want a salt rifle. Bet it works on mosquitoes too.

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  12. Ew, flies. They always manage to find their way in the house. Then they buzz around your head while you're trying to work.

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    1. Or worse, buzz your head when you're trying to sleep.

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  13. Flies are entertainment for my cat, so at least they are helping her exercise. She's very good at catching them.

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    1. My cat used to be good at it too. I miss my little gray fly hunter.

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  14. I have heard horror stories about small presses, not least on this very blog, but there are also very positive experiences. It's clearly important to do research, speak to other authors. You've had a lot of ups and downs but as long as you still enjoy your work and readers value it, you're on a winner.

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    1. So true. Knowing other authors with a press helps. At least some of them try to do the right thing with their authors when they close.

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  15. I used to keep my paper rejections, too. I actually just shredded them and threw them in the recycling bin early this year. That felt good!

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    1. Good for you, Chrys. I should have had a ritual bonfire but the fire company would have probably turned up because of the huge blaze.

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  16. Stinks that so many went out of business. Do it because you enjoy it is the way, otherwise, pffft is what we say. Hope you keep having fun with the grand kiddo.

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    1. I do enjoy it. I wish I could be as prolific as you.

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  17. So true about the road to publication being frustrating and the financial reward not great. Even my contract writing job doesn't pay good. But we write for the love it.

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    1. I only know a few writers who don't have to work at other jobs. It's not a get rich career for most of us.

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  18. Glad to hear the joy of writing is still there. That's all that matters, no matter which path we choose. Good luck with your submissions and your novel!

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    1. Thanks, Amy. At least there are more paths to pick from now.

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  19. My novel submissions have only collected rejections from agents, but I've enjoyed direct publishing with anthologies and e-magazines for my short stories. I can't say I've had either good or bad experiences with publishing - oh well, a couple anthologies that said I would receive profits from sales never paid. But all my story rights were returned a year after publication; that was in the contract. Rights are likely different for short stories and anthologies than for novels.

    I'm learning from reading other writer's experiences.

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    1. I'm still learning every day from things other writers share. I wish I had some short story ideas. Anthologies are a great way to get your name out there.

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  20. We get the tiny flies/gnats, they are almost worse than the big flies.

    Writers write because they have to, i have been told, and i’m glad you’ve got a publisher. Hope this one continues to work out for you.

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    1. We get the gnats along with the big flies. And then there are the horse flies which are monstrous and draw blood when they bite. Sigh...

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  21. Used to think you just wrote a book and got it published. I have learned better since knowing so many authors these days. Not a path I wish to follow. Good luck with your latest venture Susan

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  22. Flies everywhere! I've had ups and downs with publishing. I chose self publishing, and I've learned a LOT along the way. It certainly hasn't been a smooth sail. I've had a small press go out of business due to the company not reporting correct royalties. Gotta do your research! Some people are just out to rip you off.
    Good luck to you!

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  23. Was almost in your neck of the woods over the weekend, in the DC area for a family wedding. About "died" with the heat and humidity :) (give me dry heat anytime). Brag away about your granddaughter :) They are so precious, aren't they?

    betty

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  24. Woot on the new book.

    The tidbit on the flies make me smile. I now have a comic in my head of a loner fly looking at the others saying "that's not my business".

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  25. Hi, Susan,

    Well, you certainly had a LONG journey. At least you learned tons! How exciting to create a new series. ALL THE BEST.

    Enjoyed your factoids... lol

    My journey? Well, lots of rejections just like you. Still stumbling along, but who know what life will bring next. Working on an exciting MEMOIR which I hope will get me where I want to go.

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  26. I start babysitting my grandchildren tomorrow, which I love with all my heart. But, there goes most of my free time when I'd be writing. And, I wouldn't change a thing. In fact, I have 2 new grand babies, and plan on adding to my sitting responsibilities! Good Luck!!!

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  27. That's what worries me most about small presses--their tendency to fold at any moment. If it wasn't for that little problem, I'd give them more consideration.

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  28. You paid your dues as a writer I'd say. That's quite a story. I don't know that I've gotten much bad writing advice, but I have gotten a lot of good advice that I didn't heed.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

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  29. Lovely cover! I like that we have options for our work, so if something doesn't work out one way, we can find somewhere else to publish our work.

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  30. Congrats on the new book. Hate to hear you had such a struggle. Enjoyed reading. Happy Belated IWSG Day.

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  31. Nice cover! I'm still pursuing the traditional path although I did publish my first book with a small publisher.

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