So, you’ve written a book, edited it, loved it and hated it (hopefully more love than hate…), and are ready to send it out to a publisher. Based on my own attempts, I’ve found that although it’s a good idea to submit to the big publishing companies “just in case,” it pays off to submit to many smaller companies as well. Because when it comes down to it, would you prefer your book published by a smaller company, or not at all? I think every author will take the first option, assuming they’re not someone as famous as J.K. Rowling or George R.R. Martin, say, who have no problems getting into the big companies.
When it comes to getting your book published, my advice is this: submit to all companies that are applicable to your kind of book, and don’t pay them a cent! You wrote a book, you worked hard to make it fit for publication, and so you should be the one getting the money. Even if, when you start, you make no or very little money on book sales, to get it out there is the first step in establishing yourself as an author, and even if you just have one or two readers, when your next book comes out, maybe you’ll have three or four, and then more the next time, and you’ll accumulate reviews for your previous and current book. But when you start out, I’d suggest taking what you can get: it’s hard for readers to find your book in the swamp of thousands of books published every day, but little by little, with your name out there on your novels and short stories, readers will find you. It’s a game, really, but a game with cryptic rules that no one follows and new ones that are created every day.
I was lucky to find a home for my novella Perilous with Kellan Publishing, which was published recently. For those who are interested in historical fantasy, here is an excerpt from the start of the book:
Michael brought the blade closer, and my master trembled beneath its flames. Then, to my amazement, Michael glanced up at me, the spirit within the greatest jewel of my master’s coronet. His profound eyes still upon me, he told my master, “You have adorned yourself with a true and beautiful spirit. It is all that remains of the goodness which you once possessed.”
“It is nothing but a jewel.”
Of course, that wasn’t true. My master had sequestered me, the greatest source of his power, within this glistening emerald. The jewel amplified my powers as I cascaded back and forth about the jeweled faces.
Michael was not deceived. “No, Lucifer. When you fashioned this jewel, all that was akin to Heaven within you entered into it. I can see that pure spirit still. Yet you have retained no such purity. What remains within you, then, worthy of Heaven?”
Before my master could respond—though how one could respond to such an accusation was beyond me—Michael flicked the sword up from my master’s neck and cut me out of his coronet. The heat from the blade consumed me, a torrent of fire and pain that cut through to my essence. I tried to escape the jewel, but it was too late. I was already falling, and alongside me, my master roared in agony. I knew that Michael was right to defeat him, yet why was I too falling? I could hardly see what was happening around me, for the once sharply-chiselled surfaces of the jewel melted, warping so that the world about me bulged and contracted in nonsensical images. The last thing I saw of Heaven was Michael’s face, poignant and beautiful, gazing down upon me as if to say, I am sorry.
~Excerpt from Chapter 1
Thanks for reading, and I wish every author luck in finding a home for their book and reaching readers who will enjoy it!
Get your copy of Perilous
Other books by Mary-Jean: Aizai the Forgotten