A Necessary Skill to Learn on the Way to a Publishing Contract

I do not have an insider’s view of the publishing industry — I am still unpublished — but I have read enough to know that the days of sitting back and waiting for the royalty checks to come flooding in once we have been published are long gone. Whether we publish the book ourselves or are lucky enough to get a publishing contract, the name of the game is marketing. The irony is that many of us writers are retiring types; if we knew how to sell ourselves, we would probably have reached literary fame a long time ago.

I have entered a writing contest. (No, I am not going to solicit your vote, but if you are interested, the link to my entry is in my previous two blog posts.) I am currently in the lead, but there are a few contestants who are rapidly gaining on me. For me, though, winning is not the name of this game. Learning how to market myself is. Even more than my rank, what pleases me is the number of comments I have been able to garner. Some, I admit, are from friends and relatives, but most are from other members of the site. Members I specifically asked to vote for me, I might add.

The way I figure it, win or lose, I have won. I can take this newfound skill of self-promotion and offer it to potential publishers. It should make them more interested in me as a potential asset since I will be coming to them with more than simply a novel.

That this is the most fun I have had since starting this blog (which was a thrill in itself) is a bonus I hadn’t counted on.

4 Responses to “A Necessary Skill to Learn on the Way to a Publishing Contract”

  1. Suzanne Francis Says:

    Left you a rating (and a comment) on Gather. How’s the story going? Are you still #1? It’s all very well done, so I hope so.

  2. Bertram Says:

    Suzanne, thank you very much for the rating and comment. I’m sinking in the ratings, but am still a contender. Which is good. I just received an email from the agent who was considering “Light Bringer,” and she decided to pass. Two rejections in one day would have been a bit much. Interesting development: I found out that the winners of the last two contests were not in the top 10% of the popular vote, but were judges’ picks all the way. So, we’ll see. I’ll keep you posted.

  3. Suzanne Francis Says:

    Have you thought of submitting “Light Bringer” to one of the smaller presses? I have a list I can give you by e mail if you are interested. My experience with my publisher (Mushroom) has all been good so far.

  4. Bertram Says:

    Sounds great! You sure you wouldn’t mind sharing your list? I think small presses are good for a first timer in that they would be more willing to keep the book active longer than a major publisher would be. I have heard that if you haven’t made a hit of your book in six weeks some of the majors cut their losses. Do you have my email address?

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