So many authors don’t get their first manuscripts published. This time last year I had a dream and a finished-but-unpolished book that I called THREE WISHES. No knowledge of the publishing world–but no expectations, either.
I buckled down and got most of the heavy editing done on my first manuscript before starting my second (last November’s NaNoWriMo, still in rough format, BTW). I got some more beta-reader feedback on THREE WISHES and did some more polishing. Then, in early January, I called it DONE.*
I was ready to start to query agents. I had done Research.** Miraculously, the very first agent I queried requested a full manuscript. (That doesn’t usually happen.)
I queried more. I got rejected a lot. I got some requests for a partial or a full manuscript, won a few contests, felt pretty good about it all. I acquired two amazing critique partners along the way who encouraged me and told me how much they loved what I had written.
But I didn’t have any agents saying the same!
Now, I’m a practical person. I don’t enjoy rejection, but I roll with it pretty well. And when the agent route didn’t seem to be working out, I started looking at alternatives.
And I was delighted to learn all about the world of small presses.
The negative is that there are a lot of less-than-good (I won’t say bad) small presses out there. Some have a reputation for not paying their authors, or putting out lousy books, etc. etc.
And, um, a lot of the “good” ones publish erotica. Now, I’m no prude, and I think erotica has its place (far away from my home), but I wanted to be able to have my mother-in-law look for my book online and not have to worry about her stumbling upon something shocking.
When I discovered Astraea Press, and, better yet, saw that they were taking pitches as part of the Savvy Authors Summer Symposium, I jumped right in. Astraea is all about publishing “clean” fiction that is appropriate for your Grandma Betty. Their covers are beautiful, their books are interesting, and they have a great reputation all over the internet.
When Stephanie Taylor, Astraea’s owner, requested my full manuscript, I was thrilled.
When she emailed shortly afterward to say that she LOVED (yes! in caps!) my book and wanted to publish it, I jumped around the room like a kangaroo on caffeine.
Now it’s official. The contract’s signed and I’m on board to be published by Astraea Press! Stay tuned to learn my publishing date. I’m so proud to be a part of such an amazing group, and I’m so thankful to Stephanie and to Savvy Authors, as well as my wonderfully patient and supportive beta readers and critique partners.
*I don’t mean I changed the name of the book. C’mon.
**Looking back now, there’s no such thing as too much research.