Thank you to Angela Correll, author of Guarded, for sponsoring this giveaway! Please use the form below to get entered to win a Plainview Farms gift basket, which will contain a goat milk luxury bar, goat milk cream, goat milk hand soap and a sugar scrub. Watch for my review of Guarded to run on Friday, December 4, and the winner will be announced in that post. Limited to US addresses.
Please enjoy this guest post from Angela!
The Wrong Question
With the release of my second novel, Guarded, I am back out on the book trail and enjoying the meeting, greeting, and signing of books at various events from coffee shop gatherings to bookstore Q&A’s, and even fairs and festivals. It’s fun to see old friends, meet new friends, and visit with readers.
The questions vary from, “How did you get your inspiration,” to, “Will there be another book in the series?” But there is one question I can count on getting at every event: “How can I get my book published?”
I understand the question well. It’s one I often asked myself while I was in the throes of writing my first book, Grounded. The publishing industry has changed dramatically in the last several years, so the answer today is certainly different than it was fifteen years ago, before I became a writer.
The answer is that it’s pretty easy to get your book published these days, especially if you have some money to make it happen. There are lots of options for writers who want to bypass the time and effort of going the more traditional routes.
Unfortunately, that leads to a crowded space with lots of books, but not necessarily good books. By that, I mean books that have been well written, nicely designed and heavily edited, all of which take time and perseverance.
In my opinion, the wrong question is being asked. The question should be: how do I make my book the best it can be?
That is where the hard work happens. This involves taking classes, joining writer’s groups, reading books and magazines on the craft, attending readings by other writers, and practicing the craft. Once you get a draft, you invite good readers to review your work and give you constructive criticism. You then take that criticism gratefully and you revise your manuscript.
It’s hard. It takes time, effort, and patience – qualities few want to practice these days. But the effort is worth it.
Once you have a book that is the best it can be, then you consider how to get it published. My first book took ten years; seven of those were learning and the last three were getting an agent and a publisher.
Not that I stopped learning. I’m still growing as a writer. I believe my second book is better than my first. And I pray the third book will be better than the first two. That’s my responsibility: to provide good content that gets better and better.
That is what I want to say to folks when they come through the line, eyes wide and hopeful. The truth is, most people don’t want to hear these words because it means more hard work.
When I do get those questions, I pull out a couple of sheets of paper with some recommendations on various publishing resources, including self and hybrid. I also give local aspiring writers the names of good editors I trust along with writing resources to help improve their craft.
Ultimately, it’s up to each person to decide how much work they want to do. In the end, creating a piece of art you can be proud to have your name on is well worth any effort it takes to make it the best it can be. Not perfect, but your best at this moment in time. That’s all any of us can do.
For readers who have invested hard-earned money in my books, I owe them good content in return and I am happy to do the hard work to make sure that content improves with each book.
Former New York City flight attendant Annie Taylor is adjusting to farm life when her grandmother threatens to tear down the old stone house, unable to finance a restoration after the summer fire.
Annie’s boyfriend Jake has severed his corporate life in Cincinnati and is jumping headlong into sustainable farming on the land next door. Their new relationship is wonderful–but can it last? As they take steps forward, a paralyzing fear of abandonment threatens to destroy her trust in Jake.
As Annie works to save the old stone house she finds letters written during World War II that reveal a family mystery and an Italian connection. Her grandmother is hesitant to uncover the secret, afraid of what it might mean to her family’s name if the truth is laid bare.
Comments from a nosy neighbor solidify Annie’s fears about herself and when Beulah agrees for Annie to travel to Italy to search out the family mystery, Annie is happy for the time away to sort out all her feelings. In the meantime, Beulah is left with an unexpected Italian-Catholic houseguest who wreaks havoc with Beulah’s Baptist ways and country routine.
As the family mystery in Italy unfolds, Annie is forced to face her own past. She is ultimately faced with a choice: will she let history sabotage the future?
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