Getting Published should not hurt, but if you are not careful you can get hurt big time. In posts and past blogs, I have shared much of my story. When I wrote my first book, I needed an author. So, I set out to find what I needed.
I didn’t have any idea of what publishing and marketing would entail. But I did understand that publishers, especially traditional publishers, were increasingly wanting authors to have a book agent. Someone who could represent the author and be a trustworthy connection for the publisher.
It was not always that way. There was a time when you wrote a manuscript, mailed it to a publisher, and, if approved, it was eventually published. Back then there were no agents. Just the publisher and the author.
Of course, it was also true back then that almost all of the marketing was done by the author, and they did this without benefit of the internet. From those days these publishing houses grew into the mighty Traditional Publishers of today.
Getting Published the Traditional Way
By the time I came into the picture there were two types of publishing houses, the Traditional and the Self-Publishing. At that time, I knew a little about the traditional, and very little about Self-Publishing.
I knew that there were some rather big publishing houses that handled virtually all the best well-known authors. I also knew they paid royalties, that authors often had long lines at book signings, and, apparently, made a lot of money.
Armed with this knowledge, I began looking for an agent. I knew it might take time, but I was also confident that I could find the right agent for my book. The book itself was called, Refuge: The Genesis Chronicles, which fit into historical fiction. In fact, it was in multiple genres such as historical, Biblical, and Adventure.
As I began searching for an agent I focused on historical fiction. This helped me narrow the number of agents that I would need to find and submit my book to for their inspection.
Time went by as I searched diligently. Then came the day when I struck gold. I found the right agent. I submitted my book and a few weeks later received a reply. Eagerly I opened the letter, and my spirit immediately sank. It was a rejection letter.
Because it was the wrong genre!
She didn’t really say that. In fact, she didn’t say much at all other than it didn’t fit at all! At first, I was stumped, then it came to me, my book was historical, but it was also based on the Bible.
Being turned down by an agent soured me on going with a traditional publisher. The more I investigated, the more I learned. For instance, I learned that they were increasingly wanting the author to have an agent. But it had taken me months to find one that turned me down. It was a major downer!
As I further studied the matter, I learned that not only does it takes months to get an agent, but it takes months for an agent to find the right publisher, as well. On top of that, the typical publisher might take another two years before they publish the book.
I didn’t want to wait THAT long!
What About Getting Published by Self-Publishing
What about getting published by self-publishing? The idea was prompted by information that introduced me to self-publishing. I don’t remember the details, but it was probably an ad. And it probably suggested that I would have greater control, be guaranteed to be published, and not have to wait a long time. All of this was exciting news.
That thought renewed my energy, and I turned my focus to self-publishing. It didn’t take long before I found a self-publisher that I could use. I paid the fee of about $400, (today it is more likely above $800) and was soon working on getting my book published.
I was on my way!
Getting Published was NOT So Easy
Although I had paid for the publication, it still had to go through their process. One particular annoying practice they had was the proof copy. Once I had finished the book and selected the cover, I was ready. So, I took the next step by requesting a proof copy.
They sent me the copy, but I only had 72 hours to examine it and note the errors to be fixed. That was bad, but I also found a number of errors on their part. One was a repetitious error throughout the book. It was daunting, but I worked hard and got most, not all, the errors identified and provided corrections.
That resulted in errors slipping through. It simply wasn’t enough time to find, and note the errors and the solutions. Once the book was published, I couldn’t update without it costing more money.
Getting Published a Different Way
I was disgusted and changed to another company, but it wasn’t much better. I learned a bitter truth. Self-Publishing sounds great, but the “self” part only means that you pay for it in advance, thus assuring yourself of getting published.
It was a hard lesson to learn, and then CreateSpace showed up representing an idea I never heard of before. Indie Publishing! It changed my life!
But that experience with self-publishing solidified in my mind that when I sat down to write my course on writing I determined that I would work with the student. No rushing them. The student and the manuscript are both important. So, whether the student chooses to be published by T&R Independent Books, or chooses another way, I will work with that student to get the manuscript ready for publication. That decision didn’t happen right away. It took time. And it took tragedy.
In February of 2023 my wife of 41 years unexpectedly passed away during the night. I had lost the love of my life. Thankfully, I was surrounded by my church family which showered their love and support upon me.
After the shock of her passing, I realized that I needed to get serious about the course I was writing to help others write. And I realized I was going to have to offer potential students not just value, but great value.
Looking at my life, and my skillset, I knew I could offer something unique. I could not only offer them a writing course, but I could publish and market their books! It was an idea that grabbed hold of me and wouldn’t let go. The more I prayed about it the more I knew it was what the Lord wanted me to do.
I now would be in the position to help potential writers avoid the school of hard knocks which I had attended, provide them a publishing opportunity that I had not enjoyed, and help them in marketing their books.
If the student completes the course, meets the Christian criteria (which they would have been meeting all along), and chooses to be published by T&R Independent Books, then I guarantee that the book will be published, and that I will coach them right through that process.
On the other hand, if the student finishes the course, meets the Christian criteria, and chooses not to be published by T&R Independent Books, then I guarantee that I will work with them to get their book ready to be published by themselves or others. If they wish to publish the book themselves using KDP, I will help them set up an account, and coach them on how to use KDP. Since I am unqualified with other publishers, I cannot offer the same guarantee. However, I would still be a resource and would do my very best to help.
if you want to know more now, you should visit my article titled Whats-the-Truth-about-Best-Sellers.
To visit our bookstore, go to TR Bookstore and look around. You’ll find books by my late wife Tess, plus books by me, including Hurrican Ian Winds of Providence & Provision.