Author’s do you want to publish?

Author’s do you want to publish?


So what are you waiting for? Ask yourself this: Is my book good enough? If you are a writer, then you are probably a reader. And if you are like me you read in the same or a very closely related genera to what you are writing. Sure, I write self-help too, but I love the writing process for fiction. Self-help is a much more linearly structured. If you are worried your book is not good enough… don’t despair. You have options. Don’t fold your arms and let the book sit in a file on your hard drive. Or worse, on a note pad not even typed up. The next three questions are about doing diligence.


I have belonged to an on-line forum for years working the kinks out of my book. When I started writing, “The Mark of a Druid,” I hadn’t written anything like it before. I had a training course completed and in print, then I moved it to an online format, but it was nothing like a fiction novel. I felt lost and unsupported. This forum-The Books and Writes Community on the CompuServe network located at  has been a real godsend. Not only for the writer’s workshop where you can get your work read by other writers, from all over the world, giving you a diverse view of your work, and critique others works, which is the real learning experience. But the research and craft section is invaluable. There is a YA section, tech, poetry and more. Hundreds of great people, valuable information and help!


So if your book is NOT:

well crafted?  as clean as you can get it? Even written?  Check out this writing community we have just moved back to our home site after 3 plus years and it is great to be home.


Things you should do while you are writing. Boy, oh, boy, I wish I had known this before I started my book.


Do your research. Most writers research their subject, time periods and characters, but do you research your local bookstores? Do you go just sit, have coffee, buy books, (of course) watch who is buying what? You should. It is a real eye-opener. Visit your bookstores—libraries and ask questions. Remember to be kind to the bookstore workers and the librarians, they are you first face to the public—Not to mention a wealth of information about marketing and placement.


Where should your book be placed? What section? Find out who your neighbors on the shelves would be. Are their books selling? Is your cover design equivalent, worse or better or maybe you don’t have one yet.


Think about hiring an editor. Or when you have the book as good as you can get it, if you are going the iuniverse or self-publishing route, sign up and get your editorial evaluation. Let an editor read it. You will learn a lot from getting a real opinion on your project. Cause let’s face it, you spend hours, months and sometimes years perfecting the story. You are TOOO CLOSE to it to be objective. Your books are like your children. You nurture them, you care for them, and you love them, they are close to your heart.


Who do you think would buy your book? I thought well… people like me… But when I took the time to go sit in the bookstores, I found that my target audience was a touch older than me a mix of male and female and they are mostly middle class folks. I even talked to some of them and ask what they liked about the genera and if a book like mine would interest them. The response was an overwhelming yes. Now I am not saying it is easy to walk up to a complete stranger and ask a question. But if you wander the store you will run into people and I have a rule if I see a person twice and we have made eye contact I introduce myself. “Hi, opps we keep running into each other, my name is Rhonda Carpenter” and I extend my hand. Worst that has happened is the guy looked at me funny and introduced himself. You will have a great opening to talk about the book in their hand. And ask what is it about this author they like. Or even better, all people love to hear you are writing a book or you have one coming out. You can even hand out your cards this way. Something that sends them to your website, trust me they will go look at your site.


Or is yours a family story that you don’t intend to sell but want for posterity? Then you should really think self-publishing. You can get a small number of books printed and with a professional place like iuniverse, for not a lot of money and turn out a quality book your family can be proud of.


I have said it before the publishing industry is changing. The big houses just don’t take new authors seriously enough and they Don’t promote them. Their ad budgets are slotted for their big names and their celebrity books. Now that is not to say your couldn’t get a good deal from a big house, or even an indy house, but you are talking one year at best to see your work on the shelves or online bookstores. And that is not to say that big deals don’t happen. They are just sparse.


More next week on what you should do before you publish or query.


Keep writing!

Rhonda R. Carpenter


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