Everyone Wants To Be An Author


So, after reading my last post, especially the part where it took me 30 years to get "Bridgetown High" published, do you still want to be an author?

It ain't easy, but as you write, if you truly want to be published, it becomes a passion that you just can't get over. While most people don't have it so rough as me, I write this to encourage you, my faithful followers, to not give up, not matter how difficult it seems. I mean, if I can do this, you can too.

I was fortunate, after several years of working on it, to finally find a critique group on line that helped me greatly. Over those years, I couldn't decide on a title. I started with "Mark and Genie's story," went on with "The Bridge Beckons," even tried "Bridgetown High," but tossed them all. Did I say, tossed them all? Even "Bridgetown High?" Yup. But as I kept trying different titles, "Bridgetown High" kept resonating with me. I asked my critique group their opinion and they liked it too. Well, I told myself, I'll go with it, knowing a publisher would change it any way.

So, began the arduous task of sending out query letters to agents. I tried to send out at least 5 queries a week, but rarely did that many. Years passed -- only got rejections. I don't have an actual count, probably sent out more than 200, maybe more than 300 query letters. Most agents never responded. Those that did, just said things like, "Not for me."

I considered self publishing it, but that idea scared me. Maybe it won't scare you, but I knew I didn't have the money for professional editing, cover design, and time to market it.

Then a high school friend of mine read some of my Facebook musings and gave me a referral to a published friend of hers, Theresa Messenger (don't know if I spelled that right or not). I contacted her and found out she is published through Limitless Publishing and agreed to let me use her name in contacting her publisher about my book. It was a long shot at best, but you know the adage, "Nothing ventured, nothing gained."

They accepted it!!! And they kept my title!

I was shocked. A real publisher accepted it. They even did the necessary editing and made up the cover design. So, after signing the contracts, they even did a lot of the first blush marketing for me. That was great. I still have to do a lot, if not most, of the marketing, but I'm learning how and that's becoming a big help.

More later.

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About Paul West

Paul West is a freelance writer and novelist. Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Paul claims to be a "Prune Picker," though he now makes his home in Taylorsville, Utah.

You can follower him on Twitter: @PaulWWest

Published: Tuesday, March 01, 2016

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