Patience is a virtue (that you’ll need if you want to trad-pub)

In her second post in our Behind The Book series, author Carrie Morgan (on the traditional publishing path) delves into the preparations and process of querying agents – guaranteed to tax your reserve of patience beyond its limits.

More in this series

Wages of War

In my first post in this series, I explained how being published (and by that I mean traditionally published, going the agent-to-publisher route) has been my dream since I was a teenager.

What I didn’t know back then, and what I didn’t realize until I’d already started down the trad-pub path, was that whatever patience it takes to write book-length fiction is just the beginning. If you want to get your book out there on the streets as quickly as possible, trad-pub is probably not for you.

First, of course, you have to write your novel. How long this takes varies widely by person. In my case, setting aside the year or so that my novel concept swirled around in my head before I sat down to actually write it, it took me ninety-four days to write the first draft of my novel, The Road Back From Broken. While…

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“The End” Is Only The Beginning

Carrie Morgan shares her decision to pursue traditional publishing as part of our Behind The Book collaborative series. The flip side of the publishing coin to my self-publishing pursuit.

Wages of War

When I was sixteen, I got my first real job. My first introduction to the working world of W-2s, withholding and fifteen-minute breaks was as a retail sales clerk for the now-defunct B. Dalton Bookseller. For a teenager whose nose was always buried in a book, it was the perfect first job, even if it did pay only a nickel more than the minimum wage of $3.80 an hour.

I loved working at the bookstore, which was tucked into a busy corner of the old Southglenn Mall in Littleton, Colorado. Being surrounded by books, seeing the new ones come in and handling the stripping or return of older titles that didn’t sell—it was a great gig for a young bibliophile.

That same year, I started to write a book of my own—a long, aimlessly rambling monstrosity called TheFour Horsemen that told the story of a Scottish soldier during Henry…

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Behind The Book: A New Feature

I am thrilled to announce an exciting joint blogging venture with fellow writer Carrie Morgan.

On Twitter, Carrie and I subscribe to the philosophy of Writers Helping Writers:  that is, we believe that as a community, we should strive to support and lift each other up, sharing our mistakes and lessons learned.  Writers understand the demands of time, energy and belief in oneself and one’s work to survive this business, and that makes us natural cheerleaders for each other.

Where we diverge, however, is the path we’ve each chosen towards our goals.  I opted years ago to take the self-publishing route, having spent my life being a storyteller and valuing the ability to share my words on my terms above all else.  Blame it on years of school newspaper columns and fanfiction that resonated with people so deeply, their reviews sometimes made me cry:  while a traditional book deal would be wonderful, the ability to connect with others mattered more for me.  Carrie, on the other hand, is currently pursuing traditional publishing for her debut novel, The Road Back From Broken.  In admiring her candor and transparency throughout the process of writing, editing and now querying, I realized that self-publishing carries its own hoops, quirks and pitfalls — lessons learned I could also share via a similarly transparent approach.

We both have a desire to help other writers as they embark on their own path — traditional or self-published — while also giving readers a glimpse behind the finished project you can eagerly devour in paperback or on your ereader of choice.  In the spirit of this, we’ve come up with a collaborative venture.

For the next while, we’ll be cross-posting our parallel journeys, revealing the reality of creating a story and sharing it with the world.  I personally look forward to learning about traditional publishing, as I’m considering it for a future standalone novel.  I also hope that similar to a director’s commentary on a film, knowing how a novel comes to be will enrich the reading experience.

Carrie’s journey:  Currently querying agents for her powerful debut, The Road Back From Broken.
Twitter: @C_T_Morgan

My journey:  The simultaneous re-release of a second edition for Change of Season and the editing and publishing of its sequel, Waiting for a Star to Fall.
Twitter:  @dillonac

Come join us and share your own journey.  We’re in this together, after all.