Over the course of the next few weeks, I’m going to try to go through the steps of what happens on the way to publication. At least in my case. I’m not an expert by any means. This is my first book after all. And this is only one route, of many, to get published.
I know, sounds daunting and perilous. Like you’re releasing a child into the world to be mocked and ridiculed. But it’s really not that bad. Just go for it. The worst that can happen is you get rejected. Then you just submit elsewhere. It’s not a reflection of you personally.
In my case, I was working on a short story about a not so typical genie, when I saw a competition for a publishing deal for a picture book. I tweaked the story a little to fit the criteria and finished it up, reviewed, edited a couple times, and polished it up. And submitted. Make sure what you submit fits the criteria for the competition or you’re just wasting yours and everyone else’s time.
Keep in mind that some competitions are free and others cost money. Usually 10 to 20 dollars. This one had a fee, so I weighed the pros and cons. I decided it was worth it and submitted. I usually do a few fee based and several free competitions throughout the year. You could quickly go broke doing all the fee based ones out there. Set a monthly or yearly budget for these and stick with it.
Then comes the waiting and the questioning voice in your head. Will I win? Will they even like it? Should I have submitted? This goes on until you hear back. I like to submit closer to the deadline to reduce the amount of time for that little voice to pester me.
Then the email finally arrives. What’s it going to say? A moment of hesitation and click. “We’re sorry to inform you…”. Those dreaded words. The demise of many a writer. But make sure you read the entire response. There may be feedback or other important info. In my case, I didn’t win, but was offered a contract because they liked the story so much.
This brings us to the contract stage, which I’ll talk about in my next post.