If people are like me, then they despise unsolicited advice. I’m nothing but a new novelist. However, learning about the publishing process has been quite a challenge. Nevertheless, I encourage even novice writers to share knowledge because we all have something to offer at each stage of the game.
My first piece of advice is to never give up if writers genuinely want success. Success is measured in diverse ways. For some, it may be to earn a nice living while for others, it involves building a decent fan base. So perhaps one way to define failure is to give up on writing. I found myself abandoning my dream of becoming a writer for nearly a decade of my life. As a child and teenager, I convinced myself that publishing a book was my top priority. But when my ex-husband shattered those dreams with his savvy way of destroying my self-esteem, I gave up on myself.
One day, a friend was talking about publishing her memoir, and envy burned inside me. Ashamed, I checked myself. I realized that I had done little to no work to try to publish my writing. With renewed motivation, I told myself that I would do whatever it takes to publish my latest book. I didn’t care if I had to rewrite or keep sending it off to numerous publishers and agents. I didn’t care if I had to write another book and try to get that one published. Six months later, I sent my book off to about fifty agents and publishers. A month later, I sent it off to another fifty. Three months later, I received my first publishing contract.
Too often on social media, I read posts from writers who want to bury their manuscript. This industry is highly subjective, and when publishers read submissions, it is usually just one person who rejects it. One! That is only one opinion in the world. Also, many successful authors experienced rejection. Rejections are hard and sometimes demoralizing, but my advice is not to let them discourage writers. I like to tell others who are struggling that their book merely hasn’t found the right home, yet.
Next, I would encourage authors who are less confident in grammar to invest the time into getting their work professionally edited or learning the rules behind grammar. Manuscripts do not need to be perfectly written, and I certainly appreciate the edits that I received from my publisher. I value editors way more now after seeing how much they can help me improve my work. Nevertheless, publishers expect that submissions demonstrate a certain level of grammar and are relatively free from typos. I have read novels that I absolutely adore but that are full of typos and grammatical errors. I hate seeing such wonderful work dismissed because of these issues. Reedsy offers editing services at fairly reasonable prices (editors charge different rates). I have used Reedsy to help me with my query letters and blurbs and have been pleased. Thus, I don’t want to see anyone’s great storytelling held back because of writing issues like these.
Lastly, I would advise writers to do whatever they need to do to get their work out there to readers. For those with money to invest, there are companies that can help with promotion. However, promoting a book does not need to cost a lot of money. Since my novel is set in Montana, I plan to travel around the state for book readings at public libraries or any other bookstore that will accept me. I believe small venues may appreciate authors who hold events there. For me, there is no venue too big or too small. Building a dedicated fan base may mean giving readers that personal touch of meeting the writer. Also, writers could consider setting up a booth at local community events to promote their books. I was fortunate to have funds to invest in book promotion, but I also plan to utilize small venues to share my work.
This is my humble advice to share with other writers. As writers, I think we can all learn from each other’s experiences. My final words would be to always support fellow authors, traditional or self-published. We do this because we love books and telling stories. I appreciate all the author blogs and groups that have given me a home and some good advice. Let’s remember that we are a community.
Publication Date: July 5, 2022
Love knows no gender.
Pate Boone, a twenty-six-year-old transgender man, embarks on a new adventure when his childhood best friend, and yes, ex-lover, Oakley Ogden, convinces him to escape their hometown in hopes for something new.
They land in Cloverleaf, a tiny rural town in Montana, so that Oakley can care for his granny who is battling breast cancer. She pressures the two young men to enroll in a nearby college. Pate immediately becomes enthralled with Maybelle, a young, vivacious freshman to whom he fears revealing his transgender identity. Still, he finds it impossible to resist Maybelle, even after he meets her ex, Bullet, a large, violent man determined to keep Pate away from “his girl.”
But there are others who accept Pate immediately, like Stormy. An outdoorsy, rugged freshman, Stormy warns Pate away from Maybelle and Bullet, but Pate’s too infatuated to heed these warnings.
Oakley tries to support his friend’s new love but finds himself entangled in his own emotional calamity when he unintentionally falls for Jody, a gay and ostentatiously confident drag queen. This new relationship awakens deep internal conflicts in Oakley as he struggles to accept his bisexuality, lashing out at Pate and causing friction between him and Jody.
Oakley must decide if he can overcome his insecurities so he doesn’t lose the love of his life. And Pate must discover if the love between him and Maybelle is strong enough for her to accept him as a transgender man, or if she will break his heart.
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Carey PW (he/they) is a debut author, college instructor, and mental health counselor. Carey is currently completing his next manuscript, Acing the Game.
Carey lives in Montana, and identifies as nonbinary, transmasculine (AFAB) and panromantic asexual. Due to the lack of resources in rural communities, Carey has discovered that writing about his lived experiences is a therapeutic outlet for him and hopes that his readers relate to his own personal struggles and triumphs shared through his characters’ narratives. Carey is particularly interested in exploring relationship conflicts around sexuality and gender differences. He has also worked as a high school writing instructor and college writing instructor, earning a B.A. in English Literature, a M.Ed. in English Education, and Ph.D. in Social Foundations of Education all from the University of Georgia. In 2020, Carey earned his second M.Ed. in Counselor Education and works as a licensed clinical professional counselor, LCPC. He has a strong passion for working with the unique mental health issues of the LGBTQIA+ community.
Readers can learn more about Carey from his blog, www.careypw.com. When he is not writing, Carey is busy training for marathons, parenting his six cats, sharing his culinary talents on social media, serving on the board for the nonprofit Center for Studies of the Person (CSP) and learning photography.
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