Getting published is two parts hard work, two parts talent, and one part timing and one part luck. I listened to NY Times bestseller Sherilyn Kenyon speak once, and she showed us her rejection file for one year...it was about six inches thick. And that was AFTER she'd published several books. (I'm working on a folder like that myself.)
Here are the facts: The economy stinks. People aren't going to spend money on stuff they don't need. And if they can get it cheaper someplace else, they're not going to spend top dollar. Be honest with yourself. Do you run to the bookstores to buy a new book, or do you check it out at the library, or a second hand store? Sales for all genres of books are down by double digits...except romance. (I'll get to that in a minute.)
It's expensive to publish a book, especially for big publishing houses that cling to the tradition of printing 10000 copies of a book right out of the box. (One of the things I love about Wild Rose, they print on demand. No wasted paper.)
Add to these facts this little nugget: The Amazon Kindle is now $139.00. As the price comes down on these electronic readers, the interest in digital downloads goes up because 1) They're cheaper than a print book and 2) You can store 100's of books in a reader smaller than a spiral notebook. No more groaning shelves of books.
Put that all together and, my friends, here's what I've come up with: For a new author, the best way to get published is to do it yourself. The days of paying to be published at vanity presses are going away. There's no longer the stigma attached that there once was about self publishing.
Simply put: Readers don't care who put the book out. Readers want to read. Case in point: I've had non writers read "Lies in Chance" and love it. So why can't I get it published? Because publishers don't know what to do with a story that doesn't fit into a cubby hole. Yet it's a good story, one worth reading. Thusly, as I await one more final rejection, I'm readying "Lies in Chance" for self publishing.
Will I miss having a book with my name on it? Sure. Every author wants that. But I'm really more interested in people reading my story. As an artist I'm more interested in writing the stories that I have in my head. And, as a person who does not enjoy her daily job, I'm more interested in getting paid!
Romance is the one genre that's growing in this economy. Economists try to explain it, but the reality is this: Romance is fun to read, the books are generally cheaper to buy than other books, women buy more books than men, and everyone is looking for a happy ending. So if you write romance, keep plugging away, you'll find a publisher for what you're working on.
But for me, I've never completely identified myself as a romance author. "Dream in Color" is a romance, yes, and I love my friends over at Wild Rose Press. In fact, if you're looking for someone to treat your first baby with love, Wild Rose is the place to go. However, I've got other stories in my head, stories that won't fit in the Romance genre.
So, my friends, I'm getting "Lies in Chance" ready. And after that, "7/8ths time" will hit e publishing. I'm a storyteller. I want to tell my stories. I'm a humorist, I want people to laugh at what I write, which is why I'm in the process of turning some of the posts from my blog http://itcanonlyhappentosarah.blogspot.com into a book loosely titled "Stalking Rick Springfield and Other Hobbies of the Middle Aged Suburban Woman."
Beyond that, the sky's the limit in the Wild Wild West of self publishing!
Now all I need is an artist to do my cover art! Anyone? Anyone?
One final note: Happy Birthday to David James Elliott...who is the inspiration for Quinn Murray, the hero in my newest book. Cheers to you, David!