A Novelist’s Road to Publication
Most published novelists agree that it is extremely difficult for a new author to find a publisher.
I wrote my first novel when I was a young woman. The first publisher I submitted it to accepted it. From there everything went downhill. I did not know that the date of publication should be included in my contract. Without this the publisher could withhold publication indefinitely. When I signed the contract I was living in East Africa and gave power of attorney to my brother. That was my second mistake. The publishing house had moved country and the new editor was not interested in my novel. Unfamiliar with the publishing world my brother accepted payment in lieu of publication.
Very discouraged, I continued writing and had a few minor successes. Many years later, after leaving Kenya and living in an ashram in France, I returned to England, my late husband encouraged me to continue writing.
I took his advice and was grateful for his encouragement. ‘Keep on writing, darling,’ he said, ‘one day you will have a novel accepted and then all your previous novels will stand a good chance of being accepted.’
Hopefully he was right. Years later, he would be pleased and proud because two of my historical novels, Tangled Love and Sunday’s child have been accepted.
I’ve always had plenty of ideas but I needed to refine my writing skills. Over the years I have read books on How To Write, attended two writing holidays in Wales, joined the Romantic Novelists Association of Great Britain New Writers Scheme, submitted my current work to critique groups and critiqued other peoples’ work as well as joining a Writers’ group.
In 2007 my historical novel Tangled Hearts was accepted by an online publishing house which subsequently went out of business. However, the publisher taught me a lot about publicising my work on and offline. Unfortunately, it was a bitter experience for more reasons than I will share, and the experience included non-payment of my royalties.
Determined to achieve my dream of finding a reliable publisher I continued to write and research my historical novels. Another author told me about MuseItUp Publishing. I submitted my novel Tangled Love, previously published as Tangled Hearts, to MuseItUp. Tangled Love set in England in Queen Anne’s reign (1702-1714) will be published by MuseItUp on January 27 2012.
Several months after signing the contract for Tangled Love, I submitted my historical novel Sunday’s Child set in the Regency era between 1813 and 1815 prior to the Battle of Waterloo.
I wrote Sunday’s Child some years ago and it went through the New Writers Scheme. The reader’s report was excellent. I revised the novel and worked on it with one of my critique groups. Having, ‘scrubbed, dusted and polished’ the novel I submitted it to publishers. After each submission it winged its way home to my pigeon loft (my office in the spare bedroom). I had reached the point when I thought I would never have another novel accepted but I submitted it to MuseItUp. To my delight, my publisher loves Sunday’s Child, which will be published in June 2012.