The Process of Publication

(through the eyes of a newbie)

A lot of friends have been asking me about this process—the process of publication. Many of them have ideas for books themselves. Some in the same genre as my work, others in poetry or historical fiction or even study guides. But they all wonder the same thing. How does one get published, anyway?

So here’s the best I can give you.

Basically, it depends on who you are. Who you know. If you already have a following, then you have an established fan base. If you are especially well-known, the larger publishers may give you consideration. In rare circumstances, they may even seek you out. This, obviously, would be ideal.

If you aren’t so well known, but have plenty of extra money you can invest, you might hire a publicist. They earn their dollar, gaining you access to the otherwise elusive publishers. Again, a great option if it’s an option at all.

Some resort to self-publishing. Again, this can be pricey, with no foreseeable end to the investment. It may pan out, but only if you’re willing to commit wholeheartedly to the grunt work. An agency helps you get your book into print, and it’s up to you to market yourself, and your work. Not a bad option for those who don’t need editing help, and if you have occasions to speak publicly on your topic—for you can sell your books at the speaking engagements. And if you are a gifted salesman, presto, you’re on your way.

None of these options really applied to me. I am not a face millions recognize. I am not a special events speaker. I am certainly no salesperson. I don’t have a large cash reserve that can be invested in something that may or may not bring a profit. I lead a rather average life, all things considered. I’m blessed, to be certain, but no more so than any other child of God.

After quite a lot of research, I was beginning to feel a little frustrated. Every door was decidedly closed against possibility. Not even a crack with a sliver of light peeking through to feed my hopes. Nothing.

Near the point of accepting that the occasional writing contest would be my only viable outlet for my passion, I tried one more option. Tate Publishing.

I read every word on their home page, I watched their introductory video, and I perused a plethora of articles and blogs pertaining to their business practices and professionalism.

There were several complaints, but I soon realized that most of these stemmed from authors who’d been thwarted by Tate. For, you see, Tate is a faith-based organization, and the company refuses to publish anything which directly counters their statement of beliefs. Intrigued, I gave them a call.

Tate specializes in unknown and first-time authors, incorporating a fairly new concept I think could best be described as parnership publishing. If they accept your manuscript, a contract is offered.

Two and a half months after making my submission, I received a contract. It was well-organized and highly professional. My husband looked it over carefully, as did I, and we liked what we saw.

Since the author retains the rights to the book, a small investment is required—more of a deposit, an assurance that you won’t take your work somewhere else as soon as they’ve finished guiding you through the editing process. I’ll be honest, it stretches the budget. But compared to the other avenues, this investment is manageable.

Once that obligation is met, the process is officially underway. Tate acts as a traditional publisher in every other sense of the process. They invest in their clients, they provide editing and guidance, they design the book cover—which must meet approval, and they aid in marketing. I must admit, I’m still early in the process, but so far, things are looking good. I’ll keep you posted.

That gets us pretty much up to speed. Now for where the book is now….

And We Know is currently in copy editing! The pros at Tate Publishing are searching for grammatical problems and identifying any formatting issues so that the book will be ready for conceptual editing next month. When that happens, the title will be looked at, and the overall arrangement and flow will be addressed. Problems will be identified, and the tweaking will commence in full force. So all is quiet on this end at the moment, but these next few months will prove to be among the most critical in finalizing the story. So excited!

Whatever avenue all you writers out there choose to pursue, the best pieces of advice I can give are these. Be patient! Also, read all you can, and then read a little more. Next, keep writing! Finally, and most importantly, keep everything bathed in prayer!

Which brings me to my request. For my prayer partners out there, please continue asking God to guide all involved in this process, so that the resulting work might be all it can be!

For everyone, thanks for giving me a few minutes of your time. Hope you come back often!


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