Author Guest Post by Author D.A. Adams

Sunday, March 17, 2013

So today I have a great guest post to share with all of you.  I hope you all check it out and enjoy!

When I started writing, the internet and email as we know them didn’t exist.  Everything was still done on paper and mailed through the postal service.  In college, we were taught how to write query letters for agents and publishers, how to format submissions, how to chart where we had submitted what, and all kinds of useful tips and tricks for what were the standard norms of the publishing world.  Today, virtually everything I learned about submission for publication is now obsolete.  In my career, I’ve had to relearn just about every step of the process from scratch, and the purpose of this post is to share with new writers a little information about the process today.

First, let me say, I’m a small press author.  The big six have never shown the slightest interest in my work, so when it comes to landing a deal with an imprint of one these major houses, I can’t help you because I’ve never had any success with them myself.  If you want a deal with one of them, this article will not help you in the slightest.  Also, even though I restarted my career by self-publishing, that landscape has changed so radically in the last nine years, I can’t really help you there either.  If you want to self-publish to make a name for yourself, your best bet is to do a little research and find the best avenue for you.  Finally, I only produce short fiction when I’m approached by an editor to do so.  I haven’t produced a short story on spec in fifteen years, so I can offer no insight on how to get your work into those markets other than to say read plenty of short story publications and submit to those where your work seems to fit.  At this point, you may be wondering what in the hell kind of advice piece this is.  This guy doesn’t seem to know much of anything.

The sole focus of this article is how to find and publish a novel with a small press.  Period.

The absolute most critical part of the publishing process is to sit down and write a completed manuscript.  Some of you may be rolling your eyes and muttering “Duh” but you’d be surprised by how many young writers think they can sell an idea.  Everyone and their cousin Bob has an idea for a great novel.  Every writer, editor, and publisher I’ve ever known has at least one tale, usually several, of people who approach them at conventions or book signings with a great concept for a story.  Publishers have no lack of ideas.  In fact, they have no lack of completed works.  There is more need in this world for a new way to clog arteries than there is a need for new story ideas.  Publishers want completed, polished manuscripts.  Not an abstract concept for one.  So before you worry about anything else, sit your ass down and write the damn book.  No excuses.  No bullshit as to why you don’t have the time.  I wrote my second novel while working two full-time jobs and caring for my toddler son.  If you want to be a writer, then you damn well better get off Facebook, stop playing WoW every free moment, quit making excuses to yourself why you can’t, and write the damn book.

Back in the snail mail days, the next step was to run off copies and send out the first three chapter, or 50 pages roughly, to one publisher or agent at a time.  Yeah, it was glacierly slow.  Today, most small presses will accept electronic submissions, so what you need to do as an author is find a handful of small presses that are actively seeking submissions in your genre.  Pay close attention to every detail in that sentence.  Every editor I know has at least one tale, usually several, of writers who ignore their submission guidelines or open submission timeframe and send them manuscripts that don’t fit.  These usually get deleted.  Do yourself a favor and research before blindly firing out your work.  It’s a small world and reputations travel quickly.  More on that later.  Personally, I still adhere to the old mantra that you only submit one book to one publisher at a time.  Some may argue against that, but read my sentence about reputations again.  It’s just bad form to try to sell the same book to multiple houses at once.

Now, if you submit your manuscript and get published, congratulations.  You’re done.  Work on promoting that book and start writing your next if you haven’t already.  If you’re like most of us, and by most I mean pretty much all, then brace yourself for rejection.  More than likely a form rejection with absolutely no explanation as to why.  Congratulations, you’re now officially a real writer.  Get used to rejection and plenty of it.  If you don’t like rejection do something else with your time.  Rejection will be a BIG part of your career, even if you’re brilliant.  Rejection.  I’ve said it six times in seven sentences.  Suck it up, cupcake.  It doesn’t mean you can’t write.  It means you haven’t ironed out the major flaws in that manuscript yet.  So get to work polishing.  Don’t even think about shortcutting here.  Don’t give in to that lazy desire to keep submitting the same flawed manuscript to more houses because your ego believes you are just an undiscovered genius.  Fuck you, edit.  Personally, I recommend finding one person you really trust to serve as your editor.  Some people like writers group, but I don’t.  To each his own.  Whatever helps you find the flaws, that’s the right approach, but find them and fix them.

Now, here’s the cool part.  More than likely, wherever you live, in the next 2-3 months you can drive 2-3 hours and find a convention that has a literary track with professional writers doing panels.  Go to these.  Go to as many as you can.  Learn the writers’ names.  Listen to their stories.  Introduce yourself to them.  The catchphrase for this used to be networking.  I don’t know what the buzz word is today, so I’ll stick with networking.  Even in this electronic age of social media and online trends, there is no substitute for interpersonal interaction.  If you attend 2-3 conventions a year, you will meet at least one owner of a small press, one person who you can get to know on a personal basis.  Listen to this person.  Hear what they tell you they are looking for in a book.  Listen to their editing suggestions.  For Pete’s sake, listen.  Once you’ve gotten to know them and you’ve polished your manuscript based on their insight, ask them if they’ll read it.  In my experience, they’ll say yes unless you’ve been creepy or an asshole to them.  Once they look at your work, even if it’s not right for them, I’ll be willing to bet that they can steer you towards the right small press.  I’ve witnessed this exact process play out dozens of times in the last decade, so I know it works.

Remember what I said about reputations and a small world.  Maybe you’ve heard of the theory of six degrees of separation, the idea that everyone in the world is only separated by six people.  You know Jim; Jim knows Kate; Kate knows Natalia; Natalia knows Bao Dai.  Hopefully, you get the point.  Well, in publishing, it’s about two degrees of separation.  I don’t know Terry Brooks, but I know about three authors who do, and I could get a message to him if I needed to.  In publishing, we all run into each other and share stories and email each other.  It’s a small community, and if you’re a cool person who shows respect to the craft, word will travel.  If you’re an asshole, word will really travel.  Protect your reputation and learn proper etiquette.  You learn this by listening and observing, which if you’re any kind of writer at all should two of your top four skills.

Here’s the final and second most important point, behind only writing the completed manuscript in case you have no short-term memory.  Recently, at a convention, the question was posed to a group of about ten writers, most of us fairly well-published and established as serious professionals, how long it took to get our first book published.  The average was about five years.  Five years.  In the digital age.  If you don’t have that kind of patience, this is probably the wrong profession to pursue.  Even extremely successful authors such as J.K. Rowling languished in obscurity for years before finding success.  In publishing, there are virtually no overnight sensations, so push that notion from your head and plan for the long-haul and work for the long-tail.  And notice what I haven’t given you: a surefire formula for success.  In this industry, especially today, there’s no such thing.  Every single writer I’ve ever met who has had any degree of success shares one distinguishing characteristic: the willingness to put in the hard work.  That’s the closest thing to a formula there is, but even hard work isn’t a guarantee.  It also requires persistence and luck.  So if you want to write, roll up your sleeves and go to work.  There’s no better time than right now.

Author Bio

D. A. Adams was born in Florida but was raised in East Tennessee. He received a Master of Arts in Writing from the University of Memphis in 1999 and has taught college English for over a decade. His first novel, “The Brotherhood of Dwarves,” was released in 2005 and has been described as “a solid, honest work about camaraderie, bravery, and sacrifice” and “a very personal journey, more interested in the ways that a person is changed by life’s events than in epic battles and high magic.” In 2008, the sequel, “Red Sky at Dawn,” was released to the exaltation that “this novel thunders along, at times with dizzying speed. The action is visceral and imaginative without being gratuitous.” Currently, Adams is working on the third installment of the five book series. In terms of writing style, Adams exhibits an effortless narrative voice and a masterful balance between richly detailed descriptions and tightly worded minimalism. The pacing of his stories is breathtaking, with relentless action and captivating plot twists that keep readers riveted page after page. But his true talent as a writer lies in character development. Readers find themselves empathizing with, fearing for, and cheering on the characters as they overcome their personal shortcomings and grow as fully rendered individuals. Adams is also the father of two wonderful sons and, despite his professional accomplishments, maintains that they are his greatest achievement in life. He resides in East Tennessee with his fiance, Mari.

Thank you D.A. Adams, for guest posting on here today.  


sgzimmer said...

Thank you very much for having D.A. Adams on your site today and I can't say enough how cool it is to have our first SSP related post with you! Thanks so much and hope we can visit with you again! :)

H David Blalock said...

Great post, DA, and full of sage advice. Thanks to Breath of Life for the feature.

Sheila Deeth said...

Great post. Thank you! And I'll work on developing more digital patience.

D. A. Adams said...

I'm honored to be the first SSP author on your site. Thank you for having me.

Rev. Kim Justice said...

Was so excited to do this post. Thanks for all the comments and will keep up with what comes next from this amazing author.

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Anonymous said...

Tempat Luis Suarez Memang Di Liverpool

Berita terbaru dan terkini Bola Soccer dari Agen Bola Indo11 – Sempat ngotot meninggalkan Liverpool, Luis Suarez pada akhirnya tetap bertahan di Anfield setelah dibujuk oleh manajemen klub.

Brendan Rodgers sebelumnya menyatakan punya alasan kuat untuk tetap mempertahankan bomber asal Uruguay itu. Kini dia memetik buah dari bujukannya itu.

Luis Suarez berubah menjadi salah satu striker paling berbahaya di Inggris sejauh ini. Tiga golnya ke gawang West Bromwich Albion pada akhir pekan lalu adalah salah satu bukti ketajamannya.

Rodgers menilai hal itu tak bisa dilepaskan dari keputusan Luis Suarez menerima bertahan di Liverpool.

Agen Bola Indo11 Terpopuler – "Dia lebih baik berada di sini karena kami terus berkembang. Dia juga bisa ikut berkembang dan dia mendapatkan dukungan dari semuanya. Meski kami berada di papan tengah klasemen, saya akan tetap bertahan bahwa di sini memang tempatnya," tegas Rodgers.

Sumber :

chamroeunoscar said...

Juventus bermain imbang dengan Real Madrid 2-2
Berita terbaru dan terkini bola Soccer dari Agen Bola Indo11 - Juventus kembali meraih hasil imbang ketiganya di Liga Champions musim ini. Dalam menjamu Real Madrid, Bianconeri memetik hasil seri 2-2.
Dalam laga di Juventus Stadium, Rabu (6/11/2013) dinihari WIB, Juventus unggul lebih dulu lewat penalti Arturo Vidal di babak pertama. Memasuki babak kedua, Madrid menyamakan kedudukan melalui gol Cristiano Ronaldo. Kemudian Bale membawa Madrid berbalik unggul atas Juventus. Gol Fernando Llorente di menit ke-65 mengubah skor menjadi 2-2. Skor itu bertahan hingga wasit meniup peluit panjang.
Agen Bola Indo11 Terpercaya - Dengan tambahan satu angka, Juventus hanya mengumpulkan tiga poin dari empat pertandingan. Sementara itu, Real Madrid masih kokoh di puncak klasemen. Los Blancos mengoleksi 10 poin dari empat pertandingan.

chamroeunarsenal said...

Manchester United bisa menang atas Sociedad
Berita terbaru dan terkini bola Soccer dari Agen Bola Indo11 - Pemain Manchester United, Ryan Giggs menilai timnya tampil bagus saat menghadapi Real Sociedad. Namun, ia mengaku kecewa karena mereka tidak bisa memenangi laga tersebut.
Agen Bola Indo11 Terpercaya - Manchester United mampu mengungguli penguasaan bola milik tuan rumah dengan 55% berbanding 45%. Mereka juga membuat tujuh tembakan dengan dua di antaranya tepat sasaran, sedangkan Sociedad hanya melepas 10 tembakan saja.
"Malam ini kami mengendalikan permainan, memiliki dua atau tiga peluang bagus dan mungkin harusnya bisa memenanginya. Kami senang dengan penampilan kami, tapi kecewa karena tidak meraih kemenangan," nilai Giggs.

chamroeunlampard said...

Marquez mengaku tidak ada persiapan khusus
Berita terbaru dan terkini bola Soccer dariAgen Bola Indo11 - MotoGP Valencia menjadi penentu siapa yang bakal menjadi juara dunia musim 2013. Namun Marc Marquez mengaku tidak punya persiapan khusus walaupun lebih diuntungkan karena selisih poin dengan Jorge Lorenzo.
Agen Bola Indo11 Terpercaya - Sebanyak 13 poin yang menjadi keunggulan Marquez atas Jorge Lorenzo di puncak klasemen MotoGP. Dan siapa yang akan menjadi juara di musim ini, akan ditentukan di Valencia, yang menjadi seri penutup musim ini.
"Balapan akhir pekan ini penting, tapi saya menghadapinya seperti balapan lain dan kami akan fokus dengan pekerjaan kami sejak hari pertama," ujar Marquez.

Anonymous said...

Ramires bantah dirinya melakukan diving

Berita terbaru dan terkini bola Soccer dari
Agen bola Indo11 - Hasil imbang yang diraih Chelsea saat menjamu West Bromwich Albion, Sabtu (9/11), masih berbuntut panjang.
Agen bola Indo11 Terpercaya - Hal itu tidak lepas dari penalti yang dianggap pemain West Brom kontroversial. Mereka menilai pemain Chelsea, Ramires, melakukan diving. Namun, Ramires menolak anggapan tersebut.
"Aku tidak pernah mau diving untuk mendapatkan pelanggaran atau penalti. Itu bukan karakterku. Tanya saja kepada mereka yang tahu karakterku," jelas Ramires.

Anonymous said...

Rodgers senang dengan penampilan Liverpool

Berita terbaru dan terkini bola Soccer dari
Agen bola - Setelah kalah dari Arsenal, Liverpool berhasil bangkit dengan meraih kemenangan telak atas Fulham. Brendan Rodgers sangat gembira dengan penampilan yang ditunjukkan oleh timnya.

Agen bola Indo11 Terpercaya - Rodgers tidak hanya puas dengan kemenangan yang dibukukan timnya. Dia juga senang dengan reaksi yang ditunjukkan oleh Liverpool usai kekalahan dari Arsenal.

"Kredit luar biasa untuk para pemain, saya pikir pernampilan mereka hari ini luar biasa. Kami tidak terlalu jatuh. Jelas kecewa ketika kalah di pertandingan besar, tapi Arsenal mungkin salah satu tim yang sedang dalam performa bagus di Eropa saat ini." jelas Rodgers.

"Kami menjalani minggu di mana para pemain bekerja dengan bagus dan rasa lapar mereka untuk pertandingan ini brilian Jika Anda merefleksikannya dengan kualitas, itu adalah penampilan yang benar-benar luar biasa," tutupnya.


Anonymous said...

Akan aneh menghadapi Manchester United tanpa Sir Alex

Berita terbaru dan terkini bola Soccer dari
Agen bola Indo11 - Arsene Wenger mengakui bahwa dirinya belum bisa terbiasa memikirkan pertandingan melawan Manchester United tanpa melawan Sir Alex Ferguson. Wenger dan Sir Alex merupakan rival klasik di Premier League dan sudah bertarung selama 17 bola Soccer dari
Agen bola"Laga nanti akan menjadi pengalaman baru. Selama 17 tahun terakhir, saya selalu menghadapi Ferguson. Pasti rasanya akan sedikit aneh. Saya pasti akan menemuinya. Bertemu Ferguson lebih mudah jika kami tidak saling menjadi rival di pinggir lapangan. Pertemuan kami akan lebih damai karena kami tidak sedang saling mengalahkan," jelas Wenger.

Agen bola Indo11 Terpercaya - Wenger dan Fergie sering bertemu dalam berbagai forum pelatih, baik di tingkat Inggris maupun di level Eropa. Pertemuan seperti itu selalu berlangsung menyenangkan bagi semua yang hadir.

"Kami biasanya bertemu dalam pertemuan para manajer. Kami membicarakan bagaimana cara meningkatkan sepakbola. Kami tidak membicarakan bagaimana United mengalahkan Arsenal atau bagaimana Arsenal mengalahkan United. Pertemuan seperti itu jelas berlangsung dengan damai dan tenang," tutupnya.

Anonymous said...

Arsenal memerlukan striker baru

Berita terbaru dan terkini bola Soccer dari
Agen bola Indo11 - Chief Exevutive Arsenal, Ivan Gazidis tampaknya membuka peluang untuk mendatangkan striker baru pada Januari mendatang.
Agen bola Indo11 Terpercaya - Saat ini banyak striker Arsenal yang cedera dan hanya menyisakan Olivier Giroud. Ia menilai Arsene Wenger memang butuh striker lain di lini depan. Pemain cedera seperti Nicklas Bendtner, Lukas Podolski, dan Theo Walcott masih belum bisa bermain.
"Kami akan pertimbangkan apakah Arsenal akan membeli striker lain pada Januari nanti. Olivier Giroud tidak akan bisa terus sendiri hingga akhir musim. Kami harus membeli pemain," jelas Gazidis.

Anonymous said...

Bendtner kemungkinan akan cabut dari Arsenal

Berita terbaru dan terkini bola Soccer dari
Agen bola Indo11 - Masa depan Nicklas Bendtner dengan Arsenal mungkin akan segera berakhir. Ia mengaku sudah tidak betah dan ingin angkat kaki dari klub asal London itu.

Agen bola masuk ke tim utama semakin membulatkan tekad Bendtner untuk pindah. Ia juga kecewa lantaran gagal dijual pada awal musim ini.

"Saya berada di Arsenal sejak umur 16. Sangat konyol bila ditempatkan di tim reserve dan berlatih sendirian. Keadaan menjadi normal kembali ketika berlatih bersama tim utama, berbaur dengan mereka, memulai program diet lagi," kata Bendtner.

"Selain itu, ada tiga klub yang menunggu tanda tanganku. Saya benar-benar kecewa ketika Wenger mengatakan saya siap berubah. Sebenarnya mereka tidak ingin mempertahankanku lagi. " tutupnya.

Anonymous said...

Chiellini absen membela Juventus

Berita terbaru dan terkini bola Soccer dari
Agen bola Indo11 - Juventus harus kehilangan beberapa pemain saat menjamu Napoli di Juventus Stadium, Minggu (10/11). Lini belakang I Bianconeri menjadi sorotan karena Giorgio Chiellini harus absen pada laga nanti.
Agen bola Indo11 Terpercaya - Bek tim nasional Italia itu harus menepi akibat cedera pada sesi latihan. Selain itu, lini belakang Juventus juga harus tanpa sosok Martin Caceres yang juga cedera saat bermain menghadapi Real Madrid tengah pekan lalu.
Selain duo bek di lini belakang. Juventus juga masih harus tanpa Mirko Vucini, Stephan Lichtsteiner, dan Simone Pepe yang mengalami cedera panjang.

Anonymous said...

Mascherano : kritikan media kepada kami murni tidak adil

Berita olahraga terpercaya dari terbaik, tengah ramai dibicarakan media-media Spanyol membahas perubahan permainan Los Azulgrana di bawah arahan Gerardo Martino. Banyak anggapan yang menilai Lionel Messi, dkk menerapkan sepakbola pragmatis.
Javier Mascherano, gelandang Barcelona FC menilai kritikan yang mempertanyakan perubahan filosofi permainan timnya cenderung tidak beralasan, serta kurang adil, mengingat saat ini mereka memuncaki tabel klasemen La liga.
“Barca berada di puncak klasemen, kami juga berhasil lolos dari babak fase grup Liga Champions, jauh sebelumnya kami bahkan memperoleh trofi Piala Super Spanyol. Saya rasa tim ini berada di jalur yang benar,” ujar Mascherano.
Berita yang dirangkum oleh agen bola online terpercaya, Mascherano menjelaskan,”Mereka (awak media) hanya perlu membuka mata lebar-lebar. Barca tidak salah menerapkan gaya permainan baru, dan harus saya akui memang kami membutuhkan sedikit pembenahan. Namun, bahwa kritikan mereka pada kami murni tidak adil.”

Anonymous said...

Permintaan maaf Blatter kepada Christiano Ronaldo

Berita olahraga terpercaya dari Agen Judi terbaik, setelah menyindir Ronaldo sebagai ‘komandan’ di atas lapangan, tampaknya presided FIFA, Sepp Blatter ingin segera menyudah konflik anatara dirinya dengan Christiano Ronaldo. Kini Ia menyatakan tak memiliki masalah dengan bintang Real Madrid tersebut.
Blatter juga dikabarkan telah mengirim permintaan maaf kepada pimpinan Federasi Sepakbola Portugal, Fernando Gomez karena tak ingin memperpanjang masalah tersebut. Ia meminta maaf tentang apa yang telah terjadi antara pihaknya dengan Ronaldo.
Berita yang dirangkum oleh Agen bola online terpercaya, Blatter menegaskan bahwa dia tidak memiliki masalah dengan Ronaldo. “Saya meminta anda untuk menyampaikan permintaan maaf kepada pemain dan masyarakat sepakbola Portugal. Dan juga kepada yang terhormat presiden federasi sepakbola Portugal,”imbuh Blatter.
Sementara itu, Blatter juga mengatakan bahwa ia akan kembali menemui Ronaldi di penghargaan gala Ballon d’Or seperti tahun lalu.
Sumber :

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