Authors Rally

authors rally Collage_edited-1book 5-1book 2 1book 1-1book 3-1book 51

I mentioned in this post that I would be attending an author’s rally at my local library.  It was an event that gathered many of the local author’s in the area to let us show case our books to the public.  It was great for me to finally emerge from my house without the kids and meet with like minded writers.  They were all amazingly kind and talented.  In fact, the youngest author there was only THIRTEEN years old!!  Her dedication at such a tender age is inspiring.  Her name is Sydney Dreamweaver and her books can be found on Amazon.

Also attending the event was Amy Clipston!!  Some of you may have heard of her already.  Her books are top sellers in the Christian genre.  She is absolutely the sweetest person, too.  She has a book titled, Roadside Assistance, that I really wanted to buy from her that night, but I didn’t bring any cash with me.  Total.  Bummer.

If you’re a writer who is interested in publishing your children’s book, then you may want to check out, Auntie M Children’s Books Publishing company.  “Auntie M” is the mastermind behind this publishing company and she is also the author of, The Sophisticated Slug, shown above.  The illustration’s are amazing, and her message is uplifting and encouraging for her young audience.

The other two books shown are from author’s Philip R. Morrhouse, originally from New York, and Kevin Winchester, who teaches English at a local college.  I also met, Al Bigley, an illustrator and writer of comics.  He was nice enough to draw a picture for my son Nathan along with his autograph.  Nathan was absolutely beside himself when I gave it to him and gushed about it for two days straight.  I wish I would have taken a picture of it, but I forgot.  I’m lame.  Ha!  Anyway, all of them have many books already published and I recommend checking into some of them if you have time! 

All in all, I really enjoyed attending this event.  I wish I had a chance to meet every author there that night, but there just wasn’t enough time for me to go around to each person.  Awe well.  Maybe next year?    

 

Forgetting Susan

I had written this very long soliloquy inside my mind that was intended to be posted here, but with each passing day, I put it off to the side and mulled on it instead.  Now, here I am, two days past the actual day I wanted to reference to begin with.  A writer’s procrastination;  Nothing new.
This is sounding like a much bigger deal than it really is, so I’ll just state what has been on my mind this month.   You see, November 10, 2010, my first novel was published.  I signed a three year contract with a small publishing company who had accepted my query letter & manuscript.  It was a thrilling day, full of possibilities in the future.  It was the beginning of my writing…career?  endeavor?  Whichever. 
But, if you did the simple math, then you may have already assumed that the book, is no longer being published.  In that case, your assumptions are correct.
For the last few months, I’ve wondered what I should do now.  Do I write another book?  Should I spruce up Forgetting Susan,  and attempt to have it published by one of the big six publishing companies?  The process of finding a literary agent again…I don’t want to even think about it.  Literary agents should be outlawed.  That’s all I have to say about it.
I have a lot I want to say about this book.  Like how I never really wanted to promote it.  Maybe it is the writer in me, but after I sat down and tried re-reading my own book after it was published, I became mortified.  I wanted to change or omit something from every page.  I wanted to take the book and lock it away in the attic for safe keeping from the public. I think the story itself is good, it is my writing that makes me shudder!!  Practice, practice, practice.  I should have practiced my writing skills more before I attempted to write a book…or at least before trying to have it published.  I have no idea how it managed to become published, but I figure it is just want God wanted for me at the time!
So.  What should I do?  My husband still thinks this book is awesome, (thanks babe) and wants me to pursue it further.  I just don’t know if I have it in me.  Building an audience is hard, and I don’t have the extra dollars right now to put my name out there.  Know what I mean? 
Okay.  Even with all that I’ve said, I will be joining eleven other local authors at the county library to showcase/sell our books, and engage with the public.  Even though my book is no longer being published, I still have a lot of promo books on hand that can either be sold or given away.  I haven’t decided yet.  I think I should give them away, but that is just my nature.  My husband says, sell!  We’ll see.
Thanks for listening! 
Liz  

The Publishing Process: What I Didn’t Know & An Actual Query Letter

   Getting Published 

Whenever
I typed the last word in my novel, I assumed my next step would be wrapping my
manuscript in brown paper, tied with twine, and whisked away by the mailman to the “big
six” publishing companies: fingers crossed. 


 

…not so much.  


 

You
see, after searching online for the addresses to my future dream
makers, I realized that my assumptions were completely off base
. Here is the message I read, written on the Random House website:  


 

If you would like to have your work or manuscript considered for
publication by a major book publisher, we recommend that you work with
an established literary agent…~ Random House
 


 

Ahem. A what?  Literary agent?   

Okay, obviously I was naïve to the publishing world. 


I figured seeking out local authors for experiences and advice would be my best bet…alas…the majority of their answers were along the lines of,  I’ve been trying for years to land a contract with an agent without any luck.


 
Wow. Years. 

I began feeling deflated and I still didn’t know how to solicit an agent.

Eventually, I purchased the coveted book titled:  Guide to Literary Agents
This book is annual, meaning, that every year it is published with an updated list, contact information, and useful tips
to landing a contract with an agent.
 

From there, I wrote my first query letter.  

What is a query letter, you ask?  

It is a formal letter to pitch your manuscript to
literary agents.  Here is one of my actual query letters that I sent to
an agent.
 


 

Elizabeth Luscomb 

*** **** ** 

Grantsville, Utah 84029 

lizluscomb@live.com 

(435) 884-**** 


 

February 02, 2010 


 

Dear Mr. Fulton, 


 

Enclosed is a copy of my first novel, Forgetting Susan.  You can find out more about me through my website at www.elizabethluscomb.com,
which also has links to my email, face book etc.  I have also enclosed
the original email I sent to you.  Below, you can find a brief but
detailed synopsis of
Forgetting Susan. 


 

The
year is 1988, and forty-eight-year-old Susan Robinson has just learned
that James, her husband whom she believed had died twenty-two-years ago,
is still alive.  Susan opens what she thinks is a long lost letter from
James during his service in the Vietnam War, but she soon discovers his
secret past.
 


 

Susan
is a small town girl from Oregon who could not ignore James’ charm.  In
the beginning they shared an enduring, loving marriage until she was
notified that James was A.W.O.L.  Susan doubts the accusation and cannot
accept that James would abandon his family.  After convincing herself
and her family that James had died during the war, she struggles to
raise her two kids while pregnant with a third child during an era when
single mothers were not well accepted.
 


 

James
fell madly in love with Susan and considered himself quite fortunate to
marry his dream girl.  However, they begin to suffer financially when
James suddenly loses his job.  After making a difficult decision to
volunteer his services in the Vietnam War to support his family, he
begins to lose himself from the horrors of battle and turns to drugs. 
Nearing the end of his tour, James becomes an accomplice to the murder
of his Lieutenant and becomes paranoid of being court-martialed.  He
decides his only way out is to flee the country.  He assumes a new
identity while living in Amsterdam, The Netherlands where he faces
continued hardships involving drugs, alcohol, and his ambiguous past.
 


 

Go
back in time and follow this spellbinding story, mixed with humor, of
James and Susan, set against the controversial era of the sixties as
Susan struggles with the memory of her lost husband and James struggles
to find inner peace.
 


 

Thank you for your time and attention; I look forward to hearing from you soon. 


 

Best Wishes, 


Elizabeth Luscomb  


  


 

Whoa, right?  


 

I feel sorry for the agents who had to endure reading my first
attempt at a query letter.  It was horrible!  It was painfully
obvious that I had no clue what I was doing.  


 

Query letters must be very specific, and each agency has their own list of requirements
that your letter must contain.  
 

About four months, and many rejection emails/letters later, I boasted three
measly nibbles from agents requesting samples of my manuscript.  One agent never responded back, the other said
she was not interested, and the last one wanted a copy of the entire manuscript.  
 


 


Fast
forward two weeks, I was reading one of my most memorable
emails yet.  A contract offer from a small publishing company in Texas.  
 


 

Although
I was not selected by one of the big six publishers, I felt incredibly
lucky.  It takes some authors two to five years before being selected by
an agent, let alone an agent finding a publisher for you.  
 


 

In hind sight, it may have just been beginners luck, but whatever it was, I am truly grateful that Forgetting Susan was
chosen.  

linking up with The Story Of My Life