"Learn to Relax": Publishing Advice from Rae Gee03:12
On Monday, Rae Gee shared candidly aabout how writing brought her back to life. Today she chats with us about the other reward for her dedication to her manuscript: Publication!
Mars on the Rise has just been published by Torquere Press – you must be thrilled! How did your manuscript find its way to them?
Originally I sent it as an entry to the 2011 Terry Pratchett Prize (it didn't place!). But while I was waiting for the results of that I began sending it to publishers. I started by going through the Writers and Artists Handbook and the Writers Market before finally looking for a list of LGBT publishers. I took advice from friends on how to write a query letter, as well as looking online. There were several offers and I finally decided on Torquere.
So important to really do the research – which goes back to what you said on Monday about wanting everything to happen NOW! What can you share about the editorial process with your publisher – was it painful, exciting, rewarding, upsetting…?
There were so many emotions with the editorial process. The original manuscript was 150,000 words and they wanted to get it down to below 100,000 to keep the costs down. So there was some sadness and pain at having to get rid of parts. Yet it also felt great to be re-writing parts of it and seeing it flower. At the same time, the encouragement that everyone at Torquere gave me has been wonderful and I couldn't be happier! They've really helped and supported me and I'm so thankful for that.
What surprised you most about the process of publishing – any unexpected steps along the way?
Not really! I'd spoken to a lot of friends about the publishing process, as well as reading articles (there's a lot in the Writers and Artists Handbook) so I knew that, despite my quirks for wanting everything right now that I just had to chill out and go with the flow.
What advice would you give aspiring writers eager for publication?
Take your time.
Research who you want to send your book to. Don't just send it to every publisher you come across.
Take your time writing your query letter (there are some great templates online).
Edit your book before you send it, look for dropped words, missing punctuation etc. If you can get friends to proof read it as well, do that. They'll see things which you haven't.
Make sure you format it to the publisher’s guidelines. These vary from publisher to publisher and it can take a lot of time to do each revision. If you've followed their guidelines there's more chance you'll get a response.
Don't just go for the big publishers. There are many out there now, catering for everything and anything.
Look further afield. Don't think that you have to be published by a company from your country. I'm from the UK and Torquere are based in Texas.
Learn to take time out and relax.
Fantastic advice - writers, print out that list and tape it up above your desk! More to come on Friday, when Rae Gee talks about publicity in the age of social media. Scope her out ahead of time on Twitter and on Facebook!