I never thought my hobby as a paranormal investigator would lead to a novel titled, The Ancient Ones. But it did. Or that I would get a publishing contract only 8 months later. But I did.
Lucky? Perhaps. But I believe it helped to incorporate my interests in Native American history, including Indian ruins and petroglyphs. And mix in metaphysical elements, including astral travel, reincarnation, Reiki, the dark arts and the talents of a Native American shaman for a different sort of paranormal novel.
The road to publishing is never easy! For those trying to get published, consider joining groups in your genre or area of expertise. Since I’m fascinated by mysteries, I decided to focus on only short stories and novels combining the paranormal and mysteries or thrillers. Sisters in Crime has been a great organization to help me fine tune the craft. They have great monthly speakers at the Desert Sleuths chapter in Scottsdale, hold annual WriteNow! Conferences and sponsor a monthly writer’s critique meeting.
Mysteries not your cup of tea? There are many other local and national organizations to help you in your chosen genre. The complete list of writers associations can be found online at http://www.ebookcrossroads.com/writers-associations.html.
1. Historical Novel Society
2. Horror Writers Association
3. Poetry Society Of America
4. Romance Writers Of America
5. Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America
6. The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators
7. Western Writers Of America
Have you completed your manuscript and are ready to begin the process of finding an agent or publisher? So where do you begin? In addition to joining other writers groups and organizations, the following websites are great resources that helped me. The first is Predators and Editors – http://pred-ed.com/. This site lists literary agents, attorneys, editors and book publishers to name a few. I went alphabetically through the list and submitted to the ones that were considering the paranormal genre.
The other website is Publishers Marketplace – http://www.publishersmarketplace.com/. For a small fee of $20.00 per month, you receive a daily newsletter. Track deals, sales, reviews, publishers and agents. You can also receive a free, shorter version of Publishers Lunch.
I went through about 65 agents before sending to publishers. It’s not advised to send to both at the same time since agents work with a variety of publishers. And you may be submitting to an agent who works with a publisher you’ve also submitted to. This creates confusion and may result in your manuscript not being considered.
Finding an agent or traditional publisher requires just as much patience as the writing process itself. The primary piece of advice that helped me and that I kept hearing throughout completion of the manuscript – write what you know about. For me, this involves my fascination with the paranormal, metaphysical and archaeology. If you heed this advice, it will be reflected in your writing and will translate through to your audience!
How can you get your manuscript published? Join a good writers critique group. Join organizations focusing on your genre. Hire a great editor. And most importantly, don’t give up!