In 2007 I decided to start writing a mystery novel. Having earned my living as a salesman and with 4 daughters to whom I had become accustomed to spinning bedtime tales, it seemed a natural and comfortable thing to undertake as a hobby. After all, I had finished my allotted number of bird houses, there were few home projects to undertake and the community volunteer projects we were active in did not take up much time.
Surprise! It came easy for me. In a little over a year I had my first novel completed, I thought. 350 pages of brilliance, I thought. The rest would be simple, I thought. Send it off to an agent and wait for a contract and kudos, I thought. Needless to say that wasn’t what happened.
Roadblocks began to emerge.
First roadblock: Answering advertisements replete on the web I innocently sent outlines of my book and information about the famous author I was about to be to several. Almost immediately I received several laudatory letters offering a contract for publication. Several? Contracts? Luckily I decided to do some research and found tons of complaints lodged against these companies. They were all rip off artists.
Second roadblock: Next I started contacting legitimate agents on legitimate lists but none were interested. I religiously mailed 2 requests daily for a number of weeks and kept careful records. I received replies saying they were not interested but wishing me luck. VERY few agents respond to requests out of the blue.
Third roadblock: I decided to self-publish and found out that what’s said about writing and publishing is TRUE. Writing’s easy, publishing’s a bear. Now I had to juggle all the following:
Chaptering. Editing of both content and grammar. Cover picture. Cover design. Spine design. Title page. Chapter listing page. Formatting. (Did you know that the pages of a book are formatted differently in the center than at the beginning). Printing. ISBN, Copyright, e-books, paperbacks, and much more. Scary isn’t it? If I had known of the sheer volume of work involved I might never had started!
I did it. And I kept track of every source I needed to get them all done as easily and cheaply as possible. AND all those phone #’s, e-mail addresses, names, mailing addresses, sites that warn you of dangerous publishers to stay away from, and much more are in my A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO WRITING & PUBLISHING A NOVEL for you to use.
Richard L. Wren
IN HIS NEW CAREER AS AN AUTHOR, RICHARD DESCRIBES HIMSELF AS TALL, DARK, HANDSOME AND A LIAR. A FOURTH GENERATION CALIFORNIAN, A SAILOR, FATHER OF FOUR BEAUTIFUL AND SUPPORTIVE DAUGHTERS, AND HUSBAND TO ONE OF THE BEST WIVES OF ALL TIME. [MORE]