Tuesdays with Ana: Thoughts for a newbie considering publishing

One of the best parts about being a published author is reading letters from readers. Because I was part of the blogging community before I became a published author, I’ve tried to keep one foot in each world. I try to do enough marketing/advertising to make people aware of my books, but I also try to stay connected with blogging friends who may never have the desire to purchase a single book. I’m not here only as a blogging advertisement; I’m also here as Ana the person who enjoys talking with people. So when these two worlds converge and reader/friends ask me about publishing and authoring, it’s a special joy.

I’ve been asked these questions, in various formulations, over the past few weeks and months:

How did you get published?

Could I get published, too?

How do you know if a manuscript is good enough to submit?

Where do I start?

I wrote something for fun. I’d like to publish it, but I don’t know if it’s an impossible dream.

Good news! With all of the smaller epublishers operating, there are publication opportunities for more and more types of fiction. Gone are the days when publishing, especially publishing something other than the mainstream types of fiction, was a pipe dream. Several people have gotten contracts to publish lately: PK for her first Cassie book and Sunny Girl for her collection of short stories. Others may not be new to publishing, but this is their first time using a publisher for a full-length book: Celeste and Thianna. Other have had success with self-publishing (when you don’t use a publisher but do all of the work on your own or hire someone to do it for you).

Instead of writing out new answers to the questions, let me first point you to a wealth of information available on previous Fika posts (as always, you’ll want to read the comments because information is also in the discussion):

For some thoughts on what kind of books readers want to read, read this Fika by Minelle on a reader’s perspective.

You may be especially interested in Maria Coltman’s Fika with Kate discussing her aspirations to publish a manuscript.

Don’t forget previous Tuesdays with Ana posts, either! One you might find relevant is on creating an author identity. Also this post on digging down to find emotional honesty in your writing.

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Phew! Is that a big enough list of links to keep you busy for a while? πŸ™‚

Deciding whether you want to publish is a big step. No one can tell you if you or your writing is ready, but one of the best things you can do is practice your writing. Be brave. Share a story with a friend, or even send a story to PK for Fantasy Friday. She’ll post stories from anyone, even if it’s your first time trying to write. Try visiting author blogs to see snippets of their work. Of course, there are other similar options if you want to publish fiction without spanking. (Fiction without spanking? It exists? Oh, the horror! πŸ™‚ )

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Finally, you may want to finish by revisiting this piece: Everything I need to know I learned writing spanking fiction. If you’d like a one-stop shop to understanding my thoughts on writing and how writing changes us as people, here you go. πŸ™‚

(And although I really don’t want to turn this into a book-promoting feature, Editorial Board–for all its silliness–actually contains much of my philosophy on writing.)

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Does that help? Did I miss an important part of your question? Join the discussion by leaving a comment below! If you’re a published author, I encourage you to add your advice/wisdom to the mix. If you’re an aspiring author, please add questions. If you’re a happy-to-never-publish reader, do you have any input as a reader of fiction?

Thanks for joining Tuesdays with Ana!

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31 thoughts on “Tuesdays with Ana: Thoughts for a newbie considering publishing

    • Anastasia Vitsky says:

      That’s a great question, Erzabet! It depends on whether we are willing to be public about what we write. I can’t combine my professional writing and professional vanilla lives, so (if I had a writer resume, which I don’t yet) it would be separate resumes. This has its disadvantages! I sure wish I could list publications for my vanilla professional experience, but that would involve a LOT of explaining I’d rather not do.

      What do others think?

      Thank you for the reblog, by the way!

      Like

    • Maren Smith says:

      Hi, Ersabet. Maybe I can help answer this. If you’re talking about the author resume that you send to potential publishers along with a sample of your manuscript when you submit for publication, then you submit your resume under your actual name and it should list your pen names and all the works that you have published collectively, along with when and through whom. (Or at least, this was how it was done way back when I first started this and dinosaurs roamed the Earth.) But if you’re talking about the author resume you have on your blog, someone else’s blog, or in the back of your book, the little bio blurb meant to introduce your pen name author (Example: Penny Alley lives in Washington state in a little log cabin overlooking the beach, with her husband of 18 years, her sister of 38 years, a hairless cat named Man-Boobs and a basset hound named Columbo)j, then you keep those individual.

      Like

  1. Celeste Jones says:

    Thanks for the shout out Ana. Those are some great resources which I will go back and check out. I get so busy reading that latest posts that I forget about the treasures in the archives.

    Of the many things I love about ebooks, I think the fact that they have blown the lid off what’s possible in publishing is the thing I like best. Want to write a 12 page story and sell it for 99 cents? Go for it! Want to write about women spanking women without sex? There’s a place for that now too.

    Like

    • Anastasia Vitsky says:

      F/F nonsexual spanking, oh yeah! πŸ™‚ Epublishing and blogging have changed a lot about who and what gets published, although of course there will still always be inequities and rock stars.

      I’m glad you decided to give a publisher a try. Self-publishing is great, too, but it seems that trying a variety of outlets is the best way to get recognized.

      One of my favorite things about ebooks is traveling with one lightweight Kindle rather than a suitcase crammed with books.

      Like

  2. ronniesoul says:

    Ana,

    Really interesting post and lost of good information. I’ve always wanted to write a book but just don’t think there is one there but you never know.

    Thanks Ana,

    Love,
    Ronnie
    xx

    Like

  3. abby says:

    WOW…great info..what i have read so far..I think I have one foot in each room,..happy to be reading others, but also wondering if i dare??
    thanks hugs abby

    Like

  4. Sunny Girl says:

    Great article Ana and thanks for the plug. Terrific information.

    You know I never thought I would publish, I write for my entertainment as well as the readers. I kept getting urged to publish. I did it as a lark and was as surprised as anyone when they said “yes”. So if you have a thought to do it, do it. All they can say is no.

    I urge everyone to follow their creative impulses, if you think you want to write, write. If you like reading what you wrote, others will too. As Ana said, send it to PK-New Beginnings. She will assist and post and you will get the feedback. Then you are on your way.

    Good luck.

    Like

    • Anastasia Vitsky says:

      Absolutely, Sunny! There is a publishing niche for nearly everyone. (I say “nearly” because there are still taboo topics such as pedophilia and bestiality, or stories celebrating rape.) Your story is proof that someone can do this “just for fun” and still publish. The question is only how much time and effort the writer is willing to put into the endeavor. πŸ™‚

      Like

  5. Joan Defers (nsfw) says:

    Having talked to quite a few people about it, I think the best advice is, “Don’t be afraid.” I hear a lot of “Oh, I’m not good enough to submit my stories.” The worst that can happen is some total stranger says, “No.”

    Like

  6. Ami says:

    Just read this and I have to say that now my file on ‘what to do in order to get published’ is twice as thick! Trouble is, there are always more questions I’d like to ask. It must be wonderful to be thick-skinned and highly confident. Quality of literature seems so diverse now I am reading with a view to writing!

    Thanks Ana for putting all this together.

    Ami

    Like

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