And on Facebook and Twitter as MarilynMeredith
Sometimes it’s a good idea to look back over your accomplishments and disappointments in order to see how far you’ve come.
My first book (an historical family saga) received nearly thirty rejections before finding a publisher. (This was back in the days of typewriters, carbon paper, submitting full manuscripts in a box with another pre-addressed and stamped box inside.) I knew nothing at all about promotion and expected the publisher to do it all. One thing I do know, the distribution was good because people spotted it in markets and drugstores. The editor who bought it left the publisher—a big setback.
The second book (also an historical family saga) was accepted by a publisher that turned out to be a crook—and guess what, I self-published with another company that also turned out to be dishonest. I bought a lot of the books and managed to sell them myself, but never received a single royalty.
I changed genres and wrote my first mystery, The Astral Gift. This poor book found a home first with another crooked publisher (back then, there were lots of them preying on writers), 50 books were printed and the publisher disappeared. The Astral Gift had two more publishers after that.
Somewhere in this time period, I found another publisher who wanted me to make my submission camera-ready, long before print-on-demand companies, I struggled but managed to complete the project only to learn the publisher died.
When I wrote my first Rocky Bluff P.D. mystery, it was accepted by an e-publisher before anyone had a clue what this meant, nor were there any e-book readers. This was an unsuccessful venture. I’ve already written about what happened next, the series went through two more publishers until finally begin published by Oak Tree Press.
My other series about Deputy Tempe Crabtree has had a similar rough path to publication and staying published. An agent told me she wouldn’t represent me unless I changed Tempe’s name. She thought it too unusual. I found another agent who loved the name but accomplished nothing in four years. I struck out on my own and sold the book to a small independent Press, Golden Eagle. Four books were published, and then the publisher who’d become a friend, passed away unexpectedly. Hard Shell Word Factory republished the series as e-books, including a prequel. The publisher sold the company and all this series was picked up by Mundania Press both as e-books and trade paperbacks.
None of it has been easy. Would I do it again? Only if it were in this time period of computers and the Internet. Today, self-publishing is much easier with far better results. There are many legitimate small presses out there looking for good books to publish. It is easy to contact authors for a recommendation of their publishers. You can find out about all the best ways to promote through the Internet and get lots of advice and support from fellow authors.
This is the briefest of histories, there were other books and other mishaps along the way, but this is what I remember the most clearly. One thing that I mustn’t forget is I learned a lot along the way, some from other agents I had, much from writers’ conferences, writing magazines and books, but the very most from the members of the critique group that I joined over thirty years ago.
Now a bit about Marilyn's latest, Dangerous Impulses:
An attractive new-hire captivates Officer Gordon Butler, Officer Felix Zachary’s wife Wendy is befuddled by her new baby, Ryan and Barbara Strickland receive unsettling news about her pregnancy, while the bloody murder of a mother and her son and an unidentified drug that sickens teenaged partiers jolts the Rocky Bluff P.D.
And A Contest!