Tag Archives: melody nunez

The Exciting (and Challenging) World of Publishing!

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In 2007 I was inspired to create 18 altered art illustrations, which I then wrote short stories for.  I wrote the collection of short stories during the month of November as part of National Novel Writing Month, though I didn’t write an actual novel (technically speaking).  I adhered to all the other rules though, and was elated when I completed my 18 stories – and exceeded the 50,000-word goal with a day or two to spare.

Next came the proofreading, re-writing, and polishing.  This process took quite a while, and I was lucky to have three people read my manuscript – extra pairs of eyes that helped weed out some of the missing words, extra words and other oddities I’d become blind to because I was too close to the project.  They also pointed out areas that needed fleshing out, clarification, and alternate wording.

Earlier this year I finished a final tweaking of the manuscript, pared my collection down from 18 stories to 16 stories, and began the arduous task of researching the publishing process.  I quickly realized that creating the artwork and writing the related short stories, as labor-intensive as it had been, had been the easy part!  I had a long road ahead of me – one filled with possible wrong turns and likely rejections.  It soon became clear that the road to getting a book published is not for the faint of heart.

I had many questions, so I dug in and started reading.  I started with the Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market, which was very informative.  It answered one of my first questions: Do I really need an agent?  The answer is yes, as many publishers won’t even look at your work unless an agent submits it.  Next I read Making the Perfect Pitch – How to Catch a Literary Agent’s Eye, which shed some light on how to submit a strong query letter to the aforementioned agent.  I also scoured the web for other relevant information.

Armed with that knowledge, I drafted a query and a synopsis, and started sending query packets out.  Each query is a bit different, as each agent wants to see something slightly different.  A query letter is the absolute minimum, and may be accompanied by a self-addressed stamped envelope, a synopsis, and a sample chapter or two.  I sent queries out to about twelve agents to start, and began the wait.  Could a request for a full manuscript review possibly come in amongst the rejections?

Somewhere along the line, between starting my research and mailing out my first queries, I read something that might’ve stopped me in my tracks: short story collections are particularly difficult to get published unless the author is very well known.  And while I’ll continue to work towards my goal of seeing this short story collection published, that information is key. It reminds me, as the rejections keep coming in, that this is a particularly difficult project to get representation for and that I’ve got to be persistent.

It’s also inspired me to change my battle plan.  It occurred to me that I might need to successfully publish another book (or two) before this book is ever published, so I’m moving on to the next manuscript.  I’ll be participating in National Novel Writing Month again this November, and will begin the process again.  Write, revise, query.  Hopefully this new manuscript can pave the way for the first one – if it hasn’t already been picked up by then!

As of this posting I’ve submitted queries to 25 literary agents, and have gotten 17 definitive no’s.  So I’ll keep chipping away by querying, honing my writing skills, and will be busily writing a novel in November.  As I said before, the road to getting a book published is not for the faint of heart.  However, I’ve chosen this road and will follow it to the end…

Warm regards,
Melody

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