Archive for June 12, 2014


Every journey down that rocky road of writing is different, unique, influenced by our past and drawing on the writer’s experiences. My first career was that of a scientist, 34 years’ worth, and that experience helps shape my approach to publishing and the hesitation to self-publish.
Let me explain.
In science, once you have completed a project which has merit and contributes knowledge to your field, you set out to publish a paper describing your work. I am coauthor on more than 40 papers. I didn’t do any of the writing but performed most of the experiments that went into them and am familiar with the process of publishing these papers.
When you want to publish your work there is an accepted process. No valid scientist takes it upon himself to publish his results. Rather, you seek-out a peer-reviewed journal which publishes in your field. The process involves your work being reviewed by, usually three, scientists working in your field and familiar with the techniques you used. After reading your work they may either accept it, suggest further experiments or reject it. Do you see the parallel with accept, rewrite or reject? Having spent my entire working life under this mindset, I find it has now carried over into my writing career. Perhaps it is a flaw, perhaps not, but with my fiction I do not feel comfortable with just putting it out there. I need confirmation from someone knowledgeable in my genre and able to judge the quality of my work. This need for approval does not make for an easy writing career, but I feel the rewards are well worth the effort.
So far I have published on novel, a novella and more than 25 short stories, all accepted by a publisher, in some cases by multiple publishers. To go this route is time-consuming and requires a thick skin. It’s not easy to send your baby out there and find no one sees its value.
Let me share with you the history of my novel, New Moon Rising, in finding a publisher. I began this effort in December, 2006, and in March, 2010 Melange Books asked to see the entire manuscript and decided to publish my book. During that interval, I contacted 28 agents and publishers. One reason this endeavor took so long was that I waited to hear back from each submission before submitting again. I won’t make that mistake again. But let me tell you. When a publisher says, ‘We’ll accept your work,’ that superb feeling cannot be matched.
So there you have my approach and reasons for taking the road I have chosen to getting my work published, and why I have not self-published – yet. My approach is not for everyone, but for better or for worse, that’s what it is.
Then you have to get someone to buy it.

June 12, 2014 at 6:59 pm Leave a comment


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