Posts tagged querying

My Call Story (Or The Post I Thought I’d Published)

I’ve wrote this post in May and sat on it for a few days while I signed contracts, calmed down etc.

And then forgot to publish it!

I have signed with Limitless Publishing for the Soul Ties series, the first book is scheduled for release in August this year.

So how did this happen? Soul Ties is the second manuscript I’ve queried this year. Following a few rejections, I decided to shelve my other paranormal romance for revision and focus on Soul Ties. The response I got to the characters and story early on, from my writing group and CP, confirmed this was the way to go. And I loved what I’d created (especially Ava and Keir).

Once I decided to try and get Soul Ties a publisher, I entered a few pitching competitions (because you know I love those). I also sent to a couple of publishers who I thought my work suited, including Limitless Publishing. A few requested full manuscripts and I sent, sat back and waited for the rejections to roll in again.

I had my fingers crossed for Limitless Publishing because as soon as I saw their website, it was evident how much support they were giving their authors. The book covers and marketing jumped out at me and I hoped I’d be a fit for them. So I read through some of their authors’ books and waited hopefully…

Once they requested my full, the offer for the series followed quickly. What a start to my weekend!

This was a few weeks ago now but the excitement hasn’t worn off. I’m now working with my editor on polishing the manuscript and enjoying connecting with the Limitless team. I feel lucky to have the chance to share Soul Ties with you all and thank Limitless Publishing for the opportunity to join their group of talented authors.

I will keep you all updated every step of the way. And I’m writing the sequel right now :)

Why I Enter Pitching and Writing Competitions. A Lot.

A year ago I didn’t know what a pitch (or a query was). I’d written a book and needed to figure out what my next step was. Apart from to write another book and continue to develop my writing skills.

I began to follow a lot of blogs, tweets, Facebook pages etc to see what was happening in the writing world around me. I soon realised I needed to practice writing pitches and queries if I wanted to find a publisher or an agent. I needed to learn the art of pitches, queries, first five pages and more to even put myself on the radar. If I didn’t get past the pitching, I wasn’t going anywhere because no-one would read my work. And that included the indie publishing route – readers need pitches too…

Since entering the social media universe in March, I have written and honed pitches for two of my books. For each I created: Twitter length (140 characters), elevator pitch, two sentence, one paragraph and more! Some I’ve entered into competitions, some I’ve used in standard querying. Writing the pitches and queries well enough to get a request for a partial or a full feels as big a craft as writing the book. Maybe I’m at an advantage because I once worked as an advertising copywriter, and commonly had to reduce things to a few well chosen words and sentences.  I enjoy doing it! (I know most people don’t). But I’m not saying ‘hey, I’m a perfect pitcher’…no way! But something worked, as I had a little success in getting myself noticed.

Stepping way out of my comfort zone, in February this year, I entered the Romance Writers Australia ‘First Kiss’ competition. I submitted the first kiss, from my first ever completed novel (after running by my awesome CPs of course!)

I did it for anonymous, constructive criticism. Three judges score entries with comments on aspects of the entry. By entering I could get an idea of what I needed to work on and if I was doing anything right. It was a very hard thing to do…(Remember this is the person who refused to let anyone read their work until November last year).

Entering the competition feels like an age away now, and the results came out this week. I received my ranking and my score sheets – the top 6 went through and I was number 7. I posted on Facebook that I was teeth-gnashing about it, but in all honesty, I was overjoyed. Especially once I got hold of the score sheets for my first entry to an industry writing competition and saw the positives and the ‘needs work’. When I re-read the entry this week, I saw 100 things (oh, okay, maybe 20) things I’d do differently. Maybe next time I’ll make that top 6!

I think the upshot of my rambling is: By entering competitions, big or small, you get an indication of how you’re faring in an aspect of your writing, judged by people who have no connection to you. Often these competitions include other writers and readers of the genre as preliminary judges, so I think they are as valid for those wanting to indie publish too. They’re not just about discovering what the publishers want. You will fail to win, you might not even get past the first round, but you can often see the results and what the winners did differently. Which helps for next time.

I haven’t won any competitions yet, but what I’ve learnt has been reward enough. No, honestly it has. And I’ll tell you why later this week.