Friday, September 14, 2018

Finding Your Niche by Marie Bast


Authors all want to get published, but it’s not always easy to find a publisher that’s the perfect fit for our writing. Especially when it’s our first book. I’m a new author with Love Inspired, and therefore, thought I’d share my experience on cracking the code to publication. For those of you who have been trying to capture the attention of an editor or publisher, here is my journey to my first book contract.              



Before
I joined writers’ organizations like RWA, ACFW, SCBWI, Word weavers, and two critique groups. The training and information from these professional organizations and writers were invaluable. Now, I’m going to enlist the aid of my son’s dog, Lola, who has graciously volunteered (after receiving several biscuits) to demonstrate show don’t tell for manuscript makeover. In the creative stage of writing, extraneous little creatures—over-used words, adverbs, prepositions, sentence starters and filler words had weaseled their way onto each page. They made my work-in-process (WIP) look bloated and shaggy—needing a cleanup.       

After

After scrubbing and trimming my manuscripts, they looked professional, sharp, and ready for presentation to editors and publishers. Besides publishing dozens of articles, short stories, devotionals, poetry and prayers, I contributed to four book compilations. Brimming with confidence, I wrote three adult books and five children’s books. Armed with proposals, I attended several writers' conferences. None of them caught a publisher's attention. Disappointed but I was still determined.      
 
Since I enjoyed reading Love Inspired books, I browsed their webpage and found that in February, they often held contests or offered submission opportunities. My first attempt at submission, failed, but I received constructive comments and advice. The next time I entered a contest, I made it through stage one, but rejected at stage two. Then at a writers’ conference, I attended a workshop given by Allie Pleiter. I learned a lot from Allie on how to further hone my work, and it gave me the push to submit to LI again. After submission, the whole process took around a year, but it ended in a contract.

 My advice, don’t give up. Attend writers’ conferences and workshops, find a publisher that you’d like to work with, then read their books and determine if this is the kind of niche or genre you’d like to write. Before you submit, make sure you have trimmed and polished your manuscript until the shaggy spots are gone.    

My first book, The Amish Baker releases March 2019. Have you ever had someone give you that crucial shove to try something one more time?  To get to know me better, visit my blog, follow me on Facebook, or Twitter.




 
 




 

12 comments:

  1. Marie, thanks for your post. I love reading about authors journey to publication. Welcome to the LI family.

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    1. Thank you, Mary, I had some publishing issues on here but think I have it figured out. Thanks again for your warm welcome.

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  2. Love the dog and love the advice :) Here's a shout out to Allie, too.
    Welcome, Marie!

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  4. Thank you, Pamela. Sorry but for some reason it wouldn’t let me comment directly to you.

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  5. Hi, Marie!! Love this post--and the dog pix (what a perfect comparison there--I have some pretty shaggy first drafts, let me tell you!)--And I love Allie too!! Welcome to LI--you've definitely joined up with the BEST and most supportive group in the world!

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    1. Thank you,Laurel, it’s great to be part of this group.

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  6. Wow--all this love is making me smile! I love to teach workshops and am glad they inspire other writers. I'm delighted to welcome you to the Love Inspired family.

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