Sunday, March 23, 2008

Melissa Blue's Secret to getting published

Hey ladies! I promised Melissa Blue to you all yesterday, but, well… let’s just say it’s been a wild weekend at Gemma’s house. So, I’m a day late, but I promise you this gal is worth the wait. Her books are awesome and her attitude is nothing short of a fab fiction diva. So, here’s Melissa…

Today I’m going to share the secret to getting published. I’m sure you’ve been wondering what’s the trick? How do I get the coveted contract that will get my book on a shelf and off my hardrive?

Luck and timing.

Feel free to go WTF? I’ll give you a moment…..

So, how do I know it’s really luck and timing that gets you published (of course along with a really good book), because this time last year I was in a writing rut. I wrote like I had Literary Tourettes. Something like this: iterarygeniusboymeetsgirlTHEEND.

See my point? So, back to me being in a rut—I wasn’t really writing, because I’d become discouraged. I read at least a hundred How to Books and my brain was muddled on what to write and what not to write, how to write it, what kind of characters to use, words that are absolute DON’TS, how to start your book, how to end each chapter, what really makes a romance, what disqualifies your book from certain genres, so on and so forth until my head exploded. At this point I’d penned three novels and I knew what I was up against: writers who knew the rules of grammar, writers who could pen a story ten times better than me, writers who already knew the things these books were talking about. Who was I kidding with thinking I could actually sell a book?

So you know what? I accepted the fact I wasn’t going to get published any time soon and I started to write because I loved it again. I can’t tell you the weight that was lifted off my keyboard. I wrote a blog post about how it should be all about the writing and three days later my pub wanted a partial.

Back to the thesis of this post, I wasn’t doing anything special. I wasn’t sending out a million and one submissions (which truly doesn’t hurt your odds if you do. Out of a million submissions there has to be one yes) all I did was send a Q &S . Might I add, the same Q & S had been sent to another publisher that sent me back a form letter. Same. Exact. One.

What was different?

Those three chapters ended up with an editor who loved my book, hell my voice, at a time that the publisher was seeking out authors, new blood so to speak, and Mars was in retrograde, I’d thrown salt over my shoulder and turned in a circle three times before I sent it out, avoided all black cats and wore the same socks every day until I got the email she wanted to contract my book.

Now that you know what really gets you published go write a damn good book.

If you liked the snark provided in this post you can find more of it here: If you are feeling extremely generous you can buy my book here.

Melissa Blue and I’m out.


Estella said...

Enjoyed the post.

Mel said...

Thanks, Estella.

Beth said...

Ha! I knew that was the secret! So when does Mars go into retrograde again? I hope it's this week because I'm sending out my Q & S to some choice agents. Wish me luck or should I say throw some salt over your shoulder for me. Thanks, that was a great post!

Mel said...

Since I'm all for getting authors published I can dig out those socks (that I haven't washed. You can't wash out the magic, righ?) I'll put those suckers on for you today. :)

And you're welcome. It was very fun to write.

TJ Bennett said...

Melissa, your story sounds similar to mine. I actually decided to QUIT writing because I was so discouraged. I'd done everything I was "supposed" to do to get published, and hadn't been yet. I was so down, I said, "Okay, I quit."

The next day I got THE CALL. Go figure. :-) Good luck on your book!


Tori Lennox said...

Great post, Melissa!

Mel said...

TJ, that sounds like a great call story. I don't know, but I think once you let go of the publishing side things open up for you. It might be something worth researching.

Mel said...

Thanks, Tori.