As an indie author, I’ve self-published with Createspace. I have done the whole submission process to publishers. I actually found a publisher for my Erotic Romance, Sweet Rewards, with Etopia Press on the first round of submissions. I also found a publisher for my Soiled Dove Sagas with JK Publishing. I’m very happy with that.
I’d still like to find an agent, and that has been a bit challenging. I’ve sent things off to Agencies with no luck. I’ve gotten contracts with publishers for most of my work thus far without an Agent, but wonder if I could do better if I had one. I will continue to submit work to Agents as I write. I”m pigheaded that way. Just keep plugging on!
I’ve published a new Erotic Romance with Createspace recently. I wrote it on a dare. Could I write something Contemporary? I did. I enjoyed it and didn’t have to do much research because I wrote about places I know and have visited. It was fun to write. I’m considering getting into the Personal Romance writing business and wanted to give Contemporary Romance a try. I didn’t submit that manuscript to a publisher because I plan to offer it as a freebie to potential customers of the Personal Romances. I’m working on a Paranormal Erotic Romance now. I will submit that one to agents and publishers when it is finished.
I enjoy writing so much! It is so much fun to go places I create in my mind and put onto paper for others to enjoy. I try to be detailed in my scenes to put my reader into the same room with my character, to hear, smell, and feel what my character is. I want them to feel and hear that soft, damp breeze blowing through the trees and smell the wild roses wafting in on that breeze.
As long as I can take my readers to another place, I am happy. I read for escapism. I think most readers of fiction do. If I am only able to get my books out there by self-publishing, I’m OK with that. Would I like to find a publisher who pays a hefty advance to their writers and spends money to market their authors? Of course I would! I’m still new to this writing and publishing business and learning more everyday. It is a business and I have to keep that in mind. Publishers want writers whose work they think will sell and make money for them. It is the same with Agents. They get a cut of what the author sells. If they don’t think the Author’s work is marketable, they won’t bother with them. I understand that.
After going through the editing process with JK Publishing on The Ruby Queen, I’ve learned what that publisher likes and wants in a manuscript. I also learned what they Don’t want. Some sentences had to be reworded to avoid some subjects. They don’t allow the word ‘Rape’ in their publications. I used it a couple of times in The Ruby Queen and in the edit I had to reword my sentences to allude to the rape without actually using the word. Characters must be over 18 to engage in sex, so that must be made very clear in my character development. I was aware of that and my character, Mattie Wallace was written as being 19 and getting ready to turn 20. There can be no scenes of rape. I had a scene of assault, but it never culminated in actual rape.
When writing for a traditional publisher, a writer has to know the publisher’s submission guidelines. Most are posted online. Study them so you don’t get bumped because you write a scene that would be unacceptable. I’ve found that most of the Romance publishers have about the same guidelines as far as subject matter is concerned. It is a learning process.
I suppose my greatest challenge is finding a publisher who will pay more than a 100.00 advance against royalties!