Remember the wonderful interview with Terry Helwig in which she shared her book marketing strategies? Well, thanks to the gentle nudging of one of that post’s most engaged readers, Linda Gartz, Terry is back. Here’s how she found her agent and publisher, in her own words. I suggest you go to her site to learn even more. The link will take you directly to a set of great writing tips.
I like how Terry takes the process of writing, editing, and publishing seriously and herself lightly. I hope you’ll enjoy and learn a lot.
From Terry to Linda (and all of us):
Linda, in addition to the writing/publishing tips on my website http://www.terryhelwig.com/terrysdesk.aspx (open tab on writing tips), I strongly suggest authors go into a bookstore and leaf through books similar to the type of book they want to publish. Oftentimes agents, editors and publishers will be mentioned in the acknowledgments which means these people and publishing houses likely have an interest in your genre. I have been writing off and on for thirty years. It wasn’t until I wrote Moonlight on Linoleum that I sought out an agent. When my manuscript was finally read, I was told that I had a diamond in the rough; but in order for the agency to represent my manuscript, they suggested I hire a NYC editor to help me polish “my diamond” to make it more marketable. I was told that publishers now prefer complete, edited manuscripts ready for publication because so many places are short-staffed and feeling the economic crunch. The truth is, the cost of hiring a reputable editor gave me great pause—the cost was thousands of dollars, plus there was absolutely no guarantee that my manuscript would be accepted anywhere. It was a gamble to be sure. In the end, I decided to take the risk and, after undergoing the editing process, I was lucky enough to get an advance that more than covered the cost of the editing. I am well aware the ending could have turned out very differently. I certainly don’t recommend this path for everyone, but it worked for me.
Do you have your own publishing story? What else do you want to know from Terry? Isn’t she generous to share so many ideas with us? Please thank her. And if you are interested in family history, check out Linda Gartz’s fascinating website also.