Forget the Sugarplums...

Tuesday, November 13, 2018
These days I ain't got sugarplums dancin' in my head. No, I'm daydreaming about a publishing contract.

Of course, I'm not quite there yet. My manuscript will be finished in the next two weeks (there's just a few places I need to rethread a tiny storyline and a little flashback I need to put in place), and then I'm sending it to my favorite editor-for-hire, Margo Dill, who's agreed to take a second stab at it. (What a glutton for punishment she is.)

Recently I had the pleasure of sitting next to Pat Wahler at an author event. Pat has three books out right now. (Children, can you say "overachiever"?) I had just finished reading her I am Mrs. Jesse James and picked her brain.

Pat makes the path to publishing look like a walk in the park on a flat, tree-lined trail. She's that talented and that much of a professional. However, if I'm really really lucky, I might be faced with choices in the next year or two. Will I bust my butt to get a traditional publishing deal? Or, will I form my own imprint?

I picked a bit more meat off Pat's brain, and these are some of the tidbits she offered up:

  • With traditional publishing, the publisher puts out the money for editing, the cover design and layout, the ISBN number, printing and so on.
  • When a writer forms their own imprint, the author needs to pay for an editor/proofreader, an artist to design the cover, and someone to do the interior design and layout. Of course, this also means the author has the final say when it comes to decisions. The title. The look of the cover. The printer.
  • By taking either path--traditional publisher or creating an imprint--a writer becomes rich  internationally famous exhausted, because the author has to do the marketing. Pat's set up book signings and written press releases. She's created book marks, business cards and advertisements. Multiply that times three (since she has three brand-new books out) and what do you have? You have a writer who's working on their next book, because according to Pat, the best way to sell a book is to publish a new one.
Pat left me with some final words that made publishing fairies dance in my head. She said that when a writer's book is finally published, "Savor the moment--worth all the time, trouble and money it took to get there--when you can officially say, 'It's true. I'm officially an author.'"

I look forward to that moment...

Sioux is a middle school teacher, a dog rescuer, a wife, mother and grammy... along with being a frustrated writer. She's in awe of her writer friends--some write poetic prose, some write historical fiction that's so authentic, it doesn't seem like fiction--and hopes to someday join them with her own book.


Margo Dill said...

Honestly, I can't wait to read the rewrite! Those little sugar plum fairies need books in their hands...LOL

Pat is amazing, right? Her book is the next one on my nightstand to crack open after I finish reading the two I'm on now. She also makes it all look so easy, but I laughed out loud when you crossed out rich and internationally famous and went to exhausted. I mean, that is the truth and telling it like it is.

I would say, though, since you were sitting next to Pat at the booksigning event with your essay in TWO Chicken Soup for the Soul books that you are officially an author. So you need to edit that last statement to: It's true. I'm officially an author of a published children's book. :)

Nicole Pyles said...

You know it's amazing how much work ends up going into being a published author way beyond the writing and the rewriting. Best of luck on your decision and it's an exciting spot to be in!

Mary Horner said...

Pat's book is next on my to-read list. And I'm excited for you, Sioux, so close to the finish line! Can't wait to read your book, too.

Sioux Roslawski said...

Margo--I actually have stories in 15 Chicken Soup for the Soul books, but just being one of 101 authors doesn't make me feel like an author. A writer, yes, but not an author. I can't explain the difference but in mind, there IS a difference.

While I was still reading Pat's book, I couldn't wait to find out if certain characters and plot events were real or whether they were fabricated. They seemed so authentic. It turns out Pat is quite the fabricator--she fleshed out Jesse James' wife with details and happenings with such deftness, I was enthralled.

Once you crack open "I am Mrs. Jesse James," you will love it.

Nicole--It IS amazing. And thanks. I need all the luck I can get...

Sioux Roslawski said...

Mary--You will love it. It's typically not what I read, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Cathy C. Hall said...

I have no doubt you'll get 'er done, Sioux, because you have a ton of stick-to-it-ness along with your natural talent. And P.S. Pat's book is really good!

Sioux Roslawski said...

Cathy--Thanks for your kind words. (The talent remains to be seen. ;) And I agree. Pat's book is wonderful.

Renee Roberson said...

You are so close to the finish line, Sioux! I can't wait to read the finished product. Knowing the subject matter, I don't think there could possibly be a better time for this book to be published. (Have I intrigued everyone yet?)

Sioux Roslawski said...

Are you auditioning to be my PR person? ;) Thanks for the encouragement.

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