Wednesday, 5 September 2018

Doing it my way

"What publishing path are you considering/did you take, and why?"

That's the optional question for this month's Insecure Writer's Support Group post. I started writing short stories which I hoped would be published in women's magazines. I did that because my creative writing tutor (June Hampson) told me too!

The process is very simple – write stories according to their guidelines and send them directly to the fiction editors (you can find all the guidelines and other useful information here). I was fortunate in that I already enjoyed reading that type of story and my own writing style was a fairly close fit. I've had a reasonable amount of success over the years and still write and submit short stories i the same way – and I enter some of the competitions I mention on this blog.

With my novels I first attempted to get signed by an agent, as I thought that's what you were supposed to do. Once I realised there were publishers you could submit to directly, I tried that too – and had some near misses. I also got encouraging results in novel writing competitions and eventually had my first novel published as the result of winning one. That was exciting – I did a book signing in Waterstones, did some radio interviews and some libraries stocked copies ...

Then the publisher went bust and I got the rights back. That was closely followed by changes in my personal circumstances which meant I began travelling much more. I decided to self publish the book, and then some others. This gives me the freedom and flexibility which currently suits me. Other than some short stories collections and a non-fiction book published through Alfie Dog Fiction, all my books are now self published and that situation will probably continue.

17 comments:

Suzanne Furness said...

I love the way your writing life is so closely entwined with your personal life. It must give you lots of inspiration as you travel around the country. Happy writing and travels in the future, Patsy.

Red-Lucy said...

This makes complete sense to me although as yet I've not got as far as you. It's nice to read about someone's personal writing journey too. Travelling and writing, surely the dream? It's definitely mine. Good luck.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Bummer they went bust but that put you on the path you are now.

Angela Wooldridge said...

interesting to learn about people's experiences, thanks for sharing Patsy

Liza said...

Sounds like you found the best way for you. Congratulations on all your successes.

Pat Garcia said...

I keep learning so much as I go to the different blogs today. Your blog article has helped me with short stories, because that is a field that I'm trying to break into.
Wishing you all the best.
Shalom aleichem,
Pat G @ EverythingMustChange

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Patsy - as Pat says ... you've certainly found your route - and love the photo of you and Gary .. while the 'van' looks very upmarket. You do write for the homegrown market ... just the right one and very English ... congratulations - cheers Hilary

T. Powell Coltrin said...

Great life story! Love your take on publishing trad or indie style.

Teresa

emaginette said...

I'm glad it worked out in the end. ;-)

Anna from elements of emaginette

Rosemary Johnson said...

You're the second IWSG blogger to say miss out the middle man/woman ie the agent!

Toi Thomas said...

Happy IWSG Day!
Seems like the traditional publishing path had worked well, but things change. Now you are self-publishing. Glad it seems to be working.
Thanks for sharing your story.

Chrys Fey said...

I was so glad when I learned that there are publishers out there who accept submissions directly from authors. That's how I got signed with my small press.

Juneta Key said...

I enjoyed reading your story. Happy IWSG Day.

Shannon Lawrence said...

That's a good way to have worked your way around to how you do things now. It helps to get experience in different methods.

Susan A Eames said...

Lovely to read how you got to where you are now with your writing, clever lady!

Susan A Eames at
Travel, Fiction and Photos

Carolb said...

Your experiences show that just because the traditional route didn't work out, it doesn't mean the end of publishing opportunities; there's lots of possibilities.

Crystal Collier said...

I've heard so many friends have the same experience. It must be so heartbreaking to have your book out there, and then not. Good on you for taking the initiative to make sure that doesn't happen again. :)