The other path to publication

Read this if you wrote a book.

After the first draft (which took multiple passes of adding layers on layers, printing, reordering chapters, ideas coming at you in the car, on the train, in the shower, at work, at dinner, on a run) was completed and sat in a drawer for a month or two like bread dough rising in a covered bowl, you revised it.

You rewrote the whole thing (more than once).

Shared it with a group.

Revised it again. Shared it with more writers. Revised it again.

Hired a professional editor. Revised it again.

How long did that take? I’m estimating ~2 years.

If you give a mouse a cookie, he’s going to want milk to go with it. If a writer spends 2 years crafting an incredible story (one that she didn’t know existed in her heart or mind until it spilled onto the page), she’ll want readers to go with it. Writers want to share with readers who love stories and characters and getting wrapped up in a really good one…those are the humans we writers seek.

Which kind of writer are you? Do you want to quit your job and become a bestselling author, or do you have an inexplicable need to share your story with readers? Either way, you must publish your book. It’s time to make a decision. Will you publish it yourself? Or will you (attempt to) publish it the traditional way?

One huge factor to consider is timing. Here are some estimates for each process.

Traditional publishing requires

1. Writing, revising and polishing a query letter (2-4 weeks)

2. Writing, revising, and polishing a plot synopsis (2-4 weeks)

3. Researching and reading and finding agents (1-3 months)

4. Submission of query letters in batches (2-24 months)

5. Receiving rejections (minutes that feel like weeks in hell–they stepped on your baby’s neck–side effects may include insomnia and eye twitching)

6. Receiving requests for partial and full manuscripts (hope like rainbow bubbles)

7. Receiving rejections (popped bubbles get soap in your eye, but you won’t cry)

8. Receiving Revise and Resubmit requests (sour hope, but only the fringe of the rug is left so grab it quickly)

9. Waiting, waiting. . . waiting (oh. my. god. the interminable waiting)

[All of the above can take about 2 years and you MUST have incredibly thick skin and perseverance.]

If the two years result in signing with an agent, the following is likely to occur:

10. Revisions with agent (1+ year)

11. Submissions to editors at publishing companies (0.5-1 year)

If the revisions and submissions result in a publishing contract, the following has to happen:

12. Revisions with editor, cover design, marketing, book tours, wait wait wait (Estimated range from 0.5-3 years–agents/editors/famous authors? feel free to correct me here)

Overall, from the moment you conceived the idea for your story to the day your first reader plucks it from the pile to read will be ~4.5 years (if the first agent loves the story, submits right away, and the first editor picks it up and does only line edits) to ~9 years (more likely).

NINE years?! All of that work and effort and waiting and hoping and work and work and work and it could take NINE years?

Take a step back and think about this. It is not logical for writers to voluntarily put themselves through this slow process (designed before the digital era) and somehow do it with grace, patience, and no typos, always bowing and grinning to those with the power to rip the rug out from under us, when the rug wouldn’t even be there if we didn’t write the book in the first place. Is the process outdated, battered, slow. . . perhaps backwards?

Think about this too: why do you want to publish anyway? For the writing career or to share your art? (Your craft!) To share your gift of twining words into stories for others to read and feel and know your characters who came out of your brain in a process that is so incredible that you can’t even adequately describe it despite your gift with words? Is that you? Are you an artist? A storyteller? Do you write because you MUST and you cannot stop? Then, maybe the agonizing process of traditional publishing is not for you.

Don’t feel bad. You can still get your story to your readers.

Independent publishing is a wee bit faster than traditional publishing (divide by 3?). Where traditional publishing can take up to NINE years to complete, independent publishing skips almost ALL of the steps above and might take ~3 (THREE!) years from conception, through revisions and all editing, to publication.

Nine years vs THREE years. Think of all the stories you could write in the six years you’ll save. But before you leap to the other side of the fence, be sure to consider reality like this:

You’ll likely not be a bestselling author. Ever.

You’ll likely not be branded (so you can remain yourself–whew!) or forced to write your next novel based on someone else’s idea of what will sell. You may remain a writer of stories that sometimes suddenly appear in your mind, and compel you to bring them to life.

You’ll just be a writer and your work will be out there for readers to choose to read. Or not. But if you don’t put it out there, nobody will read it but you. Consider this option to share your craft with the world–it will let you get back to work writing your next book.

You’re a writer. Be a writer.

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I LIKE TREES LIKE THESE

My first children’s book is available in time for Christmas!

I LIKE TREES LIKE THESE is full of glorious images and playful verse to delight young readers and old tree-huggers (like you and me).

front cover I LIKE TREES LIKE THESE

Published by LMNO Press and available on Amazon.

P.S. If your initials are S.D. or J.M., check your mailbox for your absolutely-hot-off-the-press first-edition-ever copy. It is printing right this minute and on the way!

Hug a tree

I LIKE TREES LIKE THESE is a book from my heart to the hearts of children about the simple beauty and pure necessity of trees.

I’ve been taking pictures of trees for years while this book, inspired by Hope Jahren’s LAB GIRL, percolated in my head. I asked my granddaughter which children’s book I should publish first–the rhyming one or the one about trees–and she didn’t even hesitate. She said, “The tree one, Grammy.”

This is a surprise for Grace and her siblings for Christmas so DO NOT show her this cover. Now you can buy a copy for your own grandchildren! buy a copy here

front cover I LIKE TREES LIKE THESE

The beautiful man on the cover is Christopher Dunham, one of the greats among legendary tree huggers. In the spring of this year, Chris left this Earth. Yet the man and his spirit live on in everyone he touched, proving that a life filled with love is the life we should seek. And hugs are durable. And trees are huggable.

 

8.1.18 INFINITY LINE

8.1.18 INFINITY LINE

Today is 8.1.18

(Please note the palindrome, the eleven symbolizing parallel lines, the two vertical infinity symbols disguised as eights.)

Today my second novel, INFINITY LINE, is available!

Warning: This story is nothing like OR NOT TO BE. I’m not kidding. Put all expectations aside and read like you’ve never read my debut or my hundreds of blog posts.

INFINITY LINE hurts. It hurt to write. It hurts to read.

Characters, superheroes almost, creatures from deep within my imagination, tell the story. They revealed the story to me. I did not outline. I did not plan. I let the pain and anger pour onto the page.

Seven years ago the first rough draft was brutal and messy. Five years of help in editing and rewriting (through dozens of versions and months of doubt and courage) have passed while life moved along. And now, at this time when our country and world are so incredibly terrifying, suddenly I feel brave.

So here she is. My second-born. Be gentle. She’s yours now.

front cover Infinity Line

Available in paperback and Kindle.

Cover reveal: INFINITY LINE

front cover Infinity Line

In 2072,

in a once vibrant metropolis on the eastern coast of what used to be America,

biochemist Dr. Lorelei Fletcher hunts men.

In a world gone insane with hatred, somebody has to do it.

Lorelei stalks them until they catch her.

She doses them with a molecular cocktail

(silently, painlessly, with a needle, to the neck)

to tame them.

Part of an improbable plan for peace,

Lorelei works to drive humanity toward a future that’s female.

Exclusively female.

 

INFINITY LINE, my second novel, will be available in August 2018. As an independent author, editor, and publisher, with my very own company called LMNO Press, I write fiction from deep within my aching heart. The pain and struggles, frustrations and horrors, and relationships between characters in this story were born of my fear for humanity, and my certain doubt that we can survive on our spiraling path.

Unlike the humorous and tragic love story of OR NOT TO BE, this second novel defies any attempt to brand me as an author of a specific genre. Indeed, my next books may be children’s stories. Imagination cannot be caged.

Advance Reader Copies (printed and electronic) are available for preview and review. Please email lauralanni2014@gmail.com for your first edition copy.