WHERE AM I AND HOW DID I GET HERE?

The proofs are in the mail…”Oh, my goodness,” said Little Orphan Annie and me.

I began to work on Huachuca Woman over twenty years ago and it will now, finally, see the light of day on paper and epub smaller than 8.5″x11.” Early on and for too long, I took the high road, looking for the power people (read:NYC publishers) and not getting past the gatekeepers (read: agents.) After the first seventy passes, rejections and no replies (a form of rejection,) I began to look at vanity publishing. For a mere $2-5000, I could fill my garage or spare bedroom (assuming I have one) with hundreds of my books to sell at book fairs, conferences, writers’ club meetings, beauty shops, medical offices and captive audiences (read: family and friends.) Did I REALLY want to do this, even if I could afford to? NOPE.

And so, I kept up the search for independent publishers where I passed on them or they passed on me.  And agents, at conferences, classes, forums or wherever I came across their paths. It seemed the personal connection would strengthen my chances and so I kept at it.  Last Fall, I thought I’d found the perfect match…only to have her reader pass. Whether on purpose or by design the reader’s notes were included in the returned manuscript, I was dumfounded. She couldn’t identify with the protagonist “despite the two deaths” in the pages she’d read; I wrote her off as a “22 year old with no life experience” and gave up my search for another agent’s reader.

Sometime ago, a guardian angel tried to convince me to epub and offered to cover the costs. I dithered with the same old fears: inadequate editing, wanting great quality, success/failure and a certain techno phobia. “Get on with it, find someone to do the technical work,” said Angel. And I did.

This was still a complicated process and I can’t imagine doing it all on my own. Writer friends my age have persisted in stretching their minds and joining the 21st century. I’m still very much in the 19th century with occasional adaptations to the 20th. Fortunately, I came upon a gifted man (Blake Webster: www.mediadesignpublishing.com) to upload my manuscript to CreateSpace and the Kindle and yet another to do my cover design (Kent Sorensen: www.kentwsorensen.com.) I feel very fortunate in being able to entrust my dreams to these men.

Where are you in your dream to publish?

What is/was your plan to get there?

What would you suggest to others?

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18 Comments

Filed under Reflection, Writing

18 responses to “WHERE AM I AND HOW DID I GET HERE?

  1. Oh Arletta, even your “story” is a great read. I’m so happy for you. You believe in your story and you believe others can help you. Power to you!

  2. And you have been one of my strongest helpers! Thank you for your continuing support over the years!

  3. Thanks to Cristian Mihai, for visiting.

  4. Barbara Toboni

    I liked reading how you did it. Congrats! My road? I am a little tech anxious myself and may go the same route as you, but not yet as I don’t have a completed novel. I do have a picture book with an agent so my fingers are crossed. It was difficult to find my agent and now it is difficult to play the waiting game.

  5. Hi Barbara,
    We all have to make/take our own paths; you may not recognize yours until you are on it! Actually, with your book of poetry and now the picture book picked up by an agent, it seems to me you are well on your way.
    I read your blog entries from spring forward and got frustrated trying to leave comments but I will return and get it right!
    Arletta

  6. Arletta, I read the excerpts from Huachuca Woman and I believe I’m hooked. So glad you got it published your way.

  7. This is my story almost to a “t”!!!! Thanks to those who have paved the way for us to self-publish and let our dreams and stories come alive!

  8. Hi Arletta,

    Thank you for visiting my blog and for your comment. I know just how you feel about self publishing, and I had some of the same fears. But now that I’ve published with Createspace and have found a source of good people to work with, I am happy that I made that decision. Good luck with your writing.

    • I just received my books from Createspace 2 days ago. I can’t believe the high quality! Even my bookworm friends were surprised and commented about the book being self-published and how it looked so professional! I am so happy that after 9 years I decided to jump in and do it this way!!!
      “The Longest Trail” has been one looooooonnnnnnggggg trail!!

      • Roni! How exciting for you. I’m equally pleased with the work CreateSpace
        and my team did on HUACHUCA WOMAN. As I’ve said elsewhere, the wonderment lasts long, but I’m still counting her fingers and toes (ie, checking for typos.) I hope that sales soar for you and bring many readers to your ideas and history.

  9. Hi Jerrye,
    Thank you for coming by. Since I wrote the piece, my book HUACHUCA WOMAN has come out on CreateSpace and Kindle. I hope to bring the second book in the trilogy out early this fall. Happy writing to you.
    Arletta

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